When a baby’s sleep becomes more consistent and routine, many parents decide that the baby sleeping in their room is the natural next step.
If you consider having a baby sleep in their room or transitioning the baby to a crib from the bassinet, this article is for you.
We’ll discuss when it’s time for the baby’s room-sharing days to end. We’ll see how the baby’s sleep and your ability to fall asleep and stay that way may be affected when you begin this new bedtime routine.
Perhaps most importantly, we’ll discuss how to transition baby to crib in their own room without too much hassle.
Why parent’s room-share
If you have space for your baby to sleep in their crib or bedroom, parents may wonder why they should even consider room-sharing with their infant.
The baby’s sleep routine will only become disturbed with the transitioning process involved in moving the baby to a crib in a different room.
While it seems counterproductive to move a baby around the house, there are benefits to sleeping in the same room as your infant, at least for the first part of your infant’s life.
Sudden infant death syndrome and room sharing
Studies have indicated that experts agree you can reduce your child’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by sharing a room for the first six months of your baby’s life.
This is because you can more easily monitor your baby’s safety, health, and well-being as the baby sleeps in the same room as you. You can check on your baby as part of your own bedtime routine.
If anything were to happen to your baby, you would be right there in the same room and could render aid or call for help more quickly and effectively.
While having a baby in their room with a baby monitor can help a concerned parent, it is simply too difficult to hear a baby breathing on a monitor when you can easily hear those sweet snoozy breaths in the room you are occupying.
Share a room, not a bed
Falling asleep in the same bed as your child is not recommended and can increase the chance of SIDS. It is crucial to remember that sharing a room and bed-sharing are not the same things.
Co-sleeping for nighttime sleep is not safe, and it can result in injury or even death. Babies should have their own sleep space, regardless of their sleeping room.
Babies sleep best and most safely alone, in a bed with a firm mattress and no loose blankets or foreign objects.
Why bother with a bassinet?
If you speak with a doctor or a certified pediatric sleep consultant, you will most likely find out that babies prefer a small space to sleep in.
While the baby’s crib is smaller than your bed, just stop for a moment to consider how much bigger than your baby that space is.
A bassinet offers a smaller setting to keep the baby warm and secure. It is comparable to the small quarters a baby inhabits when still in the womb. It makes an infant feel safe and secure to have a smaller space to sleep in.
Making your wallet stretch to get both
While it’s true that you will have to transition your baby into a crib and that purchasing both a bassinet and a crib can be costly, you and your baby will sleep better if you accommodate the comfort needs of your little one at the appropriate stages.
To save money, you can purchase a clean, used bassinet or crib (as long as the unit is without defect and has not been recalled by the manufacturer) or reuse the unit that one of your older babies used first.
However, you must always replace a used crib mattress for sanitation and safety.
When to move baby to crib
There are a few ways to tell if you can transition your baby or if it’s still too soon.
Be aware that your child’s sleep routine will be off for about a week when you transition to the crib; this is not a sign that your little one isn’t ready.
The following are signs that it’s time to transition to the crib from the bassinet.
Your baby is at or near the bassinet weight limit
Not all babies grow at the same rate. Due to this, many bassinets and other structures used for babies go by a weight limit rather than an age limit.
If your child is nearing or at the weight limit of the bassinet they usually sleep in, then it is time to transition your baby.
Exceeding the weight limit can result in injury, tipping over the bassinet, and other dangerous events that can be entirely avoided if you transition to the crib instead.
The infant sleeps through the night
If your little one sleeps for several hours per night without waking for feedings or comfort and is relatively routine, then it may be time to transition your baby.
A new sleeping environment is easier to adjust if your baby sleeps through the night on a set schedule.
Can your baby roll or sit?
Most babies can start to roll and sit up by six months, and for the sake of the baby’s safety, when they hit this milestone, they need to start sleeping in a different bed.
The last thing you need is for your baby to fall out of or tip over the bassinet or bedside sleeper and sustain an injury.
If they can roll or sit up, they need their own bigger space that offers more safety.
How to transition baby to crib
There are ways to make a baby’s transition less of a nightmare, believe it or not.
Also, your baby may transition to a crib from a bassinet with no issues at all, and the whole family will have worried about it for nothing!
It’s always better to prepare for the worst-case scenario and just hope you don’t need the preparations.
The following are a few ways that you can help the baby feel better about moving to a new crib, especially in the early weeks of the transition.
1. Use a sleep sack
Blankets are dangerous until age one, but swaddling after a baby can roll around and has control of their arms is also dangerous.
Invest in a sleep sack to give your baby added security and warmth.
2. Keep baby’s crib sheets warm
Using soft, warm bedding helps to create a cozy and inviting environment for your little one. You should opt for a firm crib mattress rather than a soft mattress, so extra comfy sheets are a must for the baby.
Also, remember that the hard and fast rule regarding the new bed is that no loose items should be in the crib with the baby.
Sleeping with stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, or other toys, even for short naps, increases the chances of injury and SIDS and is a suffocation hazard.
3. Get a white noise machine
A good white noise machine can help make the crib feel less empty and scary for a baby.
A sound machine that emits soothing sounds will help the transition process be peaceful.
As the baby reaches the bassinet or sleeper’s age and weight limits, introduce a sound machine to their nighttime routine for ease of transition.
4. Install a video monitor
The first few nights will probably be harder for the parents than the baby.
Having a monitor in the room will help prevent the worried mom or dad from entering the room during the complex transition process.
It can help your baby successfully transition to their new setting without interruption, while parents can still check in to ensure that baby is safe.
5. Keep your routine
Moving baby to crib means a big new world for your little one. Try to keep the rest of the bedtime routine the same.
If you usually feed your baby, give a soothing bath, then a story, and some cuddles before bedtime, keep up with that exact routine, ending it simply with a different place to sleep rather than a whole new routine to learn.
Making the move in relative peace
Most parents dread the moment they have to do away with the bassinet and move the baby into a crib. Aside from the fact that they may lose some sleep as the baby gets used to the crib, there’s also the feeling that their little one just isn’t so little anymore.
Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to our babies. We know we shouldn’t co-sleep and not leave the baby unsupervised.
We know not to let them put things in their mouths and not leave them alone in the car. We know all about when not to do something.
However, it isn’t always easy to gauge when we should do something new.
When a baby can sit up, roll over, exceed the weight of the bassinet, or sleeps through the night and is over six months old, it’s time for the crib.
Give yourself peace of mind, even if it makes you feel sad that your little one is getting bigger. Celebrate the milestone, and get ready to have your bedroom back!