How to Put Baby into a Crib Without Waking Her Up
If your sleeping baby starts crying as you carry her to her room or the moment you set her down in her crib, you’re moving her too soon. Babies go through sleep stages just as adults do, although AskDrSears.com states that a baby’s sleep cycle is shorter--averaging 50 to 60 minutes. Waiting until your baby reaches the deep sleep stage and moving her around as little as possible gives you the best chance of putting her down without waking her up.
Rock or feed your baby to sleep in her room or in another room that’s close to her. A shorter amount of time spent moving her means there’s less chance of her waking up.
Sit in a chair that’s easy to get out of if you rock or feed your baby to sleep. If you do use a deeper chair or sofa, don’t sit all the way back against the cushions if you have trouble getting up. Sit closer to the front edge and prop pillows up behind you for support instead.
Hold your baby in the same arm you normally use when laying her down if you rock her to sleep so you won’t have to change her position when you get up. If you have her in the other arm and she falls asleep while nursing, switch her to the other breast and let her feed a little while longer before getting up.
Raise your baby’s arm up gently and let go. If her arm drops down right away,she should be sleeping deeply enough for you to move her without disturbing her. Babies typically reach this stage about five minutes after falling asleep, according to AskDrSears.com.
Pull your arm out from under her slowly when you put her down then rest one hand on her for a few minutes before walking away. Removing physical contact abruptly when you first put her down can startle her. If you bottle feed, leave the bottle in her mouth for a couple of minutes after laying her down then gently remove it.
Put a nightlight in your baby’s room to help you see where you’re going when you put her down. Make sure the path from the door to her crib is clear so you won’t have to worry about tripping or bumping into anything.
Place your baby’s mattress as high as it can go if you have to stretch awkwardly to lay her down. Lower the mattress when she’s able to sit up on her own.
If your baby is between 6 and 9 months old, you can help her learn to self-soothe so she’ll be able to fall back to sleep on her own, suggests pediatrician and author William Sears, on the Parenting.com website.
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- AskDrSears.com: 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
- "What to Expect the First Year"; Heidi Murkoff; 2003