29 answers

When Should an Infant Start Napping in Their Crib?

My daughter is almost 6 weeks old now and is sleeping fairly well in her crib at night- she still wakes up at night to feed (I'm breastfeeding), but no issues with confusing day and night. She also has settled into taking a long nap in the morning and another in the afternoon, though the exact times do vary. I'd like to have her nap in her crib, but my husband has heard that we should reserve using the crib for nighttime only and is worried that she will start to confuse her naps with nighttime sleep if we do this. For now she either naps in her car seat, stroller or while I'm holding her. Are his concerns justified? I'm inclined to just start putting her in her crib for naps and see what happens. What have you experienced with this?

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I would start sooner rather than later. I have a 5 month old who got used to napping in his infant seat or while I was holding him and now he does not nap well in his crib. I think if you start now while she is young she will get used to it and not object later on

My son always napped in his crib up until he transitioned into a big boy bed. I would say to let him nap in his crib. It's a great time for you to relax or get stuff done with him being right in there with you.
Good luck :)

Go ahead an nap her in the crib. The sooner you can get on a solid schedule the better. My son only napped in the swing until he was too big to fit and I had to train him to nap in the crib. I wish I had started napping him in the crib from the beginning.

I think its fine for her to nap while you are out an about - but if she will nap in the crib when you are home, great!

Good luck!

More Answers

sleep is sleep put her in that crib. obviously at that age she will conk out whereever and on whatever but as she gets older especially 1-3 yrs she wont fit in that swing, carseat, etc.

Since my daughter was 8 weeks old she has taken 3 naps a day and slept at night (8.5 - 9.5 hrs) in her crib (she's also exclusively breastfed). Prior to that she did the same in the cradle in our bedroom (we have master on main and she didn't go up to her nursery & crib until she slept through the night at 8 weeks).Your husband is on the right track about confusing her, but you need to tweak his theory a little. The crib should only be for sleep, whether it's nap time or night time. As she gets older don't use it for play time or as a play pen. When she's tiny like she is, I recommend lying her across the crib at one end instead of lengthwise in the middle. It will make her feel more secure than just flailing around in that big crib. Good luck!

I have an almost 4 month old and she is still taking naps wherever she falls asleep. My son did as well until he was about 6 months old when I felt he was ready for a more structured "routine." If I notice my daughter is getting sleepy, sometimes I'll lay her down in her crib and she'll take a short nap - she's not confused about what time of day it is- but most of the time she still naps in her swing. At your baby's age, I'd say it's more your preference of where she naps. If you do put her in her crib, just make sure it's not TOO dark in her room so she doesn't think it's night.

Your six week old naps, sleeps at her will she will not get confused if you put her in her bed (crib) during naps. I used my crib asap it was a safe place that I could put my child I left the door part open and did things I needed to do. I don't think you need to be so concerned about making her nap in a car seat or a stroller. My experience has been that my children seemed to be able to be more comfortable a car seat can make them slouch over and a stroller unless it lays back all the way also can have them on their little bottom too long in my opinion. Laying down allows her as she grows to be able to move her head and hold it up for her as well as you to see progress with her in many ways. I'd use the crib get her used to it or later you may have issues of not being able to get her to use it and wanting to sleep everywhere else.

A crib is to sleep in, let her sleep in it. Why make her sleep in a carseat, they are not as comfortable as a bed. A dangling head can't be comfy. Why hold her when you can be doing something around the house?

Against my better judgement I let my husband talk me into not putting our baby on a blanket on the floor. He said it was 'dirty'. (mind you, I vacuum 3 x a week) He was content to just hold her all day. Then we went to visit our family overseas. My newphew is the same age as our daughter (2 weeks older) and was crawling. Our daughter was just laying there kicking and cooing (she was cute, but wasn't even sitting up). At that point my husband realized that we were stifling her development and from that point on let her down on the floor.

When your baby sleeps, put her to bed. Let her rest in peace!!

Enjoy her!!

C.,

I would start placing her in her crib for naps now. We atarted placing our son in his crib at about this time and he is one of the best sleepers. He is now 2 yrs. old and still naps in his crib.

I would also start some kind of bedtime routine and shorter version at nap time so she learns to associate sleep with this routine. I have a lot of friends who have not done this and wish they had b/c as their kids have gotten older they have had major sleep issues.

There is a great book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Marc Weissbluth that I would highly recommend. It goes through a child's development and how to work with them on sleeping from birth to the teenage years. The author is a pediatrician and really seems on target for what he writes about.

