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How to teach a child to sleep in his crib?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 09.12.2019
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To teach a child to sleep in his crib, you need gradualism. It is impossible to immediately take and send the baby to another room. It will cry, stress hormones will destroy neurons - brain cells, and the baby will grow and develop worse. Therefore, you need to choose a good moment to teach your baby to sleep separately from their parents. We will tell you more about this. 

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Graduation is an important method

There are things that you absolutely can not do with the baby. For example, take it away from mom and dad at the moment when the baby is sick or does not feel well or has recently suffered stress or if the mother just recently weaned him. To shift the child to a separate bed at these moments is to endanger his immature psyche.

To form new habits of a child, gradualness is needed. The best method is to put the baby’s bed next to the parent’s bed and move it a few centimeters away every day. Until the bed is in another room. So for the baby will be less stress and feelings about separation from parents, to whom he is very attached. [ 1 ]

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The best time to train your own bed

It can start from the day of the birth of the baby - then you will not have to teach your baby to sleep on his own. If the child practically from the day of his birth was sleeping with his parents or with his mother, it will be harder to wean him from this and it is necessary to choose the age at which this is best done. Psychologists and pediatricians advise you to start teaching your baby to your own bed from about 6-8 months. At this time there are almost no night feedings and the baby sleeps at night without waking up (unless he has other special features).

In addition, at this age, the baby can turn over at night without risk to health, and this process can not be controlled. If it happened that the child was not accustomed to his crib at 6-8 months, it is never too late to start accustoming him to this at any age. The main thing - to be consistent and firm in their beliefs. The technique will not work when today the child was sent alone to his room, and they regretted tomorrow and took him to the parent's bed. The child will be confused in your requirements and will not understand whether it is possible or impossible to sleep with mom and dad as before. [ 2]

When is the baby ready for his own bed?

  • Breast feeding is completed or reduced to 1 time per night.
  • Child's night sleep lasts on average up to 6 hours
  • The baby has already had its first milk teeth cut out and has no fever and no worries about it.
  • The child is not sick and does not suffer from any serious stress (for example, a divorce of parents or a recent move, or the birth of a second child)
  • The kid can spend time in the room alone and play with itself for at least 10-15 minutes in a row.

How to teach a child to the bed?

First of all, you need to follow the principle of regularity. According to this principle, the child should be placed in the crib at the same time. Then the child's body will get used to the fact that at 21.00 he needs to go to bed, and he will start preparing for this process in advance. [ 3 ]

The principle of tradition is also very good.

Before going to bed, you need to start some pleasant habit for mom and baby. For example, to sing a lullaby, read a book or make a light massage to the baby. This action will be preparatory to sleep. With this action, the baby will calm down, relax. His body will understand that it will soon be the same pleasant time of sleep and rest from everyday worries and impressions. Do not delay this process - it can take an average of 15 minutes.

There is another good way - so that the child feels safe, the mother can sit next to his bed until the baby falls asleep. So the child will feel calm - mom is near.

The principle of soothing baby

He is needed when it is uncomfortable for a child to stay in another room, he is crying and afraid. This principle is based on the fact that the mother, having laid the baby to bed on time and having performed all the necessary rituals before bedtime, leaves the room, hugging and kissing the baby. But when the child begins to cry, you need to approach him, calm him down and, without taking him out of the crib, again wish him good night and get out. Unless, of course, the reason for the crying baby is not wet diapers, which need to be changed.

Consider that when you teach a child to the bed at a fairly conscious age (after a year old), he may cry up to 10-15 times per night. At this time, it is important not to give up the position and continue to make it clear to the baby that Mom is not leaving him, she is near, in another room. Over time, the child will be less naughty and able to sleep in his crib all night. But it can take from one and a half to two months.

Parent substitution method

This method works well when a child is already beginning to understand something and even get involved in a conversation with parents. Then you can put your favorite toy next to the child - it will protect it. You can explain to the baby: “Mom is tired, she needs to sleep, mom will be near, in another room and will always come to you if you call. In the meantime, you will be guarded by your favorite hare, Kuzya or Bear, or a doll. She will look after you and help, if that. " A conversation about this kind of content will calm the baby and create confidence that he is in double security - both the mother is in the next room, and the favorite toy is with him.

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Creating a comfortable environment

In the room where the baby sleeps, there should be comfortable conditions for him. This means that the temperature in the room should be from 18 to 22 degrees. Room before bed should be well ventilated, blanket and pillow should be comfortable. It should not be hot in the baby’s room, because in the heat it will be very difficult for the baby to get enough sleep. And a very important aspect: if the kid is afraid of the dark, then in his room you do not need to turn off the night light. Soft diffused light is quite acceptable in the child's room. [ 4 ]

Sleep asleep

This is another method that will help teach the child to the bed. Mom puts her baby to bed in a state of sleep when he is sleepy. So it is easier for a child to come to terms with the idea that his bed is now separate.

New beautiful crib

When a child has already grown up and wants to appear more adult (this happens at about 2-3 years old - the process of asserting your own “I”), it can be compared with adults. So you can tell the child that now he is already big and can sleep in a new beautiful crib, like mom and dad. When a child sees that a new beautiful linen is being laid in his crib, a favorite toy is placed near him and the crib is new and beautiful, he gladly keeps within it and sleeps all night. He will not make any tantrums to parents, because his bed is the best.

Then the process of teaching a child to his own bed will take place not only without feelings, but even with joy.

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It is important to know!

The child by the end of the first month of life has already well adjusted the processes of blood circulation, breathing, digestion. He has a whole set of reflexes: sucking, defensive, indicative, grasping and some others. Read more..

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