So you’re ready to have your baby sleep on their own in their crib. If you have experience with this problem, or you’re coming to this article for help, you will know that this is much easier said than done.
Getting a baby to sleep in their crib can be one of the toughest challenges of parenting, and you will sometimes find that no matter what you do, your baby simply doesn’t want it to happen. Your baby is used to the comfort and safety of your arms after all, and it can be quite difficult for them to transition to a different arrangement.
In this article, we will give you 6 helpful strategies to try if your baby won’t sleep in a crib. These are tried and true strategies, and will hopefully have your baby sleeping soundly in no time. Of course, your baby is unique, and the effectiveness of these strategies will depend on that, so be sure to pay careful attention to your baby’s needs at all times, and adjust. Let’s get started with some tips:
If your baby isn’t ready to sleep in a crib, then these tips won’t be relevant yet. It is important to ensure that they are old enough to make this transition. This will depend on your baby, and you know them better than anyone. If they are simply putting up too much of a fuss, it might be time to wait a few weeks and try again.
The key to making changes seamless and without fuss is to follow a routine. A baby’s sleep schedule quickly becomes a habit, and that is what you are aiming to achieve with them sleeping in a crib.
Make a new bedtime routine that results in you placing them in a crib. For example, you can let them fall asleep in your arms, or wait until they get very drowsy before placing them in their crib.
The important thing with this routine is making it consistent and sticking to it. It only will become a habit for your baby if you are able to stick with it even through the tears and the tantrums.
Before you put your baby to sleep in their new environment, you can do many things to make sure the space is completely comfortable, which increases the chances that your baby will sleep through the night.
Of course, a comfortable, safe crib is priority number one. You want one that is the right size for your baby, with rails that will keep them safely inside, and a nice, firm mattress. Here is a crib we think is great!
Of course, other variables are important, such as a comfortable temperature, and a quiet, darkroom. Of course, some familiar items from their old sleeping room could also help. The goal is just to make the space is as comfortable and familiar as possible.
This is a big change in your baby’s life. They are going from sleeping in the safety, comfort, and security of your arms, or from a co-sleeping arrangement, to sleeping on their own for the first time. This can be quite jarring for them, and this is why it is a good strategy to make the transition as gradual as possible.
One thing you can do is to sleep next to the crib for the first few days. Maybe bring something like a portable cot into the room. The baby will sleep better knowing you are close by. Eventually, you can transition to just sleeping there for a short while, and then just to sitting in a chair next to the crib. Once you have gradually gotten your baby comfortable with these changes, you can leave the room.
Another shocking change for them is the shift from your warm arms to a crib. It can be helpful if you give them some warmth while rubbing their belly while they try to sleep. Just be sure not to pick them up, as this can confuse them as to what their new sleeping arrangement is.
It takes a baby on average about 3 weeks to adjust to a new situation, so keep this in mind while you are gradually transitioning them to their new crib.
One often-overlooked strategy is to put your baby in their crib while they are drowsy but still awake. While it seems counterintuitive and might be easier to put your baby in their crib while they are asleep, this is actually helpful in the long run.
This is because by putting your baby in their crib while they are slightly awake, they actually become aware of the fact that they are sleeping in their crib. This helps so that they are not shocked when they wake up in a new environment. Instead, they are aware of the process and they can become comfortable with it.
This also helps you build-up to the day where you can put them in their crib fully awake.
This is the final, and perhaps most important step. Commitment. This isn’t an easy process, and there will be tears, tantrums, and sleepless nights. However, this is a key part of the process. Your baby needs to make this adjustment eventually, and the longer you wait the more accustomed they will become to their sleeping arrangement.
Be sure to stick to your routine and trust that you are doing the right thing. It can be difficult to let your baby cry but know that you are doing the best thing for them.
We hope you have enjoyed our tips for getting your baby to sleep in a crib. This is a difficult time in any parent’s life, but just think of how satisfying it will be to successfully make this transition. So be patient, stick to your routine, and be persistent, you can do this!
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