Crib Hour Nap Training: Make Your Baby Nap Longer

​Crib hour nap training can be essential for parents who are losing their minds over the short naps their baby is taking.

So if you’re looking for a simple, straightforward guide on how to get longer naps using crib hour nap training, then this article is for you.

Here you’ll get a step-by-step method on how to do crib hour nap training, a timing example, how to know if crib hour works for your baby, when to stop crib hour, and more.

Let’s start with what Crib Hour means.

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What is “Crib Hour” or “Crib 60/90”?

Crib Hour is a technique that involves leaving your baby in the crib for one full hour, starting from the moment they fall asleep. 

It’s all about allowing your little one to learn how to transition between sleep cycles and extend their naps.

The “Crib 60/90” variations refer to adjusting the duration to 60 or 90 minutes.

Why Use Crib Hour?

Crib Hour is useful to provide your baby with a chance to learn how to link their sleep cycles together. 

This can result in longer and more restorative naps for your baby, and a longer “me-time” for you!

What Age to Start Crib Hour?

Most experts recommend starting around 3 months old. 

This is usually the time when babies have a more predictable nap schedule and can benefit from learning to self-soothe and extend their nap duration.

However, some parents have started at 4, or 5 months so it depends on your baby and how they can adjust to crib hour nap training.

Can Crib Hour Work For My Baby?

Crib Hour is not a foolproof sleeping technique that can work wonders for every baby.

If your baby wakes up before an hour has passed since being put down, and they’re inconsolable crying, and this keeps happening for a significant length of time, it might be a sign that Crib Hour isn’t the best fit for them. 

If your baby still can’t fall asleep independently at night or is having a hard time going back to sleep without any help from you, then Crib Hour might not also work for them.

Also, take note that Crib Hour or its Crib 60/90 variations are NOT a must for sleep training. 

It can be too overwhelming, especially for first-time parents, and every baby is unique so just do what works best for you and your little one.

Crib Hour Nap Training: Step By Step Method

Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing Crib Hour Nap Training effectively:

Step 1: Choose the Right Time

Select a naptime that aligns with your baby’s natural sleep patterns and wake windows. This is crucial for setting your baby up for a successful nap.

Step 2: Create a Calming Nap Environment

Ensure that the sleep environment is conducive to napping. 

Babies sleep better in the dark so make sure to use blackout curtains if needed.

Make sure also that your baby is not too cold or too hot. Swaddle your baby if necessary.

Use a white noise machine to reduce any noise that might wake up your baby.

Step 3: Follow a Nap Routine

Develop a simple naptime routine that signals to your baby that it’s time to wind down. 

This could include activities like reading a short story, singing a lullaby, or gentle rocking.

Try out the eat-play-sleep routine.

Step 4: Put Your Baby Down Awake

Place your baby in the crib when they are still awake but drowsy. 

This allows them to learn self-soothing skills and helps them fall asleep independently.

Step 5: Start the Timer

Once your baby falls asleep, start your timer for the chosen duration. 

For beginners, a starting point of 60 minutes is often recommended.

Step 6: Monitor Your Baby

Keep an eye on your baby via a baby monitor.

If your baby wakes up before the timer goes off, resist the urge to immediately pick them up.

Step 7: Give Your Baby a Chance to Self-Soothe

If your baby wakes up before the timer ends, allow them a few minutes to self-soothe and try to fall back asleep. 

This is an essential skill they can develop through this method.

If your baby is crying non-stop for more or less 15 minutes, you feel very stressed and you know there’s no turning back once they’re hysterical, then stop the crib hour nap training and go and soothe your baby.

If they are just making a fuss here and there, see first for a few minutes if they’ll be able to settle themselves to go back to sleep.

If your baby wakes up happy or they don’t look upset at all, then there’s no need to get them up, until it’s time to.

Step 8: Extend the Timer Gradually

As your baby becomes more comfortable with the Crib Hour routine, you can gradually extend the duration. 

Move from 60 minutes to 75 or 90 minutes if your baby shows signs of adjusting well.

Step 9: Be Patient and Consistent

Crib Hour Nap Training is a process that requires patience and consistency. 

It might take a few days or even weeks for your baby to adapt and start lengthening their naps.

Step 10: Adapt to Your Baby’s Needs

Remember that every baby is unique. 

If you notice that Crib Hour isn’t working for your baby after several attempts, don’t be discouraged. 

Some babies may respond better to other sleep training techniques, like the shush pat method

Step 11: Celebrate Small Wins

Celebrate every small victory along the way. 

If your baby manages to extend a nap by just a few minutes, it’s a positive step in the right direction.

Step 12: Listen to Your Instincts

As a parent, you know your baby best. 

If you feel that Crib Hour is causing excessive distress for your baby, it’s okay to reassess and try alternative methods that align better with your baby’s needs.

