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Why Your Baby Hates His Crib (And What to Do About It)

After 45 minutes of rocking, singing, and sighing, he’s finally stopped crying and you THINK *quick prayer* he’s asleep.

Well, here goes nothing.

Moving like a geriatric sloth, you inch over to the crib and stand on your tippy toes, leaning over the bars as much as possible.

He snorts.

You freeze.  One leg in the air in an absurd pirouette.

Ever. So. CAREFULLY you set the tiny package into the crib, take a deep breath, and prepare to high five your mime-cheerleading spouse.


You grit your teeth and quickly pretend you didn’t (because “good parents” never feel frustrated at their helpless babe, right?).

This KID sleeps everywhere else.




WHAT THE WHAT is wrong with this kid?

Benedict Cumberbatch Solves the Mystery

You know who can fix this?

Benedict Cumberbatch. 

The world’s greatest Sherlock.  (Sorry, Rob — but the world needs you as Iron Man.)

My good friend Benny would quickly deduce that your baby doesn’t hate the crib because the sheets are too scratchy.  Or the mattress is too firm.  Or because that crib set is hideous. 

Instead, he would watch where and how your baby sleeps, and then figure out what it is about those positions that soothe so much.   Then Sherlock would simply recreate those positions inside the crib.  Elementary.

Following that lead, here are three reasons why your crib’s a Nuclear Zone:

  • Your baby feels the wide open space is frightening.  He prefers the close touch of your body against his skin.
  • Your baby has acid reflux or colic and laying flat on his back kicks up the acid factory.
  • Your baby hasn’t seen you as much recently and feels anxious when you’re not there.

Now that we have identified the reasons he hates it so much, *hat tip to Benedict* it’s time to reclassify that crib from Nuclear Zone to Nap Central.

*puts on thinking cap*
*blows feather out of face*
*turns on whale songs*
*adjust springs* 


*spray of confetti*

How to Solve the Wide Open Space Problem

Elena hated her crib.  Screamed bloody murder every time we put her down.  Until one day, in a moment of heavenly inspiration, I figured out why.  She’s my cuddler.  She had to be touched at all times.  That was a problem, because my husband and I didn’t want co-sleeping to be a family tradition.  So here’s what we did:

DISCLAIMER!  A very thoughtful mother helped me realize that some parents may think these are STEPS.  These are NOT steps.  These are suggestions we used independently, testing to see which she reacted to best.

Test #1: Try to Use a Swaddle

Some babies HATE swaddlers…some babies love them. If you’ve got a cuddler, try this straight jacket zipped swaddler to help her feel all warm, cozy, and contained.

You don’t want to swaddle a baby who’s starting to roll over, that can be dangerous.  If your baby is starting to roll over and is used to being swaddled, here are some suggestions to wean her off the swaddle.

Test #2: Use a Weighted Swaddle or Sleep Sack

Yes, I realize a lot of people are going to skip right over what I’m typing here and start yelling at me in the comments.

Our Elena HATED being on her back.  She craved that gentle pressure on her tummy provided by sleeping on Dad’s chest, or while nursing.  That meant that every time we tried to put her on her back, we were ushered straight into a Screamfest.  Obviously, this caused me a lot of stress, since that meant we had to put her on her tummy.

Don’t do what we did.  The risk just isn’t worth it.

Instead, I would recommend you pick up The Magic Sleep Suit instead.  Yes, it looks like Randy’s snowsuit on A Christmas Story, but it provides a gentle pressure on the tummy that convinces your baby she’s on her tummy, when she’s really sleeping on her back.  (Look at you! Your first sneaky parent hack!)

If your baby isn’t a fan of swaddling, you can also try the Zen Sleep Sack. It applies a gentle pressure on her tummy, without confining her arms. (Some kids just hate that!)

Test #3: Use a Lovey.

Yep, another one I’m going to be yelled at over.  The best recommendation is to not have anything in your newborn’s crib.  That’s good advice. However, we found that Elena really needed some extra physical assurance in the crib.  She was a very sensitive baby.  (Lots of cuddle time needed. LOTS.)

