One of the biggest challenges for parents is to get their baby to sleep in their crib. Since the early days, babies are used to sleeping in their parent’s arms. This is where they feel most secure. But this can be time-consuming for parents who need to get other things done around the house.
Babies who are under a year old need at least 12 to 16 hours of sleep every day, while babies aged from one to two years will need 11 to 14 hours of sleep. So how do you move your baby to the crib? Follow these simple steps below for a smooth transition.
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1. Start at the Right Age
The best time to move your baby to the crib is when they are four to six months old. During this time, your baby requires fewer nighttime feedings so it’s easier for the parents to move the baby out of the room. It also means fewer distractions for the baby so that they can get a good night’s sleep.
2. Place the Crib in your Room
It’s a good idea to start off by placing the crib in your room. Make room for it in a cozy corner and put your baby to sleep in it for the first week or so. This will be beneficial for the baby as they will start off in a familiar place.
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3. Make the Crib Welcoming
Getting your baby to sleep in a crib will be a lot easier if they feel safe and secure. So make sure the room is dark and outside noise is minimized when you’re trying to put them to sleep. Any light sources will disrupt the baby’s sleep, as will external ambient noises. Use a white noise machine and heavy drapes to dim the lights.
Use soft materials, like rolled blankets, to make the sleeping place smaller. This will make the baby feel warmer, cozier and more secure.
4. Make a Warm Bed
It’s important to ensure that the bed is warm when you put your baby down. This will make it feel more welcoming. You can put a warm water bottle in your baby’s bed before putting them down, or you can use a sleeping bag.
Sleeping bags are basically blankets that are wearable. They ensure that your baby’s temperature remains constant throughout their nap. It’s easier to change diapers with sleeping bags that have zippers from the bottom so you don’t have to open the whole thing when you need to clean your baby.
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5. Familiarize your Baby with the Crib
Give your baby time to get used to their crib. They should have at least a week to play in it. You can place your rolled up shirt next to your baby’s head so it smells like you. This will go a long way to make your baby feel safe and get familiarized with the crib.
6. Put them Down When they Get Drowsy
Keep your baby busy throughout the day with different activities. Put them down in the crib only when they show signs of drowsiness. Then place your baby down gently on their bum with their feet first. Allow your baby to fall asleep on their own at first.
If you see that they are getting too fussy then try comforting them. You can try swaying and swaddling techniques to get them to sleep.
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7. Stick to a Routine
Having a routine will help your baby get used to a sleeping pattern. Swaying your baby near the crib or changing their diaper are easy things you can try to let them know it’s almost time to take a nap. Make sure that you don’t deviate from this routine.
Your baby must get used to these activities and in about three weeks, they will get used to sleeping in their crib.
8. Stop Rocking them Early
When your baby is little, you may need to rock them to get them to sleep. This might be useful initially but it will create a problem for your baby when they’re put in their crib. So it’s important to gradually cut this pattern out of their routine.
For instance, you can put them down in their buggy but not push it. This will eventually prepare your baby for the non-motion of the crib.
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9. Feed them Right
You’ll need to feed your baby every two to three hours but when they’re sleeping in a crib, you can space this out a bit. Feed them right before you put them down so they’re full before falling asleep.
Don’t rush into giving your baby solid food. It doesn’t help them sleep better. Instead, it may create gastronomical problems and cause food allergies. So make sure to feed them just the right amount of food before their nap.
10. Don’t Come in and out of the Room
It will be disruptive for your baby if you keep coming in and out of the bedroom. Staying in the room while they’re trying to nap will also distract them. So say goodnight and leave the room unless there’s an emergency. Getting a sound sleep will reassure your baby that the crib is a comforting and cozy place to sleep in.
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Each baby has their own individual way of coping with the transition to the crib. The tips above will work for most babies and it will make the move easier for you. Patience is key if things tend to take more time. It’s best to let nature play it out and soon enough you will have a happy and content baby sleeping in their crib. Good luck!
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