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Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My two-year-old has started waking up at around 3 a.m. and climbing into our bed. She goes to sleep in her own crib fine but always ends up in our bed. Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

Re: My two-year-old has started waking up at around 3 a.m. and climbing into our bed. She goes to sleep in her own crib fine but always ends up in our bed. Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

The Bump Expert

Ahh, a case of the midnight snuggle visitor. The first night, it’s sort of cute. The second night, you realize you don’t sleep all that soundly with a toddler foot resting in your clavicle. The third night, you’re kicking yourself (or is that your kid doing the kicking?) for creating a bad habit.

This exact dilemma is one of the reasons we recommend that parents keep their children in a crib until at least three years of age. Until then, toddlers are just too impulse-driven and tempted to seek out comfort from Mom and Dad.

If your child has already transitioned to a toddler bed, you have two options. One, move them back to a crib -- but only if they can’t climb out. The other option is to keep them in their toddler bed but teach them it’s not an option to leave their room until the morning. This might involve camping outside the door for a few nights to return them to their bed. You may even have to shut the door to keep them inside. This can be trying, but if you put in the work, it’ll eventually pay off -- and allow you to reclaim your side of the bed.

sleep experts conner herman and kira ryan Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby

re: Q: Won't sleep in crib?

My Oldest son didn't like sleeping in his crib either. Eventually when he was 15 months old we got him a toddler bed & he loves it! He will go to his room on his own and go to sleep in it all night! Maybe he just doesn't like being confined (spelling?) in a crib. I would def. try a toddler bed. :)

damiensmommy007 |

re: Q: Won't sleep in crib?

HELP!!! my husband is now home because he got hurt at work and he has reversed all of my hard work! Alyssa was able to fall asleep in our arms but then we would put her down in her crib and she would be just fine. Now that Hubby is home he takes naps with her!!!! What a nightmare bed time is.

alys mama |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

A la Supernanny: when your child gets out of her bed and comes to yours, you lead the kid back to her room, tuck her in and say "It's sleep time in your own bed. Night night." Leave immediately. If the kid returns to your room, you again lead the kid back to her room (pick her up if you need to), but don't say anything. Repeat this as much as needed until she stays in her own bed. It might take 2 times, 20 times, or what feels like 200 times of doing this the first night you try it, but she WILL eventually give up and stay in her own bed. After the first night, you'll find it takes MUCH fewer trips till she stops trying it all together. GL!

At1stsight |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

We just took holidays and our almost three year old had to share a bed with us. Now that he's home he has been trying to continue to sleep with us. I have been taking him directly back to his own bed when he comes into our room, giving him a kiss and a cuddle then leaving him in his own bed. The first night we did this routine for over an hour. Now about two weeks of struggling and me doing this every time he gets in our bed he is back to sleeping in his toddler bed almost without incident. It's a lot of hard work but we're almost there, and a night of good sleep is worth it!

musalang |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I did the switch to a toddler bed about that time. My son was potty training and we told him he was a big boy now so it was just the right thing to do , he was so excited that he had a bed like mom and dad, he even told us to sleep with him, lol.

lesliecowey |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

SOMEBODY HELP! PLEASE my baby is 7weeks now im a new young mother and my baby is so used to my arms that as soon as i put her to lay in her crib she wakes up and cries. she constantly wants to be in my arms or anybodys arms im not sure what to do about it. and i dont believe in letting her cry it out at 7 weeks at first she jus whines but then she starts wailing! sometimes she even goes straight to wailing since i didnt have anybody to give me advice the first month all i did was hold her. often i would be so exhausted that i would jus sleep her in my bed with me, now thats all she wants to do... im not sure what i should do to break this habit before it gets alot worse shes only 7weeks.

shahnizzlevarela |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shanizzlevarela - have you tried getting a co-sleeper for your bed? then she can sleep near you but you get some of your bed back. once she's comfortable with that arrangement it might be easier to then move her to a crib in your room, and then eventually a crib in her own room?

gummybearsong |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shahnizzlevarela - My Dr. told me and gave me literature saying that even up to 5 months, a baby couldn't be spoiled (I know some beg to differ, just passing on what the Dr. told me). Sounds like baby loves your touch and finds comfort in being snuggled. Have you tried swaddling? If you can't swaddle good and tight, maybe ask at your babies next Dr. appt if the nurse can show you how. OR you can buy a swaddler blanket, I know Babies R Us has them and I believe they're under $10. Your baby may find comfort in being wrapped up snug and maybe you can both get some sleep. Good luck!