So we tucked 99.9% of the blanket under the mattress against the springs, leaving just a teeny-tiny corner that would barely touch her hands and cheek. This way she could feel enough of the blanket to touch, but not pull it over her face and mouth (increasing SIDS risk).  It was a corner-touch only. Obviously, as soon as she was old enough to roll around, or pull the blanket, it was removed for a few months.  But for those first few weeks, we found it was a great soother.

As an extra precaution, though, we had a video monitor installed so I could always see her face was uncovered.   😉

Find a Lovey that your child can attach to.  Whether that’s a Nookums or a small stuffed animal, or Grandma’s crocheted blanket. Having something that smells like Mom and Dad will be a huge help.

Want a few more examples of how a good lovey can make a big sleeping difference? Check out For the Sake of Your Sleep: Why Your Baby Needs a Lovey

The likely SIDS culprit is…

One of the most likely culprits for SIDS is something called rebreathing.  Since your newborn can’t turn his head away, any obstruction to his mouth will cause him to breathe in the air he just exhaled.

This is largely why it’s not recommended you put babies to sleep on their tummy, and why crib bumpers are usually frowned on.

I say usually, because bumpers have come a long way, baby!  There are ways to use them safely that can make a huge difference in your baby’s sleep!  Read Like Sleeping? How Crib Bumpers Can Boost Your Snooze

Those are good rules, but sometimes I think parents need more than just the status quo.  If we can SAFELY adjust some of these rules for high-needs babies, I think it’s something worth discussing with your doctor.

If this is the first time your child has been IN a crib, having co-slept with you for the past several months, this article from Mr. Storkey can help!

How to Solve the Acid Factory Problem

Ever lay flat on your back with heartburn?  Torture.  If your baby struggles with acid reflux or colic, putting him flat on the crib is going to end in a scream-fest.  Try these things instead:

Use a Rock ‘n Play or Baby Swing

Why wake a sleeping babe?  He can sleep in a rock-n-play bassinet for up to 5 months if absolutely necessary.  The sitting up position will help gravity keep the milk down.

Slant the Crib Mattress

How do you do this?  By using a pillow, a handtowel, and some hair ties (or rubber bands).

What’s that?   

You want a how-to picture?  

It will cost you an Instagram Follow.

Now that you’ve paid up, *ahem* follow these steps:

  1. Place a pillow in between the crib mattress and the wire springs, so the mattress is slightly inclined.  (Slightly! We’re not building a ski ramp.)
  2. Roll up a hand bath towel the long way and secure the ends with hair ties.
  3. Slide the hand towel under the crib sheets and form a “U” shape.
  4. Place your baby’s bottom in the “U” like he’s sitting on a swing.  This will keep him from sliding down the slight incline you have on the crib mattress.
Note: Your crib sheets will be much tighter than these. I was using a bed to demonstrate.

If you don’t want to go through all that hassle, you could just pick up a baby bean bag instead.  It’s especially great for reflux babies.  Just don’t put the bean bag inside the crib, that’s a no-no.

How to Solve the Missing Mom Problem

The third factor Sherlock uncovered was the “I miss my mom!” issue.  Typically, this is seen after mom has gone back to work or had to be away for a few days, but some cuddlers used to being carried all day may feel this anxiety during naps and bedtime.

Stick Around a While

When you put your little one down in the crib, pull up a seat and sit next to him.  Sing or hum, or stroke his hands through the crib slats.  This will reassure him that you’re right there and not going anywhere.

Be prepared to do this a LOT at the beginning.  Eventually, you can sit closer to the door…then in the hall…each step a reminder that you are still there, even when his eyes close.

This sleeping technique is called the Sleep Lady Shuffle, and it’s just one of the many techniques we teach in our private personalized Sleep Sessions.

Mama’s Scent

You have a particular smell.  And your baby’s a bloodhound. He’s tagged that smell as “you” and finds comfort breathing it in.

