Have you been trying to figure out when to move the baby to the crib but you’re not sure what to do? It is determined by many factors, including your baby’s age, weight, and development. Here, we will discuss when to move the baby to a crib and provide tips and suggestions on how to do so smoothly and successfully.
When to start considering moving baby to crib
Babies sleep best when they are in a crib or bassinet that is their own space. And by waiting until your baby is 3-6 months old, you’ll help them transition into that space more smoothly. However, if your baby is at least one year old, he or she is generally safe to be moved to the crib. Furthermore, gradually introducing your baby to the crib environment is a good idea, start by placing them in it for short periods at a time, and gradually increase the time in the crib.
According to Gross motor development, when a baby has become movable (such as turning or taking a side or moving over to their belly on their own), new safety issues occur, and we wouldn’t want to wait for things potentially harmful to happen before actually trying to protect them. A younger baby would be easier to transition to a crib than an older baby that has gotten comfortable in that bassinet.
What to do before you move baby to crib
Moving a baby to a crib can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation and some simple steps, it can go smoothly. Here are four things to do before you move your baby to their new crib:
1. Prepare the right Crib: right mattress, crib sheets
Make sure that the crib is ready to use before moving a baby to the crib.
To reduce the risk of having a baby with Sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS), make sure your crib is ready for secure baby sleeping. This entails selecting a crib that meets current sleep safety standards given by US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
According to a CPSC report on sleep-related infant deaths, soft bedding (e.g. blankets and stuffed animals) may also be a greater risk factor for sleep-related deaths in infants older than 3 months than in younger infants due to suffocation, particularly once infants are positioned in or roll to the supine position (sleep on the back) until one year of age.
By strict adherence to the CPSC standard for the right crib size and mattress, the crib should be empty to ensure a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet. Extra blankets, pillows, positioners, or stuffed toys should be removed from the crib. Only a firm, comfortable mattress and a soft fitted sheet will be in your baby’s crib.
2. Set up a safe sleep environment
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that:
- position infants on their backs with their own sleep space, away from other people.
- Use a firm, fitted mattress and sheet in a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
- Sleeping on a couch or armchair, or in a seating device such as a swing or car safety seat, is not recommended (except while traveling).
- Keep loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers, and other soft items away from your sleeping area.
- If at all possible, breastfeed your child and eliminate smoking.
3. Choose the right time
Every situation is different, and you are the most familiar with your child. If your baby is close to 3-4 months old, I highly suggest you begin working toward it now so you don’t feel rushed. Babies grow up so quickly.
Depending on your child’s age and activity level, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that babies sleep hours for a healthy lifestyle.
4: Make a sleep schedule for baby
This will help them get used to sleeping through the night and taking regular naps during the day. Start by putting your baby to bed at the same time each night and gradually increase the amount of time they spend sleeping in their crib. Limit daytime naps to 2-3 hours, and make sure they don’t happen too close to bedtime.
How to transit to a crib easier
Transitioning from a bassinet to a crib can be tricky. Here are some tips to make it easier for both you and your baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sharing a room until one year or six months, then bringing the crib into your room and allowing your baby to sleep in the crib as soon as possible.
2. Get the baby used to the new environment
One of the most important is to get your baby used to the new environment before you actually make the switch. Start by putting them in their crib for a short time while they are awake, and gradually increase the amount of time they spend in it. You can also use a sleep sack or wearable blanket to help them get used to being confined in one place. And lastly, make sure you put them down in a calm and soothing manner so they associate their crib with good feelings.
3. Make the switch gradually
Start by putting your child in bed for a short period of time and gradually increase the amount of time they stay in bed. This will help them get used to sleeping in a new environment without feeling overwhelmed.
4.. Use a transitional object
A baby with a lovely transitional object feels more secure in the absence of parents or caretakers. A pretty transitional object is typically chosen by a child aged 4 to 18 months.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should not nap or sleep with any transitional objects.
5. Napping in the crib
When the baby becomes drowsy but awake, place him in his crib or use a pacifier to keep him calm. The more time spent napping in the crib, the easier and more consistent it becomes over time.
6. Start with bedtime
I recommend starting with just bedtime for a few weeks. Because the baby is generally more exhausted as bedtime approaches, starting the transition at that time is easier.
Tips to transition your baby to a crib successfully
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when transitioning your baby to the crib.
1. Get a crib the same size as your bassinet
Always buy the same size crib as your bassinet to ensure a smooth transition of your baby to a crib. It is essential to buy a crib that is both long enough for your baby to move around easily and narrow enough for your baby to get settled in a small space. Furthermore, choose the same color as the bassinet so that the baby can safely adjust to a new environment.
