Are you a new parent? and worried about why your babies hate sleeping in their bassinet. How do you get a newborn to sleep in a bassinet?
- A Safe Sleep Environment (Bassinet)
- REASONS WHY YOUR BABY MAY NOT SLEEP WELL IN A BASSINET
- Solution How Can I Get My Baby To Sleep In a Bassinet
- Getting Your Infant Comforted in Their Bassinet
- Tips And Tricks To Help Your Baby Love The Bassinet
- Why won't my baby sleep in the bassinet?
You are not alone. Many new parents are facing this problem. When you bring your newborn home for the first time, getting them to sleep can be quite a challenge. You’ve done all the necessary tasks – changing, feeding, and soothing – to get them to sleep finally. It might be difficult to get a newborn to sleep when you bring them home for the first time. You’ve taken care of them in every way—changing, feeding, and comforting them—to finally get them to sleep.
You gently set your priceless child in their bassinet in the hopes of getting a little sleep yourself. Nevertheless, their eyes will eventually open as you creep away. It seems like they fight being placed in the bassinet no matter how many times you try, and the cycle continues. A very frustrating situation arises when your infant just won’t go to sleep in their bassinet.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind your baby’s dislike of the bassinet, and provide tips to help make bedtime a more peaceful experience for both of you.
A Safe Sleep Environment (Bassinet)
A bassinet is an excellent sleeping spot for your newborn up to approximately 4 months of age. Its portability allows you to move it from room to room, adhering to safe sleep guidelines that suggest babies sleep in the same room as parents during their first six months.
However, after the 4-month mark, babies become more active and stronger. Depending on your specific bassinet type, this might be the appropriate time to consider transitioning them to a crib. To get detailed guidance on this transition, consult your bassinet’s manual.
When using a bassinet, ensure it is equipped with a clean, firm mattress that fits snugly to eliminate gaps between the mattress and the bassinet structure. This helps maintain a secure sleep environment. Make certain the mattress sheets are fitted tightly to prevent any loose bedding, thus enhancing your baby’s safety during sleep.
To promote safe sleep practices, always place your baby in the bassinet on their back with their feet at the end of the bassinet to prevent them from wriggling under bedding.
In the case of naps, if your baby is falling asleep in your arms, stay attentive to their needs. If you find yourself fatigued, gently place them in their bassinet or, if possible, seek assistance from someone else so you can also get some well-deserved rest.
REASONS WHY YOUR BABY MAY NOT SLEEP WELL IN A BASSINET
The sudden change from the cozy, womb-like environment to the roomy, open space of the bassinet is one of the main reasons your infant may detest it. Babies frequently struggle to acclimate to the spacious surroundings of the bassinet because they are accustomed to the cramped confines of the womb.
Sleep associations are quickly formed by babies, which can make the bassinet less desirable. Your baby might not like the bassinet if they are used to falling asleep in your arms, in a rocking chair, or with a pacifier because it doesn’t provide them with these comforting sleep signals.
Temperature and Swaddle
The temperature of the room and the way your baby is swaddled can also affect their comfort in the bassinet. Ensure that the room is at a comfortable temperature, and swaddle your baby in a way that allows them to feel secure without being too hot or too cold.
A baby might dislike the bassinet due to physical discomfort. Uncomfortable mattresses, tight swaddling, or even slight drafts can make your little one fuss and resist sleep in the bassinet.
Separation anxiety is a normal developmental phase that usually peaks between 6 and 8 months of age. Your baby may become more aware of your absence when placed in the bassinet, leading to resistance.
Fear of the Dark
Some babies develop a fear of dark or unfamiliar surroundings, causing them to cry when placed in a dimly lit room with a bassinet.
Sometimes, your baby’s aversion to the bassinet may be rooted in hunger or discomfort. Ensure your baby is well-fed, dry, and comfortable before bedtime.
Babies can easily become overstimulated, which makes it difficult for them to settle down in the bassinet. Avoid exposing your baby to too much stimulation before bedtime. Calm, low-light activities can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.
Solution How Can I Get My Baby To Sleep In a Bassinet
Certainly, you put so much thought into selecting the perfect crib, cot, or bassinet for your little one, only to discover that your baby has a different agenda when it comes to where they want to sleep. But don’t worry; there are steps you can take to help your baby become accustomed to sleeping in their bassinet. Here’s how:
Optimal Room Temperature:
First, ensure that the room temperature is just right, ideally between 16 – 20 degrees Celsius. A comfortable room temperature is essential for your baby’s sleep.
Dress for the Temperature:
Dress your baby appropriately for the room’s temperature. A room thermometer can guide you in dressing your baby appropriately for a good night’s sleep.
Begin with changing your baby’s diaper before preparing them for sleep. A dry diaper is crucial for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Swaddle with Care:
If your baby isn’t rolling over yet, consider swaddling them. Swaddling can recreate the snug sensation of the womb and help suppress the startle reflex, preventing your baby from waking up suddenly.
Feed and Wind:
Make sure your baby is well-fed and comfortable. Address any wind pain or discomfort before settling them down to sleep.
Create the Right Sleep Environment:
Settle your baby to sleep in a dark room with white noise. White noise mimics the soothing sounds your baby hears in the womb and helps block out background noise for better sleep.
If your baby has reflux issues, it’s a good practice to keep them upright for about 20-30 minutes after feeding before putting them to sleep.
