How to Transition Baby to Crib – A Complete Guide
Not sure if it’s the right time to transition your baby to a crib? You’ve come to the right place!
I’ll be telling exactly when to do it, how to prepare for it, and how to do it properly.
You see, it sounds very simple, but moving your little one from the bassinet to the crib may be a bit tricky.
Our babies are not like us who can adjust to a new sleeping environment in a jiffy. It may take days or weeks for them to get used to the new surrounding; hence, you need to know how the right ways to transition baby to a crib.
So let’s start off with knowing when to do it.
When to Transition Baby to Crib
No matter how much we love our bassinets, more specifically the Bassinest, we have to move our little one out of it.
Because the bassinet is designed only for newborns. It is suitable for our babies only until a certain age.
When is that?
1. Baby’s motor development
The first thing you have to consider is when your angel starts rolling over.
According to experts, that (the rolling over) can happen anytime from 5 to 6 months. But, mind you, there are babies who can lie on his tummy as early as 4 months, so you have to observe.
2. Baby’s physical development
Not all babies are created equal. Some grow faster than the others.
While a bassinet is safe for babies up to six months, as long as they don’t know how to roll over yet, some babies can outgrow a bassinet as early as three months!
So when your baby kicks and she’s already bumping into the sides, it’s time to transition.
What Should You Prepare?
“Duh!” You tell me. “Of course, a crib is what you need so you can transition a baby.”
I get you. But the reason I added it to this list is that you cannot get just any crib. You have to pick one that’ll last for a really long time.
You see, cribs are designed for babies up to two years (and sometimes beyond). Thus a spacious and durable one is what you need.
Side note: Trust me on the durability. When your little ones start to move, the cribs will be like their playground. The crib should be strong enough to support any activities they do.
Choosing a mattress is another big deal when transitioning to a crib–you need one that’s firm. If you can find a mattress that resembles the firmness of the one in the bassinet, it’s much better.
Otherwise, just get one that’s firm enough to support your baby’s weight.
Don’t choose a soft mattress at this time. Your little one may sink into it after several movements, and it may suffocate her.
3. Sleeping space
Your little one’s crib should be free from any obstructions–pillows, blankets, stuffed toys, etc. Save these when your babies are older.
This is because these items may smother your babies, giving them a hard time to breathe.
So their sleeping space should be clear, with the mattress covered a with a very fitted sheet.
4. Baby monitors
I have yet to see a mom or dad who can sleep soundly when their baby is far from them. What I mean is, I know exactly how you feel.
So for you to be at ease during the entire process, you have to invest in baby monitors. These devices are what you place near your baby, preferably in a table close by, so you can monitor sounds, movements, and even breathing patterns.
These heaven-sent gadgets will wake you up once they detect something unusual happening in your baby’s room.
How to transition baby to crib
Now that you have your necessaries prepared, it’s time to start transitioning her to the crib.
1. Prepare the crib (and yourself, too!)
First things first: you have to set your mind that in the next couple of days, your baby will be sleeping away from you.
It sucks at first but this is for their own safety.
Now that you’re convinced you’re ready to do it, prepare her crib.
As I mentioned earlier, the mattress should be firm and covered with a fitted sheet. I love to use light-colored sheets so I can easily see if there’s dirt or insects crawling on it.
Then remove anything that may obstruct your baby’s breathing-pillow, blanket, toys, feeding bottles, and so on.
As much as possible, the crib will accommodate your baby only.
2. Set the temperature
Once the crib is prepared, you have to set the right temperature. Ideally, it should be from 68 to 72 degrees F, but to each his own.
My babies, for example, love cool environments so 65 degrees F is what’s optimal for them.
You will know that the best temperature for your baby is if you place her in her room and observe her reaction when sleeping. If she sleeps soundly, you may have hit the perfect one.
3. Transition gradually
Transitioning from the bassinet to the crib is not an overnight task. As I mentioned, it may take weeks for some babies to get used to it. So it’s better to start conditioning them before they become full-blown rollers (if you get what I mean).
So the first thing you have to do is to place the crib in your room. This way, you can easily get to her when the need arises. (Plus, I have this feeling that they can smell us so they know our presence is nearby).
Then slowly, say once a week, put the crib in her own room and let her sleep there.
Alternately, you can place the crib in her room but take her there during nap times. She still sleeps in her bassinet in your bedroom at nighttime, but let her feel the new environment during naps.
Do these until your baby has fully transitioned to the crib.
If your baby is having a hard time adjusting, try adding relaxing music or white noise in the background.
Nightlights are also very helpful during this period.
In case it doesn’t work as expected, you may choose another co-sleeper which can act as the transition tool that will help your baby get used to a new sleep environment.
Make sure you start this whole transitioning thing when there are no major changes happening in a baby’s life–like moving to a new house, introducing a new caregiver, or going to a family vacation.
Our babies can only handle so much, so we have to do it one step at a time.