Unsure of How to Stop a Baby From Crying? 15 ways to rock them to sleep

This article is meant to be a fun but helpful one as I think back to being a new Mom and being unsure of how to stop my baby from crying.  Sure there are some pretty basic ways to rock them, but you also may have to get a little creative to see what works for your little one.  Below I will list 15 ways to rock them to sleep based on methods I used with my daughter, trying to get her sleepy.

Ideally you want to rock your little one long enough to get them to calm down, become drowsy, and then allow them to then fall asleep on their own with just a little fussiness.  You may find one ‘go to’ rocking motion that seems to work most often, but depending on your baby’s mood you may need to try several different rocking techniques.

15 ways to rock a baby to sleep

Keep in mind that there may be other reasons why your baby is crying other than them just being fussy. Please make sure that they are not hungry, have a dry diaper, aren’t uncomfortable – swaddled too tight or have a sock pulling on a toe, and that they don’t feel too hot or cold.

Also, you don’t want your baby to get hooked on the rocking motion.  If you have a needy baby that you rock often, they may become too dependent and feel like they need it every time they try to sleep.  That scenario is not good for either of you.


You just want to rock when they need extra help calming down… for example, if you’re out and about and they’ve hit that overtired stage or if they fell asleep in the car and are now ticked off that the car ride is over!

You can also rock your little one if you just want the extra cuddle time.  The baby stage goes by so quickly, so it’s great to take time out to just be in the moment and enjoy it.  Just keep in mind that the rocking shouldn’t be done at each nap, because they will get hooked.


Here’s a list of 15 ways to rock your baby to get them sleepy:


  1. Swaying your hips back and forth while standing with your legs spread apart a bit

  3. Swaying while humming or singing

  5. Swaying while humming or singing and pacing back and forth around the room

  7. Swaying while humming or singing, pacing around the room, and adding a bounce to your step so they get up and down motion as well – hey, you have to do what it takes!

  9. In a rocking chair or glider

  11. With your eyes closed – thinking that if they see that you have your eyes closed, maybe it will prompt them to do the same thing

  13. Under a star filled ceiling from a projector hoping to mesmerize them

  15. When gas arises you rock with the added tap, tap, tap, on their bottom

  17. In a cradle or swing

  19. Dancing around the room with your baby in a wrap or sling. Sometimes you don’t even have to dance, just simply cleaning up the house and doing chores might be enough movement.

  21. Keeping them upright, lying on your chest and shoulder, rocking slowly hoping to avoid that dreaded reflux

  23. Moving the car seat back and forth on the ground while waiting in line at the Post Office, doctor’s office, etc.

  25. Grabbing the car seat with both arms, letting the handle rest in the bend of your arms and the seat against your stomach, swaying the entire thing back and forth when the simple rocking back and forth doesn’t work

  27. Laying them down in your lap, lengthwise, nestled in the groove with your legs pressed together, then moving both legs back and forth or gently up and down.

  29. Swaying back and forth with them swaddled up, so that all you can see is their cute little face popping out from the blanket. You can’t help but to lean down and give those cheeks some kisses here and there along the way.

Do you have a rocking technique that you’d like to share with others? If so, leave a comment below. Looking for other tips? Check out my other posts:

Tips for Setting up a Nursery – Colors that help babies sleep

Keep Your Baby Safe While Sleeping

Breastfeeding at Night – Looking for an easier way?

2 comments on “Unsure of How to Stop a Baby From Crying? 15 ways to rock them to sleep

  1. Halide

    Hi Kristy! All the swaying techniques are wonderful. I like the fifth one best. I think it is the least tiring one. I always applied the sixth one. I used to lie next to her and close my my eyes. If it is summer, swaying in a hammock may be a good idea.

    • Kristy

      Hi and thanks for the comment Halide. Agreed that the rocking chair/glider is the least tiring. I was always a little nervous that I was going to fall asleep though and didn’t want to drop her. I love the hammock idea. I did not try that one but sounds very relaxing. A great way for both Mommy and baby to be swayed and get some much needed fresh air at the same time!

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