Baby Won’t Sleep in Bassinet! What to Do?

Even during pregnancy, most moms are most likely to take care of the stuff that their babies might need. From fixing and decorating the nursery to making the baby registry, we are very hands-on. Hence, our shared dilemma is whether to have a crib or a bassinet as it is one of an essential product for the family especially to our newborn.

But what if you find out later that your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet? Most parents that we know love to co-sleep with their babies using a bassinet during their first few weeks together. However, getting them to like this thing could be quite challenging.

Why they won’t sleep?

A bassinet is often used for newborns as it is smaller than the usual crib. Likewise, it is easier to move from one place to another. But getting your baby to sleep in his or her bassinet requires training and consistency.

According to Dr. Ari Brown, babies are born with some “built-in” strategies or ways of soothing themselves. They still have an undeveloped nervous system since they were used to the warmth and comfort of their mother’s womb. Hence, their first few months outside of their comfort zones will be their adjusting period.

Notice how they can quickly fall asleep on your arms or chest and obviously, it's because they feel snuggly and warm. Babies in the sling would also feel the same since they are near to their mom or dad's chest and could smell their body scent.

Likewise, these little balls of energy can sleep in the car seat, in a swing or stroller simply because they are in motion unlike in a stationary bassinet. No wonder that your baby loves sleeping on you.

You Are Not the Only One!

You can find various forums online where mommies share the same sentiment with their children. Mama brookematt11 shared the same experience wherein her baby would scream if she put him down which caused her to had four sleepless weeks!

You might notice that snuggling, rocking, singing or talking to them may or may not work to pacify and relax them until they fall asleep. Most of the time, babies prefer to be held instead of sleeping in a bassinet or any flat surface. They would sleep almost anywhere but not just in the bassinet.

We understand how this situation can cause stress to you but don’t fret. We have nighttime tips that could suit you and your baby’s need. You can choose to train your child or choose another sleeping arrangement or style that would fit.

Bassinet Training

Teach your child how they can sleep in a bassinet by following the steps recommended below.

  • A bedtime routine is important thus; make sure to help your baby develop a sleeping habit. Be as consistent as possible and look for the cues that your child is ready to slumber. Usually, bathing and feeding them and putting them in the bassinet is the routine.
  • It helps if you will place your child in the bassinet while they are still awake, so you are also teaching them that sleep is something that they have to work. Most babies would fell asleep while being fed so put him or her in the bassinet once they are drowsy and still half asleep.

It will make the baby realize that he or she is falling asleep. According to experts, it is a crucial skill to learn so they can sleep through the night.

  • Again, swaddling is a useful technique since they were used to a squashed area. Fortunately, there are various swaddling materials such as sleeping sacks to help minimize the child’s startle reflex. Moreover, doing such will allow them to feel more secure and cozy compared to when you are not swaddling them.
  • Some babies are very particular with the movement, and they associate sleep with it. Put your child in the bassinet as you slowly eliminate your movement. It is the technique known as fading wherein you phase out the swinging or rocking movement gradually.
  • Experts believe that babies prefer to go back to sleep when they suddenly awaken in the same way when they go to bed at night. Thus, expect that they will demand you to nurse them or rock them and sing to them. Practice soothing them by doing the methods above but make sure that you are also allowing them to relieve themselves.
  • Babies don't understand the difference between night and day yet. Thus, the nighttime transition could be difficult for them. To help them stimulate and anticipate sleep, reading or singing them a lullaby is highly recommended. Your voice would be enough to soothe your baby.

While all these approaches are easy and doable, not all of it will work for your child so don't get frustrated easily. After a couple of tries and your sleep program are not working, try a new one. The techniques will work according to your baby's habits and your family's attitudes and lifestyle.

Nighttime parenting could be daunting at first, but you will surely get the hang of it and successfully encourage your child to sleep in the bassinet or a crib. You just need to be open for more suggestions and have the willingness to try various approaches.

Likewise, there is no wrong or right place where the baby should sleep. Some parents worry that letting their child sleep in their crib in a separate room is a bad idea. If this is the case, monitor how your child deals with it first. Others prefer co-sleeping while the baby is still young while some likes the thought of having a nursery room.

A child's need and preferences also differ and changes so we have to be more realistic in choosing the best sleeping arrangement that would work. If the bassinet is not working, better give it to someone who needs it and finds another device or gear that you can use.

You Can Do It, Mom!

Getting your baby to love sleeping in their bassinets could be an enormous task especially for first-time parents. Hence, you could seek the help of a professional sleep consultant or consult online communities. Also, you could ask your neighbors, relatives or friends about their situation.

We are fortunate that there are various tips, techniques and how-to guides presented to us about nighttime parenting. Learn more about these time-tested and proven effective methods so sleeping time would be meaningful to you and your baby.

Sabrina Lily

I am a mother who has a 2-year-old pretty baby boy and we are preparing for the arrival of a new angel. From pregnancy until the child is born and look at them grow up each day is a pleasant experience. The little angels are so adorable. Taking care of and look children healthy is the most wonderful thing. Through this website, I want to share the experience of motherhood’s life for those who are a mama.

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Mohamed Iannacone - May 3, 2018

Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!


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