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Baby Won’t Nap in Crib? 14 Solutions


Help! My baby won’t nap in the crib.

Sometimes it’s hard to get babies to sleep in a crib. If you’re having this problem, you’re not alone. Most babies prefer to sleep in your arms because it’s so comfortable. If your baby won’t nap in crib, don’t worry just yet because the tips provided below can make your little one less fussy when it’s time for a nap.

1. Introduce Crib Napping Slowly

Just like with anything else that your baby is learning, it can take time to get comfortable with napping in a specific location. Sometimes when your baby won’t nap in crib it’s because the very idea is foreign. It’s not until your baby is several months old that associations will be made. In other words, your baby will start to associate the crib with napping around that season of development.

2. Identify Signs of Sleepiness

The ideal scenario when baby won’t nap in crib is to uncover the reason why and find a solution. That means you’ll need to figure out when your baby gets sleepy throughout the day. The reason why this is important is because signs of sleepiness can signal that it’s time to put your baby in the crib. It’s common for babies to starting yawning, rubbing their eyes or demonstrating a general fussiness when they’re sleepy. When you notice any of these signs, it’s time for a nap and your baby is more likely to sleep in the crib peacefully.

3. Develop a Crib Napping Routine

When your baby won’t nap in crib, there’s a good chance that you need to develop a routine for when it’s time to nap. It’s amazing how all humans develop habits that can become like second nature. This applies to adults and babies. Establishing an atmosphere that’s conducive to napping can cause your little one to associate napping with the crib. The key is to do the same thing every single day whenever it’s time for a nap. For instance, you might get into the habit of reading a book to your baby or providing a particular toy. Both of these items will become associated with napping.

4. Avoid Caffeine if Breastfeeding

If you drink beverages or eat foods with caffeine, you may have experienced times when you were unable to fall asleep as quickly as you could when you didn’t consume caffeine. Babies are the same way. If you are breastfeeding and you have anything in your system with caffeine, it can end up making your baby’s sleeping patterns inconsistent. When your baby won’t nap in crib, the best solution is to stop consuming caffeine altogether or drastically reduce your consumption.

5. Transfer Your Baby From a Carrier

If you’re like most parents, you are probably very busy and don’t have a lot of extra time. When your baby won’t nap in crib, you might find it beneficial to spend just a short amount of time with your baby in a carrier right before naptime. The reason why this is often effective is because a carrier makes it easier to lay your baby down without disrupting their sleep. If you choose this method for getting your baby to nap in a crib, be sure to select a carrier that aligns with current safety regulations.

6. Play Ambient Sounds

One of the reasons why babies enjoy swaddling is because it feels much like being in the womb. Similarly, there are certain ambient sounds that will be comforting when your baby won’t nap in crib, just like being swaddled. By playing these sounds, you can cultivate an environment that’s conducive to your baby falling asleep in the crib. There are many different apps that play ambient music and it’s something that you too will probably enjoy.

7. Go for a Walk

Going for a walk with a stroller is perfect for when your baby won’t nap in crib. This is because the movement of the stroller is soothing and can provide the comfort needed to fall asleep when your baby won’t nap in crib. Going for a walk isn’t necessarily for the purpose of putting your baby to sleep, but instead it’s to get your baby ready for naptime. If preferred, you can go for a walk using a carrier. This doesn’t have to be a long walk and it doesn’t have to be outdoors. Walking with your baby is something you can do around the house or wherever you see fit.

8. Make the Crib Comfortable

The temperature in the room where the crib is located is important. When the temperature is just right and the crib itself is comfortable, there’s a much greater chance of your baby falling to sleep. You actually need to pay close attention to all aspects of the space where the crib is located. Anything that would be uncomfortable should be removed. If it’s warm in the room where the crib is located, you should using bedding that’s best for winter months. If there are bright lights in the room, it will make it difficult for your baby to nap. You might even consider using blackout curtains during naptime.

9. Find the Right Time

Sometimes baby won’t nap in crib because there hasn’t been enough time in between naps. Timing can make a big difference in many ways. For instance, some babies are better prepared to take a nap when a certain amount of time has passed after you have spent time playing with your little one, which is a stimulus and will cause your baby to be more alert. This will likely require you to wait for better timing when your baby is more relaxed.

10. Go for a Short Drive First

There’s a reason why so many parents go for a drive when their baby won’t nap in crib. It’s often a surefire way to make a baby go to sleep. However, when you are trying to get your baby to take a nap in a crib, you can go for a short drive as a way to get your baby to relax. In fact, you can time errands in a way that you arrive home just before naptime. While you probably won’t be able to do this every single day, it’s a tactic that can be used periodically.

11. Lay Your Baby Down Early

It’s common for first-time parents to wait until naptime to put their baby in the crib. This can be a mistake because by then your baby might already be fussy. Instead, you should place your baby in the crib before there is a struggle to stay awake. By the time your baby is crying and trying to fight sleep, it might be too late. If you lay your baby down early, they are more likely to doze off without any problems at all.

12. Use a Distraction

There’s a reason why crib mobiles are popular. It’s because they are often an effective way to keep a baby busy in the crib just before it’s time to take a nap. The best mobile for this purpose is one that is soothing to your baby. In other words, it’s best to choose a mobile that isn’t noisy. While there are mobiles that are used for entertainment, when you’re trying to teach your baby to sleep in the crib, you don’t want to use an entertaining mobile.

13. Change Your Baby’s Diaper

It goes without saying that your baby’s diaper will need to be changed if you want to boost the chances that they will go to sleep in the crib during naptime. You are likely wasting your time if your baby has a dirty diaper because most babies will remain fussy when their diaper needs to be changed. Changing your baby’s diaper should be the first thing on the checklist when preparing for naptime.

14. Use a Pacifier

Every baby is different, but there are a lot of babies that will definitely go to sleep in a crib during naptime if you provide a pacifier. While it seems like a simple solution, it’s one that often works because a pacifier is soothing. You can use the pacifier when your baby is awake and starting to exhibit signs of sleepiness. As previously mentioned, you’ll need to establish a routine, so it’s important that the timing is right.


When your baby won’t nap in crib, there’s a reason why. The tips provided will help you pinpoint what’s happening and why they are unable to relax and nap in the crib. While it can be frustrating, especially when you’re busy and don’t understand what’s happening, just remember not to stop trying. If you use the tips provided, your baby will eventually take a nap in the crib without much effort at all.

1 thought on “Baby Won’t Nap in Crib? 14 Solutions”

  1. If your baby won’t sleep, check out the sleep method from – Thank you SleepBaby for this brilliant method! My daughter now sleeps from 7pm to 6 or 6:30am every night with almost no night wakings. And even if she wakes, it’s usually just for a second and then she falls back asleep all on her own.

    Most nights I get my 8 hours of sleep and it’s just wonderful! I really feel like I understand her little body and mind and can address her sleeping holistically. I can’t thank you enough, Kacey and the team!

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