4 doctors weighed in:

Should I rock my baby to sleep or not?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Behavioral specalists have found that rocking baby to sleep leads to a 4x increase in sleep problems in childhood.
If you plan to be there 24/7 for the first 3 -5 yrs go ahead but what seems neat now can bring lots of tears later. Rocking stimulates their brain & can delay sleep entry. Since this mimics movement in the womb, they may embrace this as necessary--for years.

In brief: No

Behavioral specalists have found that rocking baby to sleep leads to a 4x increase in sleep problems in childhood.
If you plan to be there 24/7 for the first 3 -5 yrs go ahead but what seems neat now can bring lots of tears later. Rocking stimulates their brain & can delay sleep entry. Since this mimics movement in the womb, they may embrace this as necessary--for years.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
Obstetrics & Gynecology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Tough one...Really not a yes/no answer. Having gone through torment with my older child who did not 'know' how to put himself to sleep, i would recommend not rocking your baby to sleep.
Set up a bedtime routine as early as possible. Bath, breast, bed...Repeat each night. Shut the lights out, walk away and leave the baby alone. Hopefully the baby learns to fall asleep without assistance.

In brief: No

Tough one...Really not a yes/no answer. Having gone through torment with my older child who did not 'know' how to put himself to sleep, i would recommend not rocking your baby to sleep.
Set up a bedtime routine as early as possible. Bath, breast, bed...Repeat each night. Shut the lights out, walk away and leave the baby alone. Hopefully the baby learns to fall asleep without assistance.
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
Thank
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral

In brief: Sleep consolidation

Through self-regulation occurs between 1-4 mos.
, with consistent bedtime & routine (rocking, reading, feeding, wiping out baby's mouth with a soft cloth after last feed) & baby is put in his own crib drowsy, but awake. 50% of 5-mo.- olds sleep 6-8 hrs, but may night wake occasionally after 6 mos. If everything is the same as when he fell asleep, he can settle back down on his own unless ill.

In brief: Sleep consolidation

Through self-regulation occurs between 1-4 mos.
, with consistent bedtime & routine (rocking, reading, feeding, wiping out baby's mouth with a soft cloth after last feed) & baby is put in his own crib drowsy, but awake. 50% of 5-mo.- olds sleep 6-8 hrs, but may night wake occasionally after 6 mos. If everything is the same as when he fell asleep, he can settle back down on his own unless ill.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Thank

In brief: Yes

At less than 3 or 4 months of age, a baby can't get too much cuddling, contact, and comfort, including rocking to sleep.
Though there is some debate as children get older, in my own opinion, i think parents will have plenty of opportunities to help teach their older children to deal with frustration. I believe in helping young children get to sleep in a setting of feeling loved and nurtured.

In brief: Yes

At less than 3 or 4 months of age, a baby can't get too much cuddling, contact, and comfort, including rocking to sleep.
Though there is some debate as children get older, in my own opinion, i think parents will have plenty of opportunities to help teach their older children to deal with frustration. I believe in helping young children get to sleep in a setting of feeling loved and nurtured.
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
Thank
Read more answers from doctors