Parenting & Family

Getting child back in the crib

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 21st, 2019 4:04 pm
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[OP]
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Apr 24, 2017
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Getting child back in the crib

We're looking for some advice or tips to help with our 11 month daughter to get her back in her crib to sleep.

From birth until now, our daughter has slept on her own throughout the night whether it was in her bassinet (in our bedroom) or in her crib (her own bedroom). Starting a few weeks ago she started to fight sleeping in her crib. As you put her down, she would wake up stand and cry. We've tried the cry it out method, but hasn't helped. We have ended up having to move a mattress to her room so that one of us could sleep with her on the floor. There have been occasions where we've let her sleep on the mattress and then move her to her crib, but after an hour or so, she's up and crying.

We've not changed our evening routine. Its always dinner, play, bath, reading, snack, brush, and sleep. We thought it might be due to teething as her top teeth are coming in, but we don't think so since it never bothered her before when her bottoms were coming out. We're currently chalking it up to growth spurt since she's learning so much daily that it's causing her to regress in her evening sleep.

If anyone has any tips, it would be much appreciated
19 replies
Newbie
Oct 27, 2018
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We gave up with the crib.

We place the mattress on the ground with the cushion mats around. I lay beside my daughter and put her to sleep. When she sleeps, I leave the room. She may wake up time to time. When she is up and crying, I monitor her. I typically do nothing because she usually falls back sleep.

The other thing is to have thick dark curtains so that outside light doesn’t shine in. The dark room helps.
Last edited by s7yl3x on Mar 14th, 2019 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aug 2, 2001
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As far as I know it is normal for there to be sleeping issues when your child hits certain milestones, one is when they are close to walking. Is your child getting close to walking?

You sound like you're doing everything right. There are going to be times where your child struggles to sleep a full night and it's completely normal. It can even be for 1-2 weeks which seems like a lifetime when you're functioning on no sleep. There will be nights where your daughter wakes up every hour and it's completely normal. If you suspect some of it is because of teething then children's Advil or Tylenol would be potentially helpful.

My advice is - you got this. You already seem to know it's developmental. You haven't made the mistake of drastically changing her habits (e.g. sleeping in your bed). You just need to stick to what you now and be consistent, and not make hasty decisions due to frustration and lack of sleep.
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
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If she fell asleep on the mattress and you put her in the crib after, she's crying because she woke up and it's not the place she fell asleep in the first place. I remember reading something about this, I think it's called sleep associations. My older son used to fall asleep in my arms. He would wake up a few times and fall back to sleep easily if he was still in my arms. But if he woke up and he was in the crib, he would cry.
Is there a reason why you'd want her back in the crib? If she's sleeping well on the mattress I would just leave her on it.
My younger son was sleeping in his own bed at 12 months (double bed) because he started to hate the crib. I would lie down next to him until he fell asleep, then would leave the room.
Sometimes you just have to go with what's working.
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Sleep training isn't easy.
Being persistent works and it's up you as a parent on how long you are willing to try.
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vkizzle wrote:
Mar 14th, 2019 4:13 pm
Sleep training isn't easy.
Being persistent works and it's up you as a parent on how long you are willing to try.
Yupp. Persistent is key. You're child is still young. I think hunger may be a factor. Also, is if you give in too easily throughout the day, they may be used to a level of control over the parent.

Who puts the child down? Mother or father?
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2017
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We'll likely keep doing what we do, and see if she picks up the cues again and sleep on her own. I talked with a few buddies who have kids our age and some who have older kids, and it seems that many have just taken to co-sleeping on the floor. Those with older children have said they grow out of the co-sleeping dependency. Very few have been able to sleep train their child in to the crib as their experience was quite different from us.

@at1212b For the nightly routines, I (father) feed her dinner, evening play, bath, and bedtime story. In the past I'd have no issues getting her to sleep in my arms or getting her to a semi drowsy state where I can place her in the crib and she sleeps on her own. I still do all the same, but the last step to put her down for the count, it's now mom. I've lost the ability to put her down. This is only for evenings. Naps, I still have some ability to put her down.

She's got this crazy 6th sense now too. Even if she's asleep, like deep sleep, where she wont wake when you move her limbs or body around. When mom gets up, she starts to cry. I don't believe that she could feel movement from the mattress since it's a still memory foam mattress but if you slowly roll to get up, she'll turn, look and cry.
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Nov 7, 2012
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ah sleep regression. Oh the joys of being a ninja creeping out of their room. Make sure you lube up the door hinges and the door knob itself. lol

We've let our now 2yr old cry it out a few nights in a row along with playing ninja. Like others have said, keep at it. It'll work eventually. Our LO now sleeps right after our bedtime routine similar to yours (Dinner, play, bath, story) but he knows that when he's in his crib it's bedtime. He doesn't cry (*knock on wood) and might be awake for 30mins or so tossing and turning but eventually falls asleep.

