Getting your baby to sleep in his crib and his room is the milestone all parents can’t wait for their little ones to achieve.
The first months of the child’s life are normally co-sleeping months, as it’s much more convenient both for parents and their children to sleep close to each other due to multiple night feedings and wake-ups.
However, once your baby gets to the stage when he wakes up once a night or doesn’t wake up at all, it’s definitely time to think about transferring him to his own crib and nursery.
And, even if your baby isn’t particularly great at sleeping through the night, he might improve at that once he starts sleeping in his own environment and doesn’t seek his parents for comfort.
While all babies go through ‘crib training’ stage differently, it’s important not to miss the time when he’s just about ready to ‘separate’ from mommy and daddy for his night sleep. Otherwise, you might end up with a baby who’s totally able to sleep on his own, but is too stubborn to prove it.
So, if you think that your family is ready for this big change, arm yourself with a baby monitor and embark on the journey of getting your baby to sleep in a crib.
Use the tips below to turn this crib transition experience into as smooth as possible.
10 tips to make your baby sleep in his crib
- Introduce your baby to a crib slowly. The abrupt transition might not be the best solution for your little one.
Some babies are miraculously great at it, but most of them won’t surprise you with night-long sleep in their own crib if you suddenly put them to sleep in their nurseries without any in-between steps.
One transition at a time is the method that works best.
- If your baby sleeps in your bed, transfer him to the co-sleeper or a crib set up next to your bed.
If your little one already sleeps like that, move his co-sleeper away from your bed to get him used to the idea of sleeping at a distance from his parents.
- Make the new baby’s crib feel like it’s his. There’re multiple things you may try to make that happen.
For instance, if your baby sleeps in a bassinet or a co-sleeper now, replace his sheet with the one that’s suitable for a crib and let him sleep on them for 2-3 days.
After that, get that sheet and lay it in the nursery’s crib.
It will preserve your baby’s smell and make a new crib a little bit more familiar to your little one.
Use the same effect of his favorite blankets and toys.
- If your little one is used to sleep next to you, it’s obvious that he’ll be more or less content when he feels your smell as well.
You don’t have to curl up in his crib and sleep next to him for that matter.
Just put your T-shirt (the one you’ve worn for a few hours) into his crib as a lovey to use that same ‘familiar smell’ trick.
- Let your baby take naps in his own nursery without anyone’s supervision for a few weeks.
It’s more likely that you don’t stay in the same room while your little one is napping anyway, so he won’t be too shocked by this transition.
- Set up a new crib in your room, but not right next to your bed, and transfer your baby from his co-sleeper/your bed to it. This way your baby still will be quite close to you, but far away enough to grasp the idea of ‘independent sleeping’. Don’t forget to use the comforting tips to help your little one adjust to it without any stressful moments.
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it every single day no matter what.
I mean, even if you’re travelling, try your best to make sure that your baby is put to bed the same way it happens at home.
Spend about half an hour of calm playing time before the start of bedtime routine.
Then, bathe your baby, put him in his PJs, read him a story and feed him some milk (the order is completely up to you), lay him in his crib, sing a little song, kiss for the night and leave the room even if the crib is still in the parent’s bedroom.
Your baby will learn what happens next, which will make the process much smoother.
- Sometimes you won’t be able to put your baby to sleep.
You might need a babysitter, your friend or family member to take care of him while you’re at work or out for a date with your husband.
And, that’s totally normal. If you need to get out of the house, do it.
Just make sure that the person you leave your child with knows his bedtime routine in detail and follows it.
Go to HireRush.com to post a babysitting request, find a reliable babysitter/nanny and give her a detailed written bed time routine schedule.
This way your baby won’t fall out of his normal routine and stress out due to the parents’ absence too much.
Leave your request here
- Don’t drag out that crib transition stage for too long. Transfer your baby’s crib to his own room as soon as your little one feels comfortable in his own bed.
Tough the first nights out without giving in and taking your baby back to your room.
- Comfort your baby if he’s crying, but do that in his room, put him back to bed and walk away.
Bear in mind that it’s important to teach your baby to fall asleep in his crib.
Don’t jump out of bed and run to his room to respond to each fuss. It might sound harsh, but it will do the job.
It won’t take too long until your baby understands what’s going on. In fact, he’ll like sleeping in his own comfy environment after a while.
And, you’ll appreciate that for sure!