Before you became a parent, you may have envisioned a peacefully sleeping newborn and long afternoon naps for yourself (or time to catch up on your Netflix). As you probably know by now, this isn’t necessarily the way things go. Especially when it comes to establishing sleep habits, one of which is transitioning to a baby crib.
Now whether or not you want to move your baby to a crib early or later is up to you. But when it comes time to get your little one into their own room, you’ll know it. Mostly because your baby no longer sleeps well in your bedroom and, consequently, neither do you.
When you are ready to transition to a baby crib, there are several methods you can try. Since parenting styles and preferences are different from one person to the next, you may like some methods more than others. Either way, follow your gut and go with the ones that seem doable. Give it a shot, and if it doesn’t seem to be working, you can always stop and try something else. Because as you also know by now, every baby is different – and so must be the way you do things in your house.
3 Methods for a Smooth Transition to the Baby Crib
New and Familiar
If your baby sleeps well in their bassinet (or pack and play, swing, etc.) but you aren’t sure how well they will transition to a baby crib, then one idea is to move the piece of furniture they do sleep in, to their bedroom. This brings familiarity into the new environment, which helps some babies (and parents) feel more comfortable and less stressed. Once the child seems to be used to their room, you can start placing them in their crib for increasingly longer periods and eventually take out the “familiar” furniture.
If your baby has been sleeping in your room for some time, then you may feel uncomfortable with the idea of putting them in their crib and leaving them alone (your baby may despise this idea as well). The good news is you can gradually introduce your baby to the idea of transitioning to a crib. Start by putting them in their crib to play for a few minutes at a time, while you do something else in the room (clean, organize, etc.). Try to make it longer each time so they get used to being in the crib, and then try getting them to take a nap. When your child is o.k. taking a nap in their room for a while, then you can try putting them in the crib at night when it’s time to go to bed.
Unlike the previous method, going cold turkey is for parents who want to transition to a baby crib as fast as possible. Instead of slowly increasing the amount of time your child spends in their room, this method abandons the idea of sleeping in the parents’ room in favor of the child’s room. This approach may require you to let the child “cry it out” while they get used to the idea of sleeping in their own bed, but you may get results quicker.
Did you try one of these methods? Let us know how it worked in the comments. Or tell us about a different approach you tried and whether or not you liked it.