Moving your infant from their baby bassinet can be a difficult transition, not just for the baby but for you as well!
You’re not alone if making this change feels too daunting for you. Many parents are concerned about how to set up and reestablish important sleep patterns when transitioning a baby from the bassinet to the crib. This concern can be amplified when the crib is located in a designated room such as a nursery. Take a deep breath, because we’ve put up a list of suggestions for how to move your baby into the crib in their nursery. But first, let’s go through some guidelines regarding when this transition from bassinet to nursery crib should occur.
When To Transition Your Baby to Their Crib
Before your bundle of joy arrives, parents are eager to learn the best way to care for their baby. This includes what type of sleeper is best. Because there are various sleepers and baby beds on the market, it is important to note that newborns can sleep in a standard crib (or whatever crib is an appropriate fit for your space). Therefore, if your baby is not in a bassinet, just make sure whatever baby bed you choose in those early weeks and months meets the most up-to-date crib safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
However, it is important to note that the reason bassinets and cradles are so popular for the first few months is that they’re tiny and fit nicely in your space. This is great since the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that infants sleep in their parents’ room (but not in the same bed) for at least the first six months of life.
So, if your baby is in a bassinet, as they grow in size, they will eventually need to transition to their crib. Here are some factors to consider before making the switch.
Is Your Baby Too Heavy for the Bassinet’s Weight Requirement?
The first step is to verify the weight capacity of your bassinet. The majority stop at around 10 and 20 pounds.
Is Your Baby Too Tall?
While some babies will eventually get too heavy for the bassinet, others may be under the weight restriction but have longer torsos that do not provide a comfortable fit for the baby. Just take note and look for clues such as whether the baby’s head and feet are touching or cramped against the edge of the bassinet.
Can Your Baby Roll Over?
If your baby is an adventurous and active sleeper, this is a signal to transition to the crib. If they can roll over and sit up, this indicates safety issues such as falling out, tipping over, or obstructed breathing due to rolling their face into the cramped edges of the bassinet.
Even if you believe you may have a few more weeks left. Planning for what comes next is beneficial and understanding how to change your infant to a crib is worthwhile. Here are some of our suggestions to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible for you and your baby:
Baby Bassinet To Crib Transition Tips
1) Choose The Right Time
Moving to a new bed will be a significant change, so plan it while your baby or family’s schedule is quiet. If you can, avoid key events and challenges – such as trips, when your little one is teething, or experiencing a sleep regression.
2) Ensure Crib Safety
If you know your baby will be secure in their crib, the transition will go more smoothly. When most people think about a crib for a baby, they should consider looking into the safety features and suggestions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Make sure if you assemble the crib, you follow all the directions.
3) Choose the Right Mattress
Another consideration is the mattress. Afterall, your baby will be spending a good deal of time sleeping, so choosing one that has durability, safety, and comfort is paramount. Keep in mind while it is easy to assume that a soft mattress is the greatest option, this is not the case for infants. Soft sleeping surfaces are a suffocation risk for infants under one year old and can raise the danger of SIDS. Check out the 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics’ updated safe sleep guidelines here.
4) Spend Time in The Nursery
Spend time in the nursery with your baby before the changeover to help them get accustomed to being there. Spend time in it so that they have positive memories of it. In addition, consider changing your bedtime routine to their nursery while still putting them to sleep in the bassinet if you already have one. This will also aid in the transition from nursery to their own room.
5) Set Up a Video Monitor
Setting up a video monitor is another approach to enhance your peace of mind. After your baby gets accustomed to sleeping in the nursery, having a video monitor allows you to keep an eye on them while doing other things like cooking or watching TV.
6) Make One Change at a Time
Some infants take to the change like a superstar, others require more time to get acclimated. It’s possible that combining changing beds and changing rooms may be too much for your little one! Take one step at a time by moving their bassinet into the nursery for a few nights. They’ll get used to sleeping in a new space while keeping the consistency of their known sleep space, the bassinet. After that, transition them into their crib in the nursery.
7) Start With Naps
If you think your infant will have trouble adjusting to the transition, for the first few weeks of the transition period, try putting them to sleep in their new crib for naps, but allow them to sleep in their bassinet for bedtime.
8) Teach Them to Self-Soothe
When your baby awakes in the middle of the night, they may be perplexed to discover that they are in a different bed than what they are accustomed to sleeping in.
This is one of the reasons it’s so crucial to teach your baby how to put themselves back to sleep without you. Don’t rock them until they’re completely asleep; instead, put them to sleep in their crib when they are drowsy but not yet asleep. This allows them to learn how to fall asleep on their own in their crib while still allowing you to check up on them.
Another approach to assist in the self-soothing process is to start patting them instead of picking them up when they scream in the middle of the night. When your baby fusses, place a reassuring hand on them to let them know you’re there, but don’t hold them every time they wake up crying.
9) Sit In the Nursery
Sit in the nursery until they drift off to sleep, remembering to put them down drowsy but awake so they can learn to fall asleep on their own. Your presence alone might be enough to make them feel secure and calm enough to sleep.
10) Stick To a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime ritual will clue your baby in to the fact that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep, no matter where they are sleeping. If you and your baby are already in a bedtime routine, stick with it! This routine will play a large part in creating a smooth transition to the crib. If you don’t have one already, create one right away — it’s not too late! Begin a pre-bed ritual that includes soothing activities such as giving baby massages, reading, singing the same lullaby nightly, and turning on the white noise machine.
Crib Sleeping Tips
Whether they’re new to their bed or have slept in a crib since birth, you want them to be as calm as possible while they’re sleeping. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to sleep (which is fantastic for both of you!). Here are some tips for getting them comfortable and cozy:
1) Use A Swaddle
Swaddling is a wonderful method to calm down your newborn if you have one. One of the many advantages of swaddling is that it helps to protect your infant from his or her natural startle reflex.
Because infants have delicate skin, only use super-soft and comfy swaddles like muslin swaddle blankets by Aden & Anais.
2) Place Infants on Their Backs
Laying your baby down on their back for the first year is a crucial safety measure. Unfortunately, at this age, they don’t yet have the muscle strength to roll from tummy to back. Always put them down on their back no matter where they sleep to avoid any potential harm.
3) Use A White Noise Machine
A white noise machine will help to cancel out any loud noises from the next room or the street. It also aids in the creation of a soothing and relaxing atmosphere for your baby that reminds them of the womb.
4) Check The Room Temperature
It is important to note that babies cannot yet control their own body temperature. If they are sleeping in a hot room, it can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. In all seasons, keep your baby’s room between 68° F and 72°F. This will guarantee that your baby’s space is at an optimal temperature.
It may seem that transitioning your baby from bassinet to crib is difficult and disruptive, but it’s not! Yes, it certainly means change for the baby and your family, but don’t let it cause any anxiety. These simple steps will help give you peace of mind and your baby will be safe and comfortable. And most of all, it helps grow patience in you- don’t forget the transition is new for your baby- unexplored territory that takes them out of their comfort zone without the ability to express themselves! Take a deep breath, small steps, and find what works for your baby- you will get there!
To learn more about teaching positive sleep habits check out our online class, Sleep Coaching 101: Healthy & Safe Sleep Habits. Additionally, Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny offers overnight Newborn Care Experts and Sleep Coaches to support parents through every part of parenthood. Give us a call today at 781-444-4063.