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How to teach a child to sleep in his crib at any age without tears?


When a child turns one year old, then you may immediately have two urgent questions: is it time to wean him from his chest and how to teach a child to sleep in his bed.

If I already wrote several articles about excommunication, you can find them by searching, but I'll tell you about a separate bed today.

Separate sleep from birth

On the one hand, there is nothing complicated. Just put the baby to sleep in the crib. And every time to get up to him at night.

If mom is ready to get up many times during the night and this does not affect her well-being, there is probably nothing wrong with that. But we must keep in mind that the vast majority of children wake up very often.

Are you ready for such a feat? Personally, I do not. With my eldest daughter, for two whole months I was afraid of sleeping together, getting up to my child 10-20 times a night. And at one point she decided that I had enough. I began to put the baby next to me and give breasts for each squeak. That's when I began to get enough sleep.

A good video that can help teach a baby to sleep if he is less than a year old:

How to teach your baby to sleep separately from birth?

  • From the very beginning put the baby in a separate crib. If you wake up in the process of shifting - try again and again until you achieve success,
  • with every cry of the child at night - get up, take him in his arms, calm him down, put him back in the crib.

I will not talk about those methods when the kids are left alone to cry, accustomed to sleep without awakening. For me, such methods are unacceptable.

Joint sleep up to 1-2 years

Many mothers prefer to put their children next to them until 1-2 years old. Thanks to this, they do not need to constantly jump up in the first year of life, when children's sleep is so intermittent.

In a year or two it’s still difficult for a child to explain something. Therefore, the scheme of teaching a baby to a bed is extremely simple:

  • learn to fall asleep in the crib. First, we sit next to him, stroke, read books, sing songs. Then we gradually reduce our actions.
  • when the child wakes up at night - we again lay him in his crib. Stroking, calming, or somehow else.

If the baby is fast asleep, you can put him to sleep where he is used to, and then put him to bed. But some children may get scared when they wake up in another place.

Another experience of a young mother:

Therefore, if the baby falls asleep only next to you, the easiest way to move him to bed is to go to bed with him for the first time, to lie nearby until the child falls asleep. When the baby wakes up at night - come to him again. And after a while - gradually learn to fall asleep on their own.

Some mothers at this age do not try to ensure that the baby sleeps in the crib all night until morning. And they let the baby come to them in the morning, sleep together.

Joint sleep up to 3-5 years

From my point of view, this is the best option. And the easiest one. The baby is already big. He is ready to sleep separately. Everything can be explained to him. You may be interested. And accustoming to the crib is very often very easy.

The first step is to create a stir around the crib. For some time, pay attention to the child, as big children sleep in their beds, give examples of friends, characters from fairy tales. Together, choose a new baby crib. But promise to buy only when it is very large (after the next birthday or some special day, after he does something special, he will learn to count to 20, etc.). That is, to sleep in your own bed is a special honor, the highest reward. It is prestigious, cool, attractive.

As a rule, children aged 3-5 years old want to be big. And such ideas are perceived with a bang. The main thing is not to rush things.

Then you solemnly buy a crib. If the baby never fell asleep without you, help him fall asleep there. At night, you can recall that he is now large and can sleep in bed. And so on. It is done.

If the bed is already standing, we also gradually tell how all the big children sleep in cribs. We doubt that our baby has already become so big. But at some point we are allowed to sleep there.

Some children can simply promise something good if they prove their maturity by sleeping in bed 10 days in a row. It worked for us with ease.

I taught my daughter to sleep in her crib at 4 years old. The bed was long and small enough. Sometimes I put my daughter to sleep there under the pretext of “Come on, you will lie in the crib, and I will read you a book / have a massage.” But since I did not behave very competently, the attitude to the bed was negative. At night, the daughter always returned to us.

When my daughter was 4 years old, I realized that she was ready to sleep separately. And since we still needed to buy a new bed, I decided to go the next way.

From time to time I drew my daughter's attention that her older friends sleep in beds. She saw their beds at a party. And I wanted the same.

Not a problem! I promised her that we will buy a beautiful crib when my daughter learns to sleep herself. Otherwise - why buy? They only buy beds for those who sleep themselves!

In addition, I taught my daughter to fall asleep without me. Again, first looked on the Internet pictures of cribs. We chose the right one, admired. And I said that for this Lisa needs to fall asleep herself.

All. Since then, Lisa has been sleeping alone. Never comes to us at night. Already 4 months.

A couple of years ago, I was afraid that I would have to learn to sleep separately through tears, with great difficulty. I was ready to go through any work, for me it’s better to sleep calmly for 4 years and only suffer a month with relocation. Than from birth to jump and ride at night.

