New parents often find it difficult in getting their baby to sleep in the crib. Your bundle of joy falls asleep readily when you hold them in your arms.
However, they wake up the moment you put them in a crib. This may be upsetting and tiring and as a result, you keep thinking about how to make your baby sleep in a crib?
Follow these few simple tips to help make your baby’s transition to the crib easier. Let us first answer a few common questions that are on every parent’s mind when it comes to their baby’s sleep.
- Suggested read: Sleep Guide for Pregnancy – How to Sleep When Pregnant?
What is the right time for a baby to start sleeping in a crib?
The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) (1) advises new parents to sleep in the same room but not co-sleep with their babies, for at least a year.
If you consider that too much, they believe the babies should be in the same room for at least six months. The risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) is the highest for infants under six months.
Research also shows that babies that sleep in the same room as their parents on a firm mattress on their back have a significantly lower risk of developing SIDS.
So you can shift your baby to a crib as soon as you feel comfortable with the idea, you must let the crib be in your room for at least six months. This way you will get used to your baby’s sleeping patterns, her breathing noises, and hunger signals.
You can shift the crib to the baby’s room after a few months.
Is it safe to stop co-sleeping?
Yes, it is safe to stop co-sleeping when you feel you and your baby are ready for it. The transition can be more natural if you shift your baby’s crib to your bedroom for a few months.
When your baby is comfortable with her new sleeping environment in a few months time, you can shift the crib to the baby’s room. Use a monitoring device to make sure that you know what is going on in the baby’s room.
Why do babies cry as soon as we put them in their crib?
If you have co-slept with your baby for the few initial months, it may take some time for your cherub to get used to her crib. Clear out all the clutter that may have got collected in the cot and try to familiarise your baby with her crib.
Read to her or play some game with your baby in the crib. This way your child will associate the crib with a happy and fun place.
In some rare cases, babies suffer from food allergies or gastric reflux, so they are unable to sleep comfortably on their backs. You may have to make your baby sleep at an angle for her to be comfortable.
Babies are sensitive to the emotional state of their mothers. So, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of shifting your baby to the crib, she will sense your uneasiness.
If you have been putting your baby in the crib when she doesn’t behave herself, you are in big trouble. Your cherub may have begun to associate the crib with punishment and may have begun to hate it.
As you can see, there can be many reasons why your baby cries when put in her crib. Try to identify which one it is and solve the problem accordingly.
Why does my baby only sleep in my arms?
Does your baby sleep only when held and cries when put in the crib? Don’t worry; there are ways to solve this problem.
Don’t trick your baby by putting her in the crib after she has fallen asleep in your arms. When the baby sleeps in your arms and wakes up somewhere else, she will be alarmed.
Let her be aware of her surroundings when she sleeps. Your baby will adjust more quickly than you think.
How to get baby to sleep in a crib?
If you feel you and your baby are ready to make the transition to the crib, here are a few tips to make the transition easier.
1. Make the crib more like mom
If your baby loves to sleep when held, you must try to create the same environment in the crib. Add a warm towel so that the crib is warm as your baby may hate to sleep on cold sheets.
Sleep on a bedsheet for a day or two before you transfer it to the crib. You can also put a t-shirt you wore during the day next to your baby to make her feel like you are right there.
2. Start with naps
The idea is to get the baby used to the crib before you let her sleep the night in the crib. So, put your cutie in the crib for short naps during the day now and then.
This way you can keep an eye on her, and the baby will also know that you are around while she is sleeping.
3. Be consistent
Babies like to follow routines. So, when it is time to make the change, create a bedtime routine and stick to it. Making allowances can make the transition more difficult.
This may involve a few tears (both yours and your baby’s), but it will be good for both of you in the long run.
4. Linger for a while
Don’t leave your baby in her crib and move away. Give your cherub a chance to settle down and get comfy before you walk away.
Sit down on a chair next to the crib till your baby falls asleep. More the chair further and further away gradually until your baby gets used to sleeping alone.
5. Don’t rush in
Many parents make the mistake of rushing into their baby’s room as soon as they hear the slightest sound. Each baby has a different sleep cycle.
As parents, you will get to learn about it gradually. Rushing into the room may interrupt your baby’s sleep cycle, and you may end up upsetting her.
6. Bathe your baby
Bathe your baby before bedtime. This technique will relax her and help her sleep better. Interestingly, some babies get invigorated after a bath. In this case, shift the bath time to a little earlier in the day to help your cutie sleep better.
7. Read a storybook
Read a story to your baby before she goes to sleep. Even though your baby does not know what you are reading, the soothing sound of your voice will calm her down and help her sleep better.
Getting baby to sleep in the crib may not be such a difficult task if you plan the transition well. Don’t be in a hurry, make the change slowly and follow the tips mentioned above.
With time and patience, you can get your baby to adjust to the new environment better.