Home & Life, Parenting

How To Transition Baby To Crib

Transitioning a baby from their bassinet into a new crib can feel overwhelming as a parent.

The transition period can lead to sleep disruptions and anxiety for both parent and baby, especially if you don’t carefully prepare for the process. 

If you want to make the crib transition as easy and stress-free as possible, you need to read this guide. 

I’m going to walk you through the process of moving your baby into their new crib in detail, including some tips and tricks I learned on my own journey of parenthood and my training as a newborn care specialist, so that you feel prepared and confident. It is also important you have baby safe crib paint, read on for our buyers guide.

You’ll have your little one sleeping soundly in no time!

What You’ll Need To Transition Baby To Crib 

The first step to transitioning your baby to a crib is making sure you have everything you need. 

First of all, you will need a crib. This should be a full-size model so that when your baby goes through growth spurts, the crib won’t feel restrictive. 

There should be a good-quality mattress inside the crib, and lowered to the correct position read in our how to lower a crib mattress article. It needs to be firm so that it’s supportive and minimizes the risk of suffocation that comes with a soft mattress. 

You may also want to get yourself a baby monitor. This way, you can always see or hear your baby from wherever you are, and some more advanced models also play white noise to soothe your baby to sleep.

Sleep pattern tracking and temperature monitoring are also built into some baby monitors.

How To Know When To Transition From Bassinet To Crib

Another thing that puts some parents off making the transition for a while is the fact that they’re not sure whether their child is ready to move from a bassinet to a crib yet. 

Babies are all individuals, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this one just like when to move the pram bassinet to a car seat. However, it’s generally recommended to move your baby into a crib at the age of between 3 and 6 months. 

If you know that you have a big change coming up, such as a house move, a rearrangement of your home, or a vacation, I recommend waiting to transition until things are more settled.

The combination of a new sleeping setup and other big changes in the baby’s environment could complicate things. 

The Transition Process: Step By Step

The Transition Process: Step By Step

1. Prepare The Crib 

Before doing anything else, get the crib ready. You should already have the crib itself and a good, firm mattress, but you may also want to invest in a sleep sack, which was a game-changer for me personally.

A sleep sack will help you to keep your baby safely on their back through the night while they adjust to sleeping in the crib without relying on swaddling.

It will also ensure that your baby can stay warm without the suffocation risk of using blankets.

Bear in mind that if you have been co-sleeping with your baby, they may find it hard to adjust to sleeping without your smell.

I have previously tried sleeping with the sheet myself before putting them on the crib mattress to transfer scent, and it works wonders. More tips here on what to do if your baby is not napping.

2. Prepare Yourself 

Transitioning from co-sleeping or bassinet to crib isn’t just challenging for babies – it’s also tough on parents. If you are sharing a small room with your baby check out our article  to see the best way to set up the space.

Before moving your baby into their new crib, you should take the time to prepare yourself mentally. 

Be ready for the fact that your baby may cry when you put them in the crib for the first time, or when you start leaving them to sleep in their own room.

While this can be distressing, it is normal and your baby will adjust the longer you stick to your crib sleeping routine. 

3. Plan A Routine 

Your routine might end up being different from what you anticipated, and it might change slightly sometimes because life doesn’t always run perfectly on schedule, but try to go into the transition process with an idea of what your routine will be. 

Ideally, you should put your baby into their crib at around the same time every night.

To begin with, base this on the time your baby usually goes to sleep, but be prepared to adjust it since this big change could alter the baby’s sleep pattern a little. 

4. Take It Slow 

For the best results, I have always found it easiest to make the bassinet-to-crib transition gradual rather than jumping in at the deep end. 

I recommend starting by having the crib in your room so that your baby can adjust to sleeping in the crib without having to deal with separation straight away, if you are having girls check out our modern baby girl room ideas and how to make a braided crib bumper article.

It might also be worth using the crib just for nap times at first before having them sleep in the crib throughout the night. This way, they can get used to the crib in small doses, if you need a crib recommendations check out our guide best cribs for smalls spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does it Take a Baby to Get Used to a Crib?

They say it takes 3 weeks to build a habit, and the same is true for babies adjusting to cribs. While some might take longer and others might adapt quickly, most babies take about 3 weeks to get used to their new crib.

Why Doesn’t My Baby Like Sleeping in a Crib?

Your baby probably won’t like sleeping in a crib at first because humans, including babies, don’t like change. The longer you stick to your routine, the more your baby will come to like their new sleeping arrangement. 

What Should I Not Put in My Baby’s Crib?

It can be tempting to put soft items in your baby’s crib like blankets and soft toys, but don’t do this as it can lead to accidental suffocation.

Final Thoughts 

Transitioning a baby into a crib is definitely not an easy process.

However, if you get everything ready beforehand, establish a routine, and start the transition gradually, your baby will soon feel comfortable and secure in their crib and sleep soundly through the night, if you are at the stage where your baby is rolling over we also have a helpful article on how to keep your baby from rolling over in a crib and why cribs have slats.

Sleeping separately from your baby can bring up a lot of difficult feelings at first.

Remember that this is a normal and important process for your baby’s sleep pattern, be gentle with yourself and stick to it – you’re doing amazing! 

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