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Why Does My Baby Wake Up When Lowered into the Crib?

It’s a familiar scene for many parents: you have finally rocked your baby to sleep, but the moment you lower them into the crib, their eyes pop open and sleep seems a far-off dream again. If you’re dealing with this common issue, you are not alone. This guide is here to help you understand why it happens and provide practical solutions for this challenge.

Understanding Why Your Baby Wakes Up When Lowered Into Crib

There are several factors contributing to why your baby wakes up the moment they’re lowered into the crib. Let’s delve deeper into two key reasons.

The Moro Reflex

The Moro or “startle” reflex is an automatic response in babies when they sense a sudden change, like a drop. When you lower your baby into the crib, they may feel as if they’re falling, triggering this reflex and causing them to wake up.

Change in Comfort

Babies often fall asleep in the warm comfort of their parents’ arms. The sudden change to the cooler, less snug environment of the crib can be enough to rouse them from their sleep.

Techniques to Prevent Baby From Waking Up When Lowered Into Crib

Fortunately, there are several techniques that can help create a smoother transition from your arms to the crib. Here are a few that you can try:

Master the “Hover and Settle” Technique

This technique involves slowly lowering your baby into the crib, then keeping your hands on them for a few minutes before gently removing them. It can help make the transition feel less abrupt for your baby.

Try a Sleep Sack

Wrapping your baby in a sleep sack can mimic the snug feeling of being in your arms. This sense of security can make the transition to the crib less jarring and help keep your baby asleep.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Transition

Here are more methods and alternative solutions that can help you successfully lower your sleeping baby into the crib without waking them:

  • Put the baby down before they’re fully asleep: This allows them to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep independently.
  • Use a white noise machine: White noise can create a soothing environment and drown out other sounds that may startle your baby during the transition.
  • Try the “butt first” technique: Lower your baby into the crib with their bottom touching the mattress first, followed by gently releasing their head onto the mattress.
  • Pat or rub gently: After placing your baby in the crib, gently pat or rub their back or bottom to provide a soothing touch.
  • Consider using a cosleeper or sleep sacks: These can provide a safer and more secure transition for your baby, offering a sense of security and comfort.

Parent Reviews: Real-life Experiences With These Techniques

In this section, we share the experiences of real parents who’ve put these strategies to the test. It’s important to remember that every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. These accounts are meant to provide you with a range of outcomes to consider in your own journey of getting your baby to sleep.

Mastering the “Hover and Settle” Technique

Tom, a first-time dad, spoke highly of the “Hover and Settle” technique. “In the beginning, we were at our wits’ end, our little one would wake up the instant we put her down. The ‘Hover and Settle’ technique was a game-changer. It was a gradual process, but it helped her get used to the crib. Now, she sleeps there without any issues.”

Using Sleep Sacks

Lisa, a mother of twins, swears by sleep sacks. “When my twins were just a few months old, getting them to sleep was a huge challenge. Sleep sacks became our saving grace. The snug feeling it provided helped soothe them and made the crib transition much smoother.”

Trying the “Butt First” Technique

Emily, a mother of three, had success with the “butt first” technique with her youngest. “I wish I knew about this technique with my first two! Lowering my baby into the crib ‘butt first’ made a significant difference. She seemed less startled and didn’t wake up as often.”

Using White Noise Machines

Sam, a father of two, found that a white noise machine was helpful. “Our eldest was a light sleeper and woke up at the slightest noise. We tried the white noise machine, and it was amazing how much it helped. He fell asleep faster, and the transition to the crib was less likely to wake him.”

Putting Baby Down Before Fully Asleep

Rachel, a mother of one, adopted the practice of putting her baby down before fully asleep. “It was tough at first. He fussed a bit, but over time, he started falling asleep on his own. This method helped us a lot, but I understand it’s not for everyone.”

How Can Assist

At, we understand the importance of a good night’s sleep for both you and your baby. Our expert guidance and resources can help you navigate the often confusing world of your baby’s sleep patterns. We offer personalized advice tailored to your baby’s needs, and a supportive community of parents facing similar challenges. Visit today to start your journey towards better sleep.


When your baby wakes up as soon as they’re lowered into the crib, it can be a frustrating experience. However, with understanding, patience, and the right techniques, you can ease this transition for both you and your baby. Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and find the one that suits your baby best.