Help! My Baby Won’t Fall Asleep For Anyone But Me!

What do you do when your baby won't fall asleep for anyone but you? Check out our parenting tips to help your cherub learn to sleep for others quickly!

I have heard this statement so many times, “My baby won’t fall  asleep for anyone but me!” and it is usually followed by a really sad face, possibly a tear or two and then a longing look of desperation and help.  I figured since I have also felt like this, there must be many many more frustrated moms out there.  So what can you do?  Here are a few suggestions to help your little one go to sleep for someone other than you, and hopefully save you some sanity and anxiety.

Related: Parenting Tips: Pros & Cons of Co-Sleeping With Your Baby

What to do when your baby won’t fall asleep for anyone but you

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Bedtime assistant: Before you have someone take over completely, have them shadow you.  This could be Dad or granny or whoever.  Not that they don’t know how to put a baby to bed, but this is a win win for everyone.  Your child will see there is someone else around at bedtime, so she will be more comfortable when you are not there.  Your shadow will learn exactly what you do for bed.  Even when you write down the schedule (I talk about that next) you might miss something that you do because it is not something you think about.

Schedule: If you don’t really have one with your little one, you should get on one now, before someone else comes in to help.  You need to pass on that schedule to the person who will be putting the tiny person to sleep.  And I mean right down to how long it will take to calm and soothe her.  Is there a bath?  A bedtime bottle?  Whatever the routine is, let that person do it.

Stay out! I know this is hard (believe me, I know this is hard!) If someone else is going to be putting little one to bed, and you are practicing while you are still there, you can not, let me say that again, you can not go in and help soothe your child.  I know it sounds awful and evil, you may even shed some tears of your own, but stay out.  Going in is not helping and only prolonging what you need to happen.  You are teaching your little one that it will always be you to show up if she cries long enough.  You might need to go for a drive yourself for a little bit.  With the beauty of technology these days, you can always text to see if it is safe for you to come back. This is an absolute MUST if your baby won’t fall asleep for anyone but you!

Related: {Review} VTech Safe & Sound Full Color Video & Audio Baby Monitor

The Baby Whisperer: If all else fails and your baby still won’t fall asleep,  you can read this book by Tracey Hogg, it is from 2005 so it is not very old, and many have said her techniques work.  You can find it on Amazon. Basically you have a consistent bedtime, everynight (well that would make it consistent now wouldn’t it).  This may take some work, but I have heard that after about 3 days, all is well with the world.  The basic idea is that you lay your tired babe down, if she cries, you pick her up, soothe her, pick a key phrase like ‘It’s ok, I am right here’, lay her down when she stops crying, if she stays quiet, leave the room.  If she cries again, pick her up, soothe her, put her down.  I said it would be work!  I haven’t done this personally, all I can go by is what I have read about it.  It is worth a shot right?

All mother’s have gone through this at one point or another in their mothering roles.  It is one of those times that makes you want to pull all your hair out and change your identity.  You start to wonder ‘Will this child ever go to anyone but me?!’  The answer is yes, she will, just give it some time and try some of these techniques.

Do you have a method you have used to get your little cherub to go to sleep for someone other than you?  Please, by all means, share your secrets with the rest of us in the comments section below!

19 thoughts on “Help! My Baby Won’t Fall Asleep For Anyone But Me!”

  1. This is so tough and a position I was in with our youngest – especially since he loved twirling my hair to help him fall asleep! It takes time, patience and understanding on both parts.

  2. I never had any troubles with my daughter like this, but I know a few people who have had this problem. I know that is must be really nerve wracking to not be able to get some relief. Your tips are a great help.

  3. Sometimes, we just really have to let go. Let our babies get used to someone else, and once that happens, you can interchange roles with whoever is helping you out.

  4. Oh that is just the worst. My oldest would only eat or sleep for me and it was just awful. You listed some great tips to help Mommy get some freedom.

  5. Luckily, I never had this issue when I was caring for my nephew!! He has always been a good sleeper and we are so thankful! Great tips though!!

  6. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I am glad I never had that issue. We put out kids in their cribs in their own rooms from day one, though. I think that helped.

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I was lucky, I didn’t usually have much trouble getting my 7 to bed. One daughter who has two children herself now does have a really bad time of it though. She’s not had more than 4 hrs sleep at a stretch since her first was born 3 yrs ago. She’s been to sleep clinics numerous times and they tell her she’s doing everything correctly, it’s just that nothing seems to work for long enough and she’s up several times a night with one or the other of her children.

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