Pulling your hair out trying to get your baby to sleep in a crib? Don’t worry, I’ve been there!
There’s nothing better than knowing your little one is safe and sound, dreaming of sweet zzzz’s in the comfort of their own crib.
Getting your baby to sleep in a crib is a really big accomplishment. The great news is, it’s not as difficult as it may seem!
The most important keys to getting your baby to sleep in a crib are:
- Try to start as early as possible
- Associate the crib with positivity,
- Start daily routines, and
- Go at your baby’s pace.
Let’s talk all about the realistic and practical steps and ways of getting your baby to sleep in a crib easy and stress-free!
How to get baby to sleep in a crib in 7 steps
1. First thing first, start a nap and bedtime routine
Let’s talk about routines!
I believe that a strong and consistent nap routine and bedtime routine is the KEY to your baby sleeping better. Not only does a routine help your baby sleep better and longer, but it also gives you the ability to incorporate the crib into the routine.
For example, I started my daughters daytime nap routine when she was 11 weeks old, and within 1 week she was napping in her crib every nap.
Making the crib a part of your routine is one of the best ways to get your baby to sleep in a crib. Grab my free routines to help your baby sleep in his/her crib now!
Download my Free Sample Nap Routine Now!
Download My Free Sample Bedtime Routine!
2. Start as early as possible
One of the best steps you can take to getting your baby to sleep in a crib is to transition them as soon as possible.
I actually started putting my baby in her crib the first night we brought her home from the hospital. She was sleeping so well in the little side of the bed bassinet in the hospital that when we got home I just wanted to see how she did in the crib. And she did amazing!
It was a little bit of an extra step because I was breastfeeding and had to go to her nursery to feed her at night. But it didn’t bother me too much because I knew that in the long run getting her used to a crib early was important to me.
BUT don’t get too discouraged if your newborn was sleeping in a bassinet or in something else at first! You can easily transition your baby to a crib. Just remember, the younger they are- the better! Start the transition as soon as you feel it is time and don’t wait too long.
That’s why the first step is to have a solid bedtime routine. If you’re sticking to that consistent routine then your baby will get used to their crib easier.
3. If you didn’t start right away, integrate the crib slowly starting with naps
If your baby did not sleep in a crib from an early age then DO NOT WORRY! You can always start now.
The next step is to integrate crib sleeping with naps first. Getting your baby used to sleep for shorter amounts of time in the crib will set the stage for sleeping a longer stretch of time in the crib at night.
I can’t stress this enough- be sure to have (or start!) a solid and consistent nap routine with your baby. This routine will help your baby adjust to the new sleep surrounding.
For example, if your baby is used to sleeping in a swing or rock n’ play, then start your baby on a routine where they now nap in the crib.
You want to take baby steps and not do everything at once. Getting your baby used to one change at a time is good enough! Then after a week or 2 when your baby is used to the change and it has become a normal, then you can begin another change.
4. Don’t associate negativity with the crib
If you want your baby to sleep in a crib, then you have to make the crib a positive place. The last thing you want is for your baby to associate the crib with a time out!
Make sure that you are not associating the crib with any negative connotations. If your baby is used to crying and crying in the crib, then your baby is not going to like being in a crib. You want to make the crib a safe haven for sleep. Just like we feel about our beds!
If your baby is getting used to sleeping in a crib then, of course, there is going to be a transition phase where he/she cries for a bit. But don’t let that become a habit!
5. Give your baby something they love
One of the best ways to get your baby to sleep in a crib is to give your baby something he or she loves in the crib. Whatever it is that makes your baby feel safe and happy- offer it to them in the crib. Just like we don’t want to associate negativity with the crib, we want to make sure we are associating positivity with the crib.
You can do this by offering your baby the pacifier or a favorite blanket or a stuffed animal. (Remember to ask your doctor about SIDS reduction and what you can or cannot place in the crib with your baby!)
My daughter loved the swaddle, so we used that to our advantage and swaddled her each time she was in the crib. She began sleeping amazingly! Then as she got older, we let her sleep with her favorite blanket. And to this day she loves she crib and even wants to be in there to go to sleep!
6. Make the crib a comfortable place
You want your baby to love the crib, so you have to make the crib as comfortable as possible! Here are some tips to making sure the crib is a comfortable place:
- Make sure to have a comfortable crib sheet
- That the room can is a good temperature.
- The crib is in a place where you can have darkening curtains so your baby can sleep better.
- I also started using a sound machine when my baby was still a newborn and even to this day that sound signals sleep and she wants to go in her crib.
So, make sure you are setting the crib up in a room that has all of the things that would make your baby feel comfortable!
7-. Sleep in the baby’s room to help with transition
If you see that your baby is having a hard time transitioning to the crib then you can make the transition easier by sleeping in your baby’s room.
This way, your baby will know that you are there and will feel a sense of peace and normalcy. You don’t have to do this for a long time, just until you see your baby is better transitioning.
THEN- you can just put a piece of your clothing at the bottom of your baby’s crib or tuck your shirt under the mattress so your baby can still smell you and be comforted by you but you don’t have to actually be in the room!
OR if you want to skip sleeping in your baby’s room altogether and just put a piece of your clothing in the crib or room for comfort, then that’s totally ok too! I used both of these tips and they have worked like a charm.
So, there you have it! How to get baby to sleep in a crib in 7 steps!
Remember, the most important keys to getting your baby to sleep in a crib is to try to start as early as possible, associate the crib with positivity, start daily routines, and to go at your baby’s pace.
Don’t become overwhelmed by the transition, just ease into it in baby steps. You don’t want to overwhelm your baby by implementing so many changes at once. Start by making a nap and bedtime routine and get your baby used to consistency.
Get the Free Nap & Bedtime Routines!
Don’t forget to get my Free Nap and Bedtime Routine so your baby can start getting great sleep!
I worked soooo loonnnggg creating routines that actually work and when it found it- it was like gold! After weeks of trial and error of figuring out what works and what doesn’t, I created a nap routine and a bedtime routine that actually works! And I want to share it with you!
Get the Free Nap Routine Now!
Get the Free Bedtime Routine Now!
As always, feel free to email me with any questions or write your questions in the comments below! Do you have any tips to help babies sleep in a crib?? Let us know in the comments!
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