Braquet |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shahnizzlevarela - another thought - give baby a "lovey" when she's sleeping with you. I was sick for 4 days and my mom came by everyday to help out but inadvertently taught my 4 month DS that sleeping in the arms was the way to go. Right now, I'm trying to retrain him by placing a pillow in between us or under him while I hold him to sleep. I figured that it was the body heat he craves so much (it would wake ME up if I was placed in a cold bed). Once he's out, I put him in the crib with his pillow (or his "lovey") so that he doesn't lose the body heat. This was a suggestion I read from the No Cry Sleep Solution. Crossing my fingers that he'll get back to sleeping in his crib drowsy again!

MrsHyphenated |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shahnizzlevarela- i had the same problem with my LO. we started with the "sidecar" option and started establishing a night time routine at 8 weeks- I would lay with her on our bed until she dozed off and then move her to bassinet located right next to my side of the bed. If she woke up, I would be right there. We also put a shirt that i had worn under her in the bassinet (be sure to pull it tight so she doesn't get caught in it) and that seemed to help. We did this until she became accustomed to the idea of sleeping alone- now she's great in her bassinet and will even play on her own if she wakes up before we do. Definitely try the swaddle- try a a positioner too- that way she still has the feeling of something around her- this seems to work with our LO whenever she gets greedy for being held again.

loveshockey53 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shanizzlevarela - what about swaddling her. That worked wonders with my little one. I would swaddler her after she fell asleep in my arms. Then I would place her in the crib. She would sleep soundly once in the crib because she thought she was still being held. : )

PrincessStarfish |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shanizzlevarela - at 7 weeks I would not put a pillow in the crib with her unless you remove it. My Son was the same way he would scream unless I held him and would have to sleep with him. It wasn't until I swaddled him and laid him on his side or stomach that he started to sleep apart from my arms. I hated to put him on his stomach but I figured it was safer than sleeping in my arms every night. Babies can sleep on their sides just not their stomach so try the side first or moving her to her back after she's fallen asleep.

gbohaczyk |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

shahnizzlevarela - My LO started doing the same thing when she was 3 wks. I bought a moses basket and put it in the bed with me. Once she fell asleep in my arms, I would put her in the basket. If she woke up, I was right there. She started sleeping better in the basket and even slept through the night before she was 3 months old. Once she got too big for the basket, I moved her to a pack n' play at the end of my bed. Now she sleeps in a crib at the end of my bed.

michellekennard |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

When my daughter was younger, newborn age, I would let her fall asleep in my arms, then i would slowly lay her down, and immedieatly put the pacifier in her mouth if she woke up, and she went to bed right away. If that doesnt work, try singing softly, and gently rub their head it always helped for me!

srios90 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

i am in the same boat as shahnizzlevarela.....my 6 week old will not sleep for more than 15 mins in her crib. she falls asleep on us and we rock her or hold her for about 10-15 mins to make sure she;s really asleep before we put her down. things look good but about 10 mins later she starts to cry. ive tried swaddling with one of those swaddleme's and it seemed to work, she would at least stay asleep for a good 2-3 hrs until she wanted fed again but after a few nights of this, she now screams when i start to swaddle her so i;m taking that as she doesnt like the swaddle. any other suggestions? i am a little reluctant to use our bassinet as i borrowed it from a friend and i believe she also borrowed it so i have no idea how old it is (to know if its up to date with safety) nor do i know the weight limit. for now, we have been putting her in her bouncer or swing once she falls asleep or ive beensleeping on the couch and letting her lay on my chest because i can tell she;s exhausted and if thats the only way she;ll sleep than i have to give her the sleep she needs.

jlw3589 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My son is 9 weeks old and I too have this problem! I so enjoy letting him sleep in my arms, but I know in the future it will not be good for either of us. A friend that's a Pediatric NP gave me a suggestion. Place a heating pad in the crib. Let it warm up then REMOVE IT before placing the sleeping baby in the crib. I've tried this and it works sometimes. It works best when I place the heating pad between the crib and a blanket. Be sure to REMOVE IT! Never leave it in the crib. My son cries when he's first swaddled, but it's a proven method to get him to stay asleep longer. It works well for him. He's 9 weeks and swaddling still works for him.

