How To Handle Your Baby Standing In the Crib and Won’t Sleep

Baby Standing In CribIf your baby is standing in the crib, it’s likely they aren’t sleeping. Babies and toddlers of all ages stand up in the crib and cry sometimes. In this article, you will learn when standing in the crib starts and how to handle it.

When Do Babies Start Standing in the Crib?

On average, babies start standing in the crib during the 8 month sleep regression. This is when babies become much more mobile, in general. Some babies might learn the skill early around 6 to 7 months old while others might not learn until 9 to 10 months old. All babies develop on their own timetable. If you ever have concerns about your baby’s development, be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor.

Baby Standing In Crib and Won’t Sleep

When babies are standing in the crib, they tend not to be sleeping. Do they do this on purpose?

Sometimes. And, sometimes it’s instinctual.

When they are learning a new skill, babies often “practice” in their sleep. It’s something they can’t control and when they are first learning to stand around 8 to 9 months old, it can be exhausting. They might be crying in the crib and can’t get back down. This can disrupt their sleep to the point where they wake very frequently at night. And, sometimes they stop napping or taking short naps, too!

Once they are older and the skill is no longer new, your baby or toddler could be standing in the crib due to frustration or their schedule needs to change.

If your 1 year old is standing up in the crib, for example, it might be time to add more awake time before their naps. Be sure to use an appropriate 1 Year Old / 12 month schedule. Most 12 month olds can still take a nap after being awake just 2-3 hours while others have graduated to 3-4 hours.

There are many reasons a baby isn’t sleeping so depending on how new the skill is will determine whether standing is the reason they won’t sleep or merely a method to avoid sleeping. We handle each differently.


How To Help a Standing Baby Sleep Better

So, how do you help your baby or toddler sleep better when they are standing in the crib?

Most babies will learn quickly how to get back down pretty quickly. My two boys learned this within 1-2 weeks of learning how to stand. Since they learn this quickly, if they aren’t crying, try not to give baby standing in the crib too much attention.

But, because they can fall and hit their heads, it’s a good idea to have some type of strategy to follow. Here are a few tips:

  • Practice – During NON-sleep times, be sure you have your baby practice the skill of getting back down. For example, stand your baby at a couch or sofa. Then, put a toy on the ground next to them. Help them bend their knees to reach the toy. Baby squats! It will become second-nature in no time!
  • Allow Some Practice Time in the Crib – Even if they are getting good at this out in the common areas, they may find it novel to be awake in the crib and want to practice this skill. Put them down a little earlier for naps temporarily to allow them to practice for a while. Then, soothe them and encourage them to lay down closer to the time you expect them to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Training – Once you feel more confident your baby knows how to get down on their own, you can use sleep training to break any habits. You may need to change your strategy a little bit, however. We typically instruct parents to lay their babies down periodically rather than constantly. For example, you might lay them down every 8-10 minutes, allowing some space to figure it out on their own but without letting them skip their naps and get more overtired.

As with most sleep regressions and phases, they do end, eventually. The key is not to make new habits you will have to break. To get through 3 weeks of difficulty, some families are having sleep problems for months. Short-term sleep deprivation is challenging but if you put a bit more work in up-front, you will ALL be sleeping more in a couple of weeks!

You may also be interested in:

How old was your baby when they started standing in the crib?

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