We’ve all been there at some point in our mothering journey, that moment when our baby just won’t sleep in the crib. It doesn’t matter how much soothing you put into it, lullabies or backrubs; nothing gives. So, you ask: Can I lay in the crib with my baby in such a case?
Unfortunately, not. Being a mum also means being a life trainer. It falls on us to teach our kids how to be independent, among a million other things.
Ideally, by the time your baby is transitioning to the crib, they should be catching two to three daytime naps for a total of three to six hours a day and sleeping for nine to eleven hours. If it seems an impossible feat, worry not. As a mum thrice over, I’ve learned some hacks along the way, which I’m happy to share, as you’ll see in this handy article.
Why Won’t My Baby Lay in the Crib?
This is a nerve-racking question because nothing upsets us like our babies’ agitation. They’ll wail or scream their little hearts out the moment you try shifting them from your arms to the crib. It’s pretty understandable, though, when you think about it.
The thing is, your baby needs time to adjust to its new environment. Your arms, warmth, voice, and scent are all too familiar as a comfort place, so you can now see why the crib just doesn’t cut it for them.
Some could argue that this shouldn’t be a challenge if the crib is super comfy. And this is what brings us to the issue of how babies perceive things. During infancy, babies weigh everything in proto thoughts, all spurred on by sensations.
Because they can’t speak, they experience everything through their senses. Their first sensations come from body experiences like hunger, discomfort, and sleep, amongst others. Increased sensory stimulation and experiences boost their mental capacities to a point where they understand the cause and effect relationship.
Can I Lay in the Crib with My Baby?
But before a baby is capable of gaining this understanding of cause and effect, can you lay in the crib with them? I know it’s tough because if your baby won’t sleep in the crib, the most logical step would be to get in there with it.
But it’s not. It’s neither wise, healthy, nor sustainable. First, it’s dangerous as you can easily crush and suffocate your baby. Second, your baby will be over-dependent and, worse, possibly develop sleeping issues.
Quality sleep is critical to your baby’s development as it’s a restorative process that helps their delicate bodies conserve energy and supports their mental and physical development.
Anything that impedes this natural process is detrimental and could have lifelong negative impacts. However, given that the transition won’t achieve instant results, you’ll see and enjoy the results in time if you start a routine and stick to it.
How to Transition Your Baby to the Crib
Have a Stable Environment
The first thing to do in the transition is to ensure a stable environment. Meaning you’re not starting the transition, then heading for vacation next week, moving houses, or having noisy parties. Remember, babies are sensory beings, and anything unfamiliar is bound to destabilise them.
Set the Right Room Temperature
Calmness, stability, and safety should be your key priorities when creating a stable sleeping environment for your baby. Keep the room cool with temperatures between 68° and 72°F (20° to 22.2°C). You will know whether the room is comfortable based on how you feel or by using an indoor thermometer.
Create Calming Sounds
Sometimes you can get your baby in the mood by using white noise. For example, if your baby is a fussy sleeper, this will help calm and send them to sleep. In effect, the best white noise for babies is a gentle whoosh sound or something akin to the noise they heard and felt in the womb.
However, don’t make this a routine; let your baby also get accustomed to the natural sounds of their environment, as this will also prove to be soothing eventually.
Get a Comfortable Crib
When selecting the crib, ensure it’s full size to allow for sufficient space as the baby moves, wiggles, kicks, and grows. The mattress should be firm and not soft or saggy, plus the crib’s bars should have space at least 2 inches apart.
Learn Best Sleeping Positions
The safest way to lay your baby to sleep is flat on its back or supine position as it lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death (S.I.D.S.). Laying it on its tummy or side increases the risk not only of S.I.DS. but a flat head too.
However, there are some situations where a doctor recommends front sleeping due to a medical condition. The doctor will advise you on safely managing the transition in such cases.
Observe how your baby takes to the crib; what upsets them most? Is the sheet not cool enough, or do they crave your warmth and presence? The trick is to transition gradually, observe and adjust.
Get your baby to take naps in the crib so that it’s not awkward at bedtime. Figure out how to fill the crib and baby room with your scent. Create a routine because babies thrive on this, especially in their first year.
All in all, your attitude and consistency will impact the transition’s success. First, learn your baby’s sleep pattern and align with it. Then, listen to their sounds and rhythms with a monitor when not in the room. Since you don’t need to be there every time there’s the slightest whimper.
Can I lay in the crib with my baby? I believe I’ve put this question to rest and any doubts you may have about sharing the crib with your baby. Do you feel adequately empowered to create a consistent sleep routine for your baby?
We’ve established that sleep is critical to a baby’s healthy development. Your role as a mother is to facilitate the process by training your baby from dependent to independent.
Should your baby develop sleep issues during this transition period, don’t suffer in silence; consult your paediatrician for remedies.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!