Help! My 5 month old won't sleep in his crib.

Andi - posted on 04/09/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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The only way he will sleep in his crib is if he is completly asleep before I put him in it. As soon as I lay him down he starts crying and trying to sit up. So, he usually ends up naping in my arms. At night I make sure he is totally asleep and limp before puting him in his crib and then he wakes up every couple of hours and is really hard to get back down so he ends up sleeping with us.

What to do? :(

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Nicole - posted on 04/09/2009

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I let both of my kids "cry it out." Not at first! At first I went through the holding them until they fell asleep and the second I laid them down, they were wide awake again. And finally I forced myself to just let them cry. Every 10-15 minutes I would go in lay them back down (they were usually sitting up) tell them I loved them and to go "night night" and walked out of the room. It took about a week or two for them to adjust but they finally got it. And that week or two of misery was well worth it, when I could finally lay them down and walk away with no screaming. I was a lot less stressed. Do you put your baby to bed with a bottle or pacifier? If not, and you are ok with this, give it a try.

Teyaka - posted on 04/09/2009

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Sometimes the crib mattress in the crib isn't as comfortable as we think it is. So try to make it softer. Add a blanket between the mattress itself and the fitted sheet. See if that works. But just try to make the bed a little softer feeling, kinda plush. That may help him sleep.

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Cathelijn - posted on 04/10/2009

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I had the same promblem with my daughter and I can't do cry it out either she now sleeps a part of the night in her crib and all her nap time I put her in awake when I realize she is getting tired.

All mums had great sugestions and most of them my health vistor sugested as well make the matrass more comfy hot water bottle to warm the bed ( don't leave it in there though) and what really helped with Isabelle was put a t-shirt or shirt that you have worn in the crib with him so he can smell you it might help! She still sleeps some of the night in bed with us and we love it but I guess we might have trouble moving her in her crib for the whole night. Good luck with everything I hope you will get some sleep soon..

Tiffany - posted on 04/10/2009

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Put him in the crib awake and then if he fusses, go back in in 2 minutes, rub his back (comfort him without taking him out) and then leave, if he fusses again, go back in this time 5 minutes later, and do the same, keep extending the period of time you go back in at. Do this until he falls asleep and then eventually after a week or so he will be ok going to sleep in his crib.

Amanda - posted on 04/10/2009

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We moved my daugter from her bassinet to her crib at 4 months and she's doing great.  She grunts around in her sleep, at most 2 times a night and if I go in and put her binky back in her mouth, I don't hear another peep.  My doctor told me that the biggest reasons babies wake up right away after laying them down is that your arms are warm and the mattress is cold.  She told me to put a heating pad where I was going to lay her down before I did.  I haven't had to do this because my baby lays down well, but it might help you.  Also babies love routine.  Everynight, I nurse her in the rocking chair in her nursery while soft lullaby music plays and then lay her down.  We also have some of those battery opperated flicker candles that come on with a timer.  They work great as night lights in baby nurserys.  They flicker, so it's very soothing.  If I were you, I'd try to get away from letting your child sleep with you.  Babies catch on quick and if he realizes that all he has to do is cry and you'll put him in your bed, the situation might only get more difficult!  Good luck hun!

Katie - posted on 04/10/2009

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Sorry, I accidentally pressed enter...

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. She has excellent tips and tricks to help babies sleep better. Try an early bedtime (like 7) and lots of naps during the day (if you have to hold him the whole nap it's fine--they sleep better at night when they get daytime sleep).

Katie - posted on 04/10/2009

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I had the same problem and decided to embrace cosleeping since my son made it obvious that is what he needed. Here are some articles on it: http://www.naturalchild.org/articles/sle...

Also, a bedrail only costs about $30 from Babies R Us and Target. Place him between you and the rail because you are naturally very aware of your baby and won't roll over on him (just don't do it if you have been drinking).

You can also try 'wearing him down' in a sling. My son falls asleep really well in one, then you just lay them down and duck out of it.

Here is an article from the Dr. Sears site on ways to get your baby to sleep better and faster: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070300... I also love

Andi - posted on 04/10/2009

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Quoting Brandy:

What I did with my son, who had this same issue, was to try the Super Nanny approach. I put him in hid bed and sat beside him. I didn't talk to him or have any contact, but I sat by him. When he sat/stood up and cried, I laid him back down, covered him up and sat back down. I very gradually worked my way further and further from his crib. I won't lie, it took a while, but we got there and now he is a great sleeper.



ya I might try that but I don't know if it would work at this early of an age

Brandy - posted on 04/10/2009

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What I did with my son, who had this same issue, was to try the Super Nanny approach. I put him in hid bed and sat beside him. I didn't talk to him or have any contact, but I sat by him. When he sat/stood up and cried, I laid him back down, covered him up and sat back down. I very gradually worked my way further and further from his crib. I won't lie, it took a while, but we got there and now he is a great sleeper.

Andi - posted on 04/10/2009

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Quoting Rebecca:

I doubt letting him cry himself to sleep is going to be the answer. He will learn to hate the crib even more, because he will associate it with feeling scared.

Does he have reflux? You could raise the mattress or the ends of the crib on something. Is the crib cold? You could put a hot water bottle or wheat bag in there for a bit before putting him down to make it more cosy.
Is the crib in your room? My baby is happy to sleep in his crib because it right alongside of my bed and he can see me from there.

