As a new parent, having your baby sleep in your arms is a rewarding experience indeed. It can be difficult to do certain daily tasks with the baby in your arms though.
As the baby gets older, you have to consider transitioning the baby’s nap times to a crib. It can be a daunting task though. The situation can get a little fussy.
So, we’ve listed some expert tips on how to make your baby sleep in a crib. These tips will hopefully make the transition easier for you and your baby.
Be Sure that the Baby is prepared for the Transition
Every baby is different. Each has its own temperament. So, the time and method of introducing crib napping will be unique for every baby. Experts say that a good time to make the transition is when they are three to four months old. But wait for a few more weeks if the baby is not ready to leave your proximity.
Whatever you do, it’s best to have in mind the recommendation by American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society: the baby should sleep in your room for at least the first six months after birth.
Make the Baby Comfortable with the Crib
The baby should get comfortable with the crib. Give the baby around a week to get to know its new sleeping space.
Fix a routine that contains both play time and naptime inside the crib. This will help the baby grow more confident with the crib. It will also allow the baby to understand your intentions of letting it become more independent.
Prepare the Room Where the Baby will be sleeping
Maintain a cool room temperature. It should not be above 19C. But make sure it does not fall under 16C. You should also keep a low light setting. Avoid any noise that might disturb the baby while it is sleeping.
However, during the first month the baby is learning to distinguish between daytime and night. So, during that period maintain lighting in the room during daytime.
Maintain a Sleep Friendly Environment
The sleeping space should not contain any soft objects like toys. We also recommend that you avoid pillows and other unnecessary bed accessories in the crib.
Make sure that environment where the baby will be sleeping does not contain any allergenic material. The environment should also be smoke free. The smoke from cigarettes can significantly disturb the baby’s sleep and also harm their health in the long run.
Start doing a short nap time routine
Transitioning the baby to the crib is not as simple as putting the baby in it expecting that the baby will sleep just fine. Start a short nap time routine. This will accustom the baby to expect a sleep. Keep the routine short. Do things that will make the baby fall asleep.
Try to Keep the Timing Right
Keep the baby busy while it is awake. But keep a look out look for signs of sleepiness. Once the baby does show those signs like yawning, start the naptime routine. Then proceed to put the baby in the crib.
A baby can show some fuss while trying to do this though. For babies older than six months, it is best to let it try to fall asleep on its own in the crib.
For babies younger than that age, try the naptime routine a few times. If the baby doesn’t fall asleep even after that, let the baby slumber according to its normal routine. After that, simply just put the sleeping baby in the crib.
Always Try to Be Gentle
It is very important to be as gentle as possible during the whole procedure. A little bit rough and you can jeopardize not only the baby’s sleep but yours too.
As you lower the baby in the crib, the feet should touch first. Then slowly the bum should follow and then the head. Try to keep the baby calm by comforting it. A comforting hand can do a lot to make the baby have a great sleep.
Be Aware of the Reasons Why a Baby Might Not Sleep
Despite your best attempts, a baby might not fall asleep due to some reasons. It can be that the baby is a bit too hungry. Or it can be that the baby is just too tired from the visit to grandma’s house. Whatever the reasons are, you should try your best to identify them and address them.
Don’t Give Up
Changing your baby’s habits will take some time. It won’t be before a few weeks that you will start seeing your baby sleeping in the crib without any fuss. There can be occasional hard times in the whole process. But just remember to stick to it.
If you don’t give up and try your best, your baby will soon get accustomed with the crib. Sleeping in a crib will then become its second nature. At the same time, you will also get habituated with the routine.
It is always to prioritize your baby’s health and wellbeing first. Make the transition to the bed smooth and easy. Take your time and do not rush it. Make sure you are gentle and maintain a good sleeping environment inside the room. Ensure that the crib has a proper mattress.
Don’t forget to approach the baby according to its age and temperament. If you are diligent and persistent enough, you will be able get the baby accustomed with sleeping in the crib during naptime.
Shawn is a content writer and editor at Feedfond. He is a proud father of 2 kids and he loves sharing his parenting experiences through his writings. To read more of his articles, visit Feedfond.com.