So, to wean from sharing sleep, I did not need to make any effort. Only show the daughter’s friends on the bed a few times and promise a new bed. Which I was already going to buy.

The youngest son has been sleeping with us since birth. And I also plan to leave a joint dream for years 3-4. And then it will be easy to attract him with the idea of ​​sleeping alone, like his older sister. And now he really wants to sleep in his sister's place. But now I myself am not ready for such a turn of events, since breastfeeding has not yet been completed. And get up at night. I have no such desire.

For me, sleeping together is an opportunity to sleep at night, almost never get up. Someone complains that sleeping is so crowded. For this, I can only advise you to buy a wide sofa. Instead of spending money on baby cots, it’s better to buy a cheap wide sofa! Cheap - so as not to cry every time the baby describes him (day or night). Or - draw with a ballpoint pen.

Sleeping together helps your baby feel safe. And mom helps to feel the baby. This is only a few years of life. Which can be maximally filled with warmth and proximity to the baby. When the child is ready, he easily begins to sleep separately. And it even becomes a pity that the kids grow up so quickly.

Good videos about the sound sleep of children from a specialist - look here.

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Why is the baby better to sleep separately

Psychologists say that a child is psychologically separated from his mother only at the age of 7 years. The baby is still very poorly perceives the world outside of her mother. It is important for him to hear his own voice, feel the touch, feel the familiar beat of his mother’s heart. This all helps him cope with the anxiety of being in a new unfamiliar world.

But the mother is neither physically nor psychologically capable of being with the baby 24 hours a day. Yes, and the baby is harmful. He needs to learn to be alone. This is necessary for the development of its mental and physical functions.

Note:If the baby is very anxious about the absence of his mother at night and does not want to sleep in the crib, you will have to go to meet him. Then it is necessary to teach independent rest gradually, without violence from parents. Otherwise, too much will be paid for a separate dream: the nervous system of the child.

The dangers of sleeping together:

  • Injury to the child.
  • Mom’s moral and physical overwork.
  • Delayed development of mental functions. The self is a necessary condition for the full mental development of the child.
  • Cooling the senses between mom and dad. Not every dad can stand the three of us, and this, together with the general stressful situation in the house, can lead to an increase in conflict in the couple.

Remember, it is important to teach a child to sleep separately from his parents, but this must be done correctly and in a timely manner. A one-year-old baby breast-fed up to 1 year without the habit of a dummy during vaccination, cutting teeth and physical ailments is better to put to sleep where he likes. In all other cases, slowly move to independent sleep.

Rules and methods for teaching independent sleep

There are many tricks and secrets how to go through this stage without tears and tantrums:

  1. It is easy to teach a child to sleep separately from parents if you were able to do this at the stage of the hospital. Does the baby sleep peacefully separately in the hospital? So you don’t need to drag him to a common bed at home - he feels good without it.
  2. A calm pregnancy is an important condition for the child’s nervous health. Sleep the proper amount of time, do not overwork, avoid nervous overloads, and the newborn will calmly feel in a separate bed.
  3. The correct mode of the day. Active games in the morning, calm - in the afternoon. Mandatory daytime sleep. Then the baby in the evening will come tired, but not overworked, and will be able to sleep peacefully.
  4. Proper rituals before bedtime. This is especially important for some older children. Bathing, bedtime story, sleep.
  5. Accustom yourself gradually:
    • lie beside you for a while until you fall asleep
    • let's only hand
    • do something near the baby
    • leave the door to the room open so that he knows that you are somewhere nearby.
  6. It happens that a newborn categorically refuses independent sleep when the family is restless. The general nervous situation drains even the baby. He will need additional reassurance, which is a joint sleep.
  7. Download from the Internet the sound of the heart of an adult and turn it on while falling asleep. Pediatricians and psychologists say that the beating of the heart soothes and sprinkles no worse than a lullaby.

Dr. Komarovsky draws the attention of parents to the fact that the rules and the general attitude to the child on the part of the family are important in raising children. The kid is a member of the family system, but not the main one. No need to rebuild your whole life for a small one. We must integrate it into the family. Therefore, the child must clearly understand that in the house there is a living space for him personally (the bed) and others (the bed of the parents).

We accustom to a separate dream for months

How to teach a newborn, monthly, three-month-old baby to sleep in a crib on their own? Some mothers share the experience of smooth training according to the following algorithm:

  • a baby under 4 months old falls asleep on her mother’s chest and is transferred to a crib,
  • at 5-6 months, mom cradles the baby in her arms with a lullaby,
  • 11 months - 1 year, just a song.

