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!
- 5 Tips to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib
- Benefits of Having Baby Sleep in Crib
- How Do I Prepare My Baby for Crib Sleeping?
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.
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.