Babies seem to only sleep where they want to sleep. But holding your baby for every nap isn’t feasible. So how do you get your child to nap or sleep in a crib when they won’t to sleep in a crib?
When your baby won’t nap in a crib, you have to use dedicated, consistent daytime sleep training over a period of days, weeks, or even months to make that happen. The timeline will depend on your child’s temperament and your ability to be consistent in sleep training.
Why won’t my baby sleep in their crib?
Based on my own experience (and research in talking to other parents), babies are well aware of the fact that they need a good, restful sleep. They just think that being held or with you is the way to do that.
After all, you’re their primary source of safety, food, and everything. So why wouldn’t they want to stay with you?
However, that can often translate into poor sleep quality for both of you. So it’s time to use sleep training to help both of you get back to better quality sleep.
So in a moment, we’ll go over a 5 step process to get your baby back to sleeping in their crib.
Ready to get your baby sleeping in their own crib? Follow this 5-step process to see success.
What can I do when my baby won’t nap in the crib?
Ready to cover that 5 step process? Now, before we do, I need to warn you of one thing. And it’s this: the process seems simple.
In fact, it can seem too simple. However, while the process seems simple, it can take up to a month to implement. That’s where it’s hard.
Because while successful night sleep training can be achieved in as little as a few nights, naps and daytime sleeping is harder. At least, it was for me. It took anywhere from 1-3 months for my kids to finally “get” naps.
And even then, my kids were at least 5-6 months old before I started trying to do this. So if you want to start younger, I applaud you. My efforts to start before then ended mostly in tears. But, I also had super-stinky sleepers. So perhaps it will work sooner for you.
Well, let’s dive into those 5 steps. Ready?
- Recognize that you and your baby need separate sleeping spaces so that everyone gets the rest that they need.
- Discover a sleep training method that appeals to your parenting style and you think will work well with your child’s temperament.
- Create a sleep training plan – one for nights and a second for daytime naps.
- Implement the plan and evaluate how it goes over a period of at least 2 weeks.
- Evaluate your plan and make changes as necessary.
How to transition your baby to sleep in a crib
Once you’re ready to transition your child into a crib, there’s several ways you can do it.
We started by trying to get our kids exposed and accustomed to their cribs at birth. That way, it became a natural progression to move them into it.
And if you’d like to read the whole story and process about how to get your child to sleep in a crib, you can do so here. Enjoy – it’s a good story full of the lessons we learned the hard way!
The other way you can try it is cold turkey. We kinda sorta tried this – with naps, anyway – for our second boy. It failed so spectacularly that we never tried it again – with him or any of our other children. However, it’s worked for some few other parents.
But a slow transition seems to work better for most parents – especially the ones I’ve talked to.
More on Naps:
- Got a question about naps? Be sure to check out the all-about-naps hub I created – where I keep a comprehensive list of the best nap resources.
- Sleep training questions? You’ll want to bookmark this page about sleep training – because it’s got a ton of links, resources, and everything I wish I’d known when we were sleep training.
Wondering if your baby’s on the right schedule for daytime naps? Then you’re in luck because there are two main ways to know you’re on track. The first is by comparing your existing schedule to one that works – so here’s the sleep schedule that worked for our kids by age (yes – with examples!)
The second is to use natural sleep cycles (or baby wake times) to get your baby sliding into a set schedule like a sleep training pro. Oh – and that link will show you how to do just that.
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- Need ideas on how to help survive the day with your sanity intact? It’s time to implement some quick and easy self-care for sleep-deprived moms (and dads). Seriously – take two seconds and it’ll save your day.
- My kids sleep so much better with this white noise machine! (I use this one!)
- Blackout curtains help keep bedrooms dark and sleepytime ready. These ones are my favorite because they are budget-friendly, come in a lot of styles, and they just work!
- Then, as you get more sleep, you’ll be able to do more for yourself – even though parenting doesn’t exactly slow down. So here is how to add self-care to your crazy schedule.
- All of my favorite sleep resources and books on Amazon – and the best part is you don’t even have to take the kids to the store.