Why Your Newborn Won’t Sleep in Crib: Tips to Help

Seeing your newborn sleep in their crib is heartwarming. But, many find it hard to make their newborn sleep in the crib. It’s reported that between one-quarter and one-half of all babies wake up past 6 months old. Newborn crib resistance is quite common. Yet, there are ways to make the crib a good place for them to sleep.

Cribs, bassinets, and bedside sleepers are the best places for babies. They follow strict safety rules. However, some babies find it hard to sleep in cribs or wake up a lot at night. There could be many reasons like teething, illness, being overtired, or simply not ready. But, most newborns get used to the crib with time.

Whether your newborn used to sleep in the crib but now doesn’t, or never liked it, you’re not alone. Many parents face this. Thankfully, you can help them sleep in the crib. Understanding why they resist and making them feel safe in the crib is important.

Key Takeaways

  • Between one-quarter to one-half of babies still wake up during the night past 6 months of age.
  • Newborns can have difficulty sleeping in a crib due to teething, illness, being overtired, or not being developmentally ready.
  • Common reasons for crib resistance include attachment to other sleep environments, separation anxiety, growth spurts, teething discomfort, and illness.
  • Strategies to help your newborn adjust to the crib include transitioning from other sleep surfaces, establishing positive sleep associations, and creating a conducive sleep environment.
  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine and managing sleep regressions can also promote healthy crib sleep for your newborn.

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

As a new parent, you need to know your baby sleeps a lot, but not like you. Newborns take short naps all through the day and night. It’s normal for them to wake up every hour. They sleep a total of 14 to 17 hours daily. This is part of their newborn sleep patterns.

Importance of Sleep for Newborns

Sleep is very important for your baby’s brain and body growth. They spent nine months in the cozy womb, always surrounded by noise and fluid. They might find it hard to sleep on a hard crib mattress. You can make it easier with swaddling, white noise, and by keeping the room dark. These things make your baby feel like they’re back in the womb. It helps them sleep better and improves the quality of sleep for newborns.

Natural Sleep Cycles of Newborns

Newborns have two types of sleep: quiet and active. They spend about the same time in each. In active sleep, your baby might move, make sounds, or cry. This newborn sleep cycle lasts 50 minutes, with 25 minutes in active sleep. At 3-5 months, their sleep cycles become more like ours. Active sleep phases get shorter then.

Common Reasons for Crib Resistance

Your baby might not like the crib for a few reasons. If we learn these reasons, we can help. It makes moving to the crib easier for your baby.

Attachment to Other Sleep Environments

Your baby might prefer sleeping elsewhere. This could be due to sleeping on you, in your arms or in a car seat. Such habits can make the crib feel strange and less comfy to them.

Separation Anxiety

From about 8 months, babies can fear being away from you. This fear might make sleeping in the crib alone hard for them. The crib may symbolize being apart, causing tension.

Growth Spurts and Developmental Milestones

Stages of rapid growth and new skills can disturb sleep. During these times, babies might wake more and not want the crib. They may want to be closer to you instead.

Teething Discomfort

Teething starts around 6 months and can be painful. This pain might keep your baby from sleeping well in the crib.

Illness and Discomfort

If your baby feels sick or uncomfortable, they won’t sleep well. Figuring out and fixing what’s wrong can help make the crib more welcoming.

Knowing why your baby doesn’t like the crib can help. It allows us to find ways to make sleeping in the crib better for them.

newborn won’t sleep in crib

Transitioning from Other Sleep Surfaces

Newborns might find it hard to sleep in a crib if they’re used to other places. Places like a parent’s arms, the chest, or a car seat might be more familiar. A good way to help them get used to the crib is by letting them nap there first. Try putting the baby down when they are drowsy but still awake. Doing this for naps before bedtime can make the crib a better sleep spot in their mind.

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It’s important not to rely on car seats, swings, or carriers for sleep. These are not safe for long sleeps. They could also make it harder for the baby to get used to the crib.

Establishing Positive Sleep Associations

To make the crib familiar, use it for every nap and bedtime. Making it part of a routine helps the baby know it’s for sleep. You can also mimic the womb with swaddling, white noise, and a dark room. These things help create a good feeling about the crib.

Creating a Conducive Sleep Environment

Creating the right sleep environment is vital. This means setting the room to a cool temperature and using a fan for noise. Keep the room dark and quiet. These steps make a better place for the baby to sleep. Addressing these environment needs can help your newborn sleep better.

Crib Safety Guidelines

It’s very important to create a safe space for your baby to sleep. Cribs, bassinets, and sleepers next to your bed are the safest choices. Remember to always use a firm mattress. Avoid soft things like sheep skins, bumpers, and stuffed toys. These can cause suffocation.

