Mastering The Crib Hour: Ultimate Key to Peaceful Nights as a Parent

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

Let’s talk about crib hour today. I remember feeling overwhelmed and sleep-deprived in the early months of my baby’s life. “It’s all normal. It will pass. Be patient. There’s nothing you can do. Just wait”. I hear these pieces of “advice” all the time.

But here’s one thing I learned – there’s actually A LOT you can do.

I tried various methods to get my little one to sleep through the night, but nothing worked until I discovered the “Crib Hour” technique. 

This method allowed my baby to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep. I’ll share with you everything I learned about the Crib Hour technique. And I’ll also discover the best tips for implementation and troubleshooting common challenges. 

Let’s dive in!

What is “Crib Hour” or “Crib 60/90”?

Crib hour and crib 60/90 are sleep training methods that involve leaving your baby in their crib for a set amount of time. 

This is usually 60 or 90 minutes, regardless of whether they are awake or asleep. The method is designed to help your baby learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep independently.

What Is the Crib 45 Method?

The crib 45 method involves gradually increasing the crib hour over time, starting with 45 minutes and gradually increasing to 60 minutes.

Actually, this is how my daughter and I started our crib journey. 45 minutes gradually increased the time to 60 minutes over a few weeks. This method helped her adjust to the crib and establish a healthy sleep routine.

What Age Can I Start Using the Crib Hour?

Crib hour is recommended for babies who are at least six months. They should sleep through the night without feeding. However, every baby is different. So, consult with your pediatrician before starting any sleep training method.

How Do I Know My Baby Is Ready for Crib Hour?

There are a few signs that your baby may be ready for crib hour, including:

  • Your baby is at least six months old and has a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Your baby can fall asleep independently without being rocked or fed to sleep.
  • Your baby is not experiencing any medical issues or sleep disturbances.

Does Crib Hour Really Work?

Crib hour is effective for many families, but every baby is different. Remember that sleep training methods are not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one family may not work for another. Try it and test it.

Is Crib Hour Suitable for All Babies?

Crib hour may not be suitable for all babies, especially those with medical conditions or special needs. It’s essential to consult with your doctor before starting crib hour.

Here are some instances where this method may not be appropriate:

  • Babies who are underweight or premature
  • Babies who have reflux or other digestive issues
  • Babies who are experiencing teething pain or other discomforts
  • Babies who have not yet established a feeding routine

What are the Benefits of Crib Hour?

Crib hour has several benefits for both babies and parents. Let me take you through each of them.

Benefits for Babies

  • Encourages self-soothing.
  • Promotes healthy sleep habits.
  • Builds independence.
  • Reduces bedtime battles.

Benefits for Parents

  • Gives parents a break.
  • Allows for self-care.
  • Establishes a routine.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Increases productivity.
  • Fosters balance.
  • Improves well-being.

How to Implement Crib Hour?How to Use it in Nap Training

Implementing crib hour requires patience and consistency. Crib hour can also be used in nap training to help your baby establish a regular nap schedule. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Setting Up a Safe and Comfortable Sleep Environment

Make sure your baby’s crib is safe and comfortable. The mattress should be firm and fit tightly into the crib frame. Remove any loose blankets, pillows, or toys from the crib. All of these can be a suffocation hazard. Dress your baby in comfortable sleepwear appropriate for the room temperature.

Establishing a Consistent Sleep Routine

To make crib hour training work, you must establish a consistent sleep routine. This means you should pick a specific bedtime and naptime routine that works for your family. Stick to it every day. 

Your routine could include a warm bath, singing a lullaby, or other calming activities. By establishing a consistent routine, your child will associate these activities with sleep. Your baby will also feel more comfortable and relaxed when it’s time to rest. A regular routine can also help you and your child feel more organized and prepared for the day ahead.

Determine When Your Baby Is Typically Tired and Ready for a Nap.  

Place your baby in their crib and set a timer for 60 or 90 minutes, depending on what works best for you and your kid. Allow your baby to stay in their crib for the full-timer, even if they don’t fall asleep. If your baby wakes up before the timer goes off, leave them in their crib and try to soothe them without picking them up. Over time, your baby will learn to associate their crib with sleep and be better able to fall asleep alone.

Tips for Dealing with Resistance to Crib Hour. What If the Baby Cries During Crib Hour?

It’s normal for babies to cry during crib hour, as this is a new experience. Dealing with resistance to crib hour can be challenging. Babies may not take to it right away, but don’t panic. 

Start by increasing the time your baby spends in the crib gradually. If your baby becomes upset, offer comfort and reassurance. Some fussing is normal and a sign that your baby is learning to self-soothe. 

