How To Get Baby To Nap In The Crib (and off of you!)

Struggling to figure out how to teach your baby to nap in their crib, and off of you? In this video I teach you some step-by-step strategies to begin working on crib naps instead of contact naps!

REMEMBER: There are many different sleep philosophies to choose. Inside my programs and videos here on YouTube I will teach about independent sleep spaces for you and your child. We also need to recognize (as shared in this video) that newborn contact naps will happen, and can totally be enjoyed!

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39 Comments

  1. I live in a small space… so the room isn’t dark during the day we get a lot of natural light what do you suggest if it doesn’t get that dark

  2. This video was super helpful and makes me feel confident to start naps in the crib as opposed to my baby only napping in the carrier sling. What if my 4 MO is still crying and awake after 30 minutes? Should I resort back to the usual way of napping or skip the nap? Also, should we try this for every nap or just the first nap of the day to start and other naps like normal? Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Emily! That is a great question! At 4 months old, the goal would be to have your little one take two naps in the crib and then two naps on the go (you don’t want to be trapped in the house for 4 crib naps!) I would start with the first nap of the day and work your way up from there. 30 minutes is a great amount of time to try this, and if baby isn’t having it, then switch to a way you know they will fall asleep.

      If you are looking for a plan to teach your little one the skills of independent sleep, my Baby E-Coaching can be started as early as 16 weeks old! https://littlezsleep.com/baby

  3. Thank you for this video! Successfully had my 13 week old take his first nap in the pack n play today. Took him 30min but we did it! Do you suggest doing this for all naps? Or a couple a day? Thanks again!!

    1. Hey Aissa! What a great win! I recommend starting with the first nap of the day because that is the easiest. And then as your little guy gets used to napping in his own space, you can try more throughout the day.

  4. Today was my first morning trying out these tips and it worked!!!!! My daughter was back in her crib fast asleep in LESS than 15 minutes!!! I shushed her and gently rubbed her cheeks and forehead NONSTOP and she knocked out. Omg I’m so happy! Especially since the first hour after she’s awake is the hardest for me since I’m also still trying to wake up. Whew! Glad I get to eat my breakfast calmly and quietly this morning! Going to continue doing this from now on! 🖤

  5. I have a 12 week old baby who knows how to nap independently for the first nap (one hour) but he still can’t nap independently for any other nap. How do you get them to connect the dots?

    1. Same. My 3 (almost 4 month old) has no trouble being put down for the first nap but sometime around noon she can’t nap on her own. She also has has reflux and can only fall asleep after a feed.

  6. Hi,
    Thanks so much for this, really helpful! Our baby of twelve weeks is falling asleep quite well in her crib, but, she struggles to stay asleep more than 45 minutes at a time..any idea on how to help her sleep longer?

  7. Thanks for the advice. My LO is 4 months, besides having the room dark can I use a hatch to add some light or will it be to distracting? If she cry’s should I pick her up or leave her and continue trying to put her to sleep?

  8. For a 6 month old would you recommend doing this before, during, or after night training?

    1. Hi Hannah! Night time sleep and daytime sleep are actually connected. In all of my programs we teach baby to sleep independently for nights and naps at the same time. It can be very confusing for a child for there to be different expectations for sleep throughout the day. If you are looking for a plan to get your baby sleeping in the crib, I recommend my Baby E-Coaching.

      https://littlezsleep.com/baby

  9. Hi there, first of all, thank you for the video and the method. I tried this method this morning for my nearly 12 weeks old and it worked for us. Took me 30 mins kept picking up and putting down, then my son went to sleep for 40 mins, he woke up, did not cry, stayed in the bassinet for 10 mins and started crying. I picked him out and calmed him but it took 20 mins to settle him. I ended up holding him to sleep for the rest of the nap
    May I have a question please? When he wakes up after that 40 mins nap, should I keep trying to put him back in the bassinet like the beginning or just do everything like holding /rocking for him to sleep the rest of the nap and try thr method again at the next naps? I want him to have a good nap so he won’t wake up unhappily and tired. How many time do you recommend us should do it a day? Many thanks

    1. Hey there! I am glad to hear that this helped to get your little one to nap in the bassinet! Newborn naps are all over the place, so it is totally normally for them to have some short naps and some long naps. You could try to rescue the nap, but if it is taking a long time, you could just get him up and start his next wake window.

