What to do when your baby is not adapting to bounce


Being a new parent is an incredible journey, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. At Cradlewise, we understand the early days of parenthood can be both beautiful and bewildering. It’s no surprise that parents encounter a range of issues when it comes to helping their little ones adapt to their new environment.

We’re here to help you navigate through the most common concerns parents face when using our Cradlewise crib—what to do when your baby is not adapting to Cradlewise’s bounce.

We’ve put together this blog, as your one-stop guide to help you navigate through the settings to customize the crib for your baby. Let’s dive right in!

1. “My baby has startle reflex, and they wake up when the bounce starts.”

The startle reflex is a primitive, innate response that all babies are born with, that is triggered by sudden noises, movements, or changes in balance.

The startle reflex is one of the building blocks for your baby’s voluntary motor behavior. It helps them develop their coordination and balance over time. So, while it may seem like an annoyance at first, it’s a crucial part of your baby’s development.

When your baby gets startled, you can contain it by immediately getting the baby closer to your body and embracing them. This will give them a cocooning feeling, which helps in reducing their startling.

Learn more: Startle reflex vs. Moro reflex

At Cradlewise, we’ve meticulously designed our crib’s bounce to minimize sudden movements when it starts to bounce, or experiences changes in intensity. Despite the gentle motor start, some babies may still get startled and wake up as the crib begins to bounce or when the bounce intensity changes.

Since we follow AAP’s recommendations and have a firm and flat mattress in our crib, there is no embrace or cocoon that can be emulated to prevent them from startling.


• Swaddling:

Swaddling cocoons the baby and gives them a secure and snug feeling. We recommend that you swaddle the baby and then place them in Cradlewise. This will reduce the startle when the crib begins to bounce.

Learn more: How to swaddle your baby like a pro—a step-by-step video

• Crib settings:

1. Make sure that the crib’s bounce is in the ‘Smart mode’.
2. Increase sensitivity to High.

        Navigate to Settings > Crib > Bounce > Sensitivity and move the slider to the right to set it at about three-fourths between Low to High.

3. Reduce the Smart mode’s ‘Bounce intensity limit’ to 30%.

        Navigate to Settings > Crib > Bounce > Bounce intensity > Adjust to slightly keep at one third between Low to High.

4. If the bounce still feels too strong after reducing the Max bounce intensity to 30%, try the Gentle bounce mode. This uses the littlest bounce possible for soothing and was designed specifically for startle reflex babies.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Gentle bounce mode > Turn on.

Learn more: What makes Cradlewise bounce so soothing. 

2. “The crib does not help my baby go to sleep by themselves when I place them inside.” 

It’s important to understand that babies develop their sleep habits over time. Expecting your baby to fall into a perfect sleep routine from day one is a lot of pressure on them as well as you.

Just like any skill, it takes practice and patience to habituate them to sleep routines.

If your little one doesn’t start to sleep by themselves when inside the crib, try getting them lightly asleep in your arms first before you place them in the crib. Try this assisted sleep routine for a few days till the baby gets used to their crib.

Then you could try placing the baby in the crib when they are drowsy but awake. The crib would then lull them to sleep once they know that the crib is their sleep space and they will start getting familiar with it.


1. Sleep routine: Sleep routines are a great way of helping your baby develop sleep cues. This way, your little one starts associating the routine with getting ready for bed. Start by giving them a warm bath and massage, feed and burp them, snugly swaddle them, and bounce them in your arms for a while till they feel drowsy. Starting the routine at the same time every day also helps them fall asleep.

2. Rock to sleep in your arms with steady sound on: Go to your app to start a steady sound while you rock the baby to sleep in your arms. You can start with Sensitive sleeper and eventually customize your baby’s choice of sound using different noises (pink, white, brown).
Over time, with some mix and match, you’ll discover which sound your baby responds to the best. Sometimes, talking to the baby to make them feel comfortable or making a “shushing” sound could help too.  

3. Baby placing-in tips: While transferring your baby from your arms to the crib, here are two common approaches our users love. Try these out and see what works for you!

Approach 1: Ensure the app’s bounce is in Smart mode. Place the baby in and do nothing – give time to the crib’s Smart mode to react. In 20-30 seconds, the crib starts a light bounce if the baby is stirring. The crib stays at no bounce if it finds that the baby is already deep asleep.

Approach 2: Toggle off the start gesture of your app by navigating to Settings > Crib > Gesture > Toggle Off Start Bounce. Rock the baby to a lightly-asleep state in your arms. Place the baby inside – after this, while keeping one hand on the baby, gently rock the crib with your other hand so that there is minimal transition. Gently stop when you think the baby is asleep. The crib’s Smart mode will take care of your baby’s sleep hereon.

3. “The bounce is waking my baby up.”

If the crib’s bounce seems to be waking your baby up, a little tweak in your crib’s settings can potentially solve this issue. When the baby wakes up…


1. Set your bounce to ‘Smart mode’.
2. Reduce sensitivity to Low.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Smart controls > Sensitivity.

3. Now when the baby stirs in sleep, the crib will respond slower and start to bounce only when it sees continuous wakeup signs for longer durations.  