Safe Sleep Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies under 18 to 24 months should not use screens much. Video messaging is okay. Too much screen time can affect sleep because of the blue light. Don’t let your baby sleep with toys or washcloths. They can be risky too.

Avoiding Sleep Hazards

Keep your baby’s sleep area safe. Check that there are no gaps where your baby could get stuck. Make sure the room is a cool 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps them sleep better.

Establishing a Consistent Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine is key for your newborn’s peace. It lets your baby’s body know it’s time to sleep. This makes your baby feel secure and calm.

Importance of Routines for Newborns

Newborns really benefit from routines. An evening routine helps them sleep better. They don’t wake up as much during the night. Also, they sleep better all through the night. The sleeping place is also important for good sleep.

Steps for a Calming Bedtime Routine

For a quiet bedtime, you can rock, sing, and turn the lights down. This helps your baby switch to sleep mode. It’s nice to spend time with your baby before bed. Always put them down when they are almost asleep, but not quite. You might leave the room for short times too. Doing the same things every night tells your baby it’s sleep time.

After 4 months, most babies fall asleep from 7:00-8:00 pm for a good night’s rest. But, bedtime can change by 30-60 minutes each night and still be good. Sometimes, like if they skip a nap or are sick, babies need to sleep earlier. Watching your baby’s signals and changing the routine if needed makes bedtime positive.

Managing Sleep Regressions

Understanding Sleep Regressions

Sleep regressions happen in a baby’s first two years. Studies show many mothers struggle with changes in their baby or toddler’s sleep. These tough periods usually occur at about 4 months, 8-10 months, 12 months, 18 months, and later around 2 and 3 years old.

Strategies for Handling Sleep Regressions

Dealing with a sleep regression, try to stay steady. Don’t change the baby’s sleep spot right away. This might make the problem worse. Instead, keep to the usual bedtime routine. Put the baby down drowsy but awake, and use calming methods like white noise and swaddling.

The 4-month sleep regression could be because of teething, big growths, and new skills. The 8-10 month sleep regression might come from your baby learning to move around more. Having a regular bedtime routine can make some difference. But, sleep hiccups might still come. Keep an eye out for your baby getting tired. Stick to a regular bedtime, make sure they nap enough during the day, and give them some special time before bed. All of this can help keep sleep problems under control.

If sleep troubles stay, talking to a doctor is a good idea. This is especially true if your baby seems sick or really upset during sleep. It takes time and the right plan, but parents and those looking after kids can get through sleep regressions. This is by ensuring their baby gets good and peaceful sleep.

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Seeking Professional Support

Is your baby not wanting to sleep in the crib even after you tried everything? It might be a good idea to get professional help. A pediatrician or sleep specialist can really help. They can work on your baby’s sleep troubles and help find real solutions.

When to Consult a Pediatrician

The first source tells us to see a pediatrician if your child isn’t napping or sleeping enough. The second source adds that if sleeping troubles keep happening, it’s time to get professional help.

Addressing Persistent Sleep Issues

Have you tried all you can and your baby still won’t sleep in the crib? The third source suggests getting help from a sleep expert. Some sleep problems need the advice of a pediatrician or a sleep pro. They can figure out what’s wrong and help make things better.

Getting help from a professional can really change things. It can help your baby learn to sleep well in the crib. With the right tips and plans, your baby can get the sleep they need to grow healthy.

Tips for Promoting Crib Sleep

Getting your newborn to sleep well in the crib can be hard. Luckily, there are a few tricks that might make it easier. You can use things like swaddling and sleep sacks. Also, make the sleep area calm and soothing. These simple steps can help your baby sleep better.

Swaddling and Sleep Sacks

Newborns love feeling all wrapped up. It reminds them of the cozy womb. Swaddling and sleep sacks help with this. They keep your baby feeling safe and warm. Just remember, stop swaddling when your baby can roll over. It keeps them safe as they sleep.

White Noise and Soothing Sounds

Babies often find white noise or gentle sounds comforting. You can use a sound machine for this. It helps block out loud noises and soothes your baby to sleep. Soft music or sounds of nature work well too.

Room Temperature and Lighting

Your baby sleeps best in a cool, dark room. Aim for a temperature of 68-72 degrees. Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark. This will help your baby sleep deeply and follow safe sleep advice.

Troubleshooting Common Crib Sleep Challenges

It can be tough when your baby won’t sleep in the crib. But don’t worry, there are ways to fix this. You can help your baby get over troubleshooting common crib sleep challenges and start sleeping well. Some tips can be found in the first and second sources below.

