Baby Crib Sleeping Tips and Techniques

Baby Crib Sleeping Tips and Techniques

Discover expert advice on baby crib sleeping with practical tips and techniques for a smooth transition to the crib and restful nights for your little one.

Many new parents are worried about getting their newborn to sleep in a crib. Especially, if your little one is used to sleeping in mom’s arms or the car seat.

To help get baby to sleep in a crib, you should start early. Here are a few tips and techniques that will make the transition easier:

1. Make it familiar

Newborn babies can fall asleep in your arms, during a feeding, while on your back, riding in the car seat or swaying in a baby swing. However, there comes a time when they have to transition to sleeping in their crib or bassinet.

The first thing you want to do is make sure they are comfortable in their crib. Make sure it is warm, clean, and has some familiar elements like a favorite blanket or sleep sack. Using the swaddle as long as possible will help, too.

You can also create a bedtime routine that helps your child get used to the crib. Then, during the daytime, you can put them down for nap times in their crib. You might get some initial whimpers, but that is okay. It takes about three weeks to change behavior. Just stick with it and eventually, they will learn to sleep in their crib. It just may take a little longer than you might think.

2. Create a bedtime routine

Newborn babies tend to find sleep in their cribs difficult at some point, and they’re not alone. Millions of parents have experienced the same thing and found success with a consistent bedtime routine. This might include reading a book, feeding, cuddling, or singing a lullaby. You should aim to start this routine at least an hour before bedtime so that your baby can wind down and get ready for sleep.

The goal is to keep the same routine for both nap time and night sleep. This will help your baby understand that these times are for sleep and not for other activities. It also ensures that all caregivers are on the same page about the bedtime routine, so there are no inconsistencies.

The most important part of a bedtime routine is ensuring that your baby is drowsy before putting them down in their crib. You should watch for sleepy cues like yawning, rubbing their eyes or a dazed look. Once your baby has these signals, you can begin the routine and then put them down drowsy but awake.

3. Put them down feet first

From birth until about age one, it’s perfectly normal for babies to sleep in whatever is closest to them – your arms, bassinet, swing, or car seat. However, at some point, most parents find themselves wanting baby to sleep independently in the crib and that can be a challenging transition for both you and baby.

If you’re struggling to get your baby to nap in the crib, here are some expert tips and techniques to help make it a smoother transition.

Putting your baby down feet first may seem counterintuitive, but it can make the switch to sleeping in their crib easier. It allows them to feel secure in their new environment and can also prevent them from feeling like they’re being put down headfirst which often results in a startle. It’s also a safer way to put them down as it reduces the chance of them being able to grab onto anything they can reach. Aim to place them in their crib with their favourite blanket or cuddly toy so they still feel comforted and cosy.

4. Give them a chance to cry

If your newborn was sleeping like a dream in their crib during the day but suddenly seems to be protesting sleep there at night, don’t panic. They’re just getting used to the new sleep space and that can take time.

During the day, make sure that you are playing and rocking your baby in their crib before naptime to get them accustomed to this new environment. This way, their first experience with the crib is a positive one.

Also, try not to leave them alone in their crib until they fall asleep. Leaving them to cry may be a bad idea, especially if you have other kids or if you’re very tired.

If your baby will not fall asleep in the crib, use a baby swaddle or a sleep sack to mimic their feeling of being held, and then slowly move them into their bed. Avoid placing pillows or blankets in the crib with your baby because they increase the risk of SIDS. Instead, try a vibrating mattress pad or white noise to help them settle down.

5. Don’t rush it

In the first hazy days of parenting, your baby sleeps wherever they fall asleep — in your arms, in a bassinet or a swing, in their stroller. But the day will come when it’s time to put them in their crib for safer, more restful slumber.

Getting your baby to sleep in their crib doesn’t have to be stressful or challenging if you follow these expert tips and techniques. Just remember to be patient and consistent, as this is a process that may take some time for your little one to master.

Having a routine will help baby understand when it’s nap time and bedtime. But remember that if you’re sleeping with your baby or rocking them to sleep, this is not helping them establish good habits and could increase the risk of SIDS. Keeping this in mind, it is best to only rock them or put them down in their crib when they’re already drowsy. This way, they won’t feel as if they are being abandoned. You can also give them a warning before you change your routine.


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