4. “The bounce is not kicking in fast enough when my baby wakes up.”

Every baby is different in how soon they transition to a wakeup. Your crib has a setting to help exactly this issue:


1. Set your crib’s bounce to Smart mode.
2. Increase sensitivity to ‘Very High’ so that the crib becomes sensitive to your little one’s slightest wakeup signals and soothes immediately. 

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Smart controls > Sensitivity.

In addition, you could also increase the Smart mode’s Bounce intensity limit to about 75% so that the crib responds to the baby’s signs with a nice, stronger bounce to avert the potential wakeup.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Max bounce intensity > Slide the control for Level 4 and adjust it to set at 75%.

5. “My baby wakes up during the arms-to-bassinet transition, and I end up co-sleeping.”

It’s not just you – this is a classic problem that many parents face. 

When you’re cradling your baby, either breastfeeding or gently holding them in your arms, there comes a moment when they drift into the blissful depths of sleep. But then, there’s the inevitable dilemma – how to seamlessly transfer your peacefully sleeping baby to their crib without causing them to stir? Any sudden movement, even the slightest one, might disrupt their slumber, and as any parent knows, a well-rested baby is the key to a peaceful night.

Luckily, we have some tried-and-true techniques to guide you through this delicate transition.


You can help your baby make the shift from your loving embrace to their crib with minimal disturbance. Follow these steps to help perfect the arms-to-crib transition: 

Step 0: Set up a ‘Start recipe’ for your crib — head to Settings > Soothing > Smart controls > Start recipe and program your crib to start at Level 1 bounce and sound as soon as the baby is placed inside. If your little one doesn’t quite like motion at the start, you can set it to remain OFF..
Step 1: Start the crib’s bounce and sound.
Step 2: Swaddle your baby snugly to create a secure and comforting environment.
Step 3: Feed the baby to lull them into a drowsy state.
Step 4: Slowly draw the baby very close to your body and embrace them tightly and securely. 
Step 5: Slowly get up and start bouncing yourself from the knees.
Step 6: Bounce for a few minutes and walk slowly towards the crib.
Step 7: Lower the baby gently into the crib. Continue to bounce the baby while you are placing the baby onto the bed.
Step 8: In a few seconds, the crib starts bouncing just like you were, and the baby feels no sudden transition from your arms to the crib.
Step 9: Keep your hand on the chest of the baby for a few minutes as the crib bounces the baby to deep sleep.

Hooray! You did it!! Hope this technique works for you. Please do share your feedback, thoughts, videos, and suggestions with us at support@cradlewise.com. We are eager to learn from you if some other technique worked best for you and your baby. We are happy to include your method here to help other new parents! 😊

Learn more: How to transition your baby to Cradlewise: 1 month to 3 months old

6. “The bounce is too strong for my baby.”

Babies are delicate, and their preferences are unique to them. It’s not uncommon for parents to discover that their little one might need a gentler touch when it comes to their crib’s bounce.

If you feel that the crib’s bounce is too strong for your baby, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – you can customize the crib’s bounce settings to tailor them to your baby’s preference.


• Swaddle:

Swaddling helps your baby feel secure while they doze off. Here’s a quick reference on the right way to swaddle. However, if you opt out of swaddling your baby, then draw the arms and legs close to your body so that the limbs don’t fall open when you try to get up from the feeding chair.

• Crib settings:

1. Toggle the bounce to Smart mode.
2. Reduce the Smart mode’s ‘Bounce intensity limit’ to 30%.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Bounce intensity limit > Slide the control for Level 4 and adjust it to set at 20-30%.

3. With the above settings, if the bounce still feels too strong, try the Gentle bounce mode. This uses the littlest bounce possible for soothing the baby to sleep.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Gentle bounce mode > Turn on.

7. “The sound volume changes end up waking my baby.”

If your little one is one of those sensitive sleepers who easily wakes up due to changes in sound volume, rest assured, you’re not alone. Babies vary in their tolerance for noise fluctuations, and what might be soothing to one can be disruptive to another.

In the Smart mode, the crib’s sound adjusts itself, increasing the volume when the baby is restless and decreasing it as the baby begins to drift off to sleep. But if your baby ends up waking up when their crib’s sound volume changes, here are some recommendations that might help them:


• Crib settings:

1. Try the ‘After sleep sound’ with your preferred ‘Volume limit’.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Sound > After sleep sound > Turn on.

Also, head to the ‘Volume limit’ setting to set up your preferred cap on the crib’s sound volume. A lower volume limit of say, 40% would mean all the crib’s levels will be inside of this – thus reducing the variation when the Smart mode soothes.

2. If the above doesn’t work and you prefer a constant sound volume all the time, switch to the Manual sound mode. 

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Sound > Mode > Switch to Manual.

Select a sound of your choice from the Sound tab, and then use the Soothing control of the home screen to keep a constant white noise ON.

3. Experiment with types of sounds from the Sound tab to find one that works for your little one. Tapping on the (+) sign in the top right lets you create your own custom sound track.

Learn more on how to experiment with sounds in Cradlewise: White noise for babies: Does it help them sleep?