kathiegarrett |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I also need help. My 7 month old used to sleep ok in his bassinet/playpen. I am still nursing, and nurse him lying down. When he was younger i would just fall asleep with him while nursing, and it has just been that way since then. I am trying to get him to sleep in the crib which is right beside my bed. He goes to sleep in my arms but the min he knows i am letting go to put him in crib he wakes up crying. I basically have to nurse him in the crib if i want him to stay asleep. What can i do

ladybugmama21 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I just recently had this problem too.......It was hard to fix.....I ended up getting a sleep positioner, putting it in the crib and heating it with a heating pad while I was getting baby to sleep then removing the heating pad before baby goes in (always check the temp to touch).......I also went to the trouble of taking apart a vibrating bouncy seat and putting the vibration box just under the positioner......It worked :) I really think the snug feeling of the positioner and the heat were key......GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

juliedunn@live.com |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I have a now 8 month old and the crib situation is a nightmare for me too. he wont fall asleep anywhere but in my arms across my belly because i have breastfed him and always just fell asleep with him while feeding. so now he needs the boob and to be snug on me. I really am not sure what to do to get him in his own crib now but its just going to get worse if i dont do it soon!

rebeccaj84 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I'm with the nursing attatchment ladies. My 6 month DS wants to fall asleep nursing and then stay latched on while sleeping. It's gotten a little better and I can get him unlatched while he's sleeping but getting him into his bassinett/playpen takes like 3 times or more because he wakes up when I lay him down. For a while I was nursing him on a blanket and then it was easier to transfer him once he was asleep. Lately he's had a very stuffy nose which has made it difficult for him to eat and then he won't fall asleep nursing either because he can't breathe. He has never been one to put himself to sleep and especially not in his own bed. As soon as he wakes up, as well, he wants out. There is NO self soothing. As a newborn he took a pacifier which was nice for soothing but now he gets angry when I try to give him one. I just need to figure out how to teach him when he's tired it's sleep time and not throw a tantrum time. I know he can't have any late naps and having a bath before bed is good so he's really worn out and just wants to sleep. Every baby is different so it's so hard to get advice on this from someone who's not trying to put my baby to sleep. I've tried the heating pad, it worked a bit but not super effectively, he HATES!!! sleep positioners since he was teeny tiny and heart beat sound makers only work when he's kind of fussing in his sleep, not when he's still awake. I hope we figure it out cause sore nipples suck.

sikochic |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

repetition definitely works...they must understand you mean what you say. Once you repeat it after so many times they will respond positively to you. It does take patience! ICheck out some great night/nap time tips on http://www.toddlerbedandmore.com/toddler_tips.html Good Luck!

Toddler101 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

For the babies who can't be put down without waking, try the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper (about $50, in stock at Target and BabiesRUs). Our baby loved the incline at 6 weeks and immediately started sleeping 12 hours a night in it (for many happy months). For the first few months, we also swaddled him before placing him in this cradle. I've recommended the product to many of my friends, and they are having similar success.

eblavery |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Does anyone have an answer to the breastfeeding while falling asleep problem? I have the same issue and it has unfortunately turned into a bad habit. I have been breastfeeding my baby while laying down with her and now that is the only way she'll fall asleep and stay asleep. She'll sleep in her crib for around an hour tops. Any tips or experiences that have worked to get out of this? Thanks!

ashanbaum |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Help! I'm having the same problem, breastfeeding baby to sleep. He used to feed then sleep is his crib, but now that he's 5 months he's showing signs of separation anxiety :( in my area it's hot and sticky now that it's summertime so holding him in my arms is not comfortable, but he likes it that way. I only spoiled him because of the heat but now it's getting worse and it's starting to cool down a bit. Should I let him cry it out? I don't really agree with it. I do let him cry a bit then soothe him or pick him up if he's about to have tears and scream. I started him on rice cereal but only once a day and the rest is breast milk so he's not sleeping longer like most people say. How do I get him to sleep through the night? Or at least longer than 3 hours? He's 5 months, shouldn't he sleep longer? Or does he needs rice cereal more than once a day. My questions are all jumbled up because of sleep deprivation. Pls help someone.

Aldoe82 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Just want to second eblavery's recommendation for the Fisher Price Rock 'n' Play Sleeper. A friend with a small apartment in Brooklyn recommended it to me (it's very portable!) and we've had good success. We bought a very fancy Stokke bassinet/crib for our 9-week-old and she's never slept in it. She loves sleeping at an incline, either in the FP sleeper or her Fisher Price swing (electric, not battery-powered! can go all night!). But now I'm worrying about how to get her to transition to sleeping on a flat surface, which she'll have to do once I go back to work and she goes to daycare... Can't say enough about swaddling, too. We've used Aden & Anais muslin wraps (get the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD for a great swaddling demonstration or find a video of it on YouTube) and we've used Summer Infant and Halo sleep swaddlers. Our LO's favorite is the True Womb swaddler, however. We wrap her up in it before we give her the last bottle of the day and she falls asleep all wrapped up tight. Then it's off to dreamland for about 4-5 hours! Good luck, all.

