Does Your Baby Refuse Crib Sleeping?

Learn the tricks to make your baby accept the crib here

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baby refuses crib sleeping

Many infants seem to think that crib sleeping is a really lousy idea. Mom's arms are so much cozier. And sure they are. Sometimes. But not around the clock; then mom tends to become veeeery exhausted.

There are things you can do to help your baby feel safe and comfortable sleeping in a crib.

Just remember that you can't change a baby's routines in just a day. Give it a week at least, while implementing the tips below.

Do you need tips on how to buy the right baby crib? Click here.

Crib Sleeping Tips

Make it smaller

Make your infant's huge (in his or her view) bed smaller. Put rolled blankets or sheets in a circle, to make his perceived sleeping place as small as possible.

Newborn babies want to have something soft close to their heads. With poor vision and being used to sleeping in the womb, the crib can be a really scary place for them.

Just make sure you don't put anything in the bed that can fall over his face.

Your smell

Roll up a shirt that you have worn, and put it close to his head as part of the small bed you're making for him.

If the bed smells like mom, your baby is likely to feel safer.

Nice temperature

Before putting your baby back in bed, make sure it is not too cold. You can either put a warm (not hot) water bottle (or something similar) in the bed for a while before putting your baby down or, even better, use a sleep bag (like Grobag) for your baby.

With a sleep bag, your baby will enjoy more or less the same temperature all the time, helping him to stay comfortable.

If you use a water bottle or bean bag, make sure the bed doesn't become too warm and take it out before putting your baby in the crib.

Sleep bags are excellent in many ways, especially during the first months. As you may have noticed, especially breastfed babies often poop every time they eat in the beginning. This means you will have to change diapers at night from time to time.

With a sleep bag that opens easily for diaper change, you might be able to change diapers without making your baby wide awake, since he won't get cold.


If your baby is between newborn and a few months old, you can also consider swaddling him.

In the beginning you can swaddle the whole body, but at six weeks old or so, your baby's arms (or at least one of them) should be free. At this time, the baby might start using his hands for self-soothing or to communicate hunger by sucking his hand.

Don't know how to swaddle a baby? For more detailed instructions (and a video) on how to swaddle your baby, click here.

Put your baby to bed awake

Especially young babies can often be put to bed while still awake if full, happy and tired. This actually works great for many babies at around three weeks of age.

Simply put your baby down for crib sleeping, say good night and leave the room. You might be up for a surprise! This is much harder with older babies that are more aware of what's going on. But you can always try!

Consider placing a musical mobile on the crib, for the baby to have something to look at.

Personally I'm not fond of the cry-it-out method, especially not for young babies, so my advice is to not force this. If your baby starts crying, cuddle him first in the crib, but if that doesn't help, let him fall asleep (or almost fall asleep) in your arms. Then put him down.

For a lot more baby sleep tips, visit our baby sleep section. You can also find answers to many baby sleep questions in our baby sleep forum here.

Make it a new routine

Rome wasn't built in one day and the same goes for changing a baby's sleep routines.

If you really want your baby to start sleeping in his crib, be persistent.

Implement all the tips above and always put your baby in his crib at least after he has fallen asleep in your arms. Every time. This way he'll learn - fast or slowly, that this is his place to sleep.

If nothing works

If your baby still considers crib sleeping a poor idea after trying for a while, you have two choices; one is to use the stroller or a cradle - both are smaller than a crib and are usually more accepted babies younger than 5-6 months old. After that it is often the opposite - for older babies, cradles and bassinettes are too narrow to allow the baby to move around freely and safely while asleep.

The other option is to consider co-sleeping. Many babies sleep a lot better together with their mom during their first months of living.

However, if you or your husband smoke, if the bed is very soft or if either of you have consumed alcohol, co-sleeping can be very dangerous for the baby.

If you need tips for safe co-sleeping, click here.

One thing to remember is that while many newborn babies really only want to sleep in mom's or dad's arms, things usually get easier over time. If your baby refuses crib sleeping now, try again in a few weeks.

For safety sleeping tips (to reduce the risk of SIDS), read this article.

Now how do you survive until your baby sleeps better? Follow this link for some tips that don't really help your infant sleep better, but you!

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