Baby Won't Sleep In Crib? Our Top Tips To Help | Kidadl


Baby Won't Sleep In Crib? Our Top Tips To Help

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Are you struggling with working out how to get your baby to sleep in their crib?

If your baby seems to absolutely hate bedtime, and simply won't sleep in their crib at night, we might be able to help. There are tons of reasons why your baby will struggle with their bedtime routine or afternoon naps, and these can change over time.

If your baby won't sleep in their crib all of a sudden, it could be due to sleep regression, a growth spurt, teething, or one of so many more reasons. We've put together some helpful tips and tricks for some of the most common baby sleeping problems out there. From how to get your newborn to sleep to why you might want to think about adding a swaddling cloth or sleep sack into your bedtime routine, these baby sleep hacks will try to help everyone in the family get a good sleep.

You might also want to find out what's best to do when your [baby is waking up too early] or if your [baby is climbing out of the crib]. But for now, let's discover the potential reasons why your baby won't sleep in their crib at night, or why your baby won't sleep in their crib for naps.

1.  Growth Spurts

If a newborn won't sleep in a crib we can help.

If your little one is experiencing growth spurts, they will be hungrier than usual, and start putting on weight faster than normal. Before the growth spurt, your baby might find it easier falling asleep and sleep in the crib for much longer. Some babies carry this on through the growing period, but others struggle to get to sleep or sleep for shorter periods of time. These baby growth spurts usually only last a couple of days at a time, so try to remember that it will pass soon, if this might be the reason your baby is staying awake.

2. Sleep Regression

Your baby has been sleeping pretty soundly through the night, and you thought you had the nighttime routine down. Then suddenly as if by magic, they are awake in the middle of the night every night and don't seem to want to go to sleep in the crib at all. You might be experiencing sleep regression, common at pretty much any age. Sleep regression usually only lasts between two and four weeks, but there are a few things you can do to make it a little easier in the meantime.

Try to pick up on the signs that show your baby is tired and put them into their crib before they get too tired. When they're overtired they might put up a fight against their crib, so this is a good time to try to get them to sleep soundly. You can also test out sleep training if you feel like your baby is ready to take that step.

3. Mastering Milestones

Has your little one been learning some seriously cool tricks lately? If your baby has recently learned to sit up, crawl or roll over, then you might be struggling to get them to sleep in the crib because they're too busy practicing their new skills!

If your little one is starting to practice rolling over, you might want to put them in a sleepsuit that prevents them from being able to roll during the night. This should stop them from trying to roll and help them to sleep a bit easier during this period.

Even though it's super exciting that your baby is learning new things, it can lead to some exhausting nights of patchy sleep for parents, and in turn, a grumpier baby during the day. So, give your baby lots of opportunities to practice their new skills during the day so that they don't need to practice in their crib.

It can take up to three months for a baby's sleep to go back to the way it used to be after learning to crawl, and the older your little one gets, the more their sleep pattern will be affected by learning new skills. Try to keep your schedule as normal as you can, and things should return to normal in due course.

4. Teething Pains

If your baby is around six months or older, and becoming increasingly fussy during the day and nap times, then it might be teething pains that are to blame for the reason your baby won't sleep for long in their crib. Remember this is a very scary and painful time for a child, so you might want to offer more cuddles when your baby cries, even if you are teaching them to self-soothe.

We recommend helping your baby to sleep by providing some cold things for them to chew on as they're falling asleep, like a chilled teething ring. This will numb their painful gums and help move their focus away so that they can try to fall asleep. A gum massage with a cold, clean finger applying pressure to your child's mouth might also help relieve the pain a little bit.

It might be a good idea for you to use infant Paracetamol to help ease your child's discomfort, but always check with your pharmacist and read the packet clearly to make sure you give them the correct dosage.

It's important to make sure your baby is always feeling full when they go to sleep with painful gums because it is harder for them to fall back asleep if they wake up hungry during the night. The longer they are full for, the longer they should sleep, and this means you get to have a rest too.

Because teething can sometimes cause a mild temperature for your baby, it's important to keep their room at the optimal temperature of between 61° and 68°F for the best possible night's sleep.

5. Feeling Ill

When your little one is under the weather, it can make sleeping in their crib something that is much harder to do. If your baby suddenly won't sleep in their crib and is seeming extra fussy during the daytime, it could be due to them feeling unwell. When this is the case, it's hard to keep to a bedtime routine, and your child probably will struggle to sleep at the times you want them to until they start feeling better.

The best advice we can give in terms of sleep here is just to wait it out, and hopefully, when your child is feeling less ill their sleep routine will go back to normal. Comfort your child in any way that you can; by singing lullabies, telling soothing stories, and rocking them to sleep. Don't worry too much about having to transition back to your normal sleeping routine at this point, it is best just to help them feel better.

There are a few things you definitely shouldn't do if your baby is refusing to sleep and you think it is because they are ill. Check for a low-grade fever (from 98.6°F to 99.5°F), which could just be caused by a warm room or hot weather, or a temperature over 100.4°F, which is considered a fever. If your baby has a fever over that temperature, you need to speak to your doctor immediately to check on baby, and don't leave them with air conditioning on to cool down. Also, if your baby is unwell, try not to force them to play to tire themselves out. They will likely be more tired than usual when they feel unwell, so this shouldn't be necessary.

It goes without saying that if you are ever worried or concerned about your baby's health to contact a medical professional to check them over.

6. They Have Separation Anxiety

Where is your crib set up? This might be the reason your little one won't sleep through the night

If your baby is attached to your hip near enough 24/7, it could be that separation anxiety is the reason they aren't sleeping in their crib at night, especially if you've placed it in another room away from where you are.

To help them transition to feeling more at ease when you aren't around, try to create a consistent bedtime routine that is calming for your baby and eases them into time for sleep. Check the recommended times for your baby to sleep at their age, because you might be trying to get them to sleep too much during the day, meaning they aren't tired enough at night time to want to go to sleep.

With older babies, make sure you always say goodbye when you leave a room, so they don't get confused and cry out for you when you aren't around. You might also want to play peek-a-boo with younger babies while they are in their crib, to get them used to you disappearing out of sight at times.

You could also try putting something close to your baby's crib that has your scent on it, like a t-shirt. It will help them feel calm because it feels like you're close to them even when you're not around. Be careful that it isn't something your baby can get a hold of in their crib though, as this could be dangerous.

7. They See The Crib As A "Bad" Place

If you regularly use the crib as a place to give baby a time-out, either while you use the bathroom or just take a five-minute break, it might be that they begin to associate the crib with being left alone, and that can not feel very nice for a tiny person. If your baby thinks of the crib as the place they go when they are crying, then it's likely that they aren't going to feel very relaxed when you put them there to fall asleep.

Even though baby cribs don't seem big to us grown-ups, they can actually feel like a wide-open space to a young baby, so this could also be contributing to why your baby hates crib time. Babies feel safest when they are being held and touching your skin, so being in a space on their own can be a little bit distressing.

You might want to try swaddling your little one in case that makes them feel safer. Be warned though, some babies will love swaddling, and others will not get on with it at all, so this isn't a one size fits all approach, and it's best not to be disheartened if it doesn't help your little one sleep.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you to establish a positive and rewarding sleep routine with your baby. Please do remember that all babies develop differently at different rates, but if you have any concerns it is always advisable to speak to a medical professional

If you found this article helpful, then why not take a look at our guide to why your [baby is fussy while nursing] or why your [baby won't nap and tips to help]?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?