Wondering how to train your baby to sleep in the crib? Here are six tips that can teach your little one how to fall asleep without relying on mom or dad.
If you’re a new parent, you’re probably familiar with sleep deprivation.
First, it was sleep deprivation due to your little one getting used to the world around him, and now it’s sleep deprivation due to getting your little one to sleep in his crib.
Yes, training your baby to sleep in the crib can be a daunting task! It’s not always easy for babies to give up that independence of sleeping anywhere and everywhere they want.
However, there are ways you can train your baby, so he learns how to fall asleep on his own without relying on mom or dad as a crutch.
Here are six tips how to train your baby to sleep in the crib:
Create a cozy, calm sleeping environment
This tip is an important one. A cool temperature, comfortable sheets, and soft lighting are all necessary for your baby’s sleep. You can also use white noise to help him drift off quicker.
What’s more, keeping the room at an ideal baby temperature is critical. To keep your baby cozy, maintain a room temperature between 68-72F (20-22.2c).
Make the crib feel like mom
Here’s another tip for how to train your baby to sleep in the crib that you may find useful, especially if your little one is used to falling asleep in your arms.
It’s making the crib feel more like home for your baby, so that he’ll be much less likely to cry or fuss.
So, what can you do to make the crib feel more mom-like?
For starters, if your baby is younger than three months, swaddle him, feed him, and place him into the crib. However, make sure you don’t put any blankets or pillows in the crib with your baby, as this increases the risk of SIDS.
If your baby is older than three months, try a sleep sack.
And, to simulate the warm feeling of being in mom’s arms, keep the room at a warm temperature of 68-72F, as we’ve mentioned earlier.
Here’s another tip: consider getting your scent on the swaddle or the sleep sack. Being exposed to your distinctive smell can calm your baby and reduce his stress. While it doesn’t work for all babies, some infants can be soothed to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer.
Put his favorite toy in there
Do you have a little stuffed animal that your baby loves and that helps him fall asleep faster? If yes, consider placing the toy in his crib.
However, keep in mind that this only applies to older babies. Young babies shouldn’t be given any soft toys into the crib due to the risks associated with them.
It’s generally accepted that the right age for babies to be given a stuffed toy is once they learn how to love about on their own. If your baby knows how to roll over or even sit up without any help from you, then a stuffed toy poses no risk of SIDS.
Most babies learn how to roll over on their own once they reach one year of age.
Get him into a swaddle or a sleep sack
Did you know that swaddling helps to soothe the baby and reduce excessive crying? What’s more, it can also help parents in their sleep training efforts.
So, why not recreate the feeling of security the baby had in your womb by swaddling him before placing him in the crib? This will keep him warm, secure, and comfy. Your baby will be less likely to fuss and cry looking for you.
Reminder: if your child is older, go with a sleep sack.
Let him fuss
Parents’ first instinct is to get up every time they hear their baby wailing.
But remember – your baby needs to learn how to self-soothe!
This brings me to my next tip for how to train your baby to sleep in the crib: get ready for some fusses and crying.
Once your baby is drowsy but awake, gently place him in his crib. If he fusses, stand next to the crib for a few minutes until he calms down. You can even pat him on his back and jiggle the crib to offer comfort.
But by all means, avoid picking him up. Doing so will only confuse him. He needs to learn how to fall asleep on his own in his own crib without relying on you for help.
Reminder: if your baby is older than three months, place him in the crib while he’s still awake.
Consider sleep training methods
Sleep training can be an effective way to get your little one on a schedule and learn how to fall asleep independently. By teaching your baby about bedtime routines and self-soothing techniques, it will help him feel comfortable in his crib or room at night so that he can eventually doze off without any parental assistance.
There are many different sleep training methods to choose from, including the cry-it-out and pick-up put-down method. Go with the method that you feel comfortable using.
And that’s it!
That’s all you need to know when it comes to how to train your baby to sleep in the crib.
Just remember that the key is consistency. If you do these things every night for a week or two, your baby will get used to sleeping in his own crib without any fusses or cries.
Keep it calm and in no time, you’ll be sleeping eight hours per night yourself.