Another thing you might have to consider is if they're teething. Tylenol helps a little.

Also, we've never had our LO sleep with us in our own bed. The only time was when we went to Niagara Falls. Worst sleep ever. He has his own bed and thats it.
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donlaw wrote:
Mar 15th, 2019 5:58 pm
We'll likely keep doing what we do, and see if she picks up the cues again and sleep on her own. I talked with a few buddies who have kids our age and some who have older kids, and it seems that many have just taken to co-sleeping on the floor. Those with older children have said they grow out of the co-sleeping dependency. Very few have been able to sleep train their child in to the crib as their experience was quite different from us.

@at1212b For the nightly routines, I (father) feed her dinner, evening play, bath, and bedtime story. In the past I'd have no issues getting her to sleep in my arms or getting her to a semi drowsy state where I can place her in the crib and she sleeps on her own. I still do all the same, but the last step to put her down for the count, it's now mom. I've lost the ability to put her down. This is only for evenings. Naps, I still have some ability to put her down.

She's got this crazy 6th sense now too. Even if she's asleep, like deep sleep, where she wont wake when you move her limbs or body around. When mom gets up, she starts to cry. I don't believe that she could feel movement from the mattress since it's a still memory foam mattress but if you slowly roll to get up, she'll turn, look and cry.
I say firmly no sleeping on the floor or co-sleeping. Do not give in is my advice. My wife's sister also did sleep training, and another friend who was firm on it (they followed the methods in the books). I didn't read the book, but understood it based on what my wife told me. I have friends, with kids, around 6-7 still co-sleeping because they accepted that as 'fact'. While we have 2 kids both sleeping in their own rooms, on their own since 4-5 months. Again, nothing wrong with co-sleeping whether in the bed or room together if that's what the parents want, but if you want to be independent, do not accept the thinking of "my child is different and needs me to sleep with".

I have 5 and 3 year old girls. Both sleep trained with the crib. My 5 year old still sleeps in her crib but one side open for the last year and half.

-First one, I did what you did. Have her sleep in my arms, then put her down. That was really the wrong way as they become dependent on it, and know separation is coming. I've had battles, in what felt like ages while she resisted in my arms. At around 1 year (really, more like 9-10 months), they become absolutely aware of what's going on.
-Second one, I put her down, and walked out starting around 4-5 months. Worked almost immediately, after my wife was always clinging on, etc. But it hasn't always been easy, and she woke up much more often crying. Usually with hunger or some kind of agitation. She's naturally more finicky, didn't eat much, sucks thumb to cope when tired, etc. But putting her down initially has been much easier than 1st due to that method.

But it seems you are where I was at with my first. And it's already 'too late' to just drop her. I don't know how many parents do this, but try singing to her some bedtime songs while you hold her or as soon as you put her down (sing one holding, then one after putting her in the crib). I've stuck with twinkle twinkle little star, baa baa black sheep type songs. And it might not be the greatest habit, we did a night time feeding bottle of milk (or in your case, formula should do) right before. Try a swaddle blanket if you're not using one.

The singing I found signalled it was going to be bed time. They might cry, etc., but over time, it will trigger that you're leaving, and it's bed time. That worked for me for both kids at least. And it got to a point, where singing was a happy moment right when they're going to sleep and I walk out. Like others have said, persistent. And I had the same issue regarding the mom with both kids... they sense a sort of 'weakness' from the mother in that they know moms cling on longer, etc. We had a big issue over that. But I was firm, and took control, had many talks with my wife on being more firmer. It's been a long road for the 2nd one but my wife started becoming much more disciplined, and less reactive throughout the day too which is important as the child reacts less to the more reactive parent.

I'm glad to say now, 2nd one after brushing her teeth, goes into her room, turns off the lights, lies down on the swaddle blanket all on her own, and I zip her up in the blanket swaddle and put her in the crib (say loving good nights, see you tomorrow which I did even though they had no idea what it meant early on) and walk right out. My wife, despite success with the first, wanted to give in many times with the 2nd. I was firm no, we have to stick to it and it has paid off.

Again, every child is different, but the friends and ourselves that have had kids sleep independently in the crib were the types that are genuinely interested in reading on methods, being firm with routine, while the ones that have had issues just generally went with their own notions, reactions and conclusions "this is the way it is.. I just need them to go to sleep, so I'll sleep with/beside them" short-cuts. Long-run, it's harder for the parents. Both parents have to be on the same page and willing to work on it. I personally think the father is better suited to put the final put down in the crib, singing, talking, etc.
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Sleep training is a bit of a misnomer. Babies are born knowing how to sleep. They don't need to be trained. When you sleep train you're not training them to sleep, you're training them to understand that you won't respond when they cry for you. Studies have shown that "sleep" trained kids really don't sleep any better or longer. They still lie awake, they've just learned that you're not coming no matter how much they cry. So they've given up on crying because what's the point. So if your objective is for you to have a peaceful evening without a crying baby bothering you, "sleep training" ("don't cry training" is a better term) might be for you. But if your objective is to actually get baby to sleep better, don't "sleep train". It doesn't work.
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My opinion with kids is you must be firm and cannot give in. Children are extremely stubborn and persistent and they will beat you down if you let them. So whatever you decide is the solution to the problem, it needs to be firm and consistent. Put the baby in the crib and let them cry it out. You can go back in after 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, etc. until the baby cries itself to sleep. Or if you think the baby is too old to use the crib, then put the baby in a safe bed and leave the baby there and let them cry it out.

