One thing we’ve learning about parenting: As soon as you get comfortable with a routine, things change.
For new parents, the first few months are all about change. Diaper changes, feedings, swaddling – it’s all new. And just when your baby finally starts sleeping soundly through the night in your bedside bassinet, it’s time for another change: the transition to baby’s own crib in the nursery.
And just when your baby finally starts sleeping soundly through the night in your bedside bassinet, it’s time for another change.
Change is always hard. But when the time is right for you (the AAP recommends room sharing for at least the first six months to help reduce the risk of SIDS), there are some tips that may make for a smooth(er) transition to baby’s own crib in his/her own room.
Tip #1: To start, try having your baby nap at least once a day in the crib in the nursery. Other naps and night-time sleeping can still be done in the bassinet in your room to ease the transition.
Tip #2: Start spending more time during the days in the nursery to make it more familiar to your baby. For instance, dressing, diaper changes, and playtime can all be moved into the nursery.
Tip #3: A few days before the transition, move your bedtime routine exclusively into the new nursery so that bedtime becomes associated with the new space. If you haven’t started a bedtime routine, now might be a good time to do so. Bedtime routines, which can include a bath, a bedtime story, or a bedtime feeding, can help little ones to recognize when it’s time to wind down and get ready for sleep.
Tip #4: Be consistent and take changes in stride. If your baby is still being swaddled at night or using a weighted or regular sleep sack, save this change for later, after the crib transition.
Tip #5: On the first night that your baby is in the nursery, have your baby sleep in the familiar bassinet rather than the crib.
Tip #6: After several nights, move your baby to the crib. If your baby wakes up, move your baby to the bassinet. Each night try for longer periods in the crib.
Tip #7: Commit to your plan. Don’t give up if the first few nights are difficult, and don’t make decisions at 3 am.
Photo credit: iStock.com/Milan_Jovic