Take an old T-shirt and use the tuck-in-trick I shared earlier; tuck the T-shirt under the mattress, leaving just a tip close to your baby’s nose.  This smell will comfort him and convince him you’re still there. (If you don’t want to use a blanket or t-shirt, a stuffed lovey can work just as well!)

This “smells like Mama” technique only works with newborns.  Older babies are brilliant enough to notice when you’re not in the room.  *Homer: DOH!*

Deduce and Conquer

These have worked well for other moms.  Test them for yourself, and then use your own Sherlock skills to create your own.  

Over the next 24 hours, watch and consider how your baby is sleeping.

  • Is he sleeping with pressure against his tummy, like in a sling or on your shoulder?
  • Have you been gone a lot recently?  Is there some separation anxiety kicking in?
  • Does he prefer to sleep on his side?  How can you safely recreate that?

Then  manipulate the crib to recreate that environment for a satisfied snooze.

You can overcome this hatred and turn it into a long-lost love. Just patiently woo your baby with these problem-solving suggestions Sherlock has provided!

Have You Read These Yet?

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201 thoughts on “Why Your Baby Hates His Crib (And What to Do About It)

  1. Hi there, great website! I used the towel method under the sheets and wedge incline to transition my baby from the rock n play to the crib, it definitely helped! My 4 1/2 month old doesn’t sleep for long stretches at night, and we are all exhausted, don’t know if there are any tricks we haven’t thought of.. I’m able to put him down for most naps and at night drowsy but awake, sometimes he’ll cry a little when I put him down but I can usually soothe him without picking him up. Most nights though I can put him down without a struggle and he’ll fall asleep on his own. Problem is he wakes every 3 – 4 hours, I wait to see if it will escalate. Sometimes he’ll go back to sleep on his own, but most times it escalates.

    I try to soothe him during these night wakings without picking him up, but it’s always an epic fail! I wind up having to pick him up and either feed him or rock him back to sleep.  It’s torture at 5 and 6 am because he’ll wake up and even if I feed him he still needs to be rocked back to sleep – if he’s up in the 6 hour he’s crying but if we can get him back to sleep he wakes very happy at 7:15 – 7:30, so I know he still wants to be sleeping during his 6 am wake up…

    Is he at an age that he could be sleeping longer stretches? Or still too young for that? We are oh so tired!

    thanks in advance!!

    1. Alessandra, I’m glad you found that little towel trick helpful! There’s a huge milestone shift at this age – you should start to notice your baby becoming more alert during the day – less of a newborn and more of a baby. I would try slipping in there and doing a dreamfeeding at around 4:45 for a few days and see if that helps. A dreamfeeding is pretty much letting him sleep right through the feeding. No diaper changes (unless it’s poopy and just has to happen), talking, lights, anything. You want him to think the whole thing was a dream and go back to sleep. Do that for 2-3 days and then stop and see what happens. It’s possible he’s a bit hungrier because he’s going through this growth spurt.

      If you’re still struggling, I would encourage you to check out a Sleep Session. This let’s us read through your assessment and get on the phone with you for an hour – talking through what you’ve done, and helping you work through a Sleep Plan to be implementing over the next few weeks on your own.

      Or, if you’d rather we walk through the entire process with you, we do have a comprehensive sleep coaching program that has a 110% money back sleeping guarantee. Click here to see how we can guarantee your baby’s sleep improves.

  2. I have a 3 month 2 week old baby girl. Since she was 2 months old she was able to take day time naps in her crib with hardly any fuss. We put her to sleep drowsy if not awake, swaddled arms out, a pacifier (sometimes), and lovey and she is able to put herself to sleep. She takes 3 1.5 hour naps and a quick 30min nap 1.5-2 hours before bedtime at 7pm. Now that she is 3 months and I’m going back to work we wanted to transition her to her crib for night time sleep. We started that over a week ago and it has been a losing battle. After our bedtime routine we put her down and she is able to put herself to sleep, but then every 30-45min she is up crying and won’t have anything to do with the crib. After hours of crying and soothing and multiple nights, my husband and I gave up. She is now back in our room in a pack and play and sleeping like before at night and daytime naps are still unaffected and no problems with the crib.

