How to teach a child to sleep in a crib: practical advice for parents

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Many par­ents com­plain that the child does not want to sleep in his own crib, pre­fer­ring to sleep with his moth­er or in the par­en­t’s bed. What tricks are worth know­ing in order to improve the sleep of the crumbs, grad­u­al­ly accus­tom the baby to fall asleep peace­ful­ly and sleep all night in his own sep­a­rate place?

The role of the mother in sleep rituals

It is very con­ve­nient for nurs­ing moth­ers to share a bed with a baby. But it would be a good idea to let the baby sleep in his own crib to reduce the chances of sud­den infant death syn­drome. The sleep of the crumbs in his own bed or cra­dle (if it is just a baby) also gives him inde­pen­dence. If a child is used to sleep­ing next to his par­ents, teach­ing him to sleep in a crib is not always easy.

Often, a young moth­er wor­ries about whether it is safe for the baby to sleep in a sep­a­rate bed. Experts say — yes, chil­dren can sleep in their own crib. Pedi­a­tri­cians say that both co-sleep­ing with your moth­er and falling asleep in your own bed are per­fect­ly accept­able rit­u­als. If the moth­er takes strong drugs, is very tired, she needs rest, then it will be bet­ter if the child sleeps in her own bed, and the moth­er takes him to her for feed­ing.

When can a baby sleep in a crib?

The child can sleep in his own crib from birth. If par­ents want to stay close to their baby, they can put them in a crib in their bed­room. Experts rec­om­mend cribs for day­time and night­time sleep of new­borns and old­er chil­dren, and not sofas and parental beds. For babies, this can be a cra­dle or cra­dle, as the child grows up — a bed with rods or sides so that the baby does not fall out of it dur­ing sleep.

Teach­ing a child to sleep inde­pen­dent­ly in a crib is a grad­ual process that involves the use of cer­tain meth­ods. Par­ents, by tri­al and error, select the most effec­tive meth­ods specif­i­cal­ly for their sit­u­a­tion.

Crib and baby: the beginning

Crib and baby: the beginning

As soon as par­ents get a crib, you need to intro­duce the child to it, allow­ing the baby to spend time in it. You can put the baby in the crib for a while dur­ing the day, let him sit or play with his toys in the crib, but ded­i­cate a cer­tain time to this through­out the day. In addi­tion, par­ents should imme­di­ate­ly lim­it the time of play­ing in the crib, as the child must asso­ciate it with a place to sleep.

If the baby is old enough to under­stand the words, par­ents can use ver­bal cues to explain that this is a new crib. This may inter­est the baby, stim­u­late the desire to try it out. Par­ents should ini­tial­ly use a baby crib for day­time sleep. The crib should have a firm mat­tress but no pil­lows, toys, or blan­kets. As soon as the baby begins to feel sleepy, you need to put him in the crib. If you cal­cu­late the time cor­rect­ly, then the baby will bare­ly under­stand that he is sleep­ing in a new place.

Day­time naps should be around the same time each day. It is impor­tant to fol­low the regime so that there are no prob­lems with falling asleep. As soon as the baby adapts to sleep­ing in his crib, prac­tice is need­ed and a ban on sleep­ing any­where but in his place.

Night sleep in your place

To orga­nize a night’s sleep in the crib, you need to start with sleep rit­u­als. These may include tak­ing a warm bath, then read­ing a book, and then pos­si­bly breast­feed­ing. These dai­ly repeat­ed actions sig­nal to the child that it is time to go to bed. If sleep rit­u­als have been devel­oped before, they should con­tin­ue as usu­al with the advent of their own bed.

After the prepara­to­ry activ­i­ties, you need to put the child in the crib so that he falls asleep. It is impor­tant to know that the child needs time, some­times sev­er­al days, for the baby to get used to the fact that his sleep will always take place in the crib. You can stay with him in the room while he falls asleep. As soon as the baby gets used to this, you can put him in the crib for a night’s sleep and slow­ly leave.

Useful tips for parents

Useful tips for parents

Pedi­a­tri­cians say that par­ents should not share a bed with a child, but they can sleep in the same room. So, you can put a crib in the bed­room, prefer­ably next to the bed so that the child can see the par­ents, and vice ver­sa.

Hav­ing a baby crib in the same room as the par­ents can solve a lot of prob­lems. For exam­ple, chil­dren with sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety will no longer wor­ry, as they can see from the crib that their par­ents are near­by. Sleep­ing in a crib next to a par­en­t’s bed also gives babies a sense of secu­ri­ty. It is also con­ve­nient to quick­ly calm the child if he wakes up in the mid­dle of the night.

Once the par­ents have set the sleep sched­ule in the crib, you need to use it only for sleep­ing in any sit­u­a­tion — whether it is day­time, evening or night sleep, even when the child is tired and he just needs to lie down, you need to put him in the crib.

Using a crib is much safer than using a sofa, par­en­t’s bed or oth­er places, and it keeps the baby healthy.

What to do if the child refuses to sleep in the crib?

It is impos­si­ble to say how long it will take the child to adjust to sleep in a new place. It depends on how well the baby responds to the change of place and the behav­ior of the par­ents. Some chil­dren adjust quick­ly, while oth­ers may take three to four weeks.

If the child con­tin­ues to resist sleep­ing in the crib, you need to recon­sid­er your actions, assess­ing what is being done wrong. For exam­ple, if a moth­er allows a child to sleep in her arms or next to her for sev­er­al day­time naps, this can dis­rupt sleep pat­terns in the crib. If you do not fol­low the sleep sched­ule, this can also lead to whims.

Make your bed a com­fort­able place to sleep. You need to main­tain room tem­per­a­ture in the nurs­ery, use a humid­i­fi­er to make it eas­i­er to breathe. Mak­ing a com­fort­able crib can help your baby feel bet­ter. If the child is not feel­ing well or has just recov­ered, imme­di­ate­ly after the move, it is worth­while to wait with accus­tom­ing the crumbs to a new crib.

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Teach­ing a baby to sleep in a crib is a chain of con­sis­tent dai­ly activ­i­ties. Babies even­tu­al­ly devel­op the habit of sleep­ing in their crib both night and day.

By Yraa

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