My Baby Doesn’t Like the Crib, What Then?
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Just because it’s harder than you expected, doesn’t mean you and your baby aren't capable of making it happen. You can and will find success, but it all takes time.
Transitioning Baby To The Crib
I'm writing this piece for all those parents out there who enjoyed the greatest snuggles with their little one but am ready to reclaim their bed because there's been one too many jabs in the throat, eye, chest...you name it!
Remember, nothing comes easy the first time...especially if it's the first time in a long time you've tried putting your baby into the crib to sleep. The biggest pitfall of any mom is not believing their baby can do it.
I've had moms tell me that their child can't sleep in the crib or the baby sleeps much better in their arms. The confusion seems to lie here, where parents are only identifying a baby's preference that is likley learnt only through consistent exposure to it.
Why Baby Doesn't Like the Crib
Not enough practice
When you've cuddled and rocked your baby gently to sleep, it absolutely will take some time to get your baby familiar with a new sleeping environment that isn't you. Parents usually fall into this habit during the newborn days when your baby is feeding every few hours throughout the day and night. There are ways to support your child as they practice sleeping in a new environment.
When the crib is used for any other purpose other than sleeping, it could be sending mixed or negative signals to your baby. I always caution my clients to reserve the crib for sleep only. Refrain from using the crib for timeout or as temporary containment space. Instead, opt for a pack and play or a bouncy chair etc. for these instances.
Unsuccessful sleep training
Failed attempts at cry it out (CIO) due to various uncontrolled factors, make the crib a difficult place for both parent and child. Sleep training is by far one of the most difficult tasks parents choose to undertake and without the proper knowledge, support and guidance from a sleep consultant, it is difficult to achieve the results of a fully sleep trained baby.
Young babies often start off sleeping in a cozy bassinet or even co-sleeping. Making the switch to a crib can be too spacious and overwhelming for your baby if not carefully executed. Moms often reach out to me seeking help transitioning out of co-sleeping due to months of compromised sleep positions and baby's sharp jabs that have made it humanly impossible to sleep through.
Babies who are diagnosed with acid reflux or colic feel uncomfortable when lying completely fat. Consult with your physician on the best remedy while keeping the sleep environment safe.
How to Transition to the Crib
Expect a few weeks of transition when you decide to move your baby to their own crib. Start off by making a conscious effort to spend time playing in their new bedroom (but not playing inside the crib) and make it a fun and positive experience. Set up some new quiet toys that don't overstimulate your child from going to sleep, yet acts as an extra incentive to stay in their bedroom. Other things to check off your list:
Sleep sack (see why I love the concept of sleep sacks even for kids up to 3 years old)
Lovey (age appropriate)
Mom's scent (eg. have mom tuck the baby's pyjamas in her shirt for the day)
Positive association (playtime in the room)
Practice frequently and consistently
Sleep training with the proper knowledge, support and guidance from a certified sleep consultant
Optimizing your child's schedule so they are in the crib at the appropriate times for naps and bedtime.
Just because it’s harder than you expected, doesn’t mean you and your baby aren't capable of making it happen. You can and will find success, but it all takes time. Be patient with the process.
If you're looking to make a change and get your child to fall in love with their crib, you're much better off if you have download my Sleepy Baby Coach 5 Sleep Steps. What's even better is my 1-1 coaching where I walk with you every step of the way to gently ease the transition for you and your baby.
If you want to open yourself up to being a successful client of mine, click the link and book a free Let's Get Acquainted call with me.