We are among the lucky few who had a baby that slept through the night from a pretty early age. If he did wake in the night, he would fuss for a bit in his crib but very quickly get himself back to sleep. But then, all of the sudden, he started standing in the crib and all of that went out the window!
Sleep training is difficult as is. When you add in a baby standing in the crib repeatedly it makes it even harder. Below we’ll go over some ideas of how to get through it!
Your Baby is Standing in the Crib, Now What?
My baby sleeping through the night early on definitely lulled me into a false sense of sleep security. There I was, getting used to finally waking up all rested and refreshed, thinking I had made it through the hard part when I heard my 5-year old yell out “baby standing in crib” and everything changed. From then on our good sleeper was transformed into the daredevil baby who just loved standing in the crib.
At 9 months old, our son had learned to proudly grab onto those crib rungs and get himself to a standing position.
He had also, seemingly overnight, developed a hyper-acute spidey-sense to detect the very moment that one tiny part of his deep-sleeping, limp body hit the crib mattress, which would jolt him awake and set him into a screaming, crying fit.
Unlike the sweet little baby of just a few months prior, who would quickly roll over and settle in the crib and get back to sleep, we found that our baby was now standing up in the crib, hanging on to the edge and continuing his tantrums from a fully upright position.
First Things First; Understand that Your Baby Standing in the Crib and a Change in their Sleep Habits are Connected
We realized that once our baby was standing in the crib, he couldn’t figure out how to get down again.
So he would cry standing up, until he fell asleep standing up, at which point the fact that he was standing up would jolt him back awake.
And the cycle would start all over again, ad nauseam. We had a few nights of feeling exhausted, frustrated, and powerless before we found a way to wrest back control. Of course, we didn’t know if it would work – but we felt relieved to have something to try.
How to Get Your Baby to Stop Standing in the Crib
Our first plan: “emotionlessly” and silently lay him down over and over and over until he went to sleep.
The first night it took about 50 times of laying him down before he finally got to sleep, sniffling and sobbing. I don’t have to tell you that it was a super hard night. But the next night, it only took 30 times.
And the night after that – 10 times. The fourth night, after laying him down just three times he figured the jig was up, and passed out.
What this experience taught me is that my husband and I can handle these parenting hurdles so much better if we work together on a plan that involves specific actions we can take.
We both took so much solace in the idea that we were trying something consistent to solve the problem, even though there were really challenging moments (OK, hours.) Luckily, in this case, it worked out. But if it hadn’t, I now know that the right thing for us would have been to make a new plan and try it until we got it right.
Other Strategies to Help with Baby Standing in the Crib
I think it is a common problem to have a baby standing in the crib crying. Pretty much every mom I know goes through this stage of sleep training. Some of my friends said I was crazy for waking up a gazillion times.
Wait it Out Strategy
The other popular strategy is to simply let your baby learn to fall back to sleep on their own. In this case, when your baby is standing in the crib, simply sit next to the crib until they fall back to sleep.
This will teach them to be able to learn to slowly get down. If they are balling it is ok to put your arms around the baby and console them for a few minutes. Once they do go down, you can keep your hand on them rubbing their head or arm as they fall back asleep.
Results of our Baby Standing in the Crib Action Plan
We reassessed our plan after about 3 months, and it was still working great. At this point, if he needs to be laid down at all, it generally takes fewer than 3 times before he gives up and remains lying down.
Recently, he was acting up at bedtime and standing sentinel at the edge of the crib, whimpering. I went to lay him down and something fabulous happened – he laid himself down and went to sleep.
It is important to develop good sleep habits so be patient as this is definitely a roller coaster ride.
What sleep hurdles did you have to overcome with your baby and how did you overcome them? Let us know below!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if baby keeps standing up in crib?
There are 2 methods to try. You can “emotionlessly” and silently lay your down over and over and over until they fall asleep OR simply let your baby learn to fall back to sleep on their own. In this case, when your baby is standing in the crib, simply sit next to the crib until they fall back to sleep.
Can baby hurt themselves in crib?
Parents should follow the infant sleep safety recommendations set by the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure that the crib they are using is safe. Some of these things include:
Babies should sleep on their back
Babies should sleep on a firm surface
You should keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation out of the baby’s sleep area