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When Your Baby Won’t Sleep in the Crib

What do you do when your baby or toddler won’t sleep in the crib? Maybe your baby wants to sleep in your arms or has gotten used to being rocked or strolled to sleep. What do you do? We asked our readers and they had some great suggestions, as always!

What do you do when your baby won’t sleep in the crib?
  • Stick to one method of helping your child. Many times we are trying everything so there is no consistency and the child does not know what to expect. Remember that a habit takes 3 days to break, so don’t give up.
  • Give your child bananas to eat (makes them sleepy) and read a book like Goodnight Moon (it actually gets darker on each page to slowly lull your baby to sleep). This will help them become tired and ready for rest.
  • It can take several days, but eventually, they will realize you are sticking to it. Keep the nap time consistent and bedtime consistent. We have a 1:00 naptime and 7:00 bedtime at our house.
  • Start laying down your little guy at the same time every day and limit naptime to an hour. Naptime is a great time to use the crib.
  • Sleep on the floor for the first few days (or stay there until baby falls asleep). It can help baby feel secure to know that you are not leaving. Eventually move closer to the door until, by the end of the week, you are in your own room.
  • Be sure to always have a routine. Just moving through the same routine every day can offer comfort and remind them of what is going to happen.
  • Try room darkening curtains for the bedroom. These can help eliminate light shining through and are helpful especially if your child is not napping well. It also lets your baby know: “When I close these blinds, this means it is bedtime.”
  • Sound machines are a basic favorite of many parents to use. The sound comforts the child and tunes out other noises. You could try a fan, too.
  • If sound machines are not a favorite, you can always try soft music playing. We used a lullaby CD for three years and it was like magic!
  • Watch for tired clues. Many kids will struggle to fall asleep when they are overly tired. If you think your baby is crying a lot at bedtime, or taking too long to fall asleep, move their sleep time up by an hour. This works great for toddlers and preschoolers, too. (Even older kids!)
  • Start by moving your baby to a crib at nap time, instead of jumping right into bedtime for the crib.
  • Toddlers go through transitions with naps and as they do this, you have to adjust their nap time. If nap time is a struggle, consider playing around with the time to help, moving it up or back by an hour. (just like we mentioned earlier for bedtime)
  • Make sure they have a special blanket or animal with them. These can provide extra comfort.
  • Evaluate the child’s diet and make sure they are not eating too much sugar or junk food as that can interfere with rest.What about you? What would your advice be when a child won’t sleep in the crib? Hop over to our Facebook page and let us know!
  • Take the Coos to Snooze ecourse – it is a brilliant system designed to get your baby sleeping and what’s more, if it doesn’t get your baby to sleep, you get your money back. Pretty awesome.