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What to Do When Baby Stands in Crib and Won’t Sleep

By Amy A. Vincent | Fact checked by Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP | Updated on July 23, 2022

Nothing brings joy to a parent more than witnessing their kid master a new skill. Sitting up and bringing themselves to a standing position are significant developmental achievements for your baby. But what should parents do if their baby’s sleep is disrupted by achievements? Should you interfere if your kid refuses to sleep in his crib?

When newborns stand or sit in their cribs, they frequently forget how to “loosened” themselves and lie back down. That’s why it’s crucial to practice not just getting into a sitting or standing throughout the day but also moving out of these positions and laying down positions.

This article discusses what to do when your baby stands in crib and won’t sleep.

What to Do When Baby Stands in Crib and Won't Sleep

When Do Babies Begin to Stand in Their Cribs?

During the 8-month sleep regression, most newborns begin standing in their cribs. In general, this is the time when newborns become much more mobile. Some newborns may master the skill as early as 6 to 7 months old, while others may not learn until they are 9 to 10 months old. Every baby develops at its own pace. If you have any worries regarding your baby’s growth, speak with their doctor.

Baby is Standing in Crib and Refusing to Sleep

Babies who are standing in their cribs are not likely to be sleeping. Is this something they do on purpose? Sometimes. It’s also instinctual at times.

Babies frequently practice in their sleep while learning a new skill. It’s something your babies can’t control, and it may be exhausting when they reach the age of 8 to 9 months and start to stand. They may be sobbing in their crib, unable to get out. It might make their sleep so disrupted that they wake up frequently at night. They also quit napping or take brief naps on occasion.

Your infant or toddler may be standing in the crib due to irritation or a shift in their routine once they are older and the ability is no longer fresh.

For example, if your one-year-old is standing up in his crib, it may be appropriate to increase their awake time before naps. Make sure you utilize a one-year-old or twelve-month timetable. Most 12-month-olds can still nap after only 2-3 hours of awake time, while others have progressed to 3-4 hours.

There are various reasons why a baby won’t sleep, and the age of the skill will indicate if standing is the cause or just a way to avoid sleeping.

Also read: How to make baby crib more cozy

Why Do Babies Feel the Need to Work Their Skills While They’re Sleeping?

Why Do Babies Feel the Need to Work Their Skills While They're Sleeping

Adults can regulate and limit their motions in their dreams, but newborns haven’t accomplished this yet. As a result, if newborns dream about mastering a new skill, they will unconsciously force themselves to go through the movements and learn it while sleeping. For a newborn, this may be highly upsetting and unsettling because they are not in control and can be very puzzled when they find themselves sitting or standing.

How Do You Handle Babies Standing or Sitting in the Crib Late at Night?

If your baby is calm, joyful, or chattering when sitting or standing:

  • Give them enough time before you feel compelled to intervene. Wait at least 15-20 minutes before entering your baby’s room.
  • After that, swiftly intervene by assisting them in resuming their sleep, but there’s no need to speak your sleepy words, remain calm, or console them. When putting him down, position him in laying down posture. This teaches him that he can do this on his own, and it will become more natural as time goes on.

If your baby cries when standing or sitting, do the following:

  • Use your sleep training/soothing strategy and set the timer.
  • Instead of laying them down backward to go back down, practice leaning them forward when it’s time for a check-in.
  • If the baby jumps back up, leave the room and wait to re-lay him down until the next check-in if he’s still crying by that time. Then repeat the procedure once more. If he persists in popping back up while crying after your second attempt, offer your sleepy phrase and massage/pat him during your check-in, but you are permitted to stop attempting to re-lay him. You don’t want to get caught up in a game!

If your toddler falls asleep while sitting or standing, do the following:

  • Leave them alone if they’re seated in the corner and can only tumble forward. If your baby is sitting in the center of the crib, wait until they fall asleep or around 5 minutes to move them. Make sure to tilt them forward to lay down in the middle of the crib.
  • When he’s standing quietly, go in and lay him down. It’s safer to put him down rather than letting him fall over since he may surprise himself awake or get hurt.

Throughout the day:

  • During the day, get him rolling forward from a sitting position to a laying one as frequently as possible. Having him reach for something in front of him will encourage him to extend his arm and gradually he will feel more comfortable and secure doing it on his own.
  • In making your baby learn how to stand on their own, it’s helpful to put them down by grasping them by the hips from behind.

Also read: Cribs for small apartments

How Long Might Your Baby Do This?

It will be over soon. It’s merely a stage comparable to when your infant learns to roll over from back to belly while sleeping. It usually takes a few days to work itself out, but it might take up to two weeks for some children.

It’s no longer necessary to practice it as often during sleep periods after they believe they’ve mastered it. Keep in mind that consistency is crucial.

Keep as much consistency as possible in dealing with night wakings and nap disturbances, and your baby will return to their regular sleeping patterns sooner.

How Can You Help a Standing Baby Sleep Better?

So, how can you help your child sleep peacefully while standing in his or her crib? The majority of babies rapidly figure out how to climb back down. As toddlers learn so quickly, try not to pay a lot of attention to the baby standing in the crib if they aren’t crying.

However, because babies can fall and bang their heads, it’s good to have a plan in place. Here, we provide you with some tips to help you support a standing baby sleep better.

  • Practice – Be sure your baby practices getting down during NON-sleep hours. Stand your infant next to a couch or sofa, for example. Then, place a toy on the ground beside them. Their knees should be bent as they reach for the toy. Baby squats! It will soon become natural!
  • Allow Some Practice Time in the Crib – Even if they’re getting better at it in the common areas, infants may find it interesting to be awake in their cribs and want to practice. For a nap, put them down a bit earlier so they can experiment with it for a little while. Then comfort and encourage them to lie down closer to when you expect them to fall asleep.
  • Learning How to Sleep – You can use sleep training to break any bad habits once you’re more confident your baby knows how to crawl on their own. You might have to modify the way you do things a bit, though. We usually suggest that parents lay their infants down every few minutes rather than constantly. For example, you might put them down every 8-10 minutes to provide some room for them to work things out on their own while preventing them from skipping their naps and becoming over tired.

Like most sleep regressions and phases, they eventually come to an end. The goal isn’t to develop new habits that you’ll have to abandon later on. Some families have been dealing with sleep issues for months due to short-term sleep deprivation. It’s difficult, but if you put in a little more effort up front, you’ll all be sleeping better in a few weeks!

Wrapping Up:

Thanks for reading the complete guide on what to do when a baby stands in crib and won’t sleep. We hope you’ve found this guide helpful and informative. To wrap things up, we want to mention that if your baby is standing in the crib and won’t sleep, remember to be patient and consistent with your approach. Try different strategies and see which one works best for your baby.

It’s completely normal for your baby to want to stand up in their crib. It’s a phase that all babies go through. But it will pass. Just be patient and try different strategies to help your baby sleep through the night. Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below! We’ll do our best to answer as quickly as possible. Good luck!

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