Slapen & Kalmeren
How do I get my 6-month-old to sleep in the crib and not our bed?
Q: My son is 6 months now, and he has been sleeping in bed with me and my husband since birth. I have read and heard many conflicting things about this. We are ready to put him in his crib to sleep, but he won't do it. Every time I lay him down in his crib he wakes right up. How can I get him to understand that is where he sleeps now?
A:Kenneth N. Condrell, Ph.D
There is a very good reason why parents are advised not to sleep with their babies. The reason is safety. Each year, babies die because their sleeping parents accidentally roll over onto them.
You asked the question: “How can I get him to understand that is where he sleeps now?” The answer is you can’t get a 6-month-old to understand anything. They are too young for this kind of mental activity. What you need to do instead is to train your baby to slowly adapt to being in his own bed. I suggest you start off allowing your baby to become drowsy and fall asleep in your arms. Then you place your baby into his crib. Pull up a chair and be ready to comfort him if he awakes by reaching into the crib and stroking your son…talk soothingly and stroke gently. The goal is to not pick up your baby and carry him into your bed. Instead, you want to help him quiet down and fall asleep in his crib. By the way, some parents have found that playing soft music can help soothe a baby at bedtime; you might want to give this a try.