Prioritize Bassinet Sleep:
Whenever possible, settle your baby in their bassinet rather than on you. Babies sometimes wake when transferred to their sleeping space, so putting them in the bassinet first and then soothing them to sleep can reduce these disturbances.
Monitor Awake Time:
Pay attention to the duration of awake time between naps to ensure your baby isn’t too under or overtired. Maintaining the right balance of nap and awake time is crucial for your baby’s sleep routine. Our Little Ones App can help determine the ideal awake time for your baby between naps.
Getting Your Infant Comforted in Their Bassinet
You’ve learned how to encourage your baby to sleep in their bassinet, but how does this translate into practice? Let’s walk through the steps of getting your baby to sleep in their bassinet.
Start by ensuring your baby is well-fed and winded during their awake time. While feeding right before their nap can make them drowsy, it’s essential to avoid feeding them to sleep. The goal is to have them fall asleep in their bed, not on the breast or in your arms. So, feed them shortly after they wake when they are alert and attentive.
Once the appropriate awake time has passed, take your baby to their room or the location where their bassinet is set up. Change their diaper, swaddle them, or place them in their sleeping bag. Then, initiate a calming bedtime routine to prepare them for sleep. This routine could involve singing songs, reading a book, or sharing a cuddle.
Consistency in these steps will help your baby recognize when it’s time for sleep.
By now, your baby should be relaxed and getting drowsy. Place them into their bassinet in a completely darkened room, and turn on the white noise. Begin settling them to sleep using gentle touch techniques like patting, side-settling, or stroking their hair.
Consistency is key to this process. If your baby becomes upset, pick them up and provide comfort. Once they are calm, return them to their bassinet and try settling again.
If you’ve made attempts to settle your newborn in their bassinet and haven’t succeeded after 10-15 minutes, it’s fine to soothe them to sleep in your arms and try again next time. This prevents your baby from becoming overtired, as an overtired baby may struggle to fall asleep.
Remember, if you don’t achieve success on the first day or even within the first couple of days, don’t be discouraged. Consistency is your greatest ally. Keep trying at the start of each nap and bedtime, and you’ll see progress over time.
Tips And Tricks To Help Your Baby Love The Bassinet
Tip 1: Help your baby gradually adjust to the bassinet by placing them in it for short periods during the day. This can reduce the shock of the transition.
Tip 2: Develop a consistent bedtime routine that includes calming activities like a warm bath, gentle lullabies, and cuddling to help your baby associate the bassinet with comfort and sleep.
Tip 3: Ensure the bassinet mattress is comfortable and the room temperature is ideal for your baby’s comfort.
Tip 4: Introduce small steps to limit separation anxiety, such as sleeping near the bassinet for a few nights before transitioning your baby to it.
Tip 5: If your baby is fearful of the dark, consider using a gentle night light in the room.
Understanding why your baby dislikes the bassinet is the first step to finding a solution. By addressing your baby’s specific concerns and gradually introducing them to this new sleeping space, you can help make the bassinet a place of comfort and security, ensuring better sleep for both you and your little one.
Why won’t my baby sleep in the bassinet?
Babies may resist sleeping in a bassinet for several reasons, including discomfort, unfamiliarity, or a preference for sleeping in their arms.
When is the best time to transition my baby to a crib from a bassinet?
The recommended time to transition your baby to a crib is around 4 to 6 months, depending on their development and the type of bassinet you have. Check your bassinet’s manual for guidance.
Are there specific sleep safety guidelines for using a bassinet?
Yes, follow the safe sleep guidelines by ensuring a firm mattress, snug-fitting sheets, no loose bedding, and placing your baby on their back to sleep. Keep your baby’s feet at the end of the bassinet.
What can I do if my baby falls asleep on me but wakes when placed in the bassinet?
You can try to transition your baby to the bassinet in a series of steps. Hold your baby until they are drowsy, then place them in the bassinet. Be consistent, and your baby may adjust to sleeping there.
Can white noise help my baby sleep in the bassinet?
Yes, white noise can create a soothing environment that masks household sounds and helps your baby sleep. Consider using a white noise machine or a fan.
How can I help my baby sleep in the bassinet during daytime naps?
Follow a consistent nap routine and ensure the room is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Stick to the same sleep cues you use at bedtime.
When is it too late to transition my baby to a bassinet if they’re already used to sleeping in our bed?
It’s never too late to transition your baby to a bassinet or crib. It might take some time and patience, but consistency is key to helping them adapt to a new sleeping environment.
Should I swaddle my baby to help them sleep in the bassinet?
Swaddling can provide comfort and reduce the startle reflex. If your baby isn’t rolling over yet, swaddling can be helpful. However, always swaddle safely and check for age-appropriate guidelines.
Writer, Child Development Specialist
Nutritional Needs for Growing Children
Picky Eater Strategies
Effective Communication Techniques
Inclusive Education Techniques
Preparing Kids for School Transitions
Founder and Head of Content Strategy for Parenting and Childcare with a specialized focus on nutritional needs for growing children and picky eater strategies.
Holds a Master’s degree in Child Development from Queens University.
Certified in Precision Nutrition, Child Development Associate, and New Parent Education.
Hannah Miller, M.Ed., combines academic insights with real-life parenting experience in her writing. Maria crafts articles on topics such as effective communication techniques, inclusive education, and preparing kids for school transitions that resonate deeply with parents and parents-to-be. She offers invaluable resources based on her extensive education, training, and firsthand experience as a parent. In her spare time, Maria enjoys hiking trails and experimenting in the kitchen with culinary delights.