Maybe your baby started off sleeping in a bassinet, or maybe even a sleeper or a swing. Whatever the case may be, our goal is to get that baby of yours to fall asleep (and stay asleep) in the safest place possible: his crib.
Wait until you see the difference between your baby sleeping in a bassinet/sleeper and your baby sleeping in their crib is. They’ll sleep better (and LONGER) because they’ll be more comfortable on that thick mattress and cool sheet. AND you’ll sleep better knowing that your baby is safe, and you’ll feel confident in your parenting skills because you have accomplished a HARD task.
But, if you use my method to get your baby to sleep in his crib, it shouldn’t be that hard for you or baby. I honestly think you’ll be shocked at how effective this method is. When I tried this out on my first baby, I couldn’t believe it. And she was always tough to get to bed. My son, who just turned one, did even better than her when I first introduced these steps. I kid you not, FIFTEEN minutes is all it took on the first try! I couldn’t believe it, I immediately texted my fiance to let him know how amazing I was 🙂
Now, before we begin this process (& yes, it is a process, which I have designed for my own kiddos), you have to be fully ready for this. You have to 1) believe you can do this, AS WELL as, having faith in your baby to do this, and 2) be fully committed to getting him to sleep in the crib not tomorrow, not the next day, but TODAY.
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There are some very, VERY important tips to remember while you’re transitioning your baby:
- Never ever look your baby in the eyes. This will make them think it’s play time and get them hyped up.
- While in his room, look, feel, and BE monotone. For instance, do not have a smile or mad face on– just a normal face. Get the rage out of your body before entering his room because he will be able to notice your energy, which will keep him up.
- Once your baby is laid down for a nap or bed time, do not– I repeat DO NOT– pick him up and/or take him out of his crib. You’re just asking for trouble if you do that, I promise you. He will know that you have a limit and he will do whatever it takes to get you to that limit and take him out of that crib again.
I always start this process at nap time. Why? Well because it’s not as serious as bed time. I know you know what I mean here, so I won’t try to explain why that is.
Okay, so now that you have forced that information into your brain, we can get started!
Step One: Make things similar to where and how he was sleeping before.
For instance, if your baby was sleeping in your room before, but his crib is in his own room, try to make his room’s mood match your’s. Did you have a special light as he slept? Put that in his room. Was there a certain white noise or music machine that he fell asleep to? Set it up near his crib. Anything that made a sound or vibration, you’re going to want to match that in his own room- even down to the fan that creaks as it turns. (OR move his crib into your room if possible!)
Step Two: Put your baby in his crib on his back.
Even if your baby likes to sleep on his side or stomach, place him down on his back. When he is ready to sleep, he will roll to wherever he’s most comfortable. When you first place your baby in the crib, depending on their age, they’ll more than likely cry and/or roll over to sit up. When they do this, lay them back down on their backs. And do this about three times. If after the third time they are still crying or seeming like they’re not ready for bed, move on to step three.
Step Three: Leave the room.
This is the step that is most frustrating for the baby and the parents. But stick with it because you’ll be surprised at just how important and successful this step is. So, after you have put your baby in his crib and completed step two, just walk out of your baby’s room and close the door behind you. More than likely, your baby will start to cry and possibly throw a tantrum. But remember, it’s going to be worth it. After you have counted to 30-60 seconds, free yourself of rage if there’s any, and go back into your baby’s room (remember to not make eye contact). Try not to exceed the 60 second count, as at a young age, babies tend to have feelings of neglect when their parents leave them when they’re crying, and we do not want that WHATSOEVER. We want our babies to feel the most love. So, then, place your baby on their back, do not say anything, and walk out of the room again. This will probably cause another uproar from baby, but count to 30 or 60 again before reentering their room. Place baby on their back, and walk out again. And you’re just going to repeat these motions until your baby falls asleep.
At first it’s going to take some time, but just stick with it, and before you know it, you’ll be so proud of your little one for falling asleep in their own in their crib.
You can use this method any time after your initial crib-transitioning-accomplishment if your baby is struggling with falling asleep. I still do these steps on my one year old and sometimes on my almost three year old. It works every time. I’m curious to see as they age, just how long I can keep using this method.
Good luck and have a safe and sleepy night with your little one!
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