July 02, 2015

Q: My baby is 4 months old. She sleeps through the night but I can't get her to sleep in her crib. Before she used to fall asleep in bed with me, and if I could move her to her crib without her waking up, she would sleep through the night just fine. I decided to try the Ferber method and she made herself sick crying and would wake up screaming if she realized she was falling asleep in her crib, and has not been able to sleep in it since. What can we do to make her feel better about her crib?

A: The change from being held or fed to sleep to being put down in a crib can be quite startling.  Often it is that the crib feels too vast, so try putting her down in a corner of the crib so that she doesn’t feel that she is all of a sudden in a wide opn space.  Also, it sounds like she has been almost asleep when you put her down at bedtime.  She may be in the habit of needing your help to fall asleep, such as being fed to sleep.  If this is the case, first make changes in how she falls asleep (such as not feeding to sleep) before making the transition to putting her down awake at bedtime in her crib.  Finally, take some time during the day to put her in her crib and have some playtime there.  This will help her get used to her crib and feel better about it.

Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell