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Hi, I’m Dana and today, I want to talk a little bit about one of my pet peeves and that is crib toys. I think I can imagine a bunch of executives sitting around a board room wondering “Hmm, where can we stick more toys? Where can we convince parents they need more toys? I know, the crib. That’s a great place for toys!”
I’ve gone into clients houses and there is one of those aquariums attached to the cribs and there’s a very colorful mobile hanging above that makes all kinds of noises. They’ve got a light show that simulates ocean waves and there’s 20 different stuffies in there. Really, what bothers me about that is that if you are having sleep challenges as an adult, the number one rule is to make your bed a place where you go to really only sleep. You don’t read in bed anymore. You don’t watch TV in bed. You don’t work in your bed. You start sending your brain and body the message that your bed is for sleep.
That is what happens there. That’s where you’re going and I think the same is true for babies. The only time I ever put my children in the crib was when I wanted them to sleep. The message is you are here now. It is time to sleep. It is not time to play with your aquarium. It is not time to get over stimulated by your mobile. It’s not time to chew on six different toys or teething rings. It’s sleep time. Minimize what goes on in that environment.
Make it as boring as you can so that sleep will come sooner and more easily for your baby. The only thing that I ever recommend be in the crib is one soft ‘Lovey’ let’s call it, safe enough. It’s not big enough it’s going to land on her face. It’s cozy enough that she can cuddle it if she wants to. Most children will incorporate a Lovey of some kind into their strategies. My son, he had a giraffe and he held it and he played with the tag on the giraffe’s leg and that was his strategy for getting to sleep. He wore that tag right down to… There was only one string left and eventually, that was gone too.
A Lovey is OK. I encourage a Lovey buy otherwise, nothing else. Take all the other stuff out of there. There is loads of time in your baby’s day to play. Play is important but not when it’s time for sleep. Even throughout the day, if you need to put your baby down somewhere while you take a shower or answer the phone, a play pen is an OK second option or a baby chair or an ExcerSaucer. There’s load of places.
There’s no shortage of places to put a baby down for any length of time while you do something. Don’t use the crib. That should just be for sleep. If you are having any of your own struggles, you might put that into practice for yourself as well. You just make your bed a lovely place to go when you are tired and when you are ready to sleep. Thanks and sleep well.
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