Top tips for moving baby from cradle to crib

18 November 2017 | By
Baby lying down and sleeping

Having your baby sleep close by in their cradle or bassinet beside your bed is an ideal setup particularly in the first few months, as they feed during the night and are best comforted with you nearby.

Eventually however, they’ll hopefully start to wake less often during the night and will become too big for the cosiness of their cradle! Once your baby is over 6 months old, it may be time to start thinking about a new sleeping arrangement.

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Whether your baby is used to co-sleeping in your bed or in a cradle beside you, making the transition to a crib is a pretty big step! Depending on how your bedrooms are set up, this can also involve a move to their own room.

With some preparation and foresight, you can ensure a smooth move and it can potentially even help your little one sleep for longer stretches if they aren’t sleeping through the night already. #winning

Moving your baby into their own crib doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience for either of you, so follow these simple tips to help the change work out for everyone.

Charles sleeping in cot | top tips for moving baby from cradle to crib

Have a safe and secure setup for the cot

Preferably you should try to have the cot set up in your bedroom, according to the recommendations from the AAP regarding reducing SIDS risks. Wherever it’ll be, you’ll need to get the following:

  • Cot/crib – It’s worth investing in a convertible crib that will last through the toddler years as well, since this will potentially be one of the higher cost items. Unless you manage to score one second hand!
  • Mattress – Get a good quality, supportive mattress. Some are even double sided (firmer side for younger years, softer side for when your baby grows up to a toddler age).
  • Mattress protector – A waterproof mattress protector is a must-have, otherwise you’ll find yourself endlessly scrubbing the mattress after leakages or spit ups.
  • Multiple sets of fitted sheets – You’ll need a couple of these, to be ready for sheet changes if there’s an accident. I adore the Rookie Humans fitted crib sheets, which also double up as a gorgeous backdrop for baby photos!
  • Mesh crib liners – Crib bumpers have been proven to increase risk of SIDS, so go for the safer mesh liners option instead. I love this animal themed liner from BreathableBaby!

Familiarise your baby with this new place

At first you can also let them spend some awake time in the cot with a couple of toys, so they can learn that it’s a safe and good place to be. Once baby becomes used to the cot, avoid spending too much awake time there because it’s better to associate the crib with sleep, not play!

Another way to ease the transition is by setting them down for daytime naps in their cot, so that they start to become more accustomed with sleeping in this new location.

Keep other sleeping conditions the same

Do you still swaddle your baby? Or give them a pacifier? Continue these behaviours throughout the transition. If you’re planning on changing these, wait until they’ve resettled into the new routine of sleeping in their cot.

Too many new changes all at once is sure to disrupt your baby’s sleeping habits!

Be consistent and persistent

Babies thrive off routine, so once you start the move to their crib, keep at it! It can be tempting to just put them back in your bed or cradle when they’re fussing about their new bed, but this will only draw out any issues even longer. Instead, make sure you have a good night routine – settle them in their crib and they’ll soon learn this is the place to sleep!

If necessary, keep a comfy chair beside the crib and linger there until your baby dozes off, and gradually move further away into you no longer have to be by their side. It may take time and effort, but persist and it’ll pay off.

Or perhaps your baby will love their new space, and the whole transition will be a breeze!

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We’re lucky that baby Charles hasn’t been too phased by his move to the cot, in fact, I think he much prefers having more space around him while he sleeps!

How was the transition of your baby from their cradle/bassinet to cot? Any tips for new mums? Share a comment below.

Isabelle xx

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  1. Coming across this article was amazing timing. I have a three month old, and I know we will be transiting him to a crib soon. Thank you for this advice! I feel encouraged about our baby’s next stage

  2. I found that with my daughter too, that at a certain point she slept much better with her own space than being with me – we co-slept for ages because she was waking and feeding so much that I just could not get out of bed so many times a night!

    But after that phase, she definitely slept better once she was in her own space. And so did I!

  3. Hello Everyone!
    To successfully move a baby from co-sleeping to a crib the best you can do is to use the HWL method from ‘How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone’ guide. The guide is short and contains only important information. The comments on the Parental Love website speak for themselves!

    1. Thank you Susan, your guide is AMAZING! Finally some clear and fast instructions that make sense. We succeed after only 3 days. Much MUCH faster than we expected. Big thanks for sharing

    2. I thought the HWL method is only to teach a baby to fall asleep alone and apparently I was wrong Your guide helped me so much with transitioning my son to a crib. Just wanted to thank you for making our lives easier!

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