8. “My baby only takes short naps of one to two hours and has irregular sleep patterns.”

Baby sleep can be an unpredictable enigma even for seasoned parents. So if you’re struggling to figure out why your baby wakes up after one to two hours, we’ve got you covered! 

It’s perfectly normal for babies to take short naps of one to two hours and have irregular sleep patterns for the first few weeks of their life. Their sleep patterns are just getting developed and will start solidifying at around 4 months. 

So if you’re an absolute beginner at baby sleep, here are our top three takeaways for new parents:

  • Babies sleep a significant amount, averaging around 16 to 17 hours per day.
  • Baby sleep patterns are ever-changing during the first year of life, making it unpredictable.
  • Babies tend to nap in shorter intervals rather than having long, uninterrupted sleep blocks throughout the day.

Learn more: Start here if you know absolutely NOTHING about baby sleep

In the first three months of life, babies experience rapid growth. During this time, their growth primarily depends on milk and loads of sleep. However, newborns wake every one to two hours for feeding due to their tiny stomachs.

Initially, a baby’s stomach is as small as a cherry! That’s why they quickly get hungry and need frequent feedings. As they grow, their stomach size increases, allowing them to consume more milk and sleep for longer stretches. 
During the first few weeks, babies don’t have the ability to connect sleep cycles as well. They can’t differentiate night from day and don’t have a circadian rhythm. Here are some recommendations on how to prolong those little naps!


• Sleep routine:

You can help your baby develop a sleep cycle by introducing a sleep routine before bedtime: Give them a warm bath 45 minutes before sleeping and swaddle them. As you place them in their crib, set the ‘Manual’ white noise with 100% heartbeat at a comfortable volume.

Learn more about your baby’s sleep patterns and how they develop as your little one grows:
1-month-old baby sleep guide
2-month-old baby sleep guide
The ultimate guide to baby sleep: From birth to 24 months

• Crib settings:

1. Toggle the crib’s bounce to Smart mode.
2. Increase Sensitivity to Very High.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Smart Controls > Sensitivity > Select ‘Very High’.

3. Try two bounce styles to see what works for your baby:

      a. Quick, strong bounce: Increase the Smart mode’s Max bounce intensity to 70%.

        Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Max bounce intensity > Slide the control for Level 4 and adjust it to set at 70%.

      b. Continuous, light bounce: Some young babies love this one! Toggle ON the ‘Gentle bounce mode’, and set up the ‘After sleep bounce’ to Level Gentle.

         Navigate to Settings > Crib > Bounce to find the ‘Gentle bounce mode’ and and ‘After sleep bounce’ options.

4. When you feel that the naps have become prolonged, keep your sensitivity as-is and you can try and move back to the plain Smart mode with 50% ‘Bounce intensity limit’ (no ‘Gentle bounce mode’ or ‘After sleep bounce’.)

9. “My baby wakes up when the bounce stops.”

Every Cradlewise baby has a unique relationship with its bounce. If your little one loves their bounce so much that they wake up when the bounce stops, we have the solution for you!


• Crib settings:

Use the ‘After sleep bounce’ setting. After the baby sleeps, the bounce falls to ‘Gentle’ or ‘Level 1’ bounce, whichever level you have chosen.

With the bounce in Smart mode, navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > After sleep bounce > Switch to Gentle or ‘Level 1’. 

10. “My baby has reflux/colic. How can I help them sleep in Cradlewise?”

Slight spitting is often a result of the baby’s digestive system adjusting and is not necessarily a cause for alarm. It’s essential to know that babies, even those without reflux or colic, may experience some degree of spitting up, which is entirely normal. However, if you feel that the baby is suffering from reflux, here are a few recommendations!


1. Adequate amount of feed: Ensure that your baby is not overfed. Overfeeding can lead to more significant spitting or discomfort.

2. Make them burp after the feeding: One of the most common issues parents face with babies who have reflux or colic is discomfort after feeding. To help mitigate this, make sure your baby burps properly after feeding. Here’s what you can do:

• Hold your baby in an upright or sitting position for about 10 to 15 minutes after feeding. Or hold the baby at a 45-degree angle for 15 to 20 minutes before placing them in the Cradlewise Crib. This can help prevent reflux by allowing the milk to settle in the stomach. 
• Gently pat your baby’s back to encourage burping, which can relieve gas and reduce discomfort.
• Place the baby sideways. This also helps in relieving gas. This should be done under parental supervision. 
• Now you can place the baby in the crib on their back to sleep.  

3. Crib settings: Try the ‘Super Gentle bounce’ along with low ‘Sensitivity’.

– Toggle on the ‘Super Gentle bounce’.
      Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Bounce > Gentle bounce mode > Toggle on.

- Reduce Sensitivity to Low.
      Navigate to Settings > Soothing > Smart controls > Sensitivity > Select ‘Low’ Sensitivity.

The first six weeks of your baby’s life and yours, as a new parent, are very dynamic. We hope some of these techniques will help you find the perfect sleep recipe for your baby. Consistency and patience are key when it comes to baby sleep. 💛

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