July 02, 2015

Q: Recently, my 7-month old daughter will not fall asleep in her crib at night. This is unusual because she has been napping and sleeping in her crib since about 6-weeks old with no major issues. Our nighttime routine for the past several months has been for me to nurse her and then put her into her crib to sleep. However, now, as soon as I lay her down, she starts to cry. My husband and I are at a loss for what is wrong. Any advice as to what the problem might be and how to help?

A: It sounds like your little girl is growing up and starting to take notice of things, like that you put her down in her in crib once she is asleep.  You have two choices.  First, you can hold her longer until you are sure that she is absolutely asleep before making the transition to the crib.  However, my recommendation is to start making the change now to putting her down awake and having her fall asleep on her own.  You won’t be wanting to hold her until she is asleep forever and it is much easier to make this transition now than when she is older.  So do your usual bedtime routine, such as a bath and stories, and then put her down awake.  She may not like it at first but after a few nights she will get used to the change.

Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell