For the first few months of life, a lot of babies spend their time in a bassinet next to their parents’ bed but there comes a time when you need to consider moving them to their own crib. I suggest that no later than 4 months of age is the best time. Once your baby starts rolling over, pulling their head up higher or getting into a crawl position the bassinet starts to become unsafe for them. If you leave it to around the 6 month mark it becomes harder to make the transition. At 6 months of age you’ll find that your baby is more aware of her environment and the routines you have established; which makes change harder. After all, babies thrive on consistency.
Once you decide you are going to make the bassinet to crib transition, the first thing to do is decide where the crib will be. The AAP recommends that babies room in with their parents for their first year. If you choose to have them in their own bedroom then make sure you do it safely. Set up monitors and make sure you can hear your baby well throughout the night.
It is best to start the transition when your baby is well-rested. A well-rested baby will find it easier to fall asleep in their new environment and handle the change better. The transition will also go more smoothly if your baby already has self-soothing skills and can put themselves to sleep on their own. Sleep associations like patting, rocking or feeding will still be present when your baby is in a different sleep environment.
Your baby will take a few days to get used to their new environment. You may wish to have a lay on your baby’s new crib sheets before they do so they can smell your scent and feel comforted by it. You can decide whether you want to do the cold turkey approach or go gradual with the transition. Either way can work fine, it is more personal preference. If you choose the gradual approach you can try naps first and once they are going well you can move to nighttime.
Just remember that with every change there can be a few harder days as your baby gets used to their new environment. However, if your baby is well-rested and already has the skills to fall asleep on their own, then after those few days the bassinet to crib transition will be complete. Happy crib sleeping little ones!
If you’d love some help and support with the bassinet to crib transition or your little one’s sleep, in general, please do not hesitate to reach out. I offer packages to suit everybody’s needs and budget.