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How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib [10 Ways + Other Questions]

How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib [10 Ways + Other Questions]

One of the challenges experienced by some of my mom friends is getting their babies to sleep in their cribs. They may have the best cribs in town, but their baby seems to think otherwise. 

As a soon-to-be mom, I know this will be challenging for me and my husband. Thankfully, my friends and doctors gave me sound advice about this issue. 

I’ve listed some of them here, so you, too, will have one less problem to worry about.

How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib

How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib

It won’t matter if you’re buying a crib or planning to DIY one if your baby doesn’t sleep in it. This frustrates some parents because they end up with their babies sleeping with them in bed. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t always good practice. Baby’s sleeping with their parents have a higher risk for SIDS, which we’re trying to avoid.

1. Create Healthy Sleep Habits

Having a healthy sleep habit is important, both for babies and adults. I highly recommend starting early, so your baby can develop the right habits as they grow. 

Starting late is also fine, although it might take some relearning and getting used to it. Regardless of when you’ll start, here are some healthy habits you should work on:

  • Feed your baby before bringing them to the crib
  • Place your baby in the crib only when they’re sleepy
  • Lay your baby flat on the crib until they’re one year old
  • Have a strict sleeping schedule for your baby and stay consistent with it

Another great tip I learned is to keep the crib clean, especially if it’s made of wood. This ensures your baby is sleeping in the best environment you can give. 

2. Give Them Opportunities to Sleep in the Crib

Your baby’s crib is always available to use once they fall asleep. Resist the temptation of coddling your baby and place them in their crib instead. 

Whenever the opportunity arises to use the crib, do so. This helps both child and parent practice safe sleep, which is crucial for babies.

3. Keep Practicing

Stay patient and continue with crib training if your baby keeps crying or standing in their crib. Your baby will get used to being in the crib if you expose them to it and continue practicing. 

Every time your baby is sleeping, bring them straight to the crib! 

4. Have a Backup Plan

Have a backup plan if your crib training doesn’t go well despite all your efforts. How do you plan to bring your baby to sleep, and what’s your next move? 

As a temporary measure, you can allow your baby to sleep where they’re usually comfortable. But remember, this should only be for a few instances. 

A good backup plan some of my friends share is being in the same room with their baby. Your child can see you from the crib and this should lessen their stress during the transition.

You can also try bringing the crib into your room until they’ve gotten used to sleeping independently. 

5. Consult Your Doctor

Always ask for advice from your doctor about the best ways to go about this transition. Most likely than not, they’ll have helpful tips to get you started. 

I even asked my doctors if it was safe to paint my baby’s crib. Fortunately, they said it is safe, but you must buy the right paint to protect your baby from toxic ingredients.

Whatever you have in mind that you don’t have sound answers to, ask your doctor. It’s best to have them answer your question than have doubts about your next steps. 

6. Try Sleep Teaching

Sleep teaching is teaching your baby how to sleep in a crib. For newborn babies, this is very easy. They can get used to sleeping in a crib at an early age. 

But for babies above four months old, things can become tricky. They’re already used to sleeping elsewhere, like your arms. 

Getting them used to a crib will be a challenge and could lead to many tears. 

Through time, they’ll ease up on sleeping in a crib. Just be sure to provide them with positive reinforcements and rewards. 

7. Check the Temperature

Before leaving your baby to sleep, always check the room’s temperature. It shouldn’t be too cold, or your baby’s temperature could drop, and they’ll suffer from hypothermia. 

It should not be too warm either, since your baby could overheat and sweat buckets all night long. 

The recommended temperature for a baby’s room is between 20 to 23 degrees Celsius. Maintain it at this level so your baby can have a good sleep! 

8. Use a Swaddle or Sleep Sack

Swaddling your baby and using a sleep sack is one of the best ways to get babies to sleep. They stay snug in their position and don’t wake up as often. 

However, most experts recommend doing it for babies until two months old only. 

Swaddling babies will be hard once they reach their third month since they can start rolling and crawling independently. 

In cases like these, invest in a good anti-suffocation crib sheet and a flat and firm crib mattress.

9. Create a Good Sleep Environment

Creating a good sleep environment puts your baby to sleep faster. Based on my research, a good environment is a quiet, dark, and cool room

You can use a white noise machine to help your baby sleep. Putting up blackout curtains is also helpful to keep their room dark. 

When it comes to their crib, remove any unnecessary object that could choke or suffocate them. More importantly, swaddle them so they don’t roll over their crib

Some also put crib bumpers, although research shows it could be dangerous. 

10. Don’t Immediately Check In When They Start Crying

Parents tend to go straight to their babies when they cry. Unfortunately, you can’t keep doing this during crib training. 

Resist the temptation to check on your baby once they start crying. Give it several minutes because it could pass, and they might fall asleep alone. 

I highly recommend having a baby monitor during crib training. This helps you monitor whether your baby cries for important reasons or is just being fuzzy in their crib. 