Firm and consistent is the only thing that works. Both my brothers have let their kids stay up way too late over the years, and now both of them have young kids that don't have a consistent bed time. Their kids often require tablets in bed that they can watch TV on, otherwise they won't fall asleep at all. I have a kid that I put to bed at a specific time and he goes to sleep. I've had my battles with him plenty times, but I've won them every time because I didn't give in (even though I wanted to many times). A consistent bed time is important and consistent rules are important.
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Kiraly wrote:
Mar 17th, 2019 12:22 pm
Sleep training is a bit of a misnomer. Babies are born knowing how to sleep. They don't need to be trained. When you sleep train you're not training them to sleep, you're training them to understand that you won't respond when they cry for you. Studies have shown that "sleep" trained kids really don't sleep any better or longer. They still lie awake, they've just learned that you're not coming no matter how much they cry. So they've given up on crying because what's the point. So if your objective is for you to have a peaceful evening without a crying baby bothering you, "sleep training" ("don't cry training" is a better term) might be for you. But if your objective is to actually get baby to sleep better, don't "sleep train". It doesn't work.
A baby that is "sleep trained" will eventually give in, because as you said, they learn that crying won't get them picked up out of bed. A baby that isn't sleep trained doesn't understand that and will cry relentlessly to get picked up from bed. Common sense kind of dictates that a baby in bed will get more and better sleep than a baby that isn't in bed. Then there's the SIDS aspect to consider as well. A baby is safest in its own bed, whether it be a bassinet or a crib. There's no down side to enforcing a consistent bed time in the babies own bed. There's plenty of downside to not doing that.
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Shaner wrote:
Mar 19th, 2019 9:20 am
A baby that is "sleep trained" will eventually give in, because as you said, they learn that crying won't get them picked up out of bed. A baby that isn't sleep trained doesn't understand that and will cry relentlessly to get picked up from bed. Common sense kind of dictates that a baby in bed will get more and better sleep than a baby that isn't in bed. Then there's the SIDS aspect to consider as well. A baby is safest in its own bed, whether it be a bassinet or a crib. There's no down side to enforcing a consistent bed time in the babies own bed. There's plenty of downside to not doing that.
I disagree with almost everything you said. "enforcing a consistent bed time in the babies own bed" goes completely against how humans evolved. Separate bedrooms for babies and putting them asleep according to the clock is only practiced by a very small minority of people worldwide, and it's rather notable that these are the people who experience problems. People who don't put babies to sleep in separate bedrooms and according to the clock don't seem to have issues with their babies' sleep at all. Separate bedrooms and set bedtimes do nothing for babies. Parents who do that thinking it's in baby's best interest are wrong. It serves parent self interest only.
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I know parents that paid a baby sleep consultant $1000 to basically tell them the baby needs to cry it out.

The book "the baby whisperer" worked well for our two.
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Kiraly wrote:
Mar 19th, 2019 10:07 am
I disagree with almost everything you said. "enforcing a consistent bed time in the babies own bed" goes completely against how humans evolved. Separate bedrooms for babies and putting them asleep according to the clock is only practiced by a very small minority of people worldwide, and it's rather notable that these are the people who experience problems. People who don't put babies to sleep in separate bedrooms and according to the clock don't seem to have issues with their babies' sleep at all. Separate bedrooms and set bedtimes do nothing for babies. Parents who do that thinking it's in baby's best interest are wrong. It serves parent self interest only.
Agree. Co-slept with both my boys, as long as you do it right, there's no issue. Both sleep in their own bedrooms now and through the night. With my first, I co-slept till he was 3. Not all kids that co-sleep with end up staying in their parents bed for a long time. Now both kids are in bed at 8pm till 7am. Sleep training doesn't work for some babies and it's not because a parent is not consistent. I tried sleep training with my first and the kid never stopped crying, after 1hr he threw up in his crib. Not something I'd do to him every night. Decided to co-sleep and we both slept well since then. Decided not to do any sleep training with my second. Turns out, he did well once we moved him to his own bed at 12 months, slept at 7:30pm everyday, through the night for a good 12hrs. We often shared beds when we travel as you don't have a crib at your disposal. Nowadays they will sneak in the middle of the night but that's ok. It's only occasional. Besides, we all love snuggle time.

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