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, we would leave him to cry in his adorable crib and he would very quickly get himself back to sleep. Sleep Training is difficult enough, add in a baby standing in the crib and it makes it much harder.
I probably don’t have to tell you that this kind of thing can really lull you into a false sense of sleep security. There you are, getting used to finally waking up all rested and refreshed, thinking you have made it through the hard part. That is until we heard our 5-year old yell “baby standing in crib” and then everything changed. From then on our good sleeper transformed into the baby that keeps standing in the crib.
It turns out we had merely passed Level 1 of sleep training.
Fast forward to 9 months old, and our son had proudly learned to 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, to continue his tantrum from a fully upright position.
The problem? Once the 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 nausea. 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 Back down in the crib so they fall back to sleep.
The plan: to “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 pretty common 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 your 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
It’s been about 3 months since all this happened, and it’s still working great. If he needs to be laid down at all, it generally takes fewer than 3 times before he gives up and remains lying down.
Last night 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.
Related — sleep posts:
- OK to Wake! Children’s Alarm Clock and Nightlight, our readers love it for slightly older babies and toddlers!
- That time when our friend Olivia tried really hard to stop talking about sleep!
- Why we totally think you need to give your baby a lovey
- Hypnotic magical book to put your child to sleep