How To Transition Your Baby to a Crib: The Complete Guide

How To Transition Your Baby to a Crib: The Complete Guide

Congratulations, parents! By now, you have survived through the first few months of your tiny tot’s life and already learned a whole bunch about your newest family member. 

As challenging as it may have been, you’ve finally established a solid routine and are adapting to the hectic lifestyle that comes with being a parent. 

You know how to ease a gassy belly, have mastered the art of infant massage, and know nothing can calm a colicky baby more than a relaxing bath with soothing shampoo and body wash right before bedtime. Diaper changes are a breeze, feedings are getting easier, and sleepless nights are becoming less and less.    

Time to relax, right?

Nope, not quite. You see, with parenthood, the fun never ends! Now, it’s time to transition your little buddy from the bassinet to a crib. 

We know this change may feel a bit overwhelming to you, especially if you just got into a great baby bedtime routine and are finally getting more than a few hours of shut-eye each night. But don’t worry because you’re not alone—the experts here at Little Yawn Collective are here to help. 

In this complete guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know for making a smooth transition. How smooth? Smoother than a baby’s bottom, smooth

Let’s get started!  

How Do I Know It’s Time To Transition to a Crib?

Believe it or not, your little one can start snoozing in a crib from the get-go if you prefer—there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! 

The reason why bassinets are so common for the first few months of a baby’s life is that they’re typically pretty small and can fit nicely in your room. 

This is convenient because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the best place for a newborn to sleep is in their parents’ bedroom (but not in the same bed) for at least the first six months. 

While every situation will differ, many parents do heed this advice and keep their most precious treasure’s sleeping comfortably in a bassinet right next to them. That being said, sooner or later, babies will need to make the move to a crib—but when?   

Weight

The first telltale sign it’s time to transition to a crib is your little buddy’s weight. Most bassinets have a weight limit that ranges from 15 to 30 pounds, but some can only acquire babies as low as 10 pounds.   

Check the instruction manual of your bassinet to find if it can hold your baby’s weight or not. Can’t find it? Don’t panic—just hop online and check the manufacturer's website to track down the weight limit. 

Bassinets are designed for comfort and safety up to the indicated weight limit, so be sure not to keep your baby in one that is not rated for their weight.  

Height

When your sweetie pie is placed in their bassinet, can you see a gap between their head/feet and the bassinet walls, or do they appear to be squished? 

Some babies will be too heavy for their bassinet before they’re too tall for it. Others, however, might still be well under the indicated weight limit but be so tall that they simply don’t fit comfortably anymore. 

We suggest you watch your tiny tyke once you lay them down in the bassinet and pay close attention to where they are when they wake up. If you start taking notice that they’re hitting or kicking the bassinet walls as they snooze, it’s time to make the switch to a crib. 

Rolling Over

Lastly, if your bundle of joy is still under the size or weight limit but has started to roll over already, it’s of the utmost importance for you to consider transitioning them into a crib. 

Bassinets are made for sleeping angels to dream on their back and not to roll over onto their tummy. Even though most bassinets these days are made with breathable sidewalls in case your vulnerable little one does roll and get stuck, you should still remember that they’re not made for moving babies. A rolly-polly little one could easily fall out, tip the bassinet over, or turn over where they could have difficulty breathing.    

How Do I Transition to the Crib?

When you’re used to having your small cherub snoozing next to you all night, it can be a little terrifying when it’s finally time to send them packing down the hall. But take a deep breath—this is just one of many milestones that you’ll experience with your growing tot. Although it may seem difficult at first, both of you will be more rested and happy in the long run!  

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you conquer this new phase in your little buddy’s life with ease. 

Create a Safe Space 

If you know that your little buddy is safe and sound in their new crib, you’ll have more peace of mind about transitioning them away from you. 

Use a firm mattress and a fitted sheet inside the crib—nothing else. No extra pillows or blankets, no stuffed animals, and absolutely no bumper pads. While you may think these items will make the sleeping space a bit cozier, the truth is that they are a suffocation hazard for your baby and a huge no-no.  

