It sounds easy doesn’t it – buy a nice crib, lay your baby onto its soft mattress, and let them drift off for a good night’s rest. However, new parents will quickly learn that this is not a reality. Your baby probably wants to sleep in your arms or has become accustomed to a bedside co-sleeping arrangement. So when it finally comes time to give your baby their own space to sleep in their own crib, how do you do it?
This predicament will be the focus of this article. We know it is hard to break your baby’s dependency on their accustomed sleep routine, but eventually, you will want them sleeping in a bed of their own. After all, the more accustomed they become, the more difficult it will be to make them change. So in this article, we are going to give you 4 tips for getting your baby to sleep in a crib.
The first and probably most important consideration is whether your baby is actually ready to sleep in a crib. All babies are different, and the exact age they will be ready to go in a crib really depends on the baby. If you find that your baby really doesn’t want to be separated no matter what you try, maybe give it a few more weeks and try again.
As with many areas of life, preparation is key here. This means prepping your baby’s sleeping area, but also prepping your knowledge so you’re ready to face any situations that arise (that’s why you’re here after all).
Of course, you want a great crib (here is one we think is excellent), but you also want a comfortable environment. The crib you choose will depend largely on your budget and personal preference, so do some research and find the best one for you!
Also, ensure the room is a comfortable temperature, and it should also be kept quiet and dark. It is best that your baby learns to sleep in these conditions as they will be the most common.
Of course, it will be quite jarring for your baby to go from sleeping beside or in your arms, to sleeping on their own. This is why it is so important to take steps to ease them into this change.
One thing that is so shocking is the change in temperature, from the warmth of your arms to a crib. It might help to swaddle the baby before placing them on the crib, or even rub their belly while they lie down. Just try not to pick them back up, as it confuses them as to what their routine is.
Another strategy is to spend the first while sleeping in the same room as them. This helps them to adjust to their new crib, but also know that you are nearby. This will help so that the baby doesn’t have their sleeping situation changed and being left all alone all at once. You can even do this in a gradual way. Over the course of days, you can start to sleep further from the crib, even transitioning to sitting nearby, until you are ready to leave the room entirely.
In order for your baby to properly understand these changes, it is essential to make a routine. This way, the baby will eventually grow to expect the new bedtime space and sleeping arrangement, and it will come as less of a shock and more of a comfort.
For example, when you see that your baby is becoming tired, you can let them nap in your arms while you rock them and prepare them for bed. Then, gently place them in their crib and hopefully, they will continue to sleep.
As with any changes, it is unlikely to stick right away, and that is why this routine aspect is so crucial. Over time, they will begin to associate sleep with this new routine and associate their crib with comfort and sleep rather than something that is new and frightening.
Here it is, perhaps the key to this whole thing. You have the crib set up, you have the room ready to go, you know the proper steps, and you know the night-time routine. The one thing left is the big one – persistence.
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, your baby is likely not going to take to this right away. There will be many nights of kicking and screaming, and you will likely question if it’s just easier to go back to the old routine. However, keep in mind that the older your baby gets, it will actually become harder, not easier, to make this change.
It will take an average baby around 3 weeks to adjust to a new situation. So be persistent, stick to the advice we mentioned above, and know that in the long run, this is for the best.
Of course, not all babies take to this the same way. But you know your baby better than anyone, and ultimately it is up to you to do what is best for them.
So there you have it, our top 4 tips for getting your baby to sleep in a crib. It’s not an easy time in your life, but stick with it and you will get it. Of course, as with anything, it is good to follow guidelines, but at the end of the day, your baby is unique. So keep what we have said in mind, but also keep in mind that no one knows your baby better than you. You want what is best for them and you are willing to work for that. We have given you our top tips for making this transition, and we are confident that you can make this work for your baby as well!
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