Does he spend time in there any other part of the day? Like just relaxing, watching a mobile or something? Does he take day naps in there?

It will take some time and effort to get him in there, but I would never let him get upset in there, thats not the answer.


Well, thats what I thought. Unfortunatly he has already spent some time in there crying. We thought that was the only option but after a few minutes I just couldn't handle it so I got him back out. That is probably why he hates his crib so much because he has already been left to cry in it a few times. Maybe I will try playing with him in it to undo that. I hope that works!

Brittany - posted on 04/09/2009

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i have a soon to be three year old that i let sleep in my bed from day one and for the past year or so i have been havin a struggle to get him to even lay down in his own "big boy bed" he refuses or he falls alseep i lay him in his bed and by 5 ever single night he is right back in bed by me. it gets to be really hard especially when they get older because if you have a boyfriend or husband it is hard for "alone time" or anything like that. just take it from me break the habbit while you can because it only gets harder as you go along.

Dina - posted on 04/09/2009

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I just went through this with my son.  I asked the dr for advice and he said that it is the stage of the game called playing "peek a boo" and at first i thought he was joking but he said they i would just have to let him cry and go through a week of no sleep but he would grow out of it and he definetly did.  He also said if you have an intercom to try to talk to him through it to sooth him to sleep. good luck!!

[deleted account]

I doubt letting him cry himself to sleep is going to be the answer. He will learn to hate the crib even more, because he will associate it with feeling scared.

Does he have reflux? You could raise the mattress or the ends of the crib on something. Is the crib cold? You could put a hot water bottle or wheat bag in there for a bit before putting him down to make it more cosy.
Is the crib in your room? My baby is happy to sleep in his crib because it right alongside of my bed and he can see me from there.

Does he spend time in there any other part of the day? Like just relaxing, watching a mobile or something? Does he take day naps in there?

It will take some time and effort to get him in there, but I would never let him get upset in there, thats not the answer.

Holly - posted on 04/09/2009

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I know how you feel. I'm actually sitting here listening to him cry in his crib right now and it's only been like 2 minutes. I don't think I'm ready yet either. Good Luck! Let me know if anything works!

Andi - posted on 04/09/2009

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Quoting Holly:



I wish I had helpful suggestions for your situation but I don't . I just wanted to tell you that I am having the SAME EXACT problem! I have a 5 month baby boy who has had terrible acid reflux but it's much better now. Up until now, he has been sleeping in his car seat so he could be on an incline for the reflux. Well now, if it's not too late already, I need to have him make the transition from the car seat to the crib and it's NOT working! He does the same thing your baby is doing, arches his back, cries and tries to sit up if I lay him down. I sway him and sway him til he's fast asleep and the second I put him down - Bam! Eyes open. It's getting really old. Help! Just wanted you to know I feel your pain. Sorry I was no help.






Good to know. Thanks for sharing :)



Not sure if I'm ready to let him "cry it out" but I'm about getting there! This has been going on far too long :(

Krystal - posted on 04/09/2009

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Well this is going to be hard Andi but you're just going to have to lay him in there and let him cry himself to sleep ...You started with a bad habbit with letting him fall asleep in you're arms and he's already 5 months. That's going to be one nasty habbit to break. Although Teyaka has a good point! There matresses aren't always as compfy as they appear! Try maybe replacing it. My daughter was the opposite when she was born. She fused and fused and fused ...she wouldn't sleep in her pack n play bassinet ...so we tried the swing, she wouldn't sleep in that, so then we tried our bed. She slept awesome. But the only problem was we had a full sized bed. The 3 off us just wasn't happening. So I got the bright idea hey lets try the crib. So we put her in the crib at 2 weeks old and called it a night :D. So just try that. But you are going to have to let him cry for a bit. Self sooth himself.

Holly - posted on 04/09/2009

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I wish I had helpful suggestions for your situation but I don't . I just wanted to tell you that I am having the SAME EXACT problem! I have a 5 month baby boy who has had terrible acid reflux but it's much better now. Up until now, he has been sleeping in his car seat so he could be on an incline for the reflux. Well now, if it's not too late already, I need to have him make the transition from the car seat to the crib and it's NOT working! He does the same thing your baby is doing, arches his back, cries and tries to sit up if I lay him down. I sway him and sway him til he's fast asleep and the second I put him down - Bam! Eyes open. It's getting really old. Help! Just wanted you to know I feel your pain. Sorry I was no help.

Shannon - posted on 04/09/2009

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It will be hard for a bit but when my two boys got out of there bassanets at night i would put them in there crib give them a kiss say i love you and walk out the door. He will probally cry and cry but if you go in there like every 10-15 minutes and just lay him down cover him up and keep doing that eventually he will quit and when u put him to bed he won't cry like that. the reason why he is crying is because he wants to sleep with you and not in his crib you have to break yourself before him. just remember you are not a horrible mom for letting him cry  i will be honest it make take a while but in the end it will work and you and your hubby will be able to put him in his crib say i love you and not hear a peep! hope this works and i give u the best of luck. oh yeah if he wakes up in the middle of the night just change his diaper and put him right back in eventually he knows your not going to give in and that will help. i promise you if you hang in there and stick it out it will work!! good luck

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