What to Do When Baby Stands in Crib & Can’t Get Down

Dec 21, 2023

Navigating Baby’s New Milestone: Standing in the Crib and Sleep Challenges

When your little one suddenly starts standing in their crib and can’t figure out how to get back down, it can disrupt their sleep routine and yours. This new developmental stage is a significant leap, both exciting and challenging. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing this phase, ensuring your baby’s safety, and maintaining healthy sleep habits.

Understanding the Developmental Leap

Scientific Reasons Behind the Leap

  • Physical Development: Standing marks a critical milestone in your baby’s motor skills development, usually occurring around 9-12 months.
  • Cognitive Growth: This stage reflects not just physical growth but also cognitive advancements, as your baby explores new ways of moving and interacting with their environment.

Sleep Regressions and Milestones

  • Practice and Excitement: Your baby is eager to practice this new skill, making sleep less appealing.
  • Communication: Standing might also be a way for your baby to express needs, like wanting to be picked up.

Managing the Milestone: Do’s and Don’ts

What to Do

  • Ensure Safety: Lower the crib mattress to the floor / lowest setting, ensuring that there is no space between the bottom of the crib and the top of the mattress. 
  • Encourage Daytime Practice: Let your baby practice standing during the day to reduce their urge to do it at night.
  • Stay Consistent: Maintain your regular bedtime routine to provide a sense of normalcy.
  • Guide Gently: Show your baby how to bend their knees to sit down.
  • Be Patient: Understand that this phase is temporary and part of healthy development.

What Not to Do

  • Avoid Creating Sleep Associations: Don’t make standing in the crib a game, especially near bedtime.
  • Don’t Rush to Intervene: Give your baby a chance to self-soothe and get back down on their own.
  • Avoid Overstimulation: Keep bedtime calm and soothing.

Tips to Help Through the Leap

  1. Create a Safe Environment: Adjust the crib to its lowest setting to prevent falls.
  2. Practice Makes Perfect: Encourage standing and sitting practice in a safe, supervised environment during the day.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Praise your baby’s efforts to stand and sit, reinforcing their learning.
  4. Stay Calm and Supportive: If you need to intervene, do so calmly to avoid overstimulation.
  5. Monitor Sleep Patterns: Keep an eye on your baby’s sleep schedule for any significant changes.

The Bigger Picture: Sleep and Developmental Milestones

Understanding the connection between sleep and developmental milestones is crucial. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Temporary Phase: Once your baby has fully processed this milestone, they are likely to return to their regular sleep patterns.
  • Developmental Progress: These milestones are signs of healthy growth and development.

Watching your baby stand for the first time is exciting, but it can bring new challenges, especially regarding sleep. By understanding the reasons behind this milestone and following these guidelines, you can help your baby navigate this phase safely and return to a peaceful sleep routine. Remember, patience and consistency are key during this developmental leap. Your little one is growing and learning every day, and each new skill brings them one step closer to independence. 

If this leap has caused a larger sleep regression with your baby, my advice would be to bring in the professionals to help guide you through it. We offer 3 types of baby sleep coaching, tailored to your needs.