As soon as you found out that you were pregnant you most likely started planning your little one’s nursery. You probably found the perfect crib where your new baby would be sleeping.
You made sure you had the right crib bedding and the ideal mobile hanging over the crib. Then the day finally arrives and you bring your little bundle home.
You place him in the crib to sleep only to find that he never wants to sleep there! Don’t be discouraged. If you really want your baby to sleep in his crib there are some things that you can do to encourage this to actually happen.
Newborn Babies and Cribs
Consider having your newborn baby sleep in a bassinet rather than in a large crib. Newborn babies often find the large space in their crib a fearful place to be. After all, for nine months your baby has been inside your tight womb.
A bassinet is smaller than a crib and is the perfect place for your baby to sleep both during the day and at night. You can even put the bassinet inside the crib for a while so your baby gets used to seeing his mobile above him.
If you are going to have your newborn sleep directly in his crib you might want to swaddle him so that he feels safe and enclosed
Getting Your Baby Used to the Crib
Many babies sleep in their parent’s room for a couple of months and then moved to their own crib they just aren’t used to it. Your baby’s crib can be a strange place that he hasn’t seen a lot of.
Many times the nursery becomes more a storage room than a room where your baby spends a lot of time in. Before you can expect your baby to sleep in his crib you need to make sure that he’s familiar with it.
Put him in his crib to play so that he becomes comfortable being there. Let him know that being in his crib and in his room is a happy place for him to be even if he’s not yet sleeping in there.
Falling Asleep on His Own
Before you can really expect your baby to sleep in his crib he needs to know how to fall asleep on his own. Falling asleep on his own isn’t going to happen by itself.
You’ll need to help him along so that he learns how to fall asleep without your help. Don’t expect to just lie him down in his crib and expect him to go to sleep without protesting.
Start by laying him in his crib when he’s sleepy. When he starts to cry and demand your attention, go him. Before picking him up right away, talk to him in a soothing voice.
Make sure that some of his favorite toys are nearby so that he can look at them and feel comforted by something familiar. You may need to take him out of his crib, but keep trying.
After a few weeks of consistency, your baby will be sleeping in his crib.
Is it You?
How do you really feel about your baby sleeping his crib in his own room? Maybe you have mixed feelings about having him sleep on his own. Some parents are never ready to have their baby sleep in the crib.
They want them in the same room with them. Your baby might be picking up on some of these mixed messages about where you really want him to sleep.
If you don’t feel comfortable having him sleep in his crib during the night, why not consider having him at least take his naps in there.
Swaddling Your Baby
Newborn babies up to a few months old enjoy the feeling of being swaddled. This is when you use a technique to wrap him up all safe and snug so that he feels cosy and secure.
After you’ve swaddled him, place him in his crib. Many babies are more accepting of sleeping in their crib once they’ve been swaddled.
Making a Crib Routine
Making a routine that you stick to when you’re putting your baby down to bed in his crib may make him more accepting of being put in there in the first place. After you’ve nursed or bottle fed him, place him gently into his crib.
Perhaps there’s a lullaby that you can sing to him as he settles down for the night. Or you might want to consider putting on the same music tape for him to listen to each night.
Find a routine and pattern that works for you and that your baby enjoys.
He’ll soon recognize the signals that it’s time to go to sleep in his crib for the night. Keep in mind that some babies fight sleeping in their crib no matter what you seem to try.
Be patient and continue to try new things to get him to feel that it’s safe and comforting to sleep in his own little space.