2. Place the crib in the same spot as the bassinet
When going to transition your baby from a bassinet to a crib, keep him or her in the same room and location and avoid extreme changes in the environment. So that the baby is as familiar with the change as possible.
3. Use the same sheets and blankets
When transitioning your baby from a bassinet to a crib, try to use the same bedding sheets and blankets as in the bassinet. It makes the baby feel more at ease and helps him or she get used to the crib.
What to do if baby won’t sleep in the crib
There are a few things you can do to help your baby sleep in his or her crib.
1.Create a bedtime routine
Establish a bedtime routine early on. This can consist of reading a book, singing a song, or giving your baby a bath. Doing the same things each night will help signal to your baby that it’s time for bed.
2. Use a pacifier
The AAP recommends using a pacifier at nap as well as bedtime for better and healthier babies while placing the infant in a back-to-sleep position to help prevent SIDS. They also prefer to wait till breastfeeding gets in line, which is usually around 3-4 weeks of age.
3. Keep the crib bare
Implement a few simple crib rules to keep a healthy baby sleeping. To avoid suffocation, never put pillows or tight bedding in a baby’s sleeping area. Check that there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the crib edges and the mattress.
4. Put baby to bed while drowsy but still awake.
There is no specific age for beginning the drowsy but still awake, you can begin at birth or introduce it even if you’ve been wearing your baby to sleep for months. Try it as part of the routine or sleep training plan. This will teach your baby to nap on her own and to calms herself to sleep if she wakes up during the night.
5. Place the baby in the crib at nightfall
Most parents are curious about when to put their baby to sleep in their crib at night. The answer is simple: putting a baby to bed at night improves their sleeping habits and reduces nighttime waking. According to studies, such babies get sufficient sleep and are healthier and smarter than those who don’t. Putting a baby to bed at night allows them to be active and free of depression. This is due to the fact that babies naturally begin to scale back around this time, making it easier for them to fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
6. Make sure the baby’s room is dark and quiet.
There are significant benefits to keeping the baby’s room dark and quiet. One of the most important advantages is that it can help you and your child get a good night’s sleep better and longer. Make sure that there is no noise and no bright light in the baby’s room by draping curtains. Furthermore, gradually darkening the baby’s room helps them develop healthy sleeping habits at a young age, which can have long-term benefits throughout their lives.
7. Respond calmly and consistently to the baby’s cries.
It is natural for a baby to cry, and it is intuitive to become upset. When you respond calmly and consistently to a crying baby, your baby may cry less frequently overall. It makes your baby feel secure and aware that you are directly adjacent.
8. Try out different bedtimes and nap schedules.
While transitioning infants to cribs can be challenging, introducing different bedtimes and nap schedules can help them adjust better. You can try out different bedtimes or nap periods to adjust to the change. Some parents prefer to sleep during the day and wake up periodically at night to feed their children, whereas others prefer to sleep at night. You can determine the best time for your infants based on their specific habits and temperaments.
Q1: What are the benefits of moving a baby to the crib?
- Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in their bed at least for 6 months to learn how to fall asleep on their own, regulate their body temperature, and establish good sleeping habits.
- risk of SIDS.
Q2:Is it okay to let my baby sleep in the crib?
It is completely up to you and your child, some parents allow their babies to sleep in the crib from the start, while others stand in line until they are a little older. The most important thing is to establish a routine and ensure that both of you are happy with it. If you are reluctant to leave the baby in the crib fairly quickly, consider co-sleeping (next to your bed).
Q3:How long will my baby sleep in the crib?
Newborns usually sleep for 12 hours per day. During the first few weeks of life, this ranges from 7-11 hours and gradually increases to 14-16 hours as your baby grows older.
If you are a new parent or are having difficulty getting your child to sleep at night, don’t worry; most babies probably develop a regular sleep schedule within 4-6 months.
Babies over the age of four months had longer intervals of unified nighttime sleep and fewer wake-ups.
Q4:How long does it take for a baby to learn how to sleep in a crib?
Most babies learn how to sleep in a crib within the first few weeks of life. Usually, this is just a matter of coordination and quick reactions. Your baby will soon be able to fall asleep without your assistance. Remember that it can take up to six months for some infants to fully adjust, so don’t be demotivated if your baby isn’t sleeping well at first.
Moving a baby to a crib is one of the most important decisions a parent will ever make. It’s an important step in their development, and you’ll be proud of it for years to come. There are numerous factors to consider when transferring a baby to a crib. We’ve assembled all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision. It is our responsibility as parents to make the best decision for our child’s safety and well-being. We want their transition into a crib to be easy and stress-free. In the meantime, please leave any questions in the comments section below.
Pulantara, I. W., Parmanto, B., & Germain, A. (2018). Development of a just-in-time adaptive mHealth intervention for insomnia: usability study. JMIR human factors, 5(2), e8905.