Join   Sign In  

How To Get Your Baby To Sleep In a Crib

Is your baby protesting sleeping in their crib? Try these ideas…


It can be normal for your baby to resist sleeping in their crib. Your baby has spent the last nine months constantly being cuddled, so the idea of sleeping away from another person can be unsettling to them. 

There are a few things you can do to help make the transition a little easier for everyone involved. 

Before becoming a parent you may have assumed that all babies slept in cribs.  You see images of little one’s sleeping peacefully in their crib everywhere, but this isn’t exactly reality for most parents.  Don’t feel like a failure if your baby is refusing to sleep in their crib.  It will take some time for them to get used to sleeping on their own, for the first time in their lives!

Unfortunately, there’s no sure fire, miracle cure for getting your baby to sleep in their crib, but there are a few suggestions you can try.

Make your baby comfortable

Parenting expert Fi Star-Stone states that, “One of the most common reasons your baby might not like their cot is they are too uncomfortable.  Check the room temperature - ideally it should be between 16 and 20 degrees C.  Ensure it’s dark by investing in blackout blinds or curtains and make sure they are wearing something comfortable that’s not too small or itchy.” 

The crib should be a happy place

Fi continues to encourage parents to “invest in comfortable, soft bedding, a supportive, safe mattress and a comfortable baby sleeping bag.  These little things will help your baby feel like their cot is a nice place to be.”

Slowly move them away

If your baby is having a hard time separating from you, try placing the crib next to your bed - close enough for your baby to see and smell you. Each evening, move the crib a few inches away, eventually moving baby to their own room. This approach gives baby time to adjust to the distance between themselves and mom.  

Avoid motion for sleep

It’s easy to get used to your baby dozing off in the car seat or stroller, but this could be the reason that they are unable to settle into sleep in the crib for the night.  Motion can be soothing for your baby, but they can get to the point that they won't go to sleep without it.  If your baby is already used to motion already, you can work to break the cycle by gradually eliminating motion during nap time. You can try placing your little one in the baby swing, but don’t turn it on, for starters, to see if they will fall asleep that way.

Use their senses to comfort 

It’s possible that your little one not only finds your touch comforting, but even your smell. You can try sleeping with the fitted sheet you will place on the crib for a few nights, to try to recreate your scent.  Don’t leave any loose clothing items in the crib, as it does pose a risk of strangulation.

Wrap in them in a swaddle 

Your baby is extremely sensitive to temperature changes, so even moving them from your warm body to the crib could cause your little one to get upset and have a hard time settling down.  For some babies, swaddling is an effective way to help them cuddled and held close, even when you place them in the crib.  If your baby is over three months old, you can try a sleep sack or hold your hand on their belly for a few minutes so they know that you are there.

Remove distractions

Those colorful/musical mobiles are tempting to purchase, and it sounds like a good idea to give your baby something to focus on, but these items can over stimulate your baby causing them to have trouble falling asleep. Avoid things like mobiles and night projectors. 

White noise

While they are in the womb, babies get used to “white noise” - it’s constantly around them and helps them to sleep.  White noise can also calm your baby by helping their senses to block out all other stimulation.  There are several great white noise machines out there- some even have other features, like a night light.  For a less expensive option, there are several free apps you can download to your phone, or turn your radio to analogue and find a white noise frequency.

If sleep issues seem to be ruling the house and you need more help, be sure to talk to your doctor who can help.

3 Baby waking every hour? Here’s what can help!
How To Make Sure Your Baby is Sleeping Safely 4

You Might Like