Baby Hates Crib (Reasons And Ways To Get Your Baby To Sleep in Their Crib)

Is your baby showing resistance to bedtime? It’s frustrating when your baby hates crib, making it a challenge to ensure they get their much-needed rest. 

But worry not, in this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind your baby’s crib hatred and share effective ways to make your baby sleep in their crib with less stress/ hassles.

From swaddles to positive crib associations, we’ve got you covered with helpful tips, tricks, and what NOT to do if your baby hates sleeping in their crib.

Let’s dive in first with the possible reasons why your baby hates their crib.

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Why Baby Hates Crib

Here are some possible reasons why your baby hates and is refusing to sleep in their crib:

  • They’re not used to it

Remember, the crib is a new environment for your baby, and they might need time to adjust.

  • They don’t know how to sleep in it

Some babies need guidance on how to settle down in their crib comfortably.

  • Stomach ache

An upset tummy can make it difficult for babies to find a comfortable position in the crib.

  • Parents are uncomfortable

Babies are incredibly intuitive and can sense when their parents are uneasy about the crib setup.

It might sound unbelievably silly but babies can sense your worry and frustration and they might also feel the same in their crib.

  • Crib has negative associations

If your baby has experienced unpleasant moments in the crib, they might associate it with negative feelings.

For eg., your baby is crying a lot, you’re feeling overwhelmed and it’s been a habit to put your baby down in their crib and walk away for a few minutes.

Your baby might be associating the crib with that experience.

Related Article: Is a Playpen Necessary?

  • Crib is too wide

Some babies feel more secure in a snugger sleeping space.

  • Baby has acid reflux or colic

These conditions can cause discomfort when lying flat on their back in the crib.

  • Baby can’t see you

Your presence and voice provide comfort to your baby, and not being able to see you might make them uneasy.

  • Baby has a growth spurt

During growth spurts, babies might crave more cuddles and closeness with you.

  • Baby has a new milestone

Developmental milestones can disrupt sleep patterns and crib preferences.

What To Do If Baby Doesn’t Like Their Crib

Don’t fret; there are several techniques to help your baby feel more at ease in the crib:

  • Use a swaddle or sleep sack

Swaddling or using a sleep sack can provide a feeling of security, just like being snug in your arms.

Related Article: What Should Baby Wear Under Swaddle or Sleep Sack

  • Use a pacifier

Pacifiers can soothe and comfort babies, making it easier for them to settle in the crib.

  • Put them down drowsy

Try to place your baby in the crib when they are drowsy but still awake. This can help them learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.

  • Check their sleeping environment

Ensure their nursery room is comfortable, cool, quiet, and dimly lit for a restful sleep.

Use blackout curtains if necessary, a white noise machine to drown out the outside noise, and check if your baby is too cold.

  • Create positive crib associations

Make the crib a happy place by incorporating fun and soothing elements, like a mobile or soft toy.

  • Prioritize bedtime connections in your routine

Spend quality time with your baby before bedtime to create a strong bond. 

You can read them a story, gaze at their eyes while stroking their face, tell them how you love them, and such.

  • Use gentle sleep methods

Choose gentle sleep training methods, like the shush-pat method. Find something that suits your baby’s temperament and your parenting style.

  • Stick around for a while

Hang out near the crib to offer reassurance until your baby feels more comfortable.

  • Start with a naptime routine

Ease your baby into crib sleeping by starting with daytime naps in the crib.

  • Offer a lovey for older babies

Once your baby is old enough, a soft lovey can become a comforting companion in the crib.

  • Put your scent near your baby

Leave a piece of your clothing in a safe place, near or in the crib to provide a familiar scent.

You can try wrapping your shirt around their mattress and securing it.

If they’re swaddled, attach your shirt to the swaddle but make sure to secure it so it doesn’t become a sleeping hazard.

Or, sleep with the crib sheet for a few nights so your scent will stay here, and then use that crib sheet! 

  • Move your crib

If it’s possible, move your crib closer to your bed. So your baby can see you and it could be close enough for you to reach out to your baby.

  • Check if they’re unwell

If your baby’s crib resistance is sudden and persistent, they might be unwell, so consult your pediatrician.

Check also if a hair has suddenly wrapped around their fingers or toes as I’ve read about it and the parents couldn’t figure out why their baby won’t stop crying.

Turns out, a single hair was the culprit and the poor baby was hurting the entire time!

What NOT To Do If Baby Refuses to Sleep in Their Crib

Here are a few things to avoid when dealing with crib resistance:

  • For newborns, don’t give them a lovey

It’s best to introduce loveys when your baby is a bit older, say when they can turn their heads and roll independently. That’s when they can safely use them.

  • Avoid negative crib associations

Try not to associate the crib with crying or stressful situations.

If you need to go do something on your own and you have to put down your baby, use a playpen or a pack-n-play instead.

Related Article: Best Playpens for Crawling Babies

  • Don’t rely on baby swings or slings for too long

While these can provide temporary comfort, it’s essential to establish crib sleeping habits.

Use them as needed, but sparingly.

  • Don’t force it

Forcing your baby to sleep in the crib can create more negative associations.

Maybe try borrowing or renting a cosleeper or bedside bassinet for a few days and see how they react to it.

Or get a cheap yet quality bedside bassinet and see how that will work out for your baby.

FAQ: Baby Refuses to Sleep in Their Crib 

How do I get my baby to stop hating the crib?

You can get your baby to stop hating your crib with patience and consistency. introduce positive associations with the crib while offering comfort and support.

Why does my baby hate the crib so much?

Your baby hates the crib so much for various factors, like being unaccustomed to the crib or having an upset stomach, can contribute to their dislike.

Why does my baby keep crying when placed in the crib?

Your baby keeps crying when placed in the crib as it’s their way of expressing discomfort or a need for connection.

Why does my 8-month-old hate her crib?

Your 8-month-old hates her crib probably because they’re experiencing separation anxiety.

How to get a baby to nap in a crib during the day?

You can get your baby to nap in a crib during the day by establishing a naptime routine and creating a soothing sleep environment in the crib to encourage daytime naps.

Safe Crib Sleeping Habits

Ensure your baby’s crib is safe and follows recommended guidelines to provide the best sleep environment possible, such as:

Remember to lay your baby on their back, reducing the risk of SIDS.

Opt for a firm mattress and keep the crib free from pillows, stuffed animals, or loose bedding.

Ensure a safe sleep environment by keeping the crib away from heaters, cords, and curtains.

Baby Hates Crib: Wrapping Up

Remember, every baby is unique, and it’s okay to experiment with different strategies to find what works best for your little one. 

With love, patience, and a dash of creativity, you can transform the crib into a cozy haven for your baby’s sweet dreams. 

And there you have it! I hope your find this “baby hates crib” article helpful. If you like this guide, be sure to check out our other baby articles, such as How To Get Baby To Sleep Longer Stretches At Night, How To Survive Newborn Sleep Deprivation, and Best Baby Sleep Products To Help Your Baby Sleep.