When to Transition from Bassinet to Crib? – The Essential Guide to Baby Sleep

when to transition from bassinet to crib

If you are wondering when to transition from bassinet to crib, the answer is between 4 and 6 months.

Based on my research and expertise in child development, I’m here to help you move your baby from a bassinet to a crib. Don’t worry, it’s not too complicated, and I’ll make it easier for you!

Keep reading if you want to find out more:

When is the best time to move a baby from a bassinet to a crib?
How do you know if your baby is outgrowing their bassinet?
How to Make the Transition to the Crib?
Tips to ease the transition

When is the best time to move a baby from a bassinet to a crib?

Most babies move from a bassinet to a crib when they’re around 4 to 6 months old. But if your baby still sleeps well in the bassinet, it might not be time to make the change yet. 

The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to transition your baby. Moving a younger baby to a crib is usually easier than moving an older baby who is already used to the bassinet. 

Avoid transitioning your baby during vacations or big lifestyle changes.  Moving your baby to a crib can be harder because they might feel tired and not like the new sleeping spot. 

It is important to avoid having infants sleep in car seats, infant swings, or strollers. Newborns can sleep in a crib from the very beginning.

The AAP recommends babies sleep in their parent’s bedroom for at least 6 months. This helps reduce the chance of SIDS, which is a dangerous condition called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

How do you know if your baby is outgrowing their bassinet?

  1. How much does your baby weigh?

Bassinets have weight limits. Some hold 10 pounds, good for the first month. Most can handle up to 20 pounds. Check the manual or website to be sure. For safety, switch to a crib at around 15 pounds.

  1. How old is your baby?

At around 6 months, many parents notice their baby outgrowing their initial bed.

  1. Does the baby seem cramped?

If your baby’s head or feet touch the sides or ends of the bassinet, it could mean she needs more space. 

  1. How much does your baby move?

Once your baby starts rolling, sitting up, or attempting to crawl, it’s time to switch from the bassinet to a crib. Bassinets have low sides that can pose a risk of falling out as babies become more mobile.  Cribs with higher railings are safer for babies who are rolling or sitting up. 

  1. Is the baby waking up frequently?

If your baby is waking up during the night, it might be a sign that they have outgrown the bassinet. As babies grow, their sleep habits can change, and they might want a larger sleeping space to feel more comfortable. 

How to Make the Transition from Bassinet to the Crib?

Gradual method

Let your baby get used to the crib by having non-sleep playtime in it several times daily.

Start by having one nap in the crib daily, like the first one in the morning. After a few days, add another sleep period in the crib, such as bedtime.

Gradually increase the amount of sleep in the crib until your baby sleeps in it for all naps and bedtime. Take it step by step, and remember to be patient and consistent.

Faster method

To switch to the crib faster, start by having bedtime in the crib, and then use it for all other naps and sleep times too. Prepare for a few tough nights as your baby gets used to the new environment. 

Put crib in your room

To help your baby adjust, move the crib into your room for a few nights so they get used to sleeping there.  Once they feel comfortable, you can then move the crib back to their room. 

If the crib is in the nursery

If the crib isn’t in the parent’s room, here are some suggestions:

  1. Spend time with your baby in the nursery, play, and read together to make the room a happy place for them.  
  1. Sit in the nursery with your baby as they fall asleep to help them get used to their new surroundings.
  1. If possible, sleep in your baby’s room for a few nights to provide comfort and familiarity.
  1. Teach your baby to self-soothe by putting them in the crib when they’re drowsy and patting them instead of picking them up when they cry at night.

Tips to ease the transition

a) Create a bedtime routine that you follow every night. This routine could include taking a bath, reading a story, and cuddling before putting your baby in the crib. It will help signal that it’s time for sleep.

b) Make the room cozy for sleep by dimming the lights and using white noise. This will help your baby feel more comfortable and ready to rest. For safety reasons, avoid adding pillows, blankets, or bumper pads to the crib.

c) Ensure crib safety by using a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. Avoid any loose bedding or objects that may pose a suffocation risk.

d) Consider using a baby monitor to observe and listen to your baby while they sleep in the crib.

When to Transition from Bassinet to Crib- The Bottom Line 

  • Moving your baby from a bassinet to a crib is best around 4 to 6 months old. Look for signs that your baby is outgrowing the bassinet, like weight and age limits. Use a gradual or faster method to transition them.
  • Put the crib in your room for a few nights to help them adjust. Spend time in the nursery with your baby and create a cozy bedtime routine. Ensure crib safety by using a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.

When to Transition from Bassinet to Crib – FAQ

When is the right time to move to a crib?

Typically, between 4 and 6 months, but watch your baby’s growth and development for cues.

How do I know if my baby has outgrown the bassinet?

Limited movement space, reaching the weight limit, and developmental milestones are key indicators.

Any tips for making the transition from bassinet to crib easier?

Gradually introduce the crib, maintain your bedtime routines, and ensure the sleep environment is comforting and familiar.

AUTHOR

I'm Andjela Antic, co-founder of DreamBabyGear. I have a degree in special education and rehabilitation from the medical faculty, and I've been a registered nurse since high school. Using my medical and education background, I understand child development well. I choose high-quality baby gear carefully to support the best development and well-being of children.
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