How To Transition Your Baby From A Bassinet To A Crib

By Janelle Turk

July 9, 2019

Janelle is a mother of 4 beautiful children, RN, sleep coach, lactation counselor and prenatal coach. She has a passion for working with new Mamas and easing the transition into parenthood. She believes in the value of qualified and professional support with zero judgement attached. "It's only a problem if it's a problem for you"!

Babies grow so quickly, and you may be noticing your little one is a bit cramped in her bassinet. If this is the case, it’s time to make the transition into a crib. Any time we make changes in regard to baby’s sleep it can be a bit stressful. Some babies will transition seamlessly, while for others it may take a bit of time to get used to their new digs! 

Aside from your baby seeming cramped in the bassinet, it is also a good idea to know the weight limit on your bassinet, as these can vary, but usually accommodate around 10-15 pound maximum weight. Along with bassinet size comes milestones. is your baby starting to roll over or try to sit up? These are exciting changes to see in your little one, but along with them comes the reality that your babe could risk flipping out of the bassinet, as they usually have shorter sides than a crib. 

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that infants share a room with their caregivers for the first 6 months of life, as this is when the risk of SIDS is the highest. As parents we always have to weigh out what works best for our family. Some parents choose to move their baby out of their room sooner, some keep babe with them longer. You have to do what is right for you, while being informed of all the pros, cons & risks involved. 

If it is time for you to move your baby to a crib here are some things to keep in mind to help ease the transition: 

  • Set up your baby’s new sleep environment to help baby be comfortable: 
  • use a firm mattress in the crib 
  • cover the mattress with a fitted sheet- it can sometimes help if Mama sleeps with the sheet for a night, to allow it to smell like her, and baby will think she is near 
  • ensure room temp is between 20-22 degrees celsius 
  • use a soft, yellow-toned night light if needed 
  • sound machines can help drown out outside noise, which can be disturbing to sleep 
  • use black out blinds or curtains to keep the space dark for sleep 
  • Help baby get used to being in their new sleep space by playing or doing “tummy time” in her new room or crib 
  • Avoid extra items such as stuffy’s, extra blankets, and bumper pads as these can increase the risk of suffocation 
  • A good alternative to a loose blanket is a sleep sack, there are so many varieties out there, a good one if you are transitioning from swaddling is the swaddlenot, as it can help baby stay warm and cozy and still have some movement 

It may help your baby to slowly transition into her new crib if you start with naps. Let her get used to the crib in shorter increments. Then when they are going smoothly, try it at bedtime. Be consistent and use a bedtime routine such as feed-bath-pj’s/sleep sack-story-bed. This routine can be shortened for naps, and can help baby to learn that sleep is coming. 

Most importantly Mama, keep calm. Take a deep breath, and give yourself a break. You can do this! If you are struggling with transitioning your sweet baby to the crib, please reach out to a Mama Coach in your area, or virtually. We are always here for you and can help get your baby’s sleep on track in that new sleep environment. You Got This Mama! 

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