At 7, 8, 9 and 10 months it all depends on the process of teething. The baby can sleep restlessly due to the fact that he is tormented by pain in the gums. In such cases, use a special liquid for pain relief. She will relieve pain and the little one will fall asleep calmer.

It's important to know!The crib works as a place where they instantly fall asleep, only when it is used only for sleep. The kid woke up, take him from there. Let him play and eat in other places. Put in the crib only when the baby herself is ready for bed.

At 1.5 years old, you can and should diversify the rituals of falling asleep. Add to them a stuffed toy, dressing pajamas, reading a book. In 2-3 years, the next step is to be made - a separate bed. If the baby is afraid, first put a bed next to yours. Furnish your move to your own room like a holiday.

Joint sleep and age of the child

The first three months after birth, it is very useful for a baby to sleep next to her mother. The baby falls asleep next to her, feeling her warmth, and mother is so comfortable to feed the baby.

Gradually, the baby undergoes postpartum stress, and you already have mature lactation, milk comes as much as the baby needs.

A joint dream for a nursing mother is like a magic wand. You can not jump up 10 times a night, but in one second give the baby a chest and continue to sleep.

The time for moving a child to bed will be different for different families.

  • In my practice, there have been cases when, already at 4 months old, my dad ordered to transfer the child to the crib with a volitional gesture, as he could not relax and sleep
  • There were families where the child kept a joint sleep with parents up to 3-4 years. Moreover, the child grew up very smart, did not suffer from nightmares and was very psychologically stable.

Therefore, the recommendations that it is at a particular age that you need to transfer the child to a separate bed do not have good reason. This is a personal opinion of the author, not supported by research.

More or less, a greater number of children are ready to go to bed separately at the age of 2 years. This I write about those cases when you get enough sleep during a joint sleep and you are not bothered by night feeding the baby.

How to teach a separate one-year-old baby to sleep?

You need to look not at the age of the child, but at the behavior of the baby.

There are signs that you can focus on when deciding on a separate dream:

  1. You have stopped breastfeeding or the baby is no longer breastfeeding at night (read on: How much time to feed the baby at night? >>>),
  2. The child has a long sleep period at night, when he does not wake up for 5-6 hours,
  3. The baby is healthy and does not bother him,
  4. A child can be in the room alone,
  5. When a child wakes up, he does not call you to cry,

You can’t lay the child himself if the baby is sick, you give him to kindergarten or wean him, accustom him to the potty or his teeth are cut, as well as if you have another child.

It all depends on the individual characteristics of the baby.

Some children can fall asleep separately already at 1 year old, and many, even at four years old, cannot sleep on their own. And there are reasons for all this.

Why is the baby afraid to sleep alone

When the baby grows up a bit, they try to put him to sleep in another bed, where there is no mom and dad nearby. And most of the children begin to act up. The main reasons why children do not want to lie on their own are that the baby:

  • don’t understand why he’s torn from his mother’s heat,
  • thinks they were offended and thrown at him,
  • sees nightmares
  • can't sleep on her own
  • Needs the presence of mom or dad for a good night's sleep.

All these causes are manifested in the form of crying, screaming and whims.

Know! It is only natural that during a joint sleep, the child is very used to sleeping with his mother and he does not want to part with you.

Another reason children under 4 years old do not want to be separated from their parents is children's fear.

At the age of two years, the guys are actively developing imagination, they receive a lot of impressions during the day, from which they wake up at night and cry. Being close to their parents, the children feel protected, so they do not want to sleep in another room.

Every child experiences a period of childhood fears. With children's fears, the child needs help to cope.

What can be done for this?

  1. don’t let the kid watch scary cartoons and don’t watch the news about various disasters, killings and incidents yourself,
  2. play calm games with your child in the evening,
  3. don't tease the baby with a coward,
  4. try to avoid phrases about the darkness - “It's scary there!” or “Don't go, it's dark!”, it happens that the parents themselves said a phrase and created fear in the child,
  5. Also, I recommend reading an article on this issue, which is available on the site: Nightly fears of a child >>>.

If you are no longer breastfeeding, then the fastest way to teach your child to sleep separately is to use the 4-step technique that you will receive in the seminar How to transfer a child to a separate bed? >>>

In addition to the seminar, you will receive a bonus lesson about ridding a child of children's fears.

We begin to wean the baby from sharing sleep

You are probably interested in learning how to teach a child to sleep in his crib? To transfer your baby to dream in a separate bed you need to be patient, be persistent and attentive to your child.

  • To begin with, remove one leaf of the crib and place it near your own. In this situation, the baby seems to be with you and sleeps in his bed,
  • After the baby gets used to the new territory, the bed can be gradually moved further and further from the parents.