    1. Nikki,

      Firstly, it’s very common for there to be some sleep regressions when Mom goes back to work. She’s craving more Mom time, so she’s waking up more at night. Secondly, there’s a growth spurt around this age which can also be playing a factor. I would perhaps slip in a dreamfeed at around 10-11pm at night, to see if that can help.

      Don’t be too hard on yourself for “Giving up”. This is the season where it’s okay to just do whatever works. She’s still soooo little. If you’d like to get a second pair of professional eyes on her daily schedule and help you know where to make some adjustments, Amy and I would love to help you with a Sleep Session here.

      This way we can look over and analyze your Sleep Logs and perhaps give you some pointers on what she might be needing, and what are some gentle things you can do to shape her current sleep. Click here to learn more about these one-on-one sessions.

      I hope this can encourage you, Nikki!

  3. Our 8 month old will now not sleep in crib, but only on mommy, either on the breast or on my lap.  We put him down so slowly into crib I do not even know how he knows 🙂 He SCREAMS as soon as he is put in crib, and falls instantly asleep on mommy.  What are our steps? Thank you 🙂

    1. Melissa, helping a baby to learn how to fall asleep alone (without requiring mom and dad to do anything), is a huge first step in healthy sleep habits. The name of the game when they’re newborns is SURVIVAL, right? We do whatever we need to do to help everyone sleep. Now that he’s older, though, he can learn how to self-soothe and fall and STAY asleep on their own. I would recommend taking a look at our one-on-one Sleep Sessions. There are several different ways to help your baby get used to the crib, and learn to fall asleep on his own. Talking through those methods, and learning more about your parenting style and his temperament, we can do a much better job in making a recommendation that will be easiest and most effective for you to use. This way we can see the big picture and make the best recommendations for YOUR family. In your situation, I would recommend looking at it. This way we can give you several tools to put into your parenting toolkit moving forward!

  4. My 4 month old has been sleeping in a rock and play since about 3 weeks (he was in a cradle prior). It’s been amazing for us, hands down one of the best purchases we made. But it’s time to transition out of it. He pushes with his legs and even with being buckled in it seems like he will push himself right out! I’m just not as comfortable with him in it anymore. Since he was about 8-9 weeks we started him sleeping in his crib for his daytime naps to get used to the crib. Those naps last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. (He has never been a good napper though). During the day I’ll put him in his crib to play while I draw up a bath, or if I’m folding laundry, etc. Usually he plays in his crib just fine. The problem just seems to be at night. When I first put him down he might sleep for an hour or two. (Side note – since about 8 weeks, he has slept for 8-10 hours a night in the rock and play). But after that, no matter how zonked out he is in my arms, the second I put him down in the crib he wakes up screaming. If I put him in the rock and play he is out. I have tried putting him down when drowsy but he hasn’t figured out good self soothing yet. I can’t figure out what it is bout the night time sleeping that he doesn’t like with the crib.

    Some things I have noticed….
    – usually he rolls to his side to sleep, he won’t stay that way all night, but that seems to be his comfort spot. He also sleeps on his tummy well…he likes to curl up on my chest and lay his head on my shoulder.
    – when on his back in the crib he constantly startles himself awake, arms and legs flying. I haven’t tried swaddling him cause he didn’t even like that as a newborn. By three weeks we had stopped swaddling him altogether and his arms were never swaddled.
    – he is 4 months and I went back to work, so we saw a difference for a few nights in him just wanting extra cuddles in the middle of the night, but those seem to have passed now. He also started wanting to eat again in the middle of the night for a while, but that seems to have gone also.
    – he does seem to like a blanket to hold on to. In the Rock and play we would have one under his butt that would come up over his feet, but not so much extra fabric that he could pull it over his face. He would always play with the blanket to soothe.

    He simply just doesn’t sleep well in his crib at night and I am really needing to transition him. Would love any advice!!

