how to handle baby standing up in their crib

How To Handle Baby Standing Up in Their Crib

It’s a milestone almost all parents have to face. Eventually your baby is going to learn to stand up and that likely means they are going to practice that new skill in their crib. Now, instead of your baby lying down, getting comfortable and peacefully falling to sleep they are standing up almost immediately!

The age that babies learn to stand up varies greatly baby to baby. It ranges from 9-12 months typically, but can even be earlier in some cases. When your baby learns to stand in their crib, it can be understandably frustrating for parents because it can lead to a sleep regression. It is common for standing in the crib to happen at naps and bedtime, but can also disrupt sleep in the middle of the night. Here are some steps to take to help you survive and get through this milestone. 

Provide Lots of Practice Time During the Day

Practice is key to helping your baby get past wanting to practice their new skill during sleep times. When your baby is working on a big milestone their brain prioritizes learning and mastering this new skill. Therefore, if they haven’t had enough practice during the day, practicing can be prioritized over sleep leading to your baby standing in their crib. 

Put your baby down on the ground multiple times a day, ideally near some safe furniture or objects that they can pull up on. This gives them lots of practice pulling up and standing, just like they may have been doing in their crib.

babies learning to stand up

Help Your Baby Learn How to Sit Down from Standing

This is important! If your baby does not know how to sit down from standing, they are left stuck standing in their crib until someone comes to help them sit or lay down.

As much as they practice standing up, help them practice sitting down. “Plopping” back down into a sitting position or getting down to a knee and then sitting. If your baby doesn’t learn this along with standing up, there is always going to be intervention needed when your baby stands in their crib.

This intervention can be stimulating and exciting which can make it harder for baby to get to sleep, because it is fun to see mom, dad or another caregiver. Standing up and needing help to get back down again can become a fun game for babies. And of course, they would likely rather play than sleep.

Give your baby a little bit of time standing in their crib

Don’t rush in the moment you see your baby stand up to lay them down. Give them a little bit of time to stand and practice their new skill before helping them down. It also encourages them to practice their other new skill that they have been working on – sitting back down from a standing position.

Of course if your baby is at risk of falling and possibly hitting their head, you can go in faster. Then potentially sit quietly near the crib (a super dark room is important for this!) so you can intervene quickly if baby seems wobbly but not intervene immediately if it isn’t needed.

Help your Baby sit or lay back down when needed

If it becomes clear your baby is stuck standing up and needs help getting down, go in and quietly and calmly lay your baby back down with little to no interaction which can stimulate your baby and make them want to do it all over again. Make the trip into their room all about business, repeat your key sleep phrase if it feels helpful as you lay your baby down and then leave.

Don’t try to prevent your baby from standing up

I’ve talked to parents who have tried to hold their babies down so that they can’t stand up. I don’t recommend this because we want baby to move (safely) in their crib so they can find their most comfortable sleep position.

Additionally, if your baby’s brain is prioritizing mastering the skill to pulling to stand over sleep, trying to hold them down is going to prolong the going to sleep process and be frustrating for everyone.

Prep yourself for a few days of your baby standing up in their crib

Even with the all the floor time and practice possible, this milestone can still interrupt sleep for a few days. Mentally prepare yourself for this once you see your baby pulling up during the day. It will help it feel less overwhelming and frustrating. This is a phase and it will pass quickly, especially if you apply all the tips above. It will likely disrupt sleep for a few days to a week. With consistency in responses, things should be back to normal after that.

Also prepare yourself for the fact that this doesn’t just happen at bedtime and naps. It can happen in the middle of the night too. You may be helping your baby lay down over and over for what seems like forever in the middle of the night. It can be tempting to do something else to get them to sleep, but staying consistent will help you and your baby get back to sleeping well as soon as possible.

Baby standing up in their crib and it’s not improving?

If your baby is standing up in their crib and things aren’t improving after a week or two, reach out to someone on the team here at Sleep, Love and Happiness and we will help troubleshoot these challenges and get you back to peaceful bedtimes and nights. 

If your baby standing up in their crib is not the only challenge you are dealing with, schedule your free evaluation call today. We will chat about what is going on, your goals and how I can help you reach those goals to get you and your family sleeping well!

Cheers to healthy, happy sleep,

Bonnie