July 02, 2015

Q: My 7-month-old hates being horizontal, no matter how tired he is. How can I put him down so he'll sleep? Even if he falls asleep while being held vertically in my arms, he'll wake up and fuss when I put him down horizontally, no matter how asleep he was just a moment before. Help, please -- my arms hurt!

A: If your baby has reflux, he may prefer sleeping in a more upright position.  However, I suspect that it may not actually be the horizontal position that he prefers; he may just prefer being held.

A good first step: put him down while he's awake for his bedtime routine and feed him; this ensures that his final nighttime feeding is at the start and not at the end of the routine.  Once he is in his crib, sit next to him and pat him to sleep.  He may not like the change at first, but after just a few nights, he’ll get the hang of falling asleep without being held.  Once he starts to fall asleep in his crib,  start  gradually moving yourself farther away until he is completely soothing himself to sleep.

It can be a difficult process, but it will likely help your little guy learn how to fall asleep on his own rather than needing you to hold him to sleep, especially if he also wakes throughout the night and has to held to fall asleep again.  Persistence and consistency are the key to making these changes, but it will help everyone get the sleep they need!

Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell

Comments (1)

December 2, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SleepBaby .org<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SleepBaby .org<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!