Teaching your baby to sleep in a crib is a gradual process that involves the use of certain methods. Read on for details.
- Familiarize the baby with the crib
Once you get the crib, acquaint the baby to the crib, by letting them spend time in it.
Put the baby in the crib for sometimes during the day. You can let them sit or play with their toys in the crib, but dedicate a specific hour of the day for it.
Also, limit play time in the crib, as the child has to associate with it as a secure place to sleep.
If the infant is old enough to understand communication, then you can use verbal cues to tell the baby that he has got a new crib. It can help the baby get excited about this new item.
- Start with afternoon naps
Start using the crib for the baby’s afternoon naps at first. The crib must have a firm mattress but no pillows, toys, or blankets.
Just as the baby starts to feel drowsy, place them in a crib.
If you time it right, then the baby will barely realize they are sleeping in a crib.
The afternoon naps must be around the same time every day. Create a routine so that they do not have trouble falling asleep.
Once your baby adapts to taking naps in their cot, continue the practice and avoid letting the baby fall asleep anywhere else; not even in your arms.
Spend about a week to ten days to make the infant get used to this routine.
- Gradually introduce the crib for nighttime sleeping
Start by establishing a bedtime routine before the night’s sleep. A bedtime routine can include a warm bath, followed by a book reading session, and then perhaps a breastfeed. It signals the baby that it is time to go to bed. If you already have a bedtime routine, then continue that as usual.
After the bedtime routine, place the baby in the crib to sleep.
Understand that the baby needs time, sometimes days, to adjust to sleeping in the crib, stay with them in the room while they fall asleep.
Once they get used to it, you can put them in the crib to sleep and leave.
- Keep the crib in the same bedroom as the parents
Pediatricians state that you must not share a bed with the baby, but you can share the same room to sleep. So, place your baby’s crib in your bedroom, preferably next to your bed, such that the baby can see you and vice versa.
Letting the baby sleep in the same room can solve a lot of challenges. For instance, babies with separation anxiety will no longer get anxious since they can see you from the crib.
Sleeping in a crib next to the parent’s bed also gives babies a sense of security. It is also convenient for you to calm the baby down if they wake up in the middle of the night.
- Always use the crib for sleep
Once you have established the crib routine, continue that no matter what. Be it for an afternoon nap, evening nap, nighttime sleep, or even when the baby is tired and needs to lie down, use the crib.
Using the crib is a lot secure than using the bed, and it helps the baby to sleep with minimal disturbances.
There is no saying how long the baby would take to adapt to crib sleeping. It depends on how well your baby responds to your efforts. Some babies adapt quickly while the others may need three to four weeks. It is not that the efforts would be without a challenge.