When to Move Baby to Crib

image001When your baby was born, you may have made the decision to keep her in a bassinet in your bedroom. This solution was perfect when you had to get up two or three times each night for a feeding. When the baby is big enough to sleep through the night without feedings (usually around 6 to 8 months), it may make sense to think about moving her into a crib in her own room. However, there are other factors that may make it necessary to move her out of the bassinet sooner. Of course, there is nothing wrong with keeping her in your room if that is what you and your partner want to do. Just be aware that the longer you wait to make the move, the harder it will be. Read on to learn tips about when to move baby to crib as well as how to do it.

When to Move Baby to Crib

How do you decide when the time is right to move the baby from bassinet to crib? There are a number of factors to consider in this decision.

First, if the bassinet is small, your baby may outgrow it rather quickly. Most bassinets have specifications that detail the maximum weight limits for the bed. If your baby is heavier than the weight limit, it is time to move him.

Bassinets typically have lower sides than cribs, so it is important to move your baby out of the bassinet BEFORE she starts sitting up on her own. Typically, it may take you and your baby a few days to get used to the new arrangement so a monitor may make you feel better once she is moved into the crib.

Questions you should ask yourself to determine when to move baby to crib include:

1. How much does your baby weigh and has he outgrown the weight limits for the bassinet? If he exceeds the weight limit, you really need to move him out of the bassinet – whether or not you are emotionally ready for the move.

2. Since the sides of bassinets are generally low, safety must be a priority. Can your baby sit up or roll over? If so, it is time to consider the move. Typically, this happens in the first two or three months, so it is important to keep an eye on these developmental tasks.

3. Is the baby filling up the bassinet? Bassinets are intended for newborns and are typically small. If it looks as though the baby is uncomfortable or cramped, it is time to move to a crib.

4. Is he sleeping for six or more hours during the night? Most babies will be at this point by 4-6 months. This is a perfect time to make the move into a separate room – before the baby begins to think that your room is his!

5. Do you want your bedroom back? At a certain point, it will become obvious that having your bedroom back for yourself and your partner is more important than the convenience of having the baby in your room.

How to Move Baby to Crib

There are several tricks to help you transition your baby from a bassinet in your room to a crib in his own room.

  • Sleep in the same room with your baby for the first few nights. For a few nights, sleep in his room where he can see you if he awakens in the night. Move your cot closer to the door each night as your baby figures out that this new room is still safe. Within a few nights, you should be able to move back into your own room.
  • Make his room comfortable to sleep in. Be sure the baby’s room is one in which the baby wants to sleep. Keep the lights dim and the noise level low. While absolute silence is not needed, be sure loud music and voices are kept low while the baby is falling to sleep in the crib. Soft music may help your child associate the new crib with pleasant sounds. For the first few nights in the new crib, try putting a diaper with your smell on it into the crib with the baby. Your familiar smell may help the baby fall asleep in a new environment.
  • Dim the lights. Though babies can sleep in the light, many of them usually associate light with being awake and active. Dim the light in the room and hallway and also use opaque shades to prevent light from waking up your baby in the morning.
  • Relax your baby. If a bath relaxes your baby, give him a warm bath before bed. This can be part of a regular bedtime routine that makes him know that it is almost time to go to sleep.
  • Practice bedtime routine. After the bath, rock him for a few minutes and read a bedtime story. Try not to hold him until he goes to sleep, but put him to bed when he is very sleepy.
  • No toys in the crib during the night. During the day, put the baby in her crib a few times a day with a few toys. Put her in the crib for just a few minutes at a time so she does not associate the crib with play time. At bedtime, be sure to take toys out of the crib.
  • Be sure that naps and night time sleeping are all in the crib. The baby should associate the crib with a place to sleep.

Watch a video to learn how to move baby to crib successfully: