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How to Transition from Bassinet to Crib

Moving your baby or twins from the bassinet to the crib can sometimes be a tricky transition. The shift to a larger sleep space can have your baby (and you!) feeling uneasy. Once your baby has gotten used to a certain sleep space, introducing a new crib can cause some fussiness.  In this blog, we are going to discuss the benefits of using a bassinet, how to transition once you are ready and the length of the transition process.  


Can a Newborn Sleep in a Crib or do they Need a Bassinet?

First things first- a newborn does not NEED a bassinet. Many families opt out of using a bassinet and go straight to having their little one sleep in a crib from the day they come home from the hospital. However, many families find using a bassinet for the first few months to be a convenient option -myself included! Whether your newborn is sleeping in a crib or a bassinet, it is important to follow safe sleep guidelines.

Pros to using a Bassinet:

-More easily moveable from room to room.

-Smaller sleep space that newborns tend to enjoy.

Pros to going straight to a Crib:

-There is one less transition to make in the future.

-More cost effective as a crib can be used for 2.5-4 years.

How Long Can Babies Sleep in a Bassinet?

Bassinets tend to be useful during the first few months of life (3-5 months).  There is no exact age that a baby needs to transition out of a bassinet. However, once they are able to sit up independently, push up on their hands and knees or if they outgrow the manufactures height and weight limits, it is safe to say it’s time to say goodbye to the bassinet.

How to Transition from the Bassinet to the Crib

Transitioning your baby might seem confusing at first. A consistent bedtime routine, patience and a safe sleep space are important factors needed to make the process as seamless as possible. You may also practice naps in there first to get your child used to the space smells and feels of the new bed.


Here is what you need when transitioning your baby from a bassinet to a crib:

A Full-Sized Crib

Please skip the “mini-crib” stage and go directly to a full-sized crib. This is the typical size crib that you normally see. This will allow enough space for your child to grow and will alleviate yet another transition from the mini crib to the full-sized crib later on.  When purchasing a crib, you don’t need to get the fanciest and most expensive one out there. Most cribs are the same – the more expensive ones may have somewhat of a better esthetic appeal, but that’s it. My suggestion to new parents is to buy a crib that has one side higher than the other (if you can). This could help you in the future. A nice hack that we often recommend is in case your child ever decides to try and climb out of the crib at an early age is to turn the crib around so that the higher side is facing the door, and the shorter side is against a wall. It’s not something you think of when you have a newborn, but trust me, they grow and learn and develop these skills incredibly fast! Safety is always our top priority at Tweet Dreamzz Sleep Consulting and we recommend trying your best to keep baby in the crib until as close to 3 years old.


A Firm Crib Mattress

A firm crib mattress prevents your baby from getting into dangerous positions in the middle of the night or during a nap. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure the crib mattress has only a fitted sheet on it and nothing else. No blankets, stuffed toys, or anything else but your baby should be in the crib. After 12 months old, it is OK to introduce a lovey or small stuffed toy in the crib.


A Consistent Bedtime Routine

Children thrive with predictability and routine. Having a consistent and predictable bedtime routine is the most important part of this transition.  A typical bedtime routine for a child ages 4-12 months includes a feeding at the beginning of the bedtime routine followed by the same sequence of events every single night! That could include a hygiene routine/bath, reading a story/singing a song/saying a prayer, turning on the white noise, placing in the crib and lights out! Check out this article we wrote for more extensive bedtime routine examples for baby, twins and toddlers.


Key Takeaways & Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep in the Crib for the First Time

Transitioning your baby or twins from the bassinet to the crib is a big change. Make sure to choose the appropriate time to make this change based off of your child’s development and your family’s needs. Always ensure you are providing your baby with a safe sleep environment and be sure to create a predictable bedtime routine if you haven’t already!  

Like with any change – we always suggest making one change at a time (if you can).  Try not to make a change when going through life events such as a move, illness, or introduction of a new pet or sibling.

As experienced moms and sleep consultants, we are here to support you and your family through your sleep journey. Transitioning to a crib can be a great time to sleep train, as well, (if baby is at least 16 weeks old). You don’t have to go at this alone! if you are feeling overwhelmed, be sure to book a free discovery call to learn more about our 2 week plans with 1:1 sleep coaching OR book a 45 minute sleep strategy call to have your questions answered and common issues troubleshooted.

Stellina Ferri is the author of this article. Stellina is a certified pediatric sleep consultant and mom of three.

She supports families through the journey of better sleep as a consultant with Tweet Dreamzz Sleep Consulting. She lives in the Boston, MA area with her family.


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