Designing a baby crib is one of the milestones for newborn parents. However, what do you do if your baby stages a revolt and doesn’t want anything to do with their bassinet?
As a newborn parent, you may encounter several instances where your baby won’t sleep in a bassinet. Did you ever wonder what might have caused that and how to get a newborn to sleep in a bassinet?
Well, don’t worry. We have got you covered. Keep reading to understand how to get newborns to sleep in a bassinet.
Reasons Why Your Baby Won’t Sleep In The Bassinet
When I had my first child, I often found it both physically and mentally exhausting to try and get my baby to sleep in their bassinet. It happened frequently, and I couldn’t wrap my finger around it.
After immense surfing on the net, I understood that babies don’t sleep in their bassinet for several multiple reasons.
The first reason why your newborn won’t sleep in bassinet is that they are seeking comfort. As all newborns adjust and adapt differently, it may be that your child requires more time to be acquainted with the bassinet.
In other words, they may not feel as comfortable sleeping in the bassinet as they do when they sleep in your hands.
Furthermore, when speaking about the newborn’s comfort, it is essential to think about various factors such as hunger, gas, etc. These elements tend to have a drastic impact on the baby’s sleep.
If your newborn is hungry, they tend to cry and feel uncomfortable sleeping. This serves to be a pivotal aspect during cluster feeding and growth milestones.
Another cause could be gas. For any child, it tends to become difficult to sleep when they have a gassy stomach.
On the whole, you need to allow your child to slowly adapt to the crib environment. It is important to take small steps at this stage, as that will have a more prolonged impact.
2. Fatigue And Tiredness
Another reason why your baby won’t sleep in bassinet is due to their awake times. In other words, newborn parents should familiarize themselves with their baby’s sleeping patterns.
Overstimulation can have a drastic impact on your child’s sleep. If they become exhausted, they will tend to be fussier, making it harder for them to sleep.
Therefore, I would advise you to learn your baby’s sleep pattern. This way, you can easily put them to bed in their bassinet.
From my personal experience, I discovered that my baby won’t sleep in a bassinet due to their habit. I was always an overprotective mother and wished to have my baby in my arms while they sleep.
However, I realized that this has a significant impact on the sleeping nature of your child. Therefore, I would recommend you transfer your baby into a bassinet, and slowly help them adapt to the bassinet’s bedding.
Techniques To Get Your Baby To Sleep In Bassinet
Now that you have determined the root cause for why your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet, the next step is to employ various methods and techniques to acquaint them with the nature of the bassinet slowly.
Below are a few techniques that you can try out to make sure that your baby can sleep in their bassinet.
1. Bedtime Routine
The first technique to getting your child to sleep in their bassinet is to have a stable, better routine. In other words, you need to integrate a consistent and steady night routine to ensure that your child falls asleep faster throughout the night.
Some of the activities you can try including in your bedtime routine are a light massage, bath, cuddling, reading, or swaddling.
Furthermore, try to get your newborn induced into the routine. Some of the pre-bedtime activities include getting your baby cleaned up and changed into their nightclothes, etc.
You can also try to introduce an attachment object. In other words, children love to sleep with something by their side. This could be anything your child likes, such as a toy or a pillow.
However, you need to ensure that the object doesn’t take up too much space, leading to claustrophobia and suffocation.
Irrespective of the technique that you choose, it is essential to follow that same activity in the same order every night. This acts as an indicator for your baby to know that it is bedtime and it’s time to relax.
2. Lay Your Baby Down Awake
One of the keys to successfully getting your child to sleep in a bassinet is to lay them down while they are still awake. Even though you feel like giving in to your child, you need to resist the urge to hold them for your child to sleep.
Your newborn will not get comfortable sleeping in a bassinet if they are not trained to do so. You can try to create the perfect cozy environment for them to fall asleep.
Another tip I can give you is finding a sweet spot for them to sleep. Your baby must not be completely asleep or completely awake when putting them down in the bassinet. They should be drowsy, almost ready to go to bed.
Another method to get your baby to sleep in a bassinet is swaddling. There are specific essential steps that you need to follow to swaddle your baby effectively.
Step 1: Spot A Flat Surface
The first step to swaddle your baby is to find a flat surface. Examples of a flat surface include a table, the floor, etc.
Once you have spotted a flat surface, the next step is to spread your baby’s blanket in a diamond shape.
You need to ensure that one of the corners points up on the surface. After you have identified this corner, fold the top corner down approximately 5 to 6 inches.
Step 2: Place The Baby
After you have folded the car corner of the blanket, the next step is to place your baby onto the blanket.
As you place the baby on the swaddle blanket, keep in mind that the baby’s head should sit slightly above the folded edge of the blanket, and their body should be placed straight towards the bottom corner of the blanket.
Step 3: Straighten The Left Arm of Your Baby
Once you have placed your baby onto the blanket, you need to take the left side of the blanket and bring it over the baby’s left arm and chest.
After doing so, you need to place the blanket under the baby’s right arm all the way across their back. This way, your baby’s left arm is covered with a blanket, but the right time will be free to move.
Step 4: Tuck The Bottom
You’re almost there to create the perfect swaddle environment for your baby. After you have tucked their arms, the next step is to fold the bottom edge of the blanket.
To do so, you need to pull the right side of the swaddle blanket over the baby and plicate it under the left side. Think of the entire process of wrapping your baby in their swaddle blanket as the way you would wrap a present.
Step 5: Secure The Blanket
Now that you have wrapped this swaddle blanket around your baby, the last step is to secure the blanket in place so that your baby doesn’t fall through it. To do so, just loosely twist the bottom of the blanket, and push it underneath your baby.
That’s how easy it is. However, there are a few essential things to be remembered.
Firstly, the blanket should be snug but not too tight for the baby. In other words, the baby should feel compact but not claustrophobic.