alist |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Let her sleep in your bed. She won't be little forever and obviously needs your comfort or she wouldn't go out of her way to come be with you. We have our 10 month old on a twin mattress on our floor, next to our bed. Most of the night he sleeps there, near us but not in our bed.

hollowstar |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My 21 week old is so accustomed to sleeping in her bassinet that when we put her in her crib she'll only sleep in there for up to an hour max and then screams until one of us finally goes in to check on her. She won't fall back to sleep in her crib but if we put her in her bassinet (which is in our room) she's out immediately. I go back to work in a few weeks and would like her to be sleeping through the night on her own. She's going to outgrow the bassinet soon anyway. Any suggestions???

mmack312 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Actually, it's not a bassinet, it's a rock and play, guess I didn't know the real name for it, but I'm worried that she will never transition to a crib! Any ideas would be great!

mmack312 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

How cute, I assume that you two kept her too long in your bed before transitioning.

BenLovesNikki |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Same problem here with my 8-mo-old baby girl! We both got used to breastfeeding on my bed and going to sleep on my bed. It was fine, until night time, she just would sleep for 20-30 in her crib than wake up! So she's been sleeping in our bed, but husband and I need our bed back. I've been thinking about the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper, but not sure if she is to big for it now! She looks and weights like a 12-mo-old. :) Any suggestions?

almajuliana |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I know that every baby is different but for me, my son loves being held and only sleeps through the night if he is with us. Though it isn't so popular (or maybe people don't like to talk about it) we co-sleep and we love it. Everyone gets more sleep, we sleep comfortably and I just don't really see a problem with it. I had a period of time where I felt like I shouldn't be doing it, mainly because of popular opinion that your baby ends up sleeping with you forever. But it felt right. I am just saying this, that my instincts told me something so sweet and wonderful, what could really be wrong? My baby is happy, bright, and the light of my life. I don't plan on another baby so I am just enjoying the time I have with him. I am also a working mom so the nighttime snuggling and nursing lets me bond with him. Luckily, my mom is in agreement with me and supports this decision, as does my husband. In the grand scheme of things, how much time is it really? This is not a critique of sleep solutions or babies that sleep in their cribs. I am just saying what works for me, and I didn't see many advocates on here for co-sleeping so I wanted to speak up.

Henriksmama |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

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Ashley and Dylan |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My 6-month old son started out in the fisher price rock and play as well. It was great for his acid reflux, but I am beginning to wonder if we should have started with the crib from the beginning because now he only sleeps in the r&p. It is an absolutely wonderful product until you try to transition them to a crib.

MrsSarros |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My almost 5 month old son had been sleeping quite well until he hit 4 months (sometimes he'd do 9-10 hours in a night, in his crib). For the better part of the last month, he's been waking anywhere from 1x-7x a night and it's a true nightmare. Last week my husband brought out the FP Rock and Play Sleeper that our LO had been sleeping in until he was 8 weeks old. Now it seems that he won't sleep in his crib, he'll only sleep extended stretches in the Sleeper. I tried to get him to sleep through the night in his crib last night, and after getting up 3 diffeerent times, I finally gave in and put him in the Rocker. 2 hours later I had to wake him up to get to work on time. I'm really worried that if I get into the pattern of getting him used to sleeping in the Rocker again that he'll never go back to the crib. ANYONE ever have an issue like this, and if so, how did it resolve?

Marij77 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

my daughter is just over 9 months and we have yet to attempt the crib :S i nurse her and it is just so easy to nurse her in the bed then she is such a lite sleeper by the time i even move her away from me its like...dont breathe on her or she will wake. i feel like i am too far gone but hoping when it warms up i can switch her...does anyone have any suggestions?

rattha |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I think you shouldn't worry about getting lo to sleep on their own till after 8 or 9 mnths . They are stillvery little and do not understand that your just in another room. My baby slept on me lol for 2 mnths and it hurt everything on me so I let her asleep in her bassinet in our room then for 3 mnths she slept in her crib in her own room them all of a sudden she won't sleep in her bed its a fight now and shes 11 mnrths I alsop breast fe ed

hippielette |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

The best advice I can give is routine. Bath PJ's book then snuggly and rockingwe also let her watch baby TV for 10min to settle her.

hippielette |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Ok, this is kind of related, my almost 3 month old hasn't slept in his crib yet. He has been sleeping in the pack and play in the room with us. I have tried to put him down for naps and whatnot in the crib but he wakes up. Even put him down half awake/half asleep like the dr. suggested but that didn't work. Part of me thought it was the mattress that the infant side was too firm for him. So I switched it to the other side of the mattress. Is that ok? It's not too soft like our bed but not as stiff as the firm side.

