Won't sleep in his crib

JacksMomFebruary 14, 2002

My DS is 4 months old and still sleeps in his carseat. We put him in there in the beginning because he would only sleep with the exhaust fan on so we put him in his carseat in the bathroom to comfort him/get him to fall asleep. Well, he no longer needs the fan, but we are stuck with the carseat. We have tried repeatedly to put him in the crib, but the instant his back hits the mattress, he wakes up and starts to cry. He will lay in his crib and play, he loves to watch his mobile and he LOVES his kick-n-play piano in the crib, but as for sleeping, no way. How can we get him to sleep in his crib, other than letting him cry himself to sleep-which I won't do!




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I think I actually heard (maybe it was on here) about someone who literally put the carseat in the crib when baby went to sleep and that gradually introduced baby to the "new" environment.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 9:14PM
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Please be careful - there was a report on the news about a year ago about a baby tipping the carseat over during the night and the parents found the baby the next morning but it was too late. Not trying to get you stressed out but just keep an eye on your little one. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 10:29PM
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Think about the situation as you know it. It sounds like he is 'ok' with the crib in general. He plays happily in it? The things he has needed for sleep though have been the fan noise and his car seat.

Car seats have their own scent, feel, and look as well as forcing a more upright or seated position. Also, his usual pattern now is probably to associate the car seat (and all its related variables) with being able to relax and fall asleep. The crib is a nice play area, but not conducive or associated with a good sleep for him (at this time).

Do other things comfort him? When he does cry in the crib, can he be comforted by words, singing, music, touch... anything? The idea is not to let him cry himself to exhaustion, but that some discomfort is tolerable and if he can be acclimatized to the crib for sleep this can occur bit by bit over time. One thing that can help is to have play time anywhere else but not in the crib. The crib can be effectively re-defined as a place for sleep or at least quiet time.

Experiment, and use your best judgement so that you can stay within (or stretch in a healthy way) your comfort zone and teach or train a 4 month old how to be able to sleep in his crib. There isn't one way to do this kind of thing because humans are mostly alike but are all individuals too. You and your baby can kind of get a feel for each other, and how to change patterns so that they are more productive.

give it some time, because it's probably a _huge_ change for him and relaxing and sleeping in a whole new position and place (especially if he's used to other things happening in that place) is probably not going to happen all at once (the all at once approach would involve forcing the issue and letting him cry himself to utter exhaustion)

P.S. If touch works for comforting him at all, infant massage techniques might be helpful for nighttime or crib-sleeping relaxation.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2002 at 8:53AM
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Have you tried to put a fan or sound machine is his room by his crib? It might be the sound he is what associating with sleep as well as the car seat. It's understandable babies like rhythmic sound since that is what they are accustomed to in their mom's womb; her heartbeat, breathing and circulation. We use a sound machine with ocean waves and it does the trick. We even found a portable sound machine we take on trips and when we are out. (www.sleepybees.com) Now the baby isn't disturbed by the outside world if she naps in her stroller at the mall or store.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:05PM
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If you put some of your warn clothing inside the crib with the baby, that brings comfort because he can smell his mother. He will be more settled then.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:36PM
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For a few months our twins slept in their swings. They would fall asleep right away, whereas in their crib they would often cry for quite awhile. As parents of twins, we thought, "well, if this works, this is what we'll do." We needed the sleep, you know?! But the problem was- they'd wake up several times a night. So we went back to the cribs. It turned out that waiting longer for them to fall asleep was much easier than them waking up constantly. Sometimes the thing that you think is helping you is actually causing you (and the baby) more stress than you know! Sound machines work wonders- we have one that projects images onto the ceiling that they like to watch. Also, routines are your friend! Do the same routine every night- for a while we would give a warm bath and then bottles. (Now that they are used to sleeping in their cribs we can be more flexible.) Best of luck! Parenting is all about making your own rules- you will find what works for you.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 6:51PM
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