Everyone needs to have a good sleep at night, especially if you are a parent with a busy schedule. A parent caring for a newborn would have the baby sleep on the same bed, which is recommended and is what every good parent would want to do. When parents co-sleep with their child, the baby will eventually develop sleep association. This will make knowing how to train a baby to sleep in a crib more challenging for the parents.
That is why it is essential to know when to initiate the baby’s transition to sleeping in a crib. This is so that the baby will have a sense of independence and will have personal space for sleeping. Sleep association develops at around 4 to 6 weeks, and as months go by, the dependency of the baby will be stronger.
The goal is to start training the baby to sleep when your family has agreed to do so. Sleeping in their own space can be beneficial for the baby’s growth and make parents’ lives easier. Before we talk about the transition of the baby’s sleeping habits to a crib, let us look at the benefits this would provide the family first.
How To Train Baby To Sleep In A Crib
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- Prevent displays of anxious behavior for the child
Rubbing, patting, and being held to sleep are a few anxious behaviors most children go through. Children usually do these anxious behaviors to convince parents to stay close to them during sleeping at night. Knowing how to train baby to sleep in crib earlier and by themselves will lessen these habits as the kid grows older.
- Promotes more sleeping time for the baby and parent
Sharing the same bed with the baby may force irregular sleeping habits for both the parent and baby. Children of all ages vary in sleeping patterns and may need the proper amount of sleep, especially when developing. If you share a bed with a baby, you may be forced to retire earlier than required or vice versa.
- Gives better sleep quality for parent and baby
Having to sleep in the same bed with the baby makes you prone to waking up unnecessarily at night. Active sleeping babies can disrupt the parent’s nighttime slumber, which will make it more exhausting to perform daily tasks the next day. The baby can also be bothered by active sleeping parents, and most babies also tend to be light sleepers. Having the baby in the crib at a young age can promote personal space and proper sleeping times throughout the night.
What To Do
Exposing your baby to the crib for the first time is not going to be a walk in the park. This is going to be a gradual and nurturing process for the baby. Let the baby get to know the crib until the baby is comfortable by themselves. Here are things you can do in knowing how to train baby to sleep in crib.
- Use the crib at night.
As parents who co-sleep with the baby, we may come to a routine where we use the crib for naps and afternoon playtime. For starters, try using the crib at night rather than just for napping. The feeling of needing to sleep is at its highest during the night, which you can take to your advantage. The night time gives you a better chance that the baby will sleep throughout the night, which is perfect for facilitating the new habit.
- Patience is key
Allow the baby enough time to get used to the new practice. You can introduce the crib with the same sleeping and napping time routines, so the baby does not get overwhelmed with the changes. Just facilitate the baby’s desire to be in the crib. This may take several attempts depending on their age.
- Take age into account.
When knowing how to train baby to sleep in crib for the first time, consider the baby’s age. When a baby is only less than six months old, you can use the pick-up put-down approach in the crib. This means you lift the baby off the crib when the baby starts to feel uncomfortable and put the baby back down when the baby falls asleep.
If a baby passes six months, you can provide more space and keep a distance. When the baby begins to cry or fuss, you can comfort the baby using verbal soothing, belly rubs, and soft caresses. You can check on the baby every 5-10 minutes if you’re doing something until the baby falls asleep.
If you want to know how to train baby to sleep in crib by themselves, it will not be an easy task. The number one thing to consider about the practice is commitment. This will take time and effort but will also not go unrewarded in the end. The baby will have adequate rest and ample space and learn to be independent, which can boost the child’s confidence at a young age.
I hope this article has shed some light on helping your baby transition from your bed to the crib. Just remember to be patient when introducing this new sleep association practice to your baby and always keep safety a priority above anything else. Know more about baby cribs.