Remember, a boring crib is a safe crib. 

Make It Comfortable

To help your baby get used to the crib sooner rather than later, it’s a good idea to make their new sleeping environment as close to the one that they’re used to. 

You see, the thing about babies is that they tend to comprehend the surrounding world in a very sensory fashion. So, if you manage to replicate the warmth, coziness, and sounds that your little one is used to from sleeping with you, there should be less opposition. 

If they are the right size, use the same sheets in the new crib as you used in the bassinet. A familiar scent, like the Baby Pillow Spray can calm your sleepy angel to help them catch some ZZZs. A good sleep sack or swaddle can also help to keep their itty-bitty arms contained, giving the illusion as if they are being held.

Optimize Your Baby’s Sleep Environment 

Although stuffing the crib with soft blankets and stuffed animals is best to be avoided, you can certainly add elements to the nursery to optimize your little nugget’s sleep environment! Not sure how? Here are a few ideas:

  • Get black-out curtains: Circadian rhythms can easily be thrown out of whack by even the tiniest amount of light. Invest in black-out curtains to prevent any light from peeking through the windows. These are especially convenient for daytime naps, early bedtimes, or nurseries that let in the excessive street lights. 
  • Lower the thermostat: Keeping the nursery on the cooler side helps naturally prepare your little one’s body for sleep. The optimal temperature for sleeping is between 66 and 70 degrees
  • Consider a white noise machine: Babies are used to loud white noise from being in the womb. So, needless to say, white noise is comforting to them. Help your little one sleep soundly through the night by replicating those sounds with a white noise machine. 

Start Slow

Moving from a familiar bassinet to an unfamiliar crib is a pretty big change for little ones. Rather than pushing them to start sleeping in a crib suddenly, take it slow and start with naps. 

Once your little one gets comfortable with the new crib, slowly transition into making it their full-time sleeping space.  

Create a Bedtime Routine 

Although your tiny tot may initially put up a fight having to sleep in a new crib, whatever you do, try not to change the bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is key in helping babies learn good sleep habits and, in doing so, winds them down for the day. Eventually, your little one will start to recognize the routine and learn to associate sleep with it. 

Don’t have a baby bedtime routine put in place just yet? Now is the time to implement one! Start a pre-bed ritual that includes stress-free calming activities like a warm bath with soothing shampoo and body wash, reading sweet beddy-bye stories, and an infant massage using our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat and Shea Butter for the coziest of bedtimes.     

This dreamy lotion isn’t only clinically proven to be gentle on your sweet baby’s skin, but it’s infused with our signature NaturalSnooze fragrance featuring powerful—yet gentle—scents that are proven to create a peaceful environment that helps with falling asleep and staying asleep. 

Conclusion 

And there you have it—the complete guide on how to transition your baby from a bassinet to a crib. 

While transitioning your pint-sized peanut to a new sleeping space might seem like a total nightmare initially, with all the fuss, cries, and sleepless nights—it will get better. And eventually, with a little bit of time and a whole lot of patience, your precious treasure will take comfort in their new crib and sleep with ease. And when your little one gets good sleep, so will you!

At Little Lawn Collective, we’re here to empower parents and build confidence to establish bedtime routines that work. 

Our evidence-backed sleep regimen—a collaboration between leading scientists, infant sleep experts, pediatricians, dermatologists, and fragrance experts—addresses sleep issues from every angle to help make sleep a little easier. 

Ready to summon the sandman for great sleep? Check us out today and discover safe, effective melatonin-free sleep solutions specifically made for little buddies like yours. 

 

Sources: 

The Temperature Dependence of Sleep | PubMed

Mother-Infant Room-Sharing and Sleep Outcomes in the INSIGHT Study | Pediatrics

Room sharing with your baby may help prevent SIDS, but it means everyone gets less sleep | Health Harvard.

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