The joy of parenthood brings along with it many responsibilities that may sometimes be quite a task. One such task is putting the baby to sleep in a crib. Many parents, especially the first-timers face difficulty with parenting like getting the baby to sleep through the night, diaper changing, and many other things. It is important that you teach the baby to sleep on her own early or else she may get habituated to sleeping beside you.
There are a few things that you need to know and understand so that you succeed in this task. These include whether or not she requires the parental help to sleep, the number of hours that she sleeps, general pattern of sleeping, etc. During the first few days, you will have to spend some extra time trying to put her to bed as she needs to get used to the routine. Also, make a note of any peculiar sleeping habits that she may have developed as incorporating them will help you put her to bed. The baby crib bedding should be comfortable and cozy.
Prepare yourself well in advance for this process and get as many naps and as possible during the day. This is the time when you will establish a bedtime routine and you will need to stick to it for successfully teaching her to go to bed in the crib. Begin by a practicing a ritual that signals her that it is time to go to bed. Read a book, or sing a lullaby for a few minutes and then place her in the crib. At this point, she will be drowsy and not fully asleep, so you will need to soothe her and not stimulate her to sleep.
Situation 1: Baby Falls Asleep
If she is used to soothing herself to sleep, allow her to do so. Else, soothe or pat her until you can see her drifting to sleep. Once you are sure that she has fallen asleep, stop soothing her and wait beside the crib just in case she wakes up. They require some time to fall fully asleep, unlike adults. During this phase of drifting into a deep nap, you will notice a number of gestures that she makes, but do not assume that she has woken up.
Situation 2: Baby Starts Crying
If she starts crying or screaming when placed in the crib, do not lift her out of the crib. Soothe while she is still in it. She may cry for a few minutes, which is absolutely fine. You just need to reassure her that you are there and she is safe. She may wake up frequently as she is not very happy with the idea of having a nap all by herself. Do not worry about it and also do not let her sleep beside you because of the crying. The best way to teach her would be by not giving into her resistance.
Going by any of the situations, this routine should be continued for at least a week or even more, depending on how well your baby takes to it. Remember that persistence is the only key to succeed in this task. You may find it a bit difficult initially, but if you give in to her resistance, there is no way she'll learn to sleep by herself.