Is your toddler ready for transitioning from their bassinet to crib? Here’s how to know when to move baby to crib — plus tips on moving baby to crib easily. In the end, you will find useful tips and our answers to some frequently asked questions about transitioning baby from bassinet to crib.
Transitioning Baby to Crib: Is It the Right Time to Ditch the Bassinet?
Saying goodbye to your child’s bassinet is a big milestone but can be a scary one. Moving a baby to a crib is often a difficult experience for most new parents. After all, getting a baby to sleep in a completely new environment is difficult for them. Since babies quickly grow out of their bassinets, many parents cannot even decide when to transition baby to crib.
While there’s no hard-and-fast age for when to move baby to crib, there are many signs you need to watch carefully to make the right decision. Before we look for tips on how to transition baby to crib, let us understand a little about the signs when your baby is ready for switching their bed.
When to Move Baby to Crib?
You cannot make transitioning baby to crib smooth and easy until you know the right time for switching from their bassinet to crib has come. If you are wondering when to call it quits on the bassinet, here are a few things that’ll help you understand when to move baby to crib and make a seamless transition. You need to move your baby to a crib if:
1. Your Baby Has Surpassed the Weight Limit for the Bassinet
Some bassinets or bedside sleepers can only acquire babies as low as 10-15 pounds but others can hold up to a 25-pound baby.
- Check the instruction manual of your bassinet to find if it can hold your baby’s weight or not.
- If you are unsure about the weight limit, start thinking about a crib once your child reaches the 15 pounds benchmark.
2. Your Baby Fits the Bassinet
Weight is not the only alarming factor crucial in determining when to transition baby to crib. If your baby’s physical development is fast and they look cramped inside their co-sleeper or bassinet, it is time to introduce them to a crib. This is one of the biggest reasons why some parents don’t even purchase a bassinet and pick a pack n play for their newborns instead.
3. Your Baby Has Started to Roll Over
If your bub is still under the weight or size limit but has started to roll over already, it is high time you consider transitioning them to their crib.
4. Your Little One Can Sit in the Bassinet
Although an exciting milestone, a baby who has learnt to sit is not at all safe to sleep in a bassinet or else they might fall and hurt themselves.
Some Other Signs that Indicate It’s Time for the Transition
Sometimes, even if you don’t see any physical changes that suggest transitioning the baby to their crib, some of these signs might help you understand what’s better for your baby if:
- Your baby has begun waking up more frequently in the night – especially at abnormal times, it is an indicator that the baby is habitual of their bassinet but actually not completely comfortable.
- You find your bub stuck in an uncomfortable position more often, it means they are being cramped inside and outgrowing the bassinet.
- You notice your baby getting up crankier than usual, maybe they aren’t having a great time in their bassinet.
- You find your tot kicking the bassinet during the night, they are probably feeling squished in there.
- The baby doesn’t have about 2 inches clearance at the top and bottom and finding it difficult to move, it is high time you think about the switch.
Things to Consider Before Moving the Baby
Although there are many types of cribs available out there, your biggest responsibility as a parent is to make sure of your baby’s safety and comfort by choosing the right crib. While some people prefer going for a convertible or travel crib , others like to simply go for a standard-sized crib. After all, standard cribs make it easier to find the ideal crib mattress and crib sheets . Many parents also prefer going for a circular crib to complement their nursery theme.
Here are a few crucial things you must consider once you have decided when to move baby to crib:
1. Make Sure the Crib Complies with All the Safety Standards
While buying the crib, ensure you are purchasing the best crib from a reliable brand. Make sure to check if the crib complies with the safety standards recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
2. Check the Size
The standard crib size is 28″ x 52” inches (71 cm x 132 cm) and the crib bars or slats are ideally 2 3/8 inches wide (6 centimeters) to protect your baby from falling out or trapping their head between the slats.
3. Find a Firm Mattress that Fits Snugly
Furthermore, it is important to purchase a firm mattress for optimum back support for your baby and ensure it fits the crib tightly. We recommend understanding how to choose the right crib mattress by reading the complete guide to buying a crib mattress.
- The mattress should be so snugly that you cannot fit in more than two fingers between the mattress and the sides of the crib.
- This ensures your baby is safe against becoming trapped or suffocating in gaps around the mattress.
- The crib mattress should not be thicker than 6 inches or else your toddler might quickly learn to escape the crib.
- The crib sheet should also be tight-fitting and must have an elastic all around for a perfect fit because loose sheets can also pose threats of entanglement and suffocation.
4. Ensure that the Crib Doesn’t Have Large Cutouts on Headboard & Footboards or Drop-Side Rails
Headboards and footboards in cribs might look fancy but can hamper your baby’s safety if there are any large cutout designs or spaces in them. Hence, if you prefer a headboard or footboard crib, look for the one with a solid design or minimal cutouts that cannot be unsafe in any way.
Furthermore, never settle for a drop-side crib no matter how safe it claims to be. This is because drop-side rail cribs are more harmful than convenient.