Be patient and give your baby time to adjust to the new routine. You can also incorporate some soothing activities into the crib hour routine.  For instance, my little girl adored soft music and used her favorite blanket. Crib hour can be essential for both you and your baby to recharge and establish a consistent sleep routine. 

Stay calm and consistent, you can help your baby learn to feel comfortable and secure in their crib. That’s how the transition will be easier for both of you.

Precautions for Crib Hour

Before implementing crib hour, keep the following in mind:

Safety Precautions

Supervising your baby during wake times is also essential to prevent accidents. However, make sure not to wake them up by entering the room. And as I suggested earlier, baby monitor would be a much better option. 

Adjusting for Individual Baby’s Needs

Every baby is different; some may need more or less time to adjust to crib hours. Pay attention to your baby’s cues and adjust the length of the crib hour as needed. Start with shorter crib hours. Gradually increase the length as your baby becomes more comfortable with the routine.

Consulting with a Healthcare Provider

If you have concerns about your baby’s sleep or are unsure if crib hour is right for your family, talk to a professional. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

baby's crib hour

Common Concerns and Questions About Crib Hour

Here are some common concerns and questions parents have about crib hours:

Do I Check on My Baby During Crib Hour?

It’s best not to check on your baby during crib hour, as this can disrupt their self-soothing efforts. Instead, trust that your baby is safe and comfortable in their crib and allow them to learn to self-soothe.

When my daughter was going through crib hour training, I found it helpful to distract myself with a book. This helped me resist the temptation to check on her and gave her space and time. You can choose any other activity that makes you happy and calm.

Remember, crib hour aims to help your baby learn to feel comfortable and secure in their crib. So, checking on them can interfere with this process. 

You can always use a baby monitor if you’re concerned about your baby’s safety or well-being. That’s how you will watch them without disturbing their crib hour routine.

When Does My Baby’s Wake Window Begin?

A baby’s wake window starts when they wake up from a nap or overnight sleep. Pay attention to your baby’s cues, like rubbing their eyes or becoming fussy. These cues suggest they may need another nap.

The length of a baby’s wake window can vary depending on their age and individual needs. Newborns may only be able to tolerate short wake windows of 45 minutes to an hour. Older babies may be able to stay awake for two to three hours between naps.

Isn’t This Going to Make My Child’s Wake Window a Half-Hour Longer Than It Should Be? Aren’t They Going to Be Overtired?

Crib hour should not make your baby overtired if you stick to their recommended wake window. If your baby shows signs of being overtired or not getting enough sleep, speak with a doctor.

How Long Does Crib Hour Last? 

Crib hour typically lasts 60 minutes, but some parents may modify the time length. At the end of the day, it all should be based on your baby’s needs. 

Establish a consistent start time for crib hour and explain this to anyone who may be watching your baby. I explained this to my mother and a nanny who took care of my daughter while I was working. They both accepted it and we had no problems at all!

How Long Does It Take for a Crib 60 to Work? How Long Did It Take You to See “Crib Hour” Results?

It may take several days or weeks for your baby to adjust to crib hours and take longer naps. Consistency and patience are key.

My daughter and I struggled with crib time. It took several weeks for her to get used to it and start taking longer naps. After a month of consistent routine and patience, she finally adjusted to her crib and started sleeping better.

Why Is My Baby Taking Short Naps?

There are many reasons why a baby may take short naps. These reasons are usually hunger, discomfort, or overstimulation. 

Establish a consistent routine and create a safe environment to promote longer naps. If short naps persist, try to speak with a baby’s doctor.

How and When to Use Crib 90?

Crib 90 is similar to crib hour, but instead of leaving your baby in the crib for 60 minutes, you leave them for 90 minutes. Crib 90 is typically used for naps and can be effective for lengthening nap times. Before using crib 90, consult your doctor to ensure it is appropriate for your baby’s age. Additionally, use crib 90 only if you feel confident in your decision.

How to Use Crib 90 to Lengthen Naps?

To use crib 90 to lengthen naps, try to realize when your baby is typically tired and ready for a nap. Place your baby in the crib and leave them for 90 minutes, regardless of whether they are asleep or awake. 

If your baby wakes up before the 90-minute mark, offer comfort and reassurance. But encourage them to stay in the crib for the full 90 minutes. With patience, your baby may learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep. Trust me, this process will result in longer nap times.

Conclusion

Crib hour can be a helpful tool for promoting longer naps and helping babies learn to self-soothe. By following safe sleep guidelines, being patient and consistent, and consulting with doctors as needed, you can successfully implement crib hour and enjoy its benefits.

I know it may be hard at the beginning, but it will pay off. 

Good luck, and thank you for reading!

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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