Your baby has grown too big for his crib but he does not want to
leave it. Its time to make him feel comfortable with his changing
needs, which is a daunting task. Here are some tips to make this
process of transition from infant's crib to baby's bed easier.
Till the time your baby is a few months old, he will usually sleep in
the same bed as you and your husband. As the baby grows a little older,
he may shift to a crib. Your baby cannot sleep in an infant's crib
forever though. At some point of time, he will grow too big for his crib
and have to shift to a normal bed. Generally, the best age to
transition a baby from his crib to a bed is any time between 18 and 36
months. Read about a few ways to help your baby make a comfortable
Get Him Used to the Idea
Make moving to his own bed a big
event for your baby. Before you actually buy a bed, talk to your baby
about it. When you do go to the store, take your baby along and allow
him to help you choose a bed. Your baby is more likely to sleep in his bed if he has selected it himself.
Once the bed is brought home, do not force your baby to shift
immediately. Have short mock sleep sessions where he sits in the bed
while to you read to him or he plays with his toys. If he is willing,
let him have his afternoon nap in the bed. The idea is to gradually get
him accustomed to sleeping in the bed so that it becomes a comfortable
place for him. However, if your baby resists any attempts to get into
the bed, back off and try again after a week or two.
Keep the Same Bedtime Routine
While trying to get your baby to sleep in his own bed, it helps to maintain the same bedtime routine as when he was in infant's
crib. This provides a sense of comfort and stability to him. Your baby
may have trouble sleeping through the night in his own bed. In the
beginning, you may even have to spend the night in your baby's room so
that he falls asleep.
Snuggle with Your Child
Snuggling with your baby provides him with a sense of security. While
trying to get him to sleep in his own bed, lie in the bed with him and
cuddle. If the bed is too small for both of you, sit on a chair next to
the bed and stroke him while he drifts off to sleep. Once he falls
asleep, dim the lights. Do not leave the room until he is fast asleep.
If your baby wakes up suddenly and finds himself alone, he will think
you have deserted him. Then, you will have a very stressed and
terrified baby on your hands.
During the snuggling phase, slowly start moving away from your
baby's bed every night. If the first night, you are right next to the
bed, shift your chair a foot away the following night. The next night,
push back still further and so on. This way, your baby is less likely
to experience any separation anxiety at being left on his own.
Leaving the Room
In the final stage, you will have to leave the room before your
baby falls asleep. This will help him learn to sleep without having you
around. Initially, your baby may resist and throw tantrums when you
leave the room. There is a way to deal with this. While in your baby's
room, find an excuse to leave. Pretend to go get a book and step out
for a minute or two. Then, return to the room so your bay feels happy
that you are back. Gradually start increasing the amount of time you
are absent by pretending to take more time for your tasks. If you come
back and your baby is asleep, let him be, but continue to check in on
him to see if he has woken up.
Getting your baby to sleep
in his own bed requires a lot of time and patience on your part. The
key to making a smooth transition is to reassure your baby and make him