Baby Will ONLY Sleep in Crib!

Updated on December 30, 2009
M.W. asks from Montebello, CA
11 answers

hey mamas!

i have a 10 month old daughter, who is a DREAM sleeper - 12 hours at night, and 2 naps during the day.
the only thing is, she will only sleep in her crib - will not nap in the car, not in the stroller, nor in the ergo. i'm a stay-at-home mom, and i live in a little village in italy, so up until now, it's been easy for me to get home for naptime. but with all these holiday parties, it hasn't been easy to be at home at certain times - and the baby stays up, even for 8 hours straight, until she gets unto her crib.

how do i teach her to sleep in other places? she won't even sleep at my mother-in-law's, where there is an actual bed. it HAS to be her crib.

i may start working around march, and if she keeps this up, i am certain that she will not sleep at daycare. IF i do work, it will not be all day, she will be at daycare until about 1pm.... but i would like to be able to have a meal out without having to worry about being at home at a certain hour!

help! and thanks for reading~!

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answers from Reno on

Hi M.,

For some babies, it's a matter of smell. The temporary bed doesn't smell like home and sleep time, hence no sleeping. You might try bringing her blankets, or even the sheet, if you know you'll be out for nap time and see if that works (f you don't already do that). The twins I did my "mommy training" with responded beautifully to this trick.

Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I've got the same situation with my 9 months old. She sleeps 14 hrs at night plus 2 great naps. Honestly, consider yourself lucky! My son has had a disasterous time with sleep so I know the flip side.
If you decide to put her in daycare, she will adjust!



answers from Honolulu on

BOTH my kids were like that as babies, and now that they are older... they will only get a good nap/sleep if home.
For me, I LOVED that they were like this... because it meant that they DID nap, regularly, and without trouble.
I just customized my schedule according to their naps/sleep times. I never had any trouble with that... nor with my life's activities/parties/outings. And this is what my friend's did as well, with their babies/kids.

If she does go to daycare... and IF the caretaker has a REGULAR nap routine consistently, AND in a crib (she should be in a crib anyway at Daycare since she is a baby & its' for safety), then she will probably get used to that. Maybe. Just tell the Daycare provider, of your baby's habits. That is what Moms do so that the Care provider knows about your baby's habits. YOU "choose" a Daycare provider that suits your/your baby's needs/structure, and whether or not your baby will be at a facility with LOTS of other kids/babies, or whether it will be somewhere where there is only your baby and maybe 2 other kids. THIS makes a difference. OR... the other option would be to get a Nanny... just for your baby, to care for her at home, thereby your baby will be getting the SAME routine/naps/sleep at home and you wouldn't have to worry about it.

The thing is, you do NOT want to get your baby into a willy-nilly sleep/nap routine, because then otherwise you will rock the boat and then you will REALLY have sleep "problems" with your baby. Some babies just NEED to have more routine with sleep/naps. It is how they are. Other babies will sleep anywhere. Each baby being different.
You have a great sleeper right now... I would be stoked about that. It may change one day, since all babies go through sleep phases/difficulties... and you may look back on it in hindsight.

here is a link:

All the best,



answers from Los Angeles on

HI M.- I don't have a lot of advice for you here, just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I have two children, age 2 and 4 who have been EXACTLY the same way. My son (4 now) was that way until he grew out of his nap, and now he will sleep in the car, or at home in his chair here and there from sheer exhaustion! My two year old daughter has been like your daughter from day 1. Has NEVER slept in the car, and VERY rarely in the stroller ( not at all after about 6 months). She is also a dream sleeper and loves her bed. But I think part of that is that I put her on a schedule quite early and was always home for her naps, so I'm not sure if she knows how to go to sleep in other places. Just a thought. Anyway, I hope you get some good advice here, and best of luck to you!
By the way, are you from America and living in Italy now? If so, I know how you feel on that level, too, as I am American, but now living in New Zealand. :)

God bless you and your little one, and happy new year!




answers from Los Angeles on

My son is just like that as well and we have just learned that we have to be at home.. or at least he has to be at home for his nap time. Kids are picky about some things and this could be hers. No suggestions here except for her to have a sitter if you are going to go to work or if you want to go out to eat. Be grateful that she sleeps well.



answers from San Diego on

I agree with the other comments, but wanted to add that it will soon likely change. Since she is 10 months, you are probably not too far off from shifting to just one nap, which will make things easier for you. Both of my daughters made the transition around their first birthday.

The thing with naps is that you just have to respect them. My youngest is 2 and still needs a couple of hours of sleep in the afternoon. We can get away with a car nap once in awhile (it is never as much sleep as she needs), but for the most part I just have to respect her need for sleep and plan to be home in the afternoons.

There's lots of things about these little people that limit what you can do, but it sure goes by fast!



answers from Los Angeles on

Daycare should have a routine, and if all the other babies/kids are sleeping, your daughter will likely eventually want to go to sleep too. (Hopefully.) This is the case with my daughter in daycare. I can't fathom how they get all those babies and toddlers to sleep at one time, but they do! I guess it's peer pressure. :)
My daughter otherwise will only sleep in her crib too. It's the big reason I don't like to travel with her, because it is just a cranky-fest the whole time, and dealing with luggage plus a toddler is already challenging enough!


answers from Los Angeles on

You're right -- she IS a dream sleeper! 12 hours a night and two hour naps?! M., enjoy it!! Don't worry, if she starts a routine at daycare, she'll adjust, and they'll have a crib for her since she's still an infant. We always made it a priority to be at home for naps and rarely, rarely deviated. Kids get their best (and longest, in my opinion) sleep at home, in their own environment, not on the road, in a stroller, etc. The holidays can throw that off; but it's you who sets the priorities. Happy New Year!



answers from San Diego on

Hi M.,

Both of my kids did the same thing. They would only nap and sleep in their cribs. Not a bad thing at all! But it made it hard to travel, and make plans outside of bedtimes. I could not change it. However, once they were 3 they stopped napping, so that made it alot easier. As they get older and mature, they are better at sleeping in hotels, grandma's house, etc. That was at about 4 y/o. Now at 5 & 6, it's a whole different ball game! My point is if you cannot change this issue now, it WILL change as they mature! Best of luck



answers from Chicago on

my 3 are the same.....i just have to deal with real cranky kids if i choose not to get home in time i never could break them of this need for their bed/crib



answers from San Diego on

For the short term incoveniences of the holidays, I wouldn't worry about your daughter missing naps because you are out of the house. My daughter is the same way. She will occasionally nap in the car only if she is totally exhausted.

For the day care might be surprised. Kids tend to act different when they are in the care of others when you aren't around. Different rules, different environment, and they know that they can't get away with things that they can normally get away with you. And eventually she will adjust to the new schedule.

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