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Do you ever feel like you spend hours every day trying to get your little one to sleep, and they still won’t cooperate? It can be so frustrating when your baby won’t sleep in a crib! But don’t worry - you’re not alone. Many babies resist sleeping in a crib for a variety of reasons. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why babies refuse to sleep in a crib, and we’ll offer some tips on how to overcome these issues.
Some babies simply don’t feel comfortable in a crib. Maybe the mattress is too hard, or the sides are too confining. Think of it this way: your baby spent nine months inside your womb, where it was warm, a tad noisy, and a bit restrictive. With that environment in mind, it makes sense that your baby may have a hard time adjusting to a cold, firm mattress. If your baby doesn’t feel safe and secure in a crib, they’re likely to resist sleeping in it.
Babies are social creatures who thrive on interaction and connection. When they’re placed in a crib away from their parents, it can feel isolating and scary for them. This is especially true for premature babies or babies who have experienced separation anxiety in the past.
Babies have natural sleep and wake cycles, called circadian rhythms. When you try to put them to bed at the wrong time, they may resist sleeping in a crib because their body isn’t ready for sleep. For example, if you put your baby to bed at 8 pm but their body is programmed to sleep at midnight, they’re going to resist.
Believe it or not, exposure to daylight plays a role in Baby’s sleep habits. When babies get enough daylight during the day, they’re more likely to sleep through the night. Conversely, when babies don’t get enough daylight, they tend to wake up more often.
Cribs that are too cluttered or have too many toys are not only a distraction for Baby, but they also don’t encourage safe sleep. For a baby to sleep safely, their crib shouldn’t contain any toys or loose blankets. Additionally, the temperature of the room can impact Baby’s ability to sleep. The ideal sleep environment is one that is both cool and quiet.
When your baby spends time with you during the day, they’re more likely to sleep through the night. So make sure you give them plenty of love and attention! Whether you choose to sing them a song, read them a book, or play with them, they’ll feel more connected to you and less anxious about being away from you at bedtime.
If you’re not sure what your baby’s natural sleep cycles are, you can start implementing sleep tracking, or you can consult your pediatrician. They can help you create a bedtime routine that will work with Baby’s body clock. For example, if your baby is naturally inclined to sleep at midnight but you're putting them to bed at 8 pm, try putting them to bed at 10 pm instead.
As mentioned before, exposure to daylight helps Baby sleep better at night. Make sure your baby gets at least an hour of direct sunlight each day. If possible, try to take them outside for a walk.
Babies need a calm and quiet environment to sleep well. Remove all of the toys from the crib, keep the room cool, and make sure there is no light coming in from outside. If your baby is used to sleeping with a nightlight, try using a red light instead, which is less stimulating.
If you’re still having trouble getting your baby to sleep in a crib, consult your pediatrician for more tips. Chances are, there is a reason why your baby is resisting and your pediatrician can help you find a solution.
Although you may feel like sleepless nights are never-ending, your baby will soon become more familiar with their crib. By keeping the crib environment comforting and soothing, and working with Baby's circadian rhythms instead of against them, you should be on your way to a good night's sleep for everyone!