I have five children and have never heard of not letting an infant nap in the crib. Go for it.

You asked: Are his concerns justified?

No the child won't get night time and nap time confused. Sleep is sleep for newborns no matter what bed they are in. The bed does not determine whether they get day or nights mixed up.

You said/asked: I'm inclined to just start putting her in her crib for naps and see what happens. What have you experienced with this?

Go for it! Each child is different...that has been my experience.

hi, i have 2 children, one almost 4 and the other 18 months. my first did not like his crib and slept in our bed most of the time and then napped wherever but my second was in her crib only from 3 months on before that she was in our bed until i said enough. eventually your child will sleep in her crib and i feel that if you are already doing this at night then the nap time should be incorporated at any point you are comfortable. if she sleeps fine in the crib then there is no reason not to use it. it will make your life easier to do the transition earlier before she really knows the difference and then you may have difficulity getting her to nap in her crib ie would rather sleep in your arms and i don't blame her. i have never heard of what your husband suggested. i've read a lot of books but not all so he could very well have a point but i always say do what works best for you and use your mommy instincts. they will never mislead you : )

Hi C.,

Put her in her crib!! I would recommend that, especially since it sounds like you have a good sleeper on your hands. Naps are so critical as they age and if you can train her to sleep in her crib you will be so happy for many months to come!! I just had my second baby and you learn so much after your first. I wish this website had been around for my first. She was never a good napper and I know it was my doing. My 3 month old loves her crib too and I started having her nap in it about the age of your baby. Now I can put her in there awake with her lovey and she falls right asleep. This will be huge when we travel too because she has learned to calm herself and nap. So, I would highly recommend you have her nap in her crib. Plus, anytime they can be out of the bouncy, car seat, swing, etc, it's good for their muscles and development. I'm an Occupational Therapist and we have something called containerism these days with all the devices we put our babies in! Not good for their strength and muscle development.
Good luck! It sounds like you are doing an awesome job with your baby, congrats!
K.

Nap her in her crib! She will sleep better there and it is a great habit to start as soon as possible. This will NOT cause her to confuse day with night. If you want more information on sleep and children, buy "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I used the advice in this book and both my children slept well as babies and sleep well to this day. They are 6 and almost 4 years old now.

I see why he says that.He's worried she will confuse night and day if she sleeps in the crib.But I don't think it will be a problem.My baby has slept in his crib since he came home from the hospital and I also put him in it for naps.Just don't let the baby sleep half the day...then the child may get confused.But if the naps are a couple of hours or shorter then it will only help you in the long run when the child will easily fall alseep in the crib with no one around.It helps with self soothing.I can lay my baby in his and he will play in their for a couble of hours at a time if he's not sleepy.And since he's use to self soothing I can put him in any crib or pack n play anywhere I am and he will fall asleep as long as he is by himself.

Put your dd in her crib. My second child never used a crib until she was 6-7mo. It took her a week to get use to sleeping in her crib, lots of crying. Since day one of bringing her home she sleept in a fisher price baby papsan. It was easier to have her at my side during the night to nurse her when she woke up. It was difficult at 6mo to put her in her crib for napping and at bed time. Your dd will not get naps and bed time mixed up. Like others have said, go for it.

C. hi,
I have never heard of there being a problem arising from napping in the crib. If anything, she should want to associate the crib with peaceful sleep, whether nap or nighttime. She has many years ahead of her of napping, long after she grows out of her carseat, etc. Get her in the that crib for naps. It will not create bad habits, only good. It is still good that she can sleep in other places , some babies only will sleep in their beds, but you want her to be able to nap in her bed. If your husband is the type to go by the book, there are tons of books about baby sleeping (No cry sleep solution, Dr. Sears Baby Book, a book by Ferber, etc) and I am sure most of them will address where to put baby to nap.
Good luck, and congrats on your little one!

Hi C.,
You should most definitely put her in her crib to nap. It gets her used to sleeping in her crib both day and night. If you keep putting her in her seat, swing or anything else to nap, she will eventually refuse to nap or sleep in her crib at all. Go ahead and start now. The earlier the better! Also, a great book as a guide is Becoming BabyWise. Good luck!

Hi C.,
As a chiropractor, I would advise you to not use the car seat on a regular basis. It is extremely important for her spine to be able to strectch out while she is sleeping. At 6 weeks old, her spine is being curved one way while being feed, held, etc. She needs to allow her body to move unrestricted so that her curve will adapt properly. As a mother I would say the crib would be great for naps too. If she's doing that well at night then I would bet she will do great with naps too. She will most likely love the transition. Best of luck to you guys!

