Toys in the crib

Kristi - posted on 07/05/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I've heard of people putting toys in the crib so their kids can "play themselves to sleep." Is this okay? Shouldn't the crib be a place to sleep, and that's it? I don't have a specific bedtime for my 16 month old, I put him to bed when he's tired. Although no later than 9pm. And when he wakes up during the night, how long is too long to let him cry? I know people encourage the "cry it out" method, but how much is too much?

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Kylie - posted on 07/05/2009

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Hi there
I have a 12 month old son who doesnt have a problem going to sleep but HAD a problem staying asleep until a few weeks ago anyway. I had tried everything even the CIO method and none of it worked. A good mate of mine came across these little blankets (when I say blanket its more like a bit of fabric) with tiny bits of ribbon (with different textures) around all four sides. The material is fluffy on one side and smooth on the other side and 3 of the bits of ribbon have clips so u can clip dummy's on there. Sonce my son has had this (about 3 weeks) he has slept through every night.-he doesnt loose his dummy anymore and he doesnt wake up screaming in the morning coz he has the sensorey blanket to play with, and its good for their development. The bonus is that when you want to get bub off the dummy (if they have one) you just take the dummy's off clips and they still have the little blanket as a comforter for bed. If you want me to get uthe website for them let me know-they are MAGIC and I think they only cost 7-12 dollars (aust) each...

Kristi - posted on 07/10/2009

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All very, very helpful replies, thank you!! He has been adapting very well to life without his binky, thankfully! He just never wakes up in the morning and plays for a little while, he has to be taken out of his crib as SOON as he wakes up...

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Natasha - posted on 07/13/2009

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Yes, my son has has a stack of books at the end of his bed (crib) since he was a year old.
I don't have a bedtime for my son. I go in, tell him its night time and its time for bed. Then I leave. I go back in after 5 mins, then 10, If he is not settled by the end of that time, I pick him up and either take him to my bed or read him a book.

Kelly - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son, who is 8 months old, has 2 stuffed anmials in his crib, a blue bunny and a fish, both smaller than a tub of baby wipes.....and he plays with them in the morning, i have never heard him play with them before he goes to sleep, he also had a music and lights bedtime mobile, without the hanging part, on the side of his crib that he does play with sometimes before he goes to sleep......but at night he is alseep within 5-20 mins....and in the mornin he will play for sometimes up to 1-1 1/2 hours in his bed.....gets me some extra sleep......and as for the crying it out, i let my son cry for about 2-5 mins in the middle of the night and then i will go and check on him, sometimes he wants to be held, sometimes he is stuck with his arm or leg between the crib slats, or just wants his binky back, he usually only wakes up if he is sick.......but otherwise i would say less than once a month....not that often......as for crying when he goes to sleep, as long as i turn on his music/lighs mobile than he is usually fine as long as he has his binky....which i started to give him cuz he was starting to suck his thumb......good luck

Ashley - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son is 13 months old and has 1 toy in his crib. It's a stuff Elmo that sings. It's in there more for comfort and I can say that I've never heard him play with it. As for crying it out...I hate to hear him cry as most parents do so I enlisted the rule that if he's not giving me a hurt cry that I will check on him every 15 minutes. This happened the first night he put himself to sleep, I checked on him at 15 minutes not picking him up and he was alseep 5 minutes later....I've never had to check again. He's generally alseep now in 5 to 10 minutes and very rarely cries...if he cries, it's one of those really tired whines. Good Luck!

Jaime - posted on 07/10/2009

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For awhile I was afraid to let my son sleep with anything in his crib. He jsut turned two in April, and for the last few months we have been letting him bring a few toys to bed. I got tired of fighting with him about it at night. I just make sure they aren't a safety hazard. He will generally play with them in the morning for about a half hour, but has played for up to an hour on several occasions. He will also play for a bit before he falls asleep. This seems to have replaced his crying at bedtime. For a while he was awake up to an hour and a half after we put him to bed, but that was without toys. Now he is asleep anywhere from immediately to a half hour. It really has worked for him.

LISA - posted on 07/10/2009

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my son has toys in his crib but he only plays with them in the morning... buys me some more time to sleep...lol... I was confused about bedtimes too but i've read that baby's work different than adults... like if they stay up even though they are tired that they get up early and if they go to bed early they sleep later... which has been true for mine... I started letting him cry it out at 7pm instead of 9pm... about a few weeks of letting him cry which i let him cry till he was silent then would go check on him... he now goes to bed without a sound... it is painful thing as a mother to allow my son to cry but in the end I was glad I let him because the routine is so easy now... the reason babies cry sometimes is they have extra energy and then they go to sleep and slepp better... but to let them cry is a personal decision and for me my last resort... they tell you to check on them every 15 minutes but that just encoraged mine to keep cring so I just let him well until he was silent which at the longest was an hour and a half then it slowly got less and less then finally not at all

Charlie - posted on 07/05/2009

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as for the crying i only go in if he is crying for a long time , reassure him and leave he usually goes back to sleep

Charlie - posted on 07/05/2009

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the only toy my bubba gets is his teddy he snuggles to sleep , he associates his bear with sleep and as soon as he touches it he is out like a light his play toys are kept in a box in another room , i think a crib is a place of sleep not play , i would have thought it would make it harder for them to get to sleep with play toys in their crib ?

