First off, it is important to know that there are a variety of opinions about whether or not a baby ought to be rocked to sleep. Some experts and parents argue for rocking babies to sleep, while other experts and parents give reasons why babies should not be rocked to sleep. Each of these sides of the argument has its strengths and weaknesses, and each side has its arguments against the other side.
On the one hand, advocates of rocking babies to sleep suggest that the warmth and comfort that a baby experiences while being rocked is an important part of bonding with you, and that this sort of contact creates the important foundations later on for a relationship that is close, loving, and trusting. Rocking a baby to sleep can help both of you to wind down for the day, and for the two of you to just enjoy one another’s company.
On the other hand, those that argue against rocking babies to sleep suggest that, if you regularly rock your baby to sleep, that the baby will become dependent on rocking in order to fall asleep and that, whether or not it is convenient for you, you will wind up needing to rock your baby to sleep every night. This limits your choices as far as having a babysitter, or even having your spouse put the baby to bed. Some parents or experts even might say that rocking the baby to sleep “spoils” the baby.
Obviously, you don’t have to rock your baby to sleep to enjoy his or her company. You don’t have to rock your baby to sleep in order to develop a close, loving, and trusting relationship in the long run. Still, there is little evidence to suggest that rocking a baby to sleep will create some sort of dependence on rocking, where they are completely unable to be comforted or to sleep without being rocked. Ultimately, you are going to have to decide for yourself, and for your baby, whether rocking is an appropriate way to put your baby to sleep or not.