Baby Won’t Sleep in Crib, And How You Can Remedy This

Samantha Griffith

Written by Samantha Griffith

Baby Won't Sleep in Crib

Understanding Why Baby Won’t Sleep in Crib

As a parent, it’s a normal reaction to panic when our baby won’t sleep in crib. That’s why they think of different creative ideas to solve this concern. As much as possible, parents want the best for their child, and adequate sleep is one of those luxuries that they wish to provide for their child.

But, what will be the solution if a child is restless and can’t sleep comfortably inside a crib? What are the things that every guardian should know when they cannot bring a baby to sleep inside the cradle? When to start sleep training for the baby to sleep on their own?

Different Reasons Why Baby Won't Sleep in the Crib

When a mother cannot bear to see the child moving around the crib when she’s expected to fall asleep, many things are getting inside their mind. Questions like ‘Should I replace the baby cot?’ or ‘Did fail I buy the best crib mattress?’ will cross their mind. But the truth is, the baby’s behavior has almost no connection with the cradle or the mattress. The child’s reaction is because of the feeling of adjustment that they need to do, although they are not yet ready for it. Here are the more specific reasons why a child cannot fall asleep inside the crib:

  • 1. The baby is not used to a crib.

If a baby sleeps in her parents’ bed, and she will be transferred to a cradle, there will be some struggle with the transition. When a child was used to sleeping in a large bed with someone around, it will be a strange feeling if they started sleeping in a crib with no one in the room. They might feel abandoned if the parents will be careful with the transition.

To avoid the development of anxiety to the child, give some effort in establishing a safe and comfortable bedroom for her. Make the room cozy by playing, singing, reading a story, and cuddling with your child. When the child feels that the room is a fun place to stay, she will be able to get used to it with a happy feeling.

  • 2. The baby doesn't know how to sleep in a crib.

During the earliest months of the babies, they were used to sleep while you are holding them. Some of them were rocked to sleep and will only be placed in the bed when they are in a deep sleep. This kind of habit is acceptable until the child reaches its 6th month. If feeding isn’t required every couple of hours, it’s time to break this habit and let them sleep on their own. The process will not be easy for both the mother and the child, but it must be done as soon as possible. When the transition is done during the later age of the child, they may find it difficult to understand the change, and it can develop a bigger problem for you and the child.

  • 3. The baby's stomach is aching.

Since a baby cannot talk, it’s natural that they will express their emotions in a way they can. If the child is refusing to sleep in a cradle, there is a chance that their stomach aches due to acid reflux and colic. When the child feels this way, and they will be kept lying on their back, they will feel more uncomfortable.

Be more sensitive to your child’s feelings. Don’t focus too much on your own goal – and that is to let the baby sleep inside the cradle. Determine the specific reactions and behaviors of your child when they are not feeling well, or they feel something that bothers them. Baby’s project different reaction to their feelings, if you will carefully attend to their needs. Some uncomfortable feelings of the infant cannot be easily seen, and having an aching stomach is one of them. Closely monitor your child’s behavior and get to know them more each day.

  • 4. The baby can feel their parent's emotions.

Believe it or not, an infant can feel the emotions of their parents though they cannot talk or express their feelings. So, if a guardian feels uneasy with the idea of putting the child to the cradle, they will feel anxious about the idea as well. When you want to transition your infant from bassinet to crib for the next few days, you need to feel positive about the idea as well. Don’t do it just because your mother-in-law or a friend recommended it. When it comes to your child, your decision must be based on what you think is good for her. If you are 100% sure that letting your baby sleep in a cradle will be helpful for her, then you can develop a positive feeling towards it, and this aura will be passed to your child. When you and your baby feels good towards something, like sleeping in a cradle, there is a big possibility that your goals will be achieved.

  • 5. The baby developed a negative association with the crib.

Some parents are using the crib as a way to take a break with their infant. This practice can develop a child’s negative association with the crib. If a child often experiences tears while staying inside the crib, it will never be a good place to rest and sleep for them.

As part of the parent’s responsibility, you should keep your child from developing a negative association on different things. If your child had a negative experience with the cradle, it can stay in their mind and will stop them from getting attached to this thing. If you are fully aware of this experience, think about a way to alter the child’s emotions and create positive memories with the baby’s cradle. Some pediatrician recommends that you do soothing activities inside the nursery room such as playing together, listening to nursery songs or lullaby, and reading bedtime stories. If the child understands that these activities happen before you put them inside the crib, they will look forward to crib time because it will mean they can spend some time with their parents before going to sleep.

At What Age Should a Baby Sleep in a Crib?

During the first few months of the child, they are used with a baby co sleeper and fall asleep immediately. But as they grow older, every parent would want their child to sleep independently. Letting them sleep in a crib is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. But what is the right age to make your baby sleep in the crib? The answer will lie in the judgment of their parents. For most babies, transitioning into a crib through sleep training baby could be done between their third to sixth months. The younger the baby transfers to a crib, the easier the transition is. Another thing to remember is never to do the transition before making significant changes in a child’s environment, such as moving into a new home or during a vacation.

