As adults, we typically love our beds. They give us feelings of comfort and rest, even when we’re not actually sleeping in them. But for babies, the sight of their crib can signal mommy leaving the scene for a while, or the end of playtime, which can quite often cause some feelings of resentment, leading to protests at bedtime.
Today, I’ve got some advice for building a positive association between your little one and their crib, which will help put an end to bedtime battles.
1.Chances are, your baby is falling asleep in your arms or on your bed. We’ve all been there! We love those quiet, precious moments to be in awe of our babies. The problem arises when that becomes the ONLY way they can get to sleep. Your baby now relies on you in order for sleep to come. We would call that a prop dependency so my first tip for new mums is to try to put your baby down when they are tired. That way they won’t be startled when they awaken that they’re in a completely different place! They will naturally develop an appreciation for the place they can rest from the bombardment of stimulation during their day.
2.If you have an older child who has already developed a dependency for a prop be it breast, bottle etc. and is being transferred asleep to their crib then it’s not really the crib that they hate. They’re just shocked and angry that they aren’t in the same they fell asleep. Imagine falling asleep on the couch and awaking on your bed. You’d freak out too! To solve this, your baby needs to explore their crib, find a comfy spot and figure out ways of getting from awake to asleep in their crib without much assistance from you! And you can be present if you wish, (I have two methods where parents are present in the room for that extra comfort)
Once your baby has explored and figured out how to fall asleep in their crib then their crib becomes a happy place!
*Word of caution*- while your baby is learning this new skill they might start crying as soon as they see the crib because they haven’t fully learned their new skill as yet. Don’t panic! It won’t last.This short term anxiety will phase out and soon your baby will be happy to see their place of rest just like the rest of us!