What Not to Do While Moving Your Baby to Crib
Now that you know when to move your little one to the crib and important things to consider, it is equally important to realise that even if your child reaches the age or weight benchmark but they are sleeping peacefully in their bassinet, you need not force them to make the switch. However, do not delay it a lot because the longer the baby sleeps in their bassinet, the more they are likely to resist.
Tackling Your Toddler’s Bassinet-to-Crib Switching: How to Transition Baby to Crib?
New parents are often disheartened to see other babies sleeping in cribs if their toddler is not finding it easy to make their transition. Remember that babies sleeping in cribs do not form a new habit overnight. Every child (and parent) finds it challenging to transition into their new space. However, some toddlers might take a little longer to switch their beds. Here are a few pro tips that will make it easy for your bub to sleep in their crib just like other babies sleeping in cribs.
1. Get the Crib Ready for Your Baby
As soon as you realise your baby is about to get ready for their transition to a crib, pick the best crib and compile it.
- Choose the right mattress and crib sheets.
- Check for loose or improperly installed screws and ensure that the mattress height is properly adjusted.
- Ensure that there are no missing brackets or other hardware on the crib.
- Also, make sure the wheels are properly locked and the crib is safe as per the recommended safety standards.
2. Find the Right Spot
Finding the right spot is not only important in terms of the nursery design or theme but highly crucial in ensuring the baby’s comfort and safety. Set up the crib at the right spot – away from windows, draperies, heaters, lamps, blind cords, etc. Even if the baby cannot move out of their crib, setting it up at a safe spot will make them safe against all odds.
3. Add Some Interesting Elements
Although stuffing the crib with soft toys and pillows is not safe and may pose threats of suffocation, you can certainly add interesting elements to the nursery such as crib mobiles, dim lights, eye-catching lamps, white noise, etc.
Tips to Make the Transition Easier
Here are a few tips that will help make your baby’s transition from their bassinet to crib a lot easier and smoother.
1. Place the Crib in the Same Spot as the Bassinet
Putting the crib in the same space where the bassinet was is sure to make your little one’s transition to their new bed a lot easier because nothing except for the size of their bed has changed much.
2. Take it Slow
Moving from a bassinet to a crib is a big change for babies. Instead of pushing them to start sleeping in a crib suddenly, take it slow and start with naps. Once the baby gets comfortable with the new bed, slowly make it their primary sleeping space.
3. Stick to the Bedtime Routine
Although many toddlers would initially resist sleeping in a crib, make sure you don’t change the bedtime routine. This makes a world of a difference by ensuring the baby’s body clock is ready for their sleep time.
4. Sleep With the Baby
No! We are not talking about co-sleeping or sleeping inside the crib. We are referring to sleeping with the baby in the same room. After all, transitioning the baby from bassinet to crib is not only difficult for babies – but for mommies too.
- You can place the crib in your room initially and place it in the nursery when the baby is comfortable and habitual.
- Also, you can consider sleeping in the baby’s room for a few nights until your toddler is completely adjusted to sleeping in a newer and bigger space.
5. Practice Patience
Sometimes, even if you follow all the tips you read online or hear from other mommies, things are not going to work the way you expected. Being patient and calmly using your formula for transitioning your baby to sleep will gradually make them feel more familiar with their new sleeping environment.
Frequently Asked Questions about When to Move Baby to Crib
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about babies sleeping in a crib and their transition.
When should I move my baby from the bassinet to a crib?
While most babies are ready to transition to a crib by three or four months, others might not be ready till the sixth month too. If your baby is too big for their bassinet or has turned six months old, you must begin transitioning them into the crib in stages.
When should I stop using a bassinet?
Bassinets should be used for a maximum of six months but you must consider many other factors such as the baby’s weight and height, your bassinet’s recommended weight range, and most importantly, your baby’s development.
Can baby sleep in crib at 2 months?
Yes. A two months old baby is very small for sleep training and transitioning to a new bed. You must wait for your baby to turn at least three months old to sleep train them in their new sleep space. To avoid the hassle of transitioning the baby, many people are confused about choosing a bassinet vs crib. However, it is better to keep newborns close and not put them straight into a crib. It is rather a better choice to put a two-months baby in a co-sleeper, bedside sleeper, or cradle.
When to move baby to own room?
Once your baby is comfortable with sleeping in their crib, you can move them to their nursery. Ideally, you can do so when the baby ages around 6-7 months.
The Bottom Line
Always remember that just like physical development, every baby’s timing for all milestones is also different. Listen to your baby and be patient with them. You cannot force your child to instantly start sleeping in a strange environment. Make them like their new environment and look for smarter ways to make transitioning your baby from bassinet to crib easier.
Even if your child cannot bid bye-bye to the bassinet, in the beginning, practicing every day and being consistent will help them welcome their new bed. To make the transition easier, make sure the nursery (or room) is dark enough and free from bright lights. Most importantly, ensure that your baby is never left unattended when sleeping in the crib.
Ensure the crib is safe by keeping away all the extra pillows, soft toys, blankets, or bumper pads during the night. Moreover, use a baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby at all times. Remember to make the crib feel like you by giving your bub your smell in some way. We wish you good luck transitioning your little angel to their crib!