    Btw – I just have to say – I love your site. So funny and actually helpful!! Thank you!

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the website, Emily! Sounds like you have a few sleeping goals to work on….

      1. Transitioning him into the crib and away from the Rock and Play with as little disruption as possible.
      2. Helping him to fall asleep on his own (and stay that way!)
      3. Introducing self-soothing techniques
      3. Gently weaning off unneeded nighttime feedings
      4. Working to even out his naps

      Since you have more than one thing to work on here, I would encourage you to consider working with me and Amy in the Super Sleeper Coaching Program. We can help you tackle all of those issues, by doing a comprehensive consultation and 4-5 weeks of Follow-Up calls. Plus, we offer a 110% Money Back Guarantee to parents, so you know we are as serious about your success as you are. 🙂

      This would allow us to look at your full family’s assessment, read through your sleep logs, and then discuss with you several coaching methods, and which ones to use when – depending on your parenting preferences and your baby’s personality. Read more about the Super Sleeper Coaching Program.

      I wish I could be more specific, but there are so many things here, all in a certain order, that my response would end up looking a lot like a novel. Talking one-on-one with you, would take all the information and make it more effective, since we can hear the finer details that can be easily overlooked in a typed response, but end up being really important in the long term plan.

  5. Establishing the same simple routine every night prior to putting the baby down to sleep is very important. Consistency pays off in the long run. If the training is done correctly the baby should be happy to go to bed (no crying) by night 4. Best of luck!… http:\www.howtogetbabytosleepincrib.com

  6. For Acid Reflux, we built a step that went under the cribs legs to raise up the head of the bed a bit, and then we also tried laying a pool noodle under the mattress to raise up the mattress these were safer options then having something blocking his face because our little one turned into a side/belly sleeper and would flip over to the side once laid in the crib.

  7. We are struggling with the crib for our 3 month old, and I honestly just don’t feel like she sleeps enough…but perhaps babies are different. She consistently takes a morning nap in her swing (which is in the living room) but that nap can be anywhere from 30-90 minutes. She gets cat naps in the afternoon and then goes down at night around 930-10. In the crib we have a small wedge and white noise. I will try the ‘U’ from your recommendation. She is very well swaddled which she fights and eventually gives in. But she is often up again within 3 hours. Sometimes I can calm her and get her back to sleep, but not much. She will then nurse for a bit and sleep another two to three hours in our bed only. I don’t think she is that hungry since she only nurses fifteen minutes or so. I am not sleeping well with her in the bed just paranoid I guess. Any tips other than the U? Should we try nap time in the crib? Move her swing into her room?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Jennifer,

      The first thing I would say is check to make sure that she is getting a FULL feeding when you’re breastfeeding her. This may mean stripping her to her diaper and just wrapping her in a blanket (if she’s too comfortable she might sleep instead of eat). When she pulls away, you want to know she got a full feeding, however long that takes. If you find it’s taking longer that you thought then start her bedtime routine sooner. And I would recommend not letting her nap anytime past 8 or 8:30 so she will be ready for bed by 9:30-10:00. Have you seen this article with schedule suggestions for a 3 month old?

      I think you’re on the right track suggesting a transition from the swing to the crib. I would do this slowly, over a couple of days. Start by moving the swing into the bedroom (good idea, mom!). Put her in it for her morning nap and start the swing (I am assuming that the movement is part of why she likes the swing, I could be wrong). When she falls asleep then go in and turn off the swing. Do this for all three naps that day. The next morning try putting her to sleep in the swing but not turning it on. Do this for all three naps that day. The next day try putting her in her crib with the u shaped swing and elevated mattress (don’t forget to remove the swing from the room, out of sight, out of mind…we hope!).