Plus, it saves you the time of going back and forth to their crib each time.

Why Won’t My Baby Sleep in the Crib?

Based on what I’ve discovered, some babies refuse to sleep in their crib if they’ve gotten used to sleeping elsewhere. 

A good example is if you often leave them sleeping in your arms, stroller, or car seat. Another common example is if you share the same bed with your baby. 

Transitioning from their usual places into a crib won’t be a walk in the park. No matter how delicately you transfer them, they’ll still wake up to the unfamiliarity of being in a crib. 

Nevertheless, a full transition is possible as long as you stay patient.

Why Won’t My Baby Suddenly Want to Sleep in the Crib?

Why Won’t My Baby Suddenly Want to Sleep in the Crib?

Is your baby suddenly feeling fuzzy in their crib? 

It could be for various reasons that don’t always have to relate to their cribs. Studies show that this could happen because of the following:

  • Increase in appetite – babies will call your attention by crying, signaling they want to be fed. 
  • Sickness – your baby might have a bug disrupting their sleep cycle. It could be as simple as a cold or as bad as an infection. Always seek medical advice regardless of the condition. 
  • Teething – between your baby’s third or fourth month, they’ll start feeling gum pain. Make sure to provide them with teething toys to relieve any discomfort. 

Always pay attention to your baby and their habits in the crib! 

What Are the Benefits of Letting Babies Sleep in Their Cribs?

What Are the Benefits of Letting Babies Sleep in Their Cribs?

Letting your baby sleep in their own crib comes with its advantages. It isn’t just for your comfort, unlike what other parents think. 

I’ve listed some benefits here to help convince you to start crib training now. 

Avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Research shows that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant death. A common cause of SIDS is suffocation, usually when babies sleep with their parents. 

In other cases, some babies roll on their stomachs and cannot turn themselves upright. 

Letting your baby sleep in a crib reduces SIDS. This can be avoided if you observe the right sleep practices like the following:

  • Using a flat and firm mattress and anti-suffocation sheets
  • Removing unnecessary stuff toys from the crib 
  • Placing your baby on their back when they go to sleep
  • Putting the crib inside your room until your baby turns six months old

Observing these measures helps your baby get a good night’s sleep. 

Start Independent Sleeping

Babies sleeping in their own crib are more likely to be able to sleep by themselves. This is what you call independent sleeping. 

They’ll be able to sleep alone, even without you rocking them. This is also helpful for babies who wake up in the middle of the night. They can go back to sleep without you checking on them. 

I highly recommend you start crib training early so your baby can adapt faster. 

Keeps You Comfortable in Bed

You can sleep comfortably at night knowing your baby is safe in their crib. The last thing you have to worry about is suddenly rolling on them while you sleep! 

There’s more space in your bed to get a good night’s sleep and prepare you for the next day. Whether you’re a new parent or not, you’ll need to take advantage of as much rest as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I came across several questions from parents while researching. 

I found some of these very helpful since I still don’t know when the right time is to move my baby to the crib

I’ve listed some of the questions below which can help you. 

How Long Will It Take a Baby to Get Used to Sleeping in a Crib?

There’s no specific time frame for when babies will get used to sleeping in their crib

Some babies get used to sleeping in their cribs right away, while it could take several weeks for others. 

Remember to be patient regardless of how fast or slow it takes them. The only way to succeed in this transition is to stay patient and committed. 

Where Is It Safe for My Baby to Sleep?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, no less, recognizes that the only places safe for a baby to sleep in is a crib or a bassinet. 

The two provide a flat and firm surface to sleep on, unlike car seats and swings. More importantly, your baby is less likely to suffer from SIDS if they sleep in a crib or bassinet. 

Is It Okay for Babies to Sleep in Car Seats, Strollers, and Swings?

No. It’s not okay for babies to sleep in these things because it increases their risk of suffering from SIDS. Your baby could suffocate if you leave them sleeping too long in a stroller or car seat. 

Remember, babies can’t support their heads yet. They won’t be able to raise their head and move to a comfortable position. 

If you have no choice but to let your baby sleep in these things, pay close attention to them. Don’t leave them unattended and unsupervised. 

Is It Okay for Babies to Sleep Beside Their Parents?

Unfortunately, experts don’t recommend babies below one-year-old to sleep beside their parents.

There are a lot of risks involved, like suffocation. This is the number one cause of SIDS, which we’re trying to avoid. 

Babies below one year old are so fragile that some have difficulty supporting their heads. They won’t be able to put themselves upright if they roll on their backs.

I highly recommend setting up your baby’s crib immediately or before birth. You can set up a drop-side crib or a gate crib, whichever you prefer. 

Conclusion

Our number one priority is to always give the best for our babies and to keep them safe. This includes getting them used to sleeping in their crib, even if it isn’t easy. 

But in time and with enough practice, we can all succeed with this transition. Just remember to be patient and do the best we can do. 

Remember, this transition requires a lot of effort from us as parents and our babies!

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!