One of the main problems of young parents is how to get a newborn to sleep in a crib. Sleeping in an own crib is much safer than lying at mom’s side. Besides, co-sleeping doesn’t let a tired mom have a good night’s sleep.
What Does the Difficulty of Situation Lie In?
A nursling badly perceives the world out of mom’s presence. It is very important for him or her to hear mom’s voice, feel her touches, hear mom’s familiar heartbeat. All these factors help him or her get over anxiety which appears due to being in a new, unknown world.
But a mom neither physically nor psychologically can be 24 hours a day with her child.
Moreover, co-sleeping involves additional threats, such as:
- a child’s traumatism;
- mom’s moral and physical exhaustion;
- the hold-up in psychic function development. The Self is the necessary condition of full-fledged psychological development of a child;
- cooling in relations between a mom and a dad.
Let’s start accustoming the baby to sleeping alone by preparing the right sleeping place.
Preparing a Crib
First of all, a bed should be a completely safe place, where you can leave your infant without being worried about his or her security during sleep. A crib should be placed at the parents’ bedroom until the child turns 6 months. The mattress should be elastic and sheets must be tucked in thoroughly, the best decision for this situation is fitted the sheet.
It goes without saying, that every item of the crib should be made from natural materials to provide the highest level of comfort and safety.
A child’s crib for babies up to 18 months shouldn’t contain blankets and pillows. Such a tiny tot doesn’t need a pillow. He or she will twist in the bed and you will probably find your baby turned to the other side less than in an hour. The same thing is about blankets. A blanket should be substituted for a baby sleeping bag or comfortable sleep clothes. Soft toys can be placed into a crib only after a toddler has gained enough strength in his neck and can turn over quite confidently.
Decorative details such as a canopy, bumpers should be excluded from a crib right after a baby has learned to sit (canopy) and stand up (bumpers).
Rules and Ways of Accustoming to Independent Sleep
Don’t take it too hard if your newborn won’t sleep in a bassinette. There are a lot of tricks and life hacks that help to come over this problem without tears and hysterics.
- It isn’t difficult to accustom a child to independent sleep if you have managed to do it in a maternity hospital. Is your newborn sleeping well independently during your hospital stay? So don’t pull him or her into your bed at home. Your child feels quite good without such extra caregiving.
- A calm and kindly atmosphere at your home is an important condition of a child’s nervous health and a good sleep. The general nervous environment exhausts an infant. A baby won’t sleep in a crib. He or she will need extra soothing measures such as co-sleeping.
- Correct daily routine. Active games in the first part of a day and calmer activities after midday are preferable. Sleeping during the day is compulsory. Among routines which are to be fulfilled before going to bed are bathing, changing clothes, reading a fairytale before sleeping. In this case, a toddler will be tired but not overworked in the evening. And he or she will be able to fall asleep trouble-free.
- Download from the internet the sound of an adult human heart beating and turn it on when a baby is falling asleep. Pediatricians and psychologists claim that a heartbeat calms down and helps to fall asleep as effectively as a lullaby. You can put your worn T-short or bra liners under the sheet for a baby to feel mom’s smell.
- Even if you decided to continue breastfeeding at nights, do not do it in your bed anymore. Your task is to make it clear that now the tot has the only place to sleep and this place is his or her crib. It’s difficult for a baby to understand why this time he or she is sleeping with you – if you accidentally fall asleep during breastfeeding – and the next time right after nursing you will put your tot into the crib. Choose a comfortable chair and breast-feed while sitting in it. Try to put your baby into a crib when he or she is not asleep yet because your tot after waking up can be frightened of changed surroundings. Falling asleep in mom’s arms and waking up in a crib is quite a stressful situation for a baby.
- Don’t forget to air the bedroom before sleeping. The air in the room should be moisture and not hot. The preferable temperature for sleeping in the room is 20-22°C or 68-71.6°F.
Important note! If a baby takes the mom’s absence with too much agitation at night and doesn’t want to sleep in his or her crib you will have to take into account the child’s needs. In this case, one should accustom a child to independent sleep step by step without being forced by parents.
7. Gradual Accustoming to Independent Sleep by Month
Some moms share their experience of how to accustom a baby to independent sleeping keeping the following scheme:
- a tot younger than 4 month falls asleep on the mom’s breast and then is put into a crib;
- at the age of 5-6 months, the baby is lulled in the mom’s arms to a lullaby and after falling asleep the child is put in the crib.
- the baby aged 11-12 months falls asleep in the crib to mom’s lullaby. You can sit nearby and stroke your child.
At the age of 7, 8, 9, and 10 months the sleep depends on the process of teeth emergence. A baby can sleep restlessly because gum pain is torturing him. In such cases, you can use special gel for pain soothing. Calm down your child, the gel will relieve pain syndrome and your baby will fall asleep much calmer.
It’s important to know! The crib works as a place where a tot falls asleep immediately if the cradle is used only for sleeping. As soon as your baby awakes, take him or her out of the crib. Let the child play and eat in other places. Put the little tot in a crib only when he or she is ready for sleeping.
At the age of 18 months, you could and should make routines of falling asleep more diverse. The right decision would be adding to these routines a soft toy, putting on pajamas, reading books. The next step takes place at the age of 2-3 years. And it lies in acquiring a separate bed. If a child is afraid of it put the new child’s bed nearby yours. Make a funny party out of moving to the child’s room.