tigerlily1913 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Okay, I didn't see anyone really comment on this and if I missed a response I apologize. My son is 9 months and will NOT sleep in a crib. I will sing and rock him to sleep, put him in the crib and instantly he will wake up crying. I will go in, pick him up and he will fall back asleep instantly. He sleeps well in the bed with me but I have a queen size (that I share with a dog and a husband) and adding baby is making it miserable to get a good night sleep but baby sleeps through the night. We've tried the cry it out method, tried bath time then crib with the light up mobile, tried rocking him to sleep then moving him and nothing works. Any suggestions?

staceyponczek |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

have you told your 2 year old that its okay to sleep alone and that your a big girl now and thats its time to sleep in her bed all threw the night..The other option is to keep them in their toddler bed or crib but teach them it’s not an option to leave their room until the morning.

tigarlily420 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I put a lulluby cd on in my babies room and she gets really still then eventually falls asleep, although it doesn't work all the time, I still try to do it everyday during nap time to drown out other sounds and help her fall asleep.

krejouis |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Good Grief. A baby is supposed to need mama&daddy, and since the beginning of babies, they have slept together. Why is our society and culture so freakish about this? It's ridiculous unnecessary stress that we add to an already stressful time. These littles are NOT going to be cuddling up to us in college, let them just be babies

soulofsunmama |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I have a five month old baby who has slept in her crib from the first day that we've brought her home. However, lately she has been a little ill and she prefers to sleep in my arms but as soon as she falls asleep I promptly move her into her crib. She sleeps for a few hours and then wants to be held again, soothed, and back into the crib she goes. I have occasionally fallen asleep with her beside me in my bed but I am terrified to rolling over on her. There have been several infant deaths, even up to 10 months of age, due to parents or caregivers suffocating them in bed. Our pediatrician is adamant that no blankets, stuffed toys, or bumpers be in the crib until at least six months of age. I do not think the main issue with co-sleeping is the bad habit that forms, but rather the much higher likelihood of death to the infant.

ChrisJB106 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Hi! I hear how hard this is to be sleep deprived and have a little one crawling into bed with you every night. There are some gentle things that you can do to help her feel comfortable in her own bed and to help her learn to spend the night there. I am a baby sleep consultant and work with babies from 6 months to 4 years old. I specialize in helping little ones transition from co-sleeping to their own bed. If you feel you need extra support and professional help, don't hesitate to contact me! I'm rooting for you! http://sweetdreamspdx.com/

Mitzy37 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Follow your child's lead and help him or her become as comfortable as possible falling and staying asleep. It may be time consuming now, but will have long-lasting positive effects on your child's self-esteem and confidence. Choose the more natural solution whenever possible.

nikkibs |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

Yep, we had a similar problem when our daughter outgrew the crib so we transitioned her to a toddler bed. To prevent escapes, we put a gate across the door frame. She can still open her door and call for us if needed, but it keeps her in her room. Eventually we were able to take the gate down.

travllight |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I need advice too. I have a 10 month old who will not sleep in her crib. When she was younger, we would swaddle her, put her in her crib and she would sleep all night. Now (starting around 7 months), she refuses to go in her crib when she's tired (screams bloody murder) so we put her down after falling asleep and if she wakes in the night (which she always does) she will not go back down in the crib-she wants to sleep on me and nurse all night. Any advice? I don't want her to cry it out.

rmiyares |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

I have the same problem, my 10 mo. old son goes to bed in his crip, wakes up, I tried to feed him, he didn't want that, Check diaper, clean. He is teething but wasn't crying to much, just wanted me to hold him, I rocked him a bit and fell back to sleep, then as I put him back in crip, uggg up again. Well now Every time he wakes now, I put in his swing. goes back to sleep and quiet all night after that. I told his Doctor about this situation, she said it must be that he is more into me and wanting me to hold him. She said swing is ok for him to get some zzz;s and calming for him..

shelbie454 |

Q&A: Won't sleep in crib?

My son had difficulty sleeping and my sister recommended a book on iTunes full of dog sounds that almost "magically" puts my son at ease. We have a dog and for some reason my baby loves the sounds of dogs snoring and running. It's called "SAVVY'S SUNDAY FUNDAY". It's only $2.99 and it's available on the iTunes store for the ipad. Here is the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/savvys-sunday-funday/id658170256?mt=11&uo=4. Let me know if this helps?

Sharsavvy |