If you intend for you daughter to sleep in the crib, she should be taking her naps there too! She won't confuse naps with bed time! Anything I have read indicates that sleeping in carseats and such is not adequate sleep which may cause exhaustion.
I think if babies are able to take a nap and wake up within a few hours they know the difference between nap and night time!
Good luck!

C.,
I have a 7 and 4 year old and they slept in their cribs for night and naps. They are great sleepers to this day. You are doing wonderful if she is already sleeping through the night except for feedings...Way to go!!! At 6 weeks she should be napping a lot, so she will still get to take naps in the car seat and swing...depending on where Mommy is, but getting her to nap in the crib will be so much better for you and her...and even Daddy in the long run.

I have never heard this before. I raised 4 children and they all napped in their crib. I think an important thing to keep them from getting their days and nights mixed up is to not let them sleep too long at a nap. I always played a radio or TV during the day but at night everything was quiet and also dark.

I would start sooner rather than later. I have a 5 month old who got used to napping in his infant seat or while I was holding him and now he does not nap well in his crib. I think if you start now while she is young she will get used to it and not object later on

If I had it to do over with my daughter, I would put her in her crib for naps. She is 13 months old and refuses to nap in her crib. I have to lay down with her on my bed. You won't confuse her nighttime sleep as long as there is daylight in the room and you wake her up when nap time should be over.

I've never heard of this either. My son slept on his boppy or on the floor for naps when he was that little and bed time in our room in the pack 'n play(I was nursing as well). At about 2 months old he started sleeping through the night so I started putting him down for naps in his crib since he'd never slept in it yet. After a week of that he was in the crib for bedtime as well.

The only thing you'll be teaching your daughter about the crib if you put her there for naps is that that is where sleep is supposed to happen.

~S.

Go ahead an nap her in the crib. The sooner you can get on a solid schedule the better. My son only napped in the swing until he was too big to fit and I had to train him to nap in the crib. I wish I had started napping him in the crib from the beginning.

I think its fine for her to nap while you are out an about - but if she will nap in the crib when you are home, great!

Good luck!

I'd put her in her crib to sleep at all times. That way she doesn't fight you when you really NEED her to sleep in her crib and is too big for a bouncy chair or swing. Believe me, I have many friends whose children won't sleep in their cribs at all! If yours sleeps well in the crib, let her sleep there. She'll wake up from her naps. If you are really concerned, talk to your dr. You are a lucky woman, mine wouldn't sleep at all in her crib till she was almost 5 months old! GOod luck!

My son always napped in his crib up until he transitioned into a big boy bed. I would say to let him nap in his crib. It's a great time for you to relax or get stuff done with him being right in there with you.
Good luck :)

My daughter didn't even touch her crib till she was 5-6 months old. She slept in a bassinet right beside me at night. Then for her naps it was either in her carseat, swing or me holding her. Then when she reached about 5 months old we slowly started to introduce the crib and she slept there from then on out. I don't see a reason not to put her in her crib for naps if that is where she sleeps at night.

Good luck

the baby should be napping in the crib now. you want them to associate sleep with the crib. when we had our daughter she always napped and slept in her crib. now she sleeps like an angel! other parents i know let their children nap elsewhere and now they are having a horrible time getting them to nap in the crib. be very careful letting the baby sleep in the car seat or swing, pretty soon that's the only place the baby will want to sleep!! also, i think the child gets better sleep in a crib, the car seat or swing is not that comfy.
hope this helps!!
S. m

Mom your inclination is good! Put your daughter in her crib for naps. Put her on her back, no stuffed animals or extra bedding. Use the crib for sleeping only - not a place to play or a way to confine her. She shouldn't have any problems with day/night sleeping confusion and will probably be much more comfortable then in her carseat, a swing, etc.
Enjoy your little one.
S.

Both my daughters slept in their crib by 6 weeks old and never had any problems! We weren't "on the go" too much during the day, and they are long nappers (it's not unusual for my three year old to still take a three hour nap and is in bed by 7:30 each evening). The ONLY draw back is that they really don't sleep well when in their stroller or car seat. I'm so thankful for the long naps and sleeping through the night that it doesn't bother me that much! :) She should do well in her crib! If you get her on a good nap routine/schedule early on you'll have a great sleeper on your hands! Nap time routines are just as important as night time routines! Good luck! :)

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