Successfully putting your baby to sleep has got to be one of the simplest joys of being a first-time parent.
Some parents prefer co-sleeping with their babies, while others would rather use a crib. However, the latter can be a difficult transition because a crib is something that babies are not familiar with.
Below, we’ve listed 10 methods and techniques that can hopefully help your baby sleep comfortably in their own cot.
1. A clear cot is a safe cot
It’s important to create a safe sleeping space for your baby so they feel comfortable in it. To do this, look for a mattress that is firm and flat.
It’s also best to keep the cot clear of items, completely removing pillows, stuffed toys, blankets, or any unnecessary items that may increase the chances of accidents, or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
2. Check temperature
Keeping your room cool is key to having your baby sleep comfortably in their baby crib. With this, ensure that your baby’s room temperature is between 20° to 22.2°C. You don’t want your baby to sweat too much, nor give him chills and cause him to wake up.
So consider running a fan, or turning the AC on to control the room temperature.
3. Establish a bedtime routine
Set bedtime rituals to prepare your baby’s mind and body for sleep through sleep training. Remember to be disciplined with this as babies thrive better when they have a routine!
It can look as simple as this:
• 7pm - feed
• 7.30pm - bath
• 8pm - sleep
It’s also best to avoid doing anything that will stimulate them just before bedtime -- such as tickling or watching TV.
4. Put your baby down drowsy
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually better if you put your baby down while they’re half-asleep. This way, they learn how to fall asleep on their own, in the crib. You can do this for a few weeks until they eventually get used to settling themselves to sleep.
5. Gradual retreat
As with many things in life, building a routine doesn’t happen overnight.
You likely won’t be able to transition your baby to their crib right away. The whole idea of this technique is to gradually help babies move away from needing you to soothe, pat, or cuddle them to sleep.
If your baby finds it hard to soothe themselves, stay beside your baby’s crib to help them settle in by patting or stroking them to calm down. Once they’ve fallen asleep, you can leave the room, or move the cot away from you.
Do this repeatedly, and be disciplined about it! Eventually, you’ll be able to increase the distance between you and the crib until you no longer have to be present as they settle themselves to sleep.
6. Eliminate motion
If your baby has become used to falling asleep through rocking, they might find it difficult to sleep once they’re put in a stationary bed.
So as a solution, you can try eliminating swinging, rocking, or other motion during nap time first -- do this gradually! You can progress to incorporating this to bedtime once you see positive results.
However, if you still find it difficult to remove your baby from their sleeping habits, consider purchasing a rocking bedside cot. This will still train them to sleep in a crib -- but still give them the comfort of the rocking motion.
7. Make sure they’re not sleeping hungry
When putting your baby to sleep, make sure they’re relaxed and well-fed. If not, you risk having your baby refuse to sleep, or even waking up in the middle of the night from hunger!
8. White noise
Babies are used to white noise inside the womb. Thus, it’s great for soothing babies, and drowning out noise from older siblings, neighbours, or pets.
For this, you might want to download a white noise app, such as Sleeptot - Baby White Noise for iOS, or Baby Sleep - White Noise for Android, or perhaps even just something from YouTube to get them to sleep soundly.
9. Don’t give in easily
Frequent night wakings are normal in babies. Therefore, when your baby suddenly cries in the crib, try waiting a few minutes before checking in as they might just fall back asleep on their own!
10. Be strong and commit
Lastly, you have to be emotionally and mentally strong during this period. If you give in and let yourself back to using old sleeping patterns, it might be even harder for you to start the transition to cot sleeping again.
Trust that your baby is safe and sound on his own.
Get everything you need for your baby to sleep comfortably at Hatchery
If you’re on the hunt for a good mattress or rocking cot in baby stores in Singapore, why not also pop by our website. We carry cribs and cots from top baby brands such as Babyletto, that provide a safe and comfortable space for your baby to rest well in!
You may also want to visit our showroom to check out the cribs for yourself. Just book an appointment in advance so we know to expect you!