  10. OMG! Just put down my 5.5 MO who had been doing contact naps since birth. She cried for 24 mins during the first nap and slept for 30 mins. For the second nap she cried for 15 mins but woke up after 15 mins. I was wondering how to get her to nap longer. I’m afraid she will be over tired if the naps are so short.

    1. Hey Fatema! One thing I would check is to make sure you are using the correct schedule for your baby. You can get my free schedule generator here: https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/5cd320557700810014fc537f

      If she is still having a hard time sleeping on her own for naps, I would recommend a sleep training plan to teach her the skill of independent sleep. With my Baby E-Coaching, I will give you a step by step guide to have your little one sleeping independently for nights and naps! https://littlezsleep.com/baby

  11. What do you do if baby goes to daycare Monday-Friday I’ve been sleep training for bed time but I think it’s so hard because at daycare he sleeps in a stroller. What do I do or tell them?

  12. do you have a video which goes over nap training for 15 months old? she has been napping on us in the house or car seat or stroller when we are out. but now that she’s on one nap schedule, she doesn’t sleep for 2-3 hours. we need to bring her to bed and be with her to keep her napping.

    1. Hey there! If you are wanting to teach your little one how to sleep independently for naps and night sleep, my Baby E-Coaching will give you a step by step plan! littlezsleep.com/baby

  13. My baby is 5 months old, and when he was colicky he slept in a bouncer. And now he won’t fall asleep during the day without being rocked in the bouncer. I tried rocking him less and less but as soon as I pick him up to transfer him, he wakes up and we are back to ground 0. How do I teach him to fall asleep on his own without being bounced to sleep? And no CIO method. I don’t have the heart for that!
    Also, is the black out room absolutely necessary? Our rooms have a ton of windows and it would be super hard to get it that dark 😅
    And how would I adjust later if I’m not able to put him down in a dark room – say I’m not home or whatnot?

    1. Hey Anna! My Baby E-Coaching program walks you through a step by step plan to get your little one sleeping independently! It is not Cry It Out, but it is also not a no cry sleep method. If you would like more information about our strategies, feel free to email support@littlezsleep.com!

  14. This is sooo cool gonna try this out my baby girl is 6 months old and she naps like 5 to 15 mins she doesn’t really nap on me much anymore she only does when she really had a bad day. But I want to try to get her to nap in the crib. I am a stay a home dad and I want to get things done but she only naps a little bit haha 😮‍💨

    1. Hey Julian! If you want to get your little one to sleep independently for nights and naps, check out by Baby E-Coaching program. It is a step by step plan that will teach your little one to sleep 3 hours total during the day and 11-12 hours at night!
      littlezsleep.com/baby

  15. Hi there! If I make the room completely dark, wouldn’t that affect my baby’s way to distinguish between day and night? Or is it just until they get used to falling asleep in a crib and then it’s back to light room?

    1. Hey Loredana! A baby’s circadian rhythm is established around 8-9 weeks of age! Darkening the room at nap time will not affect their circadian rhythm because they are exposed to daylight all throughout the day! A dark environment is the most ideal location for them to take long, restorative naps!

  16. That’s going to be challenging. My 12 week old won’t last a second in the crib without yelling and bursting into tears.

  17. I started implementing these tips the day I watched this. And it’s working beautifully! Me and my baby (and my back!) thank you!!

  18. I love having my baby girl sleeping in my arms, but I need to clean my house, to eat, to take a shower and so on. My back is struggling also, she’s more than 5 kg.

    1. Hey Kamila! I get it, the snuggles are so sweet, but you also need time for yourself <3

  19. How does this apply when you have a refluxxy baby that needs to be kept upright for a while after a feed but in that time she’s kept upright, she falls asleep in my arms. I can get her down in her bed for a while but she tends to wake after a short sleep and will vomit and stay awake. Doesn’t wake and vomit at night though. It’s a real battle, any tips greatly appreciated. Reflux is making lots of things hard Eg. Tummy time, feed/play/sleep. I feel like I have to hold her all day or she will spend the day spewing and miserable!

    1. Hey there! Reflux is tough! I would offer the feed at the beginning of the wake window, that way you have time to hold her upright. I would also touch base with your pediatrician and see if there is anything to help her keep milk down a little better!

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