How Long Does It Take For Crib Hour To Work?

Crib Hour might take some time to work and it can vary from baby to baby.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and just like any sleep training method, patience is key. 

Some babies can get used to it within days, while others might take weeks or months so adjust accordingly.

Some parents cannot do crib hour every nap, and some do, so it really depends on your situation and most especially, your baby.

When Does Crib Hour Start?

Crib Hour starts as soon as your baby falls asleep. 

Set a timer for 60 or 90 minutes, depending on the variation you’re using, and allow your baby to self-soothe and transition between sleep cycles.

Examples of Crib Hour Timings

To give you an idea of how to implement Crib Hour, here are a few example timings:

If your newborn wakes up at 8:00 AM, consider starting Crib Hour around 9:00 AM.

If your newborn’s first nap is at 9:30 AM, aim for a Crib Hour at 10:30 AM.

If your newborn wakes up by 10:20 AM and they’re not excessively crying, leave them in their crib until 10:30 AM.

(The crib hour nap timings will depend on your baby’s age and wake windows, so take note of those too.)

How Long Does Crib Hour Last?

Crib Hour typically lasts for 60 minutes, but you can experiment with extending it to 90 minutes if your baby is comfortable. 

Be flexible and adapt the duration based on your baby’s responses.

Modified Crib Hour

If you find that traditional Crib Hour isn’t working for your baby, consider modifying the approach. 

You can gradually increase the duration or use Crib Hour in conjunction with other sleep training techniques that suit your baby’s needs.

Is Crib Hour Effective?

Crib hour is effective for many parents. Especially those with babies that are sleeping longer at night, independently.

It’s important to stay consistent and patient throughout the process. Babies are learning a new skill, and like any skill, it takes time to master.

Crib Hour and Wake Windows

Understanding wake windows is crucial for successful nap training. 

Wake windows are the optimal periods your baby can stay awake before needing another nap. 

Crib Hour can help you tailor your baby’s nap schedule to their unique wake window.

A baby’s wake window starts the moment they wake up from a nap. 

Monitoring these windows can help you determine the best times to put your baby down for a nap and make Crib Hour even more effective.

Baby Nap Sleep Science: Quick Review

Understanding the science behind baby naps can help you make informed decisions. 

Babies experience sleep cycles similar to adults, but they transition between them more frequently. 

Crib Hour helps them learn how to navigate these cycles and enjoy more consolidated sleep.

FAQ: Crib Hour Nap Training

Why is My Baby Taking Short Naps?

Your baby might be taking short naps because of their sleep cycles because they’re hungry or overtired or probably because of their sleep environment.

How Effective Is Crib Hour?

Crib Hour can be highly effective in teaching babies to connect sleep cycles and lengthen naps. However, every baby is different, so results may vary.

What Is the 60-Minute Crib Rule?

The 60-minute crib rule refers to the practice of leaving your baby in the crib for one hour after they fall asleep to help them extend their nap duration.

What Is the 30/90 Rule for Naps?

The 30/90 rule suggests that if a baby wakes up within the first 30 minutes of a nap, you can allow them up to 90 minutes to see if they’ll resettle and continue sleeping.

What Is the 90-Minute Rule for Babies?

The 90-minute rule advises that babies typically have a natural sleep cycle of around 90 minutes. 

This can help you plan their naps and wake windows effectively.

Do I Check On My Baby During Crib Hour?

During Crib Hour, it’s best to resist the urge to check on your baby frequently. 

If your baby wakes up after less than an hour, consider waiting for a few minutes before going in. Sometimes, babies might resettle themselves and continue napping.

Does Awake Time in the Crib Count?

Yes, the awake time your baby spends in the crib also counts toward the total duration of the Crib Hour. 

This means that if your baby wakes up during the nap but remains calm and relaxed, their time spent awake in the crib contributes to the overall duration of the training.

How and When to Use Crib Hour 60/90 to Get Longer Naps?

Crib 60 is an excellent starting point for babies who are new to the concept of longer naps. 

Put your baby down for a nap as usual, and if they wake up before 60 minutes have passed, give them a chance to resettle for a few minutes before intervening.

Crib 90 is the next step if your baby is comfortable with Crib 60. 

Gradually extend the time you leave your baby in the crib after they fall asleep to 90 minutes. This can further encourage the development of self-soothing skills and longer nap durations.

Crib Hour Nap Training: Takeaway

Incorporating crib hour nap training into your baby’s sleep routine can be a fantastic way to encourage longer, more restful naps. 

Remember, each baby is unique, so be patient, stay consistent, and adapt the technique to suit your baby’s individual needs. 

With time and dedication, Crib Hour can be a valuable tool in helping your baby master the art of napping. 

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