Ever had this problem? You lay your baby down as gently as possible, but the second pyjamas hit the sheet, the screaming begins. Place your baby back on your chest?  The crying will immediately stop. This common struggle exhausts parents and makes them feel…stuck. 

Babies are not stupid! They know a good thing when they find it. To him, your warm, familiar, subtly moving body (arms or chest) is much more welcoming than that quiet, cold, still baby cot. And while it feels very sweet (or more truthfully, like your only option) when he crashes on your body, it is actually risky to let him. 

Is it Dangerous to Hold a Baby to Sleep?

Happiest Baby's founder, Dr. Harvey Karp said, "I have gotten emergency calls in the middle of the night after babies sleeping perched on mum or dad’s chests fell to the floor. Plus, co-sleeping on unsafe surfaces like couches, reclining chairs and adult beds, increases the chances of SIDS."

What Should I do If My Baby Only Sleeps When Held? 

Many parents find that giving their babies a ‘4th trimester’ of comforting stimulation–just by using the  5 S's–can help improve sleep. Unfortunately one of the 5 S's is not safe to use for sleep…that is the side / stomach position. So if you have a baby who really loves that particular ‘S’ you want to do the other 4 S's, even more, to try to help your baby sleep on their back.

Swaddling can help a baby feel more enveloped–like in the womb–which reduces startling and helps babies feel more comfortable on their back. 

[Read more: How to Swaddle a Baby]

Also, using the right type of white noise all night long can assist in babies sleeping longer.

Working with thousands of families, Dr. Karp recognised that many babies still prefer sleeping on top of their parents, despite being swaddled and having white noise. It was because of that he has worked for 5 years with MIT-trained engineers to develop a baby cot that is highly effective at soothing babies and assisting in baby sleep. The baby cot adds womb-like motion to the best swaddling and white noise to create a sleep environment that simulates the babies ‘4th trimester’ of soothing care.

The Solution if Your Baby Only Sleeps on Your Chest

SNOO imitates the pulsing sounds and movement of the womb and makes Baby feel ‘at home again,’ by helping to calm fussing and easing him into slumber. Yes, swaddling, rumbly white noise and dummies are great cues, but think of SNOO as an extra set of helping hands. In addition, after your baby has gotten to sleep, SNOO drops to a level to help ‘maintain sleep’ through the night. This is incredibly helpful to finicky babies who shun the still cot because it prevents them from rousing at any little bump in the night. And, SNOO helps to gradually wean your baby off motion by 6 months to make for an easy transition to the big kid cot. And in the meantime, mum, dad and baby will be better rested and without the worries.

So while SNOO helps with fussiness, you will still want to teach your baby self-soothing skills. The wake-and-sleep technique does it best—and is a great help to all parents, whether or not SNOO is right for your family. While it sounds counterintuitive, awakening your baby slightly before putting him down actually helps your guy put himself to sleep. That is the ultimate goal, for him to do it on his own without the entire routine!



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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.