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.
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!
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.