What To Do If Your Baby Only Wants To Sleep In The Swing

by Gregory Plemmons, MD What do you want to know? Come ask the experts! A selection of answers to your questions...
by Gregory Plemmons, MD

What do you want to know? Come ask the experts! A selection of answers to your questions will be regularly posted on the site. For instant gratification, click here to see what other questions have already been answered. Something not here that you want to know? Well come on -- ask your question!

The question:
My son is three months old. When we put him in his crib, he will only sleep for about 15 minutes. We have to put him in his swing at night -- that's the only way he will sleep. Is this okay, and how can we help him sleep better? - David in Chino, California

The Pediatrician Answers:
The problem with sleeping in the swing is that your son is going to continue to associate that normal dreamy "sleepytime" state with the swing, instead of his crib, and this may cause two future problems:

1) Later on, when he awakens at awkward times (say 2 or 3 am), he may need the swing to fall back asleep;

2) He's going to outgrow the swing eventually.

There are a variety of approaches to get him to fall asleep and stay asleep in his crib. While not a specific recommendation, the two foremost pediatrician-authors on the subject are Richard Ferber (Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems) and William Sears (Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child To Sleep). I suggest that you ask your pediatrician's opinion as well.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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