Many parents are torn when it comes to the question of whether or not their baby should sleep in a crib. Some want them close by, but others feel that they will never be able to get their child back into the crib once they’ve gotten used to sleeping on a bed.
The truth is that there are many benefits associated with having your baby sleep in a crib as opposed to letting them co-sleep with you, so read along and see how you can make getting your child back into a comfy place sound like an appealing option!
What’s the Best Way to Get Your Baby to Sleep in Their Crib?
The best way to have your baby sleep in their crib is to do it when they are young. It’s much easier to get a child used to their own space when they are still small and unable to walk or crawl out of the crib.
If you try this when your baby is older, it can be more difficult because all babies have an innate fear of being alone in the dark. Being stuck in a room with no one around for safety can be really scary!
So if you’re thinking about transitioning your little one into their own bed, start early! That way, they’ll learn that the crib is nothing scary at all – it’s just another place where they sleep at night instead.
5 Tips to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib
1. Put your baby down awake
Don’t ever put your baby into his or her crib completely asleep. When you let them fall asleep by themselves (and not in your arms), they will be able to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.
2. Use one firm rule
Using a few different methods does not work for getting your baby to sleep in his or her crib. Maybe you have already tried this, and what you ended up with is a very confused little one who isn’t sure if she can get out of that crib or not!
Keep it simple — it’s much easier on both you and your baby. Make this rule crystal clear to your baby from the beginning so there are no mistakes!
And make sure everyone at home follows through with it! This ensures that once your baby gets used to sleeping alone, he stays in the crib because everyone else adheres to the rule as well.
3. Put your baby down at regular intervals
Creating a strict schedule ensures that you and your baby will both know what’s going on and when it’s happening. This is good for babies because they learn how to tell time and know when it’s bedtime!
And this is great for parents since we can plan our days with ease. My daughter has always been an excellent sleeper (she goes down between 7-8 p.m., sleeps through, and wakes up around 6:30-7:30 a.m.), but now she knows exactly what happens each day because of her schedule.
Even if you think your baby isn’t ready, try putting him or her down on a schedule anyway — just follow through with it. You might be surprised at how quickly your baby adapts!
4. Don’t overstimulate the baby before bedtime
This means don’t play super rowdy games. Don’t go out to dinner for a late night treat. And don’t get all the chores done in the evening because you’ll be up several times that night trying to convince him or her to get back into that crib!
Save that stuff until the morning when everyone is rested and ready. Instead of going out for dinner, have a nice picnic on your living room floor while some classical music plays in the background. It sounds boring but babies love routine — they will adjust so much easier if you do this same thing every single day.
5. Be patient
Sometimes kids test their parents to see how much they love them. If your baby cries, don’t go in right away (even if you really want to). It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but teaching him or her to self-soothe is one of the greatest gifts you can give!
Your baby will be so happy when he knows he doesn’t have to cry to get you there…and mommy and daddy can have a good night’s rest as well.
And remember — every baby is different. Try these methods for a week or two, and if they aren’t working by then, it might be time for a different approach. Yoga balls are great for rocking babies back and forth without actually having to do any work! Just make sure your baby’s head is supported to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
The key with getting baby to sleep in crib is consistency – if you put your child down and pick him up ten times a night, they’re going to get used to being held and won’t be able to fall asleep on their own.
You need to let them know that when you put them down in the crib, it’s time for bed – even if they cry! If you pick your baby up every time they start getting upset, they’ll have a really hard time self-soothing.
It might take a little while longer, but the more consistent you are with putting them down in their own space, the sooner they’ll learn to sleep by themselves.
A Good Mattress is Key
Buying a crib mattress is one of the most important decisions new parents can make for their baby.
Of course, you want your children to be safe, comfortable, and able to get plenty of rest, so the type of mattress you choose for the crib is just as important as the mattress you choose for your own bed.
The right mattress means comfortable and restful sleep; the wrong mattress can be nothing but trouble.
Crib Mattress Material Options
The biggest debate among crib mattress manufacturers these days is one of organic verses synthetic materials.
Advocates of organic crib mattresses cite the health benefits of going organic, and modern parents have the choice of purchasing fully organic, synthetic, or mixed mattresses. The choice of materials is entirely up to individual parents and how they feel about each one.
Regardless of the type of crib mattress you choose, never sacrifice quality to save a few dollars. A poor quality mattress could not only interrupt the sleep of your baby, it could also be a health hazard. Make sure your crib mattress is from a trusted manufacturer with a good track record of making quality crib products.