How do I Get My Baby to Nap in his Crib?

Napping can be a wonder for growing babies, and for those parents who want their baby to fall asleep in their crib, it can be big trouble. If mothers wish to see their baby napping inside the crib, they should follow the following tips from the experts:

  • The baby must be ready.

Some babies may not be prepared to do crib napping, and a parent cannot do anything about it. Infants begin to develop associations around the age of 3 to 4 months after pregnancy, and that is a great time to introduce crib napping. If parents can feel that their baby is not ready yet, they have to wait for a few more days or weeks before they move their baby from the best bassinet into a cozy crib.

  • Prepare the place properly.

The mood of the room will play a significant role in establishing nap time for a baby. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet, so the child feels comfortable and at peace while doing their crib napping.

  • Establish a pre-naptime routine.

If parents think that the child will nap on their own as they put them down in the crib, they are very wrong. This strategy will never go well with most babies. What’s recommended for all parents is establishing a pre-naptime routine that will send a signal to the child that they need to nap soon. It may be changing the diaper, singing their favorite lullaby, or doing some swinging and rocking movement. The pre-naptime routine must encourage the child and bring a soothing feeling to her.

  • Find the right timing.

When the child is awake and doesn’t want to go back to sleep, experts suggest that they must be kept busy through playtime and tummy time on the floor. If the parent sees signs of drowsiness, that’s the time to do the pre-naptime routine. When the timing is right, the child will eventually fall asleep inside their crib. This may become a trial and error for some, but practicing the right timing can be very beneficial for both the parents and the child.

Crib napping will be tricky, especially for those first-time parents. But there is no need to freak out and panic because those tips mentioned above can effectively help you with your baby’s nap time.

What do you do when a Baby does not Sleep in Crib?

No one can accurately identify the reason why a baby does not fall asleep in the crib. Many factors might be holding the child from resting and sleeping while inside their crib. But there are various solutions that parents can use in encouraging their baby to sleep. Every way may not work for a child, but one of them will do:

  • 1. Prepare the crib carefully.

It is very important that a parent personally prepared the crib if they want their baby to sleep in it. Let your child appreciate the bed and add some music or lullaby around. Don’t forget about the small details, such as the temperature of the room and the baby mattress. The best room temperature is around 18 to 20-degree Celsius. This level of coolness will prevent the child from sweating. Parents should also avoid placing big stuffed toys around the child since it can make them feel uncomfortable. The last important thing is light. Use a dimmer light during at night and let a little light gets inside the room during the daytime, so the baby will recognize that it’s time to wake up.

  • 2. Teach the child to appreciate the crib.

Babies will enjoy their crib if it is associated with fun and exciting activities. Do a bedtime routine such as playing together, reading bedtime stories, or simply rubbing and touching the baby’s body. Be consistent with the bedtime routine and repeat it every day. After feeding time, parents should spend some quality time with their kids so that they can develop a positive association with their crib.

  • 3. Continue nursing the baby until they fall asleep.

Maybe, one of the reasons why the baby cannot sleep in the crib is because they were used with nursing them while falling asleep. If parents find their child restless and cannot sleep at night, it is not because they don’t want to sleep. Sometimes, it is because they just don’t know how to sleep on their own. The bedtime routine can be a big help with this child’s dilemma. But parents can speed up the adjustment time of their baby by reducing the nursing time by a few minutes. When the baby starts falling asleep, they can be put inside the crip and let them rest on their own.

  • 4. Gently move forward.

There is no reason to rush things, especially for a baby. If the infant continues to refuse sleeping in the crib, stay hopeful, and patient. Never get upset if things are not working the way you want it. As a parent, you have to be understanding with the baby’s behavior. Babies might feel unsafe and insecure while staying inside the crib, and this feeling may also be unexplainable for them. Avoid getting angry with the situation because it can increase the anxious feeling of the baby. The parents’ negative emotions even develop insecurities about the baby’s part. As much as possible, determine what the baby needs and give it to her. Provide them the assurance that everything is alright and that you will always be beside them no matter what the situation is. Be optimistic about how you deal with the baby, and it will leave them a positive effect.


If the baby won’t sleep in crib, never consider this situation as an issue between you and the baby. Sleep disorder is prevalent with babies, and as part of the pregnancy, you have to prepare yourself with this. Usually, you struggle in the first few months of the baby. Some steps and adjustments can be more difficult than the other, especially for those parents who are working hard and having busy days. Stress and anger will never bring any good for you and the baby, so avoid it. When you think you and your partner cannot handle it anymore, you can talk to your pediatrician and ask some of her some advice about your baby’s development. As a professional, she can help in assessing the kids’ behavior and can provide some recommendations on how to deal with it. Lastly, don’t forget to give yourself some wonderful sleep. Ask your partner if he can attend to your baby for a day or two and give yourself a break.

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