      One last thing, make sure her nursery is very dark for her daytime naps, so dark you need a night light to see where you are going. 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  8. As a pediatrician I have to comment on how dangerous your advice in this article is. Not only is belly sleeping unsafe, but it’s even worse when swaddled. Studies show that the Angelcare (nor any other monitor) does NOT reduce the incidence of crib death so it does not make these practices safe. Since starting the back to sleep campaign we have reduced SIDS by 50% and telling people it’s ok to ignore that advice is irresponsible. You also suggest other things that increase SIDS like putting a blanket and other objects in the crib. As a sleep expert you have a responsibility to teach people how to keep their babies safe while learning good sleep habits. Shame on you!

    1. You are right, as a sleep expert I do have a responsibility to teach people how to keep their babies safe while learning good sleep habits. I take that very seriously, so I have re-edited the article to try to make sure there is less confusion on what I am recommending and what I’m explaining. My purpose here was to explain how we did things for our troubled sleeper, helping parents who feel stuck between co-sleeping and tummy-sleeping.

      With most babies, back to sleep is great, because many babies will sleep just fine that way. That said, if life consisted of perfect babies who did everything doctors and sleep experts said, I would have no need to write an article like this. I’m attempting to help parents who need more than just “put your baby in his crib on his back and let him scream”, because trust me, those parents are going to end up co-sleeping dangerously (as opposed to following safe co-sleeping guidelines created by Dr. McKenna).

      Thanks for posting your comment, though. It was an indicator that I was being unclear in my writing and needed to make some adjustments.

  9. So my son is 8 days old today. The first few days he slept ok but as of last night, I was up until 4am with him and nothing worked. I finally caved and he slept happily with me. During the day he sleeps very well on my chest and sleeps ok in his swing for about an hr or so. He also will sleep in the middle of my boppy pillow that I use to breastfeed with. I’m guessing he likes to sleep at an incline. I swaddle him every night and when he does sleep, he almost always turns his head to the side or he rolls over on to his side (I didn’t think newborns could do that lol). I’ve tried putting the boppy pillow in the crib with him like he sleeps during the day but he still screams bloody murder. I’m not sure what is appropriate for a newborn this young. I’m also unsure if the fact that I worked night shift my entire pregnancy, has caused him to sleep all day and want to stay up almost all night

    1. Mary,

      I recommend you try a Rock N Play. This should be perfect for your little guy since he seems to like an incline. I don’t recommend putting the Boppy in the crib, that could be a suffocation hazard. I think you will do well with the Rock N Play though. You can also use a carrier to help with nap times during the day if he wants to be in your arms all the time. This will help you feel less stuck in one position!

      It could be possible that he has his days and nights mixed up because of your schedule during the pregnancy. However, a lot of babies get mixed up in this way. As he gets older you can help him straighten that out by more interaction during the day. Right now though, it’s just get sleep whenever you can and give him lots of snuggles. These early days are intense but very precious. They will be over before you know it!

  10. I have a 9week old daughter with reflux and we are trying to wean her from swing to crib with wedge. I will be heading back to work very soon and she will be in daycare and have no choice but to sleep in a crib. We only get rest at night if she sleeps in her swing because as soon as we put her in her crib she startles herself awake and screams to the point of spitting up. We attempted the cio and that was the result. I am going to try the u-shape at her feet I’m sure she’s used to being snuggled in her swing but she hates swaddling. Thanks for any advice

    1. Hillary,

      Have you tried a Rock N Play? These work so well for babies with reflux because they keep the head elevated (like the swing). If this works then maybe you can take it to daycare with her. It’s very portable!

      Also, have you considered starting her on probiotics? These have been proven to help babies with reflux.

  11. Hi,my daughter is 13 months and use to sleep in the crib and now wants nothing to do it it. If we’re lucky she might sleep for an hour or so and then cries to come in our bed. Once we bring her in she knocks out like nothing. Are there any suggestions to make her feel more safe and comfortable in her crib so mommy and daddy can have some decent sleep?