Fit and Firmness
When purchasing a crib mattress you need to take the measurements of the inside of the crib. Measure from head to foot and side to side as tightly as you possibly can. You need a mattress that fits in the crib and leaves no gaps between itself and the frame. Gaps can be dangerous for your baby. Fortunately, modern cribs come in standard sizes so most mattresses will fit snugly. But with an older crib you may have a harder time finding a mattress that fits.
When it comes to firmness, you want a mattress that is firm enough to support the baby without letting him sink at all. A mattress that’s too soft could pose a suffocation risk while the baby is sleeping on his stomach. Soft mattresses also inhibit a child’s ability to roll and move freely in the crib. The more firm the mattress, the better it is for baby.
Foam or Coil Spring?
Neither a foam mattress nor a coil spring mattress is inherently better or worse than the other. It’s all a matter of preference. Foam mattresses are most common because they are lighter and easier to handle, which comes in handy when moving the crib or changing the sheets. If you’ve chosen to go with organic materials, latex rubber will be the most common type of foam mattress you’ll find.
Should you choose to go with a coil spring mattress, realize that it will be prone to the same pressure point issues as adult-sized coil spring mattresses. For a new mattress and a new baby this will be a non-issue. But if you’re using a coil spring mattress passed down from your parents or grandparents, it can be worn enough to cause discomfort for your baby.
The Mattress Cover is Key
Unlike the mattress on your own bed, the crib mattress is not likely to be used for 15-20 years, unless you have a lot of children. With that in mind, the mattress cover tends to be more important than the mattress itself in terms of care and maintenance.
A cover with multiple layers will be more durable and long-lasting than one with a single layer. You’ll need to check whether a specific mattress cover is manufactured to resist stains, spit-up, urine, etc., and whether or not it has an antibacterial layer on top. Wool is a great choice for mattress covers, as are rubber and plastic.
The right crib mattress could be the difference between a pleasant sleeping experience for your baby and a miserable one. Be sure to follow all the safety instructions that come with your mattress and ask the advice of seasoned parents on how to create the best sleep environment for your baby. You’ll be glad you did.
Benefits of Having Baby Sleep in Crib
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in a crib for their first year.
“The AAP recommends babies share their parents’ room but have separate sleeping quarters, such as a bassinet or crib.”
The AAP also suggests that the baby’s bedroom is close to where the parents are sleeping so they can respond if the baby needs help.
- Babies sleep better in their crib than in a parent’s bed. A study found that babies who shared their parents’ bed for sleeping were more likely to experience interrupted sleep and take longer naps during the day.
- The baby learns self-soothing skills when he sleeps alone, at least during his early months of life. This is good news for mom! She gets some time away from her little one back while also meeting her baby’s needs.
- The risk of SIDS is reduced by more than 50% when the baby sleeps in the crib in the parents’ room.
- Cribs are designed with safety features that keep your baby safe while they’re awake and asleep
- Babies are more likely to sleep better if they have their own space and can’t be soothed by parents. A study found that babies who shared their parents’ bed for sleeping were more likely to experience interrupted sleep and take longer naps during the day. Not only will your child get the proper rest it needs, but you’ll also see an increase in confidence levels as well.
- Cribs are super easy to move around as well as incorporate into other rooms around the house. If you’re like most families and sleep in different rooms depending on where you are, then getting your baby to sleep soundly will be as simple as pushing the crib into whichever room is most convenient at that time of day!
How Do I Prepare My Baby for Crib Sleeping?
When you put your baby down to sleep in a crib, there are several things you can do to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible.
1. Use a lightweight blanket rather than a heavy one since this will help avoid suffocation from too much material. It’s safest newborns not to have any loose bedding at all, including pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins or sleeping bags.
2. Make sure the nursery is warm when you put your baby to sleep in their crib so it’s not too chilly for them once they fall asleep.
3. Create a soothing environment with low lighting that isn’t too bright since this can stir up some excitement and agitation. It might even help if you turn on a white noise machine (or work with nature sounds) because this could mimic what it feels like to hear noises while still in the womb. You also want to maintain a calm environment where there is little stimulation and avoid toys hanging above the crib. Some babies just do better in a very simple environment without too many things around them waking them up.
4. A comfortable temperature is extremely important for your baby when it comes to sleeping well, so make sure you aren’t feeling too warm or cold when you put your baby down to sleep. It’s best if you use a safe sleep space with an optimal temperature of 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 Celsius).
5. Some parents choose to swaddle their babies before laying them down because this can make a big difference in how well they sleep during the night and naps. However, if you do decide to swaddle your baby , make sure your baby’s arms are free so he or she can push up if needed and move around a bit for comfort’s sake.