At What Age Should A Parent Stop Holding, Cradling And Rocking Their Child To Sleep?

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At what age should a parent stop holding, cradling and rocking their child to sleep?
My husband’s niece is eight years old and will be nine in six months and his mother will physically rock her to sleep sometimes. The child will play with my mother in-law’s ears and nose until she doses off – it’s almost like it pacifies her. Also, the child is in a habit of crawling into their laps instead of sitting down in a chair or on the couch. For instance, my father in-law will be sitting on the couch and the child will crawl up into his arms, feet and all, and he will cradle her like a newborn infant. If she gets scolded about something (which is rare) my husband will pick her up and hold her. It looks somewhat abnormal because I am 30 and 5’2” and this child is tall for her age. Not as tall as me but too big to be acting like a baby.

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12 Responses to “At What Age Should A Parent Stop Holding, Cradling And Rocking Their Child To Sleep?”

  1. Sad Videos says:

    once they get 1 years old you should start doing it less and less because if you keep doing it for to long they will always expect it and when you dont do it they will most likely start having a fit and acting out so its best not to let it continue for to long

  2. Family says:

    She is obviously the “baby” of the family in more ways than one…. I don’t think there is anything wrong with loving, hugging and holding your children, but this seems a bit extreme…. All of that should have stopped at around 4 years old….

  3. Aundrea says:

    I have heard most people say that small babies should be put down when they are drowsey to soothe themselves to sleep without being rocked or cuddled to sleep. It is easier on the parents in the long run to get them used to going to sleep on their own.
    I don’t see anything wrong with cuddling your child, at any age. If my children want to be close to me while reading or watching TV…I LOVE it. They will push me away sooner or later so I cherish those times they want to be close.
    8/9 is a bit old to HAVE to be rocked to sleep…but it is up to her parents to change that behavior.

  4. When you have children, read this book: “The Five Love Languages of Children”.
    This behavior does seem a bit extreme. However, some people (children included) need more physical touch and attention than others. This is probably her love language and what she needs to feel loved.
    Personally, if this were my child…. I would just enjoy it (I wouldn’t rock her to sleep each and every night but I would be affectionate). Kids grow up way too fast so your husband and family should enjoy it while they can. The day will soon come when she won’t want to be seen with her parents, LOL!

  5. â¤??? ?å???? says:

    I dont think there is ever a time that a child cannot be hugged and cuddled and rocked to sleep. Even as an adult I want that sometimes myself!
    There is a such thing as being spoiled and pacified, which it sounds like they do to her. That is a matter of them learnin to say “no” and sticking by their decision no matter how upset she gets because a spoiled child turns into a spoiled adult and that just isnt good at all.

  6. fubarmil says:

    8 is a little way too old!!!!!!!! My son is 3 and we have not rocked him to since he was 2. Those parents need help.

  7. Ember Halo says:

    sounds like they did a form of attachment parenting.
    i think it would be fine, regardless of age, if the child can behave normally during daily life (outside the home).
    even as an adult, i still crave a reassuring hug from my parents occassionally, when something bad has happened.
    this just seems to be an extension of that. the cradling her like an infant stage may need to be in the past, but cuddling certainly is fine.

  8. spelling nazi says:

    Funny you should ask that–my son has been sick for the last couple of days and last night I cradled him and rocked him in my arms for a few minutes–and he’s 16.

  9. Baby Ruth is expecting # 2 says:

    12 months max, otherwise this will become a habit from hell.

  10. Rubette7 says:

    Normally, I would agree that an 8yo is too old to be rocked to sleep. However, I also understand bedtime traditions. My son and I have a bedtime tradition that started when he was 2 years old and now he’s 13. Ask yourself this: is the child able to sleep without being rocked? If so, then allow your MIL the tradition of rocking her granddaughter to sleep. If not, then maybe you and your MIL can try to wean her from the rocking and come up with a new bedtime tradition.
    As far as the little girl climbing up in laps, if the other adults don’t have a problem with it, then you’ll just have to let it go. If she climbs in your lap and you have a problem with that, then gently let her know that your lap is too small but she can sit next to you with your arms wrapped around her. Or if it’s okay with you, she can lay her head on your lap as well.
    The one behavior that should be stopped is your husband’s habit of picking her up when she’s scolded. That sends her mixed messages. If she is scolded, a punishment should follow; for example a time-out in a corner or her room or losing a privilage. When your husband picks her up, it’s like he’s telling her that whatever she did was okay with him and the other person was wrong for scolding her. That is what his actions are saying.

  11. Marvelgi says:

    She shouldn’t Rock her to sleep all the time but cuddeling should be atempted always. eaven when they push away at 12, and are bigger. But having to rock to sleep all the time I don’t think so

  12. Jay Seven says:

    when they get to heavy, until then knock yourself out…
    Now that I am a parent I will do that until they wont let me anymore.
    I don’t think it’s bad until the child is really a teenager…

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