A crib is one of those things that every new parent spend their time and money on in anticipation of their child’s birth. A comfortable and spacious crib is essential in enabling your baby to enjoy uninterrupted and peaceful sleep. However, the transition to sleeping in the crib is not as simple as it ought to be. Be it as it may, don’t give up on that beautiful crib you bought because it’s not that babies hate sleeping in the crib, it’s just that they take some time to get used to the new surroundings. So, if you really want to know how to make your baby love sleeping in the crib, make sure that you continue reading…
As with most babies, they tend to fall asleep quite quickly in their mother’s arms or after spending some quality fun time in the baby swing and sometimes in the back seat when you are driving because babies love motion. If you are in the market for a baby swing, come and take a look at these quality baby swing reviews.
While your baby may like to sleep almost everywhere except the crib, as a parent who knows all too well the importance of a baby napping in the crib, you shouldn’t give up in the struggle to have your baby sleep in the crib as its safer and far more comfortable.
In fact, research shows that babies who sleep in a crib tend to enjoy longer hours of uninterrupted sleep compared to other napping areas. To help your baby ease into the crib I recommend following the pointers below, and soon your child will be snoozing where they should.
Even The Temperature
One common thing between your bed and the baby’s crib is that they both tend to be cold at first. If you have ever fallen asleep on the couch and decided to move to the bed on your first turn, you will surely remember how unforgiving your cold bed sheets were! It’s the same experience for your baby. When babies fall asleep in their mothers’ arms, they become accustomed to the body temperature of their mother which leads to them waking up as soon as they are placed in the crib.
Therefore, as a parent, you should make up for the temperature difference by either using a sleep sack or a swaddle but never by adding a pillow, blanket or a lovey in the crib as they increase the possibility of suffocation. Sleep sacks and swaddles are usually warm which makes babies fail to notice when they placed in the crib. It’s even better if they could have the parent’s scent on them so that the baby feels as if they is in their loving mother’s arms.
Don’t seek to engage the baby physically while sleeping in an attempt to enhance the sleeping experience. While in the crib, a baby can unexpectedly wake up which usually prompts an action from the parents in an effort to make the baby go back to sleep.
In such circumstances, avoid lifting the baby from the crib as this is likely to confuse them thus ending the sleep prematurely. However, a gentle belly rub is okay as most babies won’t fall asleep on their own.
Let The Baby Fall Asleep On Their Own
This may involve some tears and thus can be harder for a mother to try. However, in the long run, the tears will be worthwhile as a baby that sleeps is healthier and happy. This one is specifically for babies that get used to sleeping in the baby carrier which, for a baby, is the ideal napping place because of the chest to chest contact, motion from walking around and the mother’s smell and warmth.
Clearly, no one can blame the baby! But for the wellbeing of the baby, change must be effected and swap the baby carrier for the crib. The best way to make this change is by placing the baby in the crib, preferably in a nap sack, when awake but sleepy. Keep checking on the baby every 5 to 10 minutes to see whether they have fallen asleep.
Eliminate The Movement
Some babies can’t fall asleep if there is no motion. And mostly these are the babies that are often driven around in their car seats or placed on the baby swings. A baby used to these habits will find it harder to transition from their comfort zone into the crib. Motion is very calming in itself and given that cribs are stationary it was always going to be a struggle. But it can be done.
First, eliminate the motion. This can be done by placing the baby in a stationary stroller which will offer the baby a familiar setting albeit without the movement. In the same spirit, put the baby on the swing but don’t lift a finger to swing it.
What’s important to remember is that it’s a process rather than a one-time thing where it will take between 3 and 4 days for the baby to get used to the new setting. To achieve this, put the baby in the stroller when they are about to sleep often signalled by rubbing of eyes and then move them to the crib. Be consistent.
Stick To A Routine
A sleeping routine is so important because it enables a parent to manage the nap time of the young one. A routine will help a parent know when to start to limit distractions such as lighting and noise, which should be done from about 30 minutes from the usual nap time.
To facilitate the routine, you can engage the baby in activities such as book reading or a bath before sleep. A meal should precede these activities. Always seek to put the baby to sleep when they are still awake but drowsy.
Getting babies to leave their comfort zones like their mothers’ arms, swings, car seats and carriers can be a daunting task especially for new parents. While the cribs are obviously beneficial to a baby’s health and happiness by enabling the baby to sleep for long hours, they are also important to the parents as they help free time which would otherwise be spent carrying the babies through their sleep.
The transition to a crib may not necessarily be smooth, but it’s important for parents to remember that it’s what’s best for the baby.