what is the 90 minute crib rule
what is the 90 minute crib rule

Imagine this scenario: your little one has just fallen asleep and you tiptoe out of the room, excitedly planning all the tasks you’ll be able to accomplish during the precious quiet time. But wait – there’s a rule you need to know about: the 90 Minute Crib Rule. What is it, you wonder? Well, let us fill you in. This intriguing rule is all about understanding your baby’s sleep patterns and ensuring they get the rest they need for optimal development. So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of the 90 Minute Crib Rule and discover how it can make a difference in your baby’s sleep routine.

What is the 90 Minute Crib Rule?


As new parents, we are often bombarded with advice on how to ensure our little ones get enough sleep. One particular rule that has gained popularity over the years is the 90-Minute Crib Rule. This rule suggests that babies should be put down for a nap or bedtime approximately 90 minutes after waking up. In this article, we will dive deeper into what exactly the 90-Minute Crib Rule entails and discuss its potential benefits for both babies and parents alike.

Understanding the 90-Minute Crib Rule

The 90-Minute Crib Rule is founded on the concept of sleep cycles. Just like adults, babies go through sleep cycles that consist of both light and deep sleep. These cycles typically last around 90 minutes in infants. By adhering to this rule, parents aim to put their babies down for sleep at a time when they are naturally ready for it, maximizing their chances of falling asleep easily and staying asleep for longer durations.

Benefits of the 90-Minute Crib Rule

Improved Sleep Quality

One of the main benefits of following the 90-Minute Crib Rule is the potential for improved sleep quality for babies. By aligning their nap or bedtime with their natural sleep cycles, infants may experience less restlessness and wakefulness during sleep. This can result in more consolidated and deeper sleep, leading to better overall sleep quality.

Reduced Sleep Resistance

Another advantage of the 90-Minute Crib Rule is that it may help reduce sleep resistance in babies. When babies are put down for sleep at the right time, they are more likely to willingly and easily drift off into slumber. This can minimize the struggle and resistance that some parents face when trying to get their little ones to sleep, ultimately making the entire process more enjoyable for both babies and parents.

Establishing a Consistent Routine

Following the 90-Minute Crib Rule can also aid in establishing a consistent sleep routine for infants. By adhering to the approximate 90-minute sleep cycles, parents can create a regular pattern that their babies can grow accustomed to. This routine can enhance their sleep-wake schedule, leading to more predictable nap times and bedtimes, which can be beneficial in promoting healthier sleep habits.

Increased Daytime Alertness

Ensuring that babies get optimal sleep through the 90-Minute Crib Rule can result in increased daytime alertness. When infants have sufficient and quality sleep, they are more likely to be alert, happy, and responsive during their awake periods. This can lead to improved interaction and engagement with their caregivers, enhancing the overall well-being and development of the child.

Implementing the 90-Minute Crib Rule

Now that we understand the benefits of the 90-Minute Crib Rule, let’s discuss how to effectively implement it. It’s important to note that babies’ sleep patterns can vary, so it’s essential to observe your child’s cues and adjust accordingly. Here are a few steps to get started:

  1. Observe Awake Times: Pay attention to your baby’s awake times and try to put them down for sleep around the 90-minute mark after waking up. This can help determine their natural sleep cycle and find the optimal time for naps and bedtime.

  2. Establish a Bedtime Routine: Create a consistent bedtime routine that signals to your baby that it is time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include activities such as a warm bath, a bedtime story, and dimming the lights.

  3. Create a Calm Sleep Environment: Ensure that your baby’s sleep environment is conducive to a restful slumber. Keep the room cool, quiet, and dark, and consider using white noise or a soft lullaby to create a peaceful atmosphere.

  4. Be Flexible: While the 90-Minute Crib Rule provides a general guideline, it’s important to remain flexible and adapt to your baby’s individual needs. Some babies may require shorter or longer awake times, and it’s essential to pay attention to their cues and adjust accordingly.


The 90-Minute Crib Rule is a technique that aims to optimize sleep for infants by aligning their sleep schedule with their natural sleep cycles. By following this rule, parents may experience improved sleep quality, reduced sleep resistance, and the establishment of a consistent sleep routine. Remember, every baby is different, so it’s essential to observe your child’s unique sleep patterns and adjust accordingly. By prioritizing healthy sleep habits from an early age, we can foster better sleep for our little ones and create a positive sleep environment for the whole family.