Switching from Swing to Crib

Updated on July 15, 2008
H.A. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
6 answers

i'm afraid i've created a bit of a personal monster...as a newborn (and for the past 11 months now...eek), i've allowed my little guy to nap in his swing. he goes to sleep at night in his crib fine, self-soothing and putting himself to sleep with no tears. however, for his daytime naps, he wont sleep for more than 25 minutes in his crib. he'll go 1-2 hours in his swing. soon he'll be too heavy for the swing, so i need to wean him from it...any suggestions? thanx!!!

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answers from Miami on

Hi, H.. I have an idea how to transition him from swing to crib. You will need 1 extra piece of furniture, though.

Probably what he likes so much about napping in the swing is the swaying motion. I would get him one of those little cribs which has a bed with sides that hangs between two upright posts, and it swings side to side. I think they even come with some kind of spring that keeps it swinging without anyone touching it. That way, he can transition to lying down while still swinging, instead of napping upright in the swing chair. Then you can try having him nap in the swing cradle without it swinging; then perhaps coax him into napping in his crib (if he's still small enough by then, LOL!).

You might try also propping him up on pillows so that he's not lying down completely, and then gradually using a flatter and flatter pillow underneath him until he is flat on the crib bed. One or the other or both environments -- swaying & being upright -- are what he's used to, so you may have to wean him away from both sensations.

What about the sounds? Is it a swing with a music box? Try playing a music box with a similar tune, or some other music, while Jadon is sleeping. This may keep him asleep for a more normal length of time; I assume he sort of startles awake after 25 minutes? The reassuring sound of the swing keeps him from noticing other sounds in the environment.

I've found that a key to changing a child's deeply ingrained behavior is to transition him or her gradually. Give the child something that is partway between the old behavior that you want to change and the new behavior that you want him or her to adopt. Some kids love to try new things, but for most, stepping into a new behavior or habit gradually brings greater success.

I hope this is helpful!

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answers from Miami on

I have to agree with Laura. And I did it too but just for his morning nap. I’m not too sure why but he has almost always taken his afternoon nap in his crib. But he had to stop the swing once he figured out how to get out of it…I have no clue why they do not have a 5 point harness (although these days that would not stop him either…lol). We had to go cold turkey and that was hard. The few first morning naps in his crib were a bit ugly and extremely short but day by day they got longer and less tears as well. Hey lets face it if we could be rocked oh so gently in a swing we would love it and nap great too! But let him go as long as he stays and fits in it…it isn’t hurting anything for now….

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answers from Miami on

Hi there, we had pretty much the same situation. Our son got hooked on the swing for daytime naps. My pediatrician had suggested we keep him upright as much as possible to reduce reflux, then when the reflux subsided our little guy still loved the swing. I was freaking out when he approached the weight limit, I even looked for bigger swings! Finally, we had to bite the bullet. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When we eliminated the swing, the first few days of naps were tough and short like you mentioned, but pretty soon he settled into a nice morning and afternoon nap (1-2 hours each). We do use an ambient sound machine which has helped a lot. Is Jadon a light sleeper? I realized when Sammy was waking up during naps, it was often from a noise in the house. Now he can nap with our without the sounds machine, but it did help with the transition. I know it'll be frustrating when you first retire the swing, but hang in there, it gets better! Especially since Jadon has shown you that he is a good sleeper and can self soothe at night. He'll eventually probably start to bring those good sleep habits into his daytime naps. Good luck!

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answers from Miami on

Will he transfer from car to crib? If so, try starting naptime that way.
And, it looks like you have to bite the bullet for a few days (a week or so??) and let him get used to his crib in the daytime.
Get rid of the swing, and let him see the swing going 'bye-bye'. And he'll just have to learn to nap in the crib slowly. If he can sleep in it at night, then you KNOW he can. So, again, he'll have to learn how to nap in it.

We know better!! I am an educator as well, with a Master's degree. It is hard to let your baby be unhappy.
Good luck

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answers from Miami on

This happened to me. My son is 15 months old and he still does not sleep in the crib. We co sleep. But for nap time i would let him sleep in his swing. But we changed him over too was his playpen. But this finally worked after he turned one.

What I did was around his nap time I would let him play in his playpen and then little by little he would stop fussing to go to the swing and pass out in his playpen. At first I would take him out and rock him a little bit then when he was almost asleep I would put him right back in the playpen. I found out he had to see me before he would get relaxed enough to go to sleep so I was always around. It took a few days of a fussy baby after I stopped rocking him but he still naps in his playpen. And @ night I put him in bed and he will pass right out.

Good Luck.

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answers from Miami on

You do what you do (that works), until it doesn't work anymore.
Don't beat yourself up!!!

put the swing in the crib?
then slowly try to take it out?

go in after the 20minutes, say NIGHT NIGHT firmly but not angrily, and put baby on his belly. maybe his belly is hurting him? before nap try giving a teaspoon of mylanta cherry supreme- this exact kind is safe for babies (newborns even!) and does not contain any aluminum. look at the ingredients :-)

could be tummy isn't digesting well after lunch?

1 mom found this helpful
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