Alissa - posted on 07/05/2009

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I think whatever is safe and what you feel comfortable with is fine. My daughter sleeps with two loveys and a tiny elmo. I only do the CIO method if I know she is overtired. I will wait 2 minutes and if she gets really hysterical crying then I will go rock her to sleep. Otherwise she is pretty good about going to bed, sometimes she wakes during the night crying and I go in right away and change her diaper quietly.

Jen - posted on 07/05/2009

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My daughter has toys in her crib, but only because she sucks on them in order to go to sleep. She spit the pacifier out at 6 weeks and started sucking on the blankie animals. All of the toys are stuffed animals though. She's not allowed to bring other toys in there and her bed toys have to "go night-night" and in other words can't leave the bed. The only time she ever really plays is if she's not quite ready for her nap. She's sleepy, but not all the way. She does also sometimes wake up and play, but she always cries for us to get her within about 15 mins of waking up.

As for the crying it out this is what we do. My daughter has different cries still. One is: "I'm sleepy and fighting sleep." Another is screaming because something is wrong (bad dream). And her final is "I just woke up, come get me." We only get her if we know she's 1. been asleep for at least 30-45 mins. 2. she wakes up in the middle of the night screaming. If she's just whimpering we let her go back to sleep on her own. My daughter has had a bed time since she started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old. She's now 19 months and goes to bed at 9 every night.

If you let your son cry it out for a little while the rule of thumb I was told was after 10 mins. go in, rub his back, tell him it's night-night time, and leave. Repeat in another 10 mins, if needed. You know your son best though. You'll know if he's just crying to cry or if it's because something is wrong.

Crystal - posted on 07/05/2009

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I haven't heard of that "play themselves to sleep", because I too put her in her crib when she's tired and she will fall asleep within a few minutes. (14 month baby.) However, she does have a couple stuffed animals in the crib, and sometimes when I hear her wake in the morning, she plays with her animals (which is good, as it keeps her content for a while as I get things done).
My baby only began sleeping through the night at 13 months, when I stopped going to her every cry. I think me going to her just prolonged the whole thing for months, and finally I had enough, so I did let her cry it out, but hey, it worked for us! She would only cry for a while, maybe 10 minutes tops, and after a couple nights I had my sleep back!! :D

Chantel - posted on 07/05/2009

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My daughter is almost 15 months and she has some stuffed animals in her crib. She's really good as far as going to bed. At 730 she goes to bed and goes to sleep right away. She sleeps through unless she's sick and when she gets up in the morning she plays and talks to her toys. This is great because sometimes she's up at 630 but will talk to her toys for a bit and then go back to sleep until about 8. As I don't get home from work until 130am this really works for me:)

Sorry I can't help you with CIO. I'm not against it but was lucky enough to not have to use it.

Jessica - posted on 07/05/2009

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I dont see why its not okay to each thier own right Id just make sure the toys are safe not ripped or chocking possibilities. i used to have a toy that strapped to the side of the crib that my son could play with it was really cute to listen to him "talking away" and laughing.

Plus if they have a way to occupy themselves by themselvs you just might be able to go pee in the moring without your baby criing to be let out

I do like routine for myself anyways i have two sons 4 and 2 almost 2 anyways and i put them to be at 7 oclock after they'v eatten supper had thier bath then been other read to or played with. most of the time i hear nothing they go to bed (very very bussy boys) thinking of changing my 4 yrs old bedtime to 8 i still like mom and dad time.

I wouldnt be to concerned for the cring part by now you know your sons different cries, hurt, hungry wet and so on. if you know your son is clean, dry and feed he should be fine but if his cry changes he probably working himself up ( my 2 yr old doesnt really cry (at night anyways) but when hes does i check on him last time i heard him it turned out to be croup and that ended up with an ambulance and an over night stay at the hospital.

Andrea - posted on 07/05/2009

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I don't put toys in my daughter (15 month old) crib. She would probably wake up and play with them if she senses that they are there. I believe that a crib should be a place of sleep. I also don't think that is is really that safe even at a older age to put stuff in a crib.



I really don't use the CIO method and don't know much about it. If my daughter gives more than a short cry I get up and see if she is okay. Most of the time she is already asleep by the time I get to her, or once she sees me she goes right back to sleep. Most the time she wont wake up unless something is wrong, needs a daiper change or is sick. Hopes this helps!!!

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