But how to teach a 2 year old baby to sleep in a crib?

If the child is more than 2 years old, then you can very well play on his desire to be independent. Use this when moving to another bed and just prepare it:

  1. Be sure to talk with the baby, tell them that only babies sleep with their parents, and he is already big and he has his own bed, which cries if no one sleeps in it,

This is a small tale from fairy tales that you can apply. Более подробно о нем я рассказываю в курсе по переводу ребенка в отдельную кроватку.

  1. Чтобы кроха не боялся, включайте в комнате ночник или настольную лампу,
  2. Выработайте определенный ритуал перед сном, который будет включать в себя, например, купание, чтение сказки и сон. Together with the child, lay toys, sing a lullaby or listen to a calm melody. Useful article on this topic: Rituals before bedtime >>>,
  3. Relocate to your own bed, to any event, such as a new year or a birthday,
  4. Be sure to involve the child in choosing his own nest, let him choose a bed for himself in the store,
  5. Together with your son or daughter, pick up bedding for their crib,
  6. Next to the little one, put your favorite toy and say that it will protect it at night,
  7. Imagine a fairy tale that you read at night, which will bring magical good dreams.

Important! If the baby is still breastfeeding, then before you teach him to sleep in a separate crib, you need to teach him to fall asleep on his own, without a chest.

This will allow the child to sleep more soundly at night, not to wake up and you can also relax, and not ply between your own and the crib.

What should parents not do?

  • leave the baby in the dark
  • frighten,
  • scream and physically punish
  • tease,
  • show softness and weakness,
  • to shame before neighbors and relatives,
  • tell horror stories for the night,
  • leave crying in bed if the baby is worried,

It is necessary to accustom a child to sleep independently, since changes, in large numbers, can injure the child's psyche.

Be careful and attentive during this difficult period for the whole family.

Lyudmila Sharova, your baby sleep consultant.

You can sign up for a consultation through the feedback form.

How to teach a child to sleep separately from mom

I began to look for information on this topic, scanned many sites and forums. As I expected, the problem of joint sleep is quite common: many mothers feed their babies on demand and often take them to their bed for night feeding. And then, when the kids get used to sleeping in the parental bed, mothers try to wean them from this.

Question to Dr. Komarovsky: How to wean from joint sleep?

In order for the child to quickly fall asleep and sleep soundly, many mothers are advised to perform certain rituals at bedtime. For example, bathing your baby in the bathroom, dressing in warm pajamas, having a massage, reading a book or singing a lullaby. This advice, of course, is good, but it works only with older children, because you can negotiate with them. But how to negotiate with a ten-month-old bootuz, when he cries, clutches his mother and tries with all his might to "escape" from the crib?

This is exactly the reaction I observed in my child every evening when I tried to put him to sleep in a crib. And I felt sorry for him, decided not to injure him or my psyche again.

I began to teach my baby to fall asleep independently, from daytime sleep. After morning or lunch feeding, when the baby began to fall asleep, I took him in my arms and, swaying lightly, quietly sang him a lullaby. When the baby fell asleep, I carefully put him in the crib. I didn’t leave right away, and for some time I sat nearby, not taking my hand away from the child, so that he felt that his mother was nearby. And only when I was sure that my baby was sleeping soundly, I removed my hand and quietly left the room. If at some point the child woke up, then I just gave him a bottle of baby tea or compote. Of course, not everything went smoothly, sometimes he began to act up, but in the end he fell asleep anyway.

Over time, my baby got used to waking up not with me, but in his crib, and this ceased to cause him to cry. But if during the day he learned to sleep independently, then in the evenings to put him to bed was still problematic. It was hard for me to lay the child in my arms, so I put it next to me. But as soon as the baby began to fall asleep, I put him in the crib. If he began to cry, then I again shifted it to me, waited until he fell asleep and again sent him to the crib.

A week later, my efforts were finally successful: my baby woke up at night, ate a little, and then rolled over onto the other side and fell asleep. Myself! I think he just got used to his crib, just as he got used to mine before. Still to learn to fall asleep independently, and the problem will be completely solved.

Of course, many mothers may decide that my method is too loyal, that the child should be immediately put to bed. But what if, as soon as he is in it, the baby immediately wakes up and begins to cry? I am sure that every mother should feel her baby: to know when it is better to put the baby in the crib, and when to take it to itself, when the baby is ready to sleep on its own, and when he still needs to feel mom's warmth. I felt that my baby was ready to "move out" into his own crib, and the whole process went smoothly, without any tears and worries.

The most important thing is not to rush things, but to do everything gradually. It can take a long time for the child to get used to his own crib. Be patient, and the result will be!