You can check whether the blanket is properly tucked or not by placing two fingers between the baby’s chest and the swaddle blanket. If your fingers go in easily, then the blanket has the perfect tightness.
In addition, the blanket should be slightly loose around the hips of the baby. This way, they can move their legs freely.
Swaddling your baby has its own set of advantages. The major advantage of swaddling your baby is that they tend to feel secure. They feel protected by encasing them in a soft blanket, just like they did in the womb.
Plus, swaddling is a great technique that is often employed to reduce the startle reflex. As reflexes are a significant cause for babies awakening at night, swaddling helps to restrict their movement. As their limbs don’t flail, they tend to stay asleep.
Last but not least, swaddling helps to reduce the baby’s anxiety, as they feel safe and secure.
4. Read A Book or Sing A Song
If you want your baby to sleep in their bassinet, I recommend reading or singing to them. Try integrating this technique into their daily sleep regime. Even though you don’t hold your baby after putting them in a bassinet, your voice helps them feel close to you.
In fact, music before bedtime tends to have numerous benefits for your baby’s growth and development. Some of them are listed below.
Firstly, music helps improve your baby’s cognitive skills. As you sing a song to your baby regularly, they tend to recognize the various elements of the song.
Plus, music has proved to be immensely calming to babies, as it can help reduce their stress. The sounds of a familiar song can be soothing and help them wind down quicker.
Lastly, when newborn parents sing to their children, babies tend to sleep much better and stay asleep for a longer time.
One of the ways you can sing to your child is to sing soft songs such as rhymes. This way, they can resonate with their favorite bedtime song.
5. Ideal Room Temperature
Did you know that room temperature tends to have a significant impact on your baby’s sleeping habits? If your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet, chances are the room temperature is either too hot or too cold.
Thus, if you’re wondering how to get a newborn to sleep in the bassinet, try regulating the room temperature. An ideal range would be to maintain the temperature between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your baby’s room is too hot, try adding a fan to it to help cool it down. However, make sure to buy a noise-free fan.
Baby massages are an ideal tool to help your newborn fall asleep quickly. They have multiple benefits, and with each gentle stroke, your child can feel loved and nurtured.
However, many newborn parents often ponder upon the perfect massage for their baby. Well, I have got the solution to that. After multiple tries, I was able to curate the ideal formula for an effective yet relaxing baby massage.
In addition, baby massages are extolled for their ability to bring you closer to your little one, as well as stimulate their digestive and circulatory systems.
Before you start massaging your baby, it is essential to remember that the ambiance and aura of the room should be quiet, cozy, and warm. In a nutshell, the comfort of your baby is the priority.
I would recommend you start slow, as babies are quite delicate and fragile. To begin your massage, place your baby on its back. Then, slowly rub each of their body parts. Your touch should be soft and gentle.
I would advise you to start from their head and gradually move down to their feet. While giving your newborn a message, I would advise you to communicate with your child constantly. You can do this in any way of your choice. You can sing or tell them a story.
Furthermore, if you wish to use oil, then you can use it. However, make sure that the oil is edible and odorless for the safety of your baby.
As a parent, you should always test a small amount of the product on your baby. Take a small dab and massage it into your baby’s skin. If they feel comfortable, you can continue to use the product.
7. Incline Your Bassinet
Not all newborns are comfortable sleeping flat on their backs all night long. Therefore, you can try to incline the bassinet at an angle. This way, your baby can sleep comfortably without any fuss.
8. Rock Your Baby
The final technique that can be used to get your child to sleep in their bassinet is to rock them. Rocking newborn babies help to calm and soothe them. It helps them to maintain a healthy heart rate and makes them feel safe and secure.
Moreover, it tends to make the child feel closer to its parent, allowing for a comfortable sleep.
Things To Remember
Now that you’ve learned about the various techniques that explain how to get newborn to sleep in bassinet, below are a few key things to remember.
1. Bare Environment
Firstly, you need to ensure that the bassinet is empty. A bare one is the safest for any newborn. Your main objective is to keep things very minimal. Apart from the swaddle blanket and a pacifier, your baby doesn’t require any additional items in their crib.
Try avoiding extra pillows, loose blankets, and stuffed animals, as they can suffocate your baby.
2. Avoid Positioners
Another essential aspect that needs to be kept in mind is the sleeping position of your baby. If your baby likes to lie on their stomach or has digestive issues, you may want to use a sleep positioner.
However, these devices are not always the best option for your child when teaching them how to sleep in a bassinet. They are less durable and don’t guarantee any safety, as your child can easily roll onto their side.
3. Avoid Sleep Wedges
If your child suffers from acid reflux, then you may be tempted to use a sleep wedge. However, these devices tend to cause harmful effects for your newborn.
Therefore, it is advised to avoid such types of devices for a night of safe and relaxed sleep.
4. Comfortable Ambiance
As a newborn parent, comfort is crucial. Your baby can only start to sleep in their bassinet once you have created a comfortable sleeping environment for them.
There are numerous ways you can do this. Try choosing sheets that are soft and warm to the touch. Examples include an amalgamation of polyester or natural cotton.
Furthermore, make sure to keep the temperature of the room moderate.
On the whole, it is quite evident that getting your newborn to sleep in their bassinet is not an easy task. With their fussy tantrums, it can be a lot to take in for any first-time parent.
However, I can assure you that you can get your child to sleep in their bassinet in a jiffy by following some of the above-mentioned tips and tricks. Remember, the key to success is their comfort. Thus, I recommend you to focus on that and use the method that works best for your child.
Carly Link, a 33-year old mother of two toddlers. She is a parent and goes through a lot of the usual parenting difficulties herself. Carly shares all her experiences and knowledge about the best baby products through this blog.