    1. Rachel,

      I recommend you follow our steps to wean from cosleeping. This might give her enough time to feel secure in her own crib again.
      Here they are:
      1. Start having playtime in the nursery (if you haven’t already)
      • Begin with playing with her on the floor of the nursery for a day or two.
      • Then play with her while she’s in the crib for a few days.
      • Then let her play in the crib while you sit next to her and read a book or something.
      • Then let her play in the crib with you sitting there, then “remember” something after a few minutes and leave (no talking or eye contact, just leave when he seems distracted. If she cries, come in immediately with smiles. Do this for several days.
      2. In the meantime, start napping with her on the floor of the nursery on a mattress for 2 days.

      3. Then put her in the crib for the morning nap and “nap” in a chair (without making eye contact). If she stands, don’t speak, but go over and lay her back down consistently until she gets the message and stays down.

      4. Once she’s napping in the crib better, you can do the same thing for nighttime sleep. Use the shuffle with her, adding two days in the beginning where you sleep the night on the floor on a mattress while she’s in her crib.

  12. I read this article and all the comments 2 nights ago when I had to put my 5 month old son in his crib at night for the first time. He’s been sleeping in his rock n play for the past several months. Just a few weeks ago I started putting him in the crib for day time naps to get him used to it. He’s starting to roll over in his rock n play so I just cold turkey took that away. Last night he did pretty well. He doesn’t scream super long anymore when I put him in the crib and usually ends up rolling himself over to his tummy and finally falling asleep. The only problem he only sleeps for 1.5-2 hours at a time at night now. Sometimes less during the day which I don’t mind but going in every 2 hours at night to calm him back down to sleep is going to get old. Is there something I can do to help him sleep longer stretches again? I have read about sleep training. Is he waking so often just because of the change from rock n play to crib? He used to wake up every 4-5 hours in the rock n play. Any advice would help!

    1. You’re probably dealing more with the 4-5 month old sleep regression here. If your baby is older than 18 weeks and is READY, you can start sleep coaching. Click here for a DIY approach on how to do that. If he’s younger than 18 weeks, and is still in the middle of his growth spurt (ask yourself = does he seem more alert now? more like a BABY than a newborn? If so, you’re either almost through that growth spurt, or done entirely!), you can do some sleep shaping – like getting him into a better daytime routine, keeping the nursery dark, and avoiding other sleep training mistakes.

      The difference between sleep coaching and sleep shaping is that in SHAPING we are doing everything we can outside of actually requiring anything from the baby. If you’re not sure, perhaps consider taking one of my Sleep Coaching Workshops and we can talk things over together.

  13. I have a 6 month old (5 wks early) who won’t sleep anywhere but in my bed, in my arm, or on top of a pillow. I’ve tried mini/travel play pen that has the adjusted high flat surface. That doesn’t last 5 minutes. He did sleep in rock n play some but never through the night. His reflux is really bad. We have upper GI scheduled next week. He cannot sleep on his stomach, he doesn’t want to anyway, because he tries to nurse blanket or sheet. I’ve let him nap in rock n play on a pillow and he likes that. I think it has a lot to do with soft surfaces. What do you suggest?

    1. Cory,

      It sounds like you are on the right track taking your little guy in for an upper GI. You mentioned soft surfaces and I’m sure that’s fine in the Rock N Play because he is on his back and strapped in (though he’s probably getting too big for this, yes?). I wouldn’t add pillows to his crib though (suffocation hazard, I’m sure you already know this!). Have you tried the slanted seat that is described in this article? If you haven’t yet, you might start with that. I just recommend that the first time you try would be a daytime nap so you can keep a little eye on him. It really does sound like he needs that elevated head!

      I hope the GI sheds some light for you and your little one.

      One last thing, if you haven’t tried this already, I recommend that you start him on probiotics. These can really help babies with reflux.

  14. Hi! I have a sweet 16 week (12 week adjusted) old baby girl who literally won’t sleep anywhere but in someone’s arms. She was sleeping pretty good next to me in the bed, but I am scared of co-sleeping now that she’s learning to roll over. She does have reflux, but I’ve got to find a way for her to sleep in her crib. Suggestions?

    1. Amy,

      Have you tried a Rock N Play? This is a good option for babies who don’t want to be put down. It helps them feel supported and save (avoids the “wide open” feel of a crib).

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