One important method is to lay your baby down when they are just about to sleep. This helps them learn to calm themselves and sleep on their own. Also, waiting a bit before going to your baby when they wake up at night can let them fall back asleep. Keeping a steady bedtime routine and avoiding too much excitement before bed can also help your baby get used to the crib better.

Creating a good sleeping spot in the crib is what the third source talks about. It means putting your baby down to sleep at the right times and making sure their room is cold, dark, and peaceful. Adding things like white noise and a cozy sleep sack can also make your baby feel safe and calm in the crib.

Try using these tips for troubleshooting common crib sleep challenges. With time and sticking to a plan, your baby can start enjoying sleeping in their crib.

Balancing Baby’s Sleep Needs with Family Dynamics

It’s tough when a newborn doesn’t sleep in the crib. This affects the whole family. A parent might struggle at work if up all night. And a sibling kept awake by a crying baby could have problems at school. It’s important to balance the baby’s sleep needs with family dynamics for peace at home.

Managing Sibling Dynamics

Bringing home a new baby changes things for older siblings. As you help the baby get used to the crib, think about the brothers and sisters. Find quiet time for them to do things alone. Also, getting help from family or a babysitter can make sure everyone’s okay. This eases the pressure on siblings and gives you time for the baby’s sleep training.

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Self-Care for Parents and Caregivers

Having a baby fight sleeping in the crib is hard on parents and caregivers. Taking care of yourself is key. Take breaks, you can ask for help from family or friends, and make time for rest and good food. This way, you’ll be in a better spot to help your baby sleep and keep family life happy.

It’s a big job to juggle your baby’s sleep needs with the family’s. But, patience, staying flexible, and looking after yourself can make it all work well. This creates a place where everyone does well.


Getting your newborn to sleep in the crib is hard but worth it. Understand your baby’s sleep, deal with reasons they might not like their crib, and use gentle methods to help them sleep better. This way, they can learn to love their crib and sleep well.

Remember, all babies are different. It might take a while to figure out what works for yours. Don’t be afraid to ask a doctor or sleep expert for advice. With their help and some good strategies, you can get through sleep challenges and help your baby sleep well.

Good luck with this new adventure in parenting. Keep doing your best, and remember to care for yourself too. The road to better sleep for your baby is long. Take it easy and enjoy the journey.


What are the safest places for babies to sleep?

Crib, bassinet, and bedside sleeper are the best. They need to meet safety standards.

Why do some babies have difficulty sleeping in a crib?

Some babies find it hard to sleep in a crib. Reasons include teething, tiredness, and not being ready for a crib. About 25% to 50% wake up at night after 6 months.

What are the top 3 reasons a baby rejects the crib or bassinet?

3 common reasons are: the baby is not used to the crib, bad timing, and wrong sleep setting.

How do a baby’s sleep cycles differ from an adult’s?

Babies and adults sleep differently. Newborns doze off and wake up many times a day. They sleep less in one go than adults, waking up often.

What are some common reasons a baby may suddenly not want to sleep in the crib?

A baby might not sleep in a crib because of growing, teething, or being sick. They could also hit new milestones or face sleep regression.

What strategies can help get a baby to sleep in the crib?

Some tips are: Place baby in crib slightly tired but still awake. Also, start with crib naps, and avoid car seats or swings for sleep.These methods can make crib sleeping more successful.

What are the safest sleep guidelines for newborns?

Cribs, bassinets, and safe sleepers are best. A firm mattress is crucial. No toys or washcloths in bed, as they are dangerous.

How can a consistent bedtime routine help a baby sleep in the crib?

Stick to a bedtime routine to make babies feel secure. This includes being calm before sleep, and self-soothing. The best sleep comes from a proper sleep setup.

What is a sleep regression, and how can parents handle it?

Sleep regressions happen often in the first two years. They are usually short. Keep the bedtime routine and use soothing techniques like white noise.

When should parents seek professional help for their baby’s sleep issues?

If a child’s sleep problems continue, talking to a doctor is advised. A professional can provide needed help.

What techniques can help a newborn adjust to sleeping in the crib?

Use a swaddle or a sleep sack for comfort. Keep the room cool and quiet. Use a fan for air flow and white noise.

How can parents and caregivers troubleshoot common crib sleep challenges?

Place the baby in the crib a bit tired but still awake. Allow a few minutes before attending to night wakings. Follow a consistent bedtime and avoid too much play before sleep. Gradually moving the baby to the crib helps too.

How can families balance a newborn’s sleep needs with the dynamics of the household?

A baby not sleeping well can affect the whole family. Parents should care for themselves too. They should manage sibling needs with help from others, quiet times, and taking breaks.