At some point most parents will need to transition their infant from his bassinet to his crib. For some this will be an easy and smooth transition while for others this will be a struggle. In our case, the twins took to their crib easily, while our singleton really did not like his crib, until recently.
Rock N Play Sleeper
All our children slept in our room until around the 12 week mark. During this time they slept next to our bed in a Rock N Play sleeper. These are great devices for newborns to sleep in because they are very cozy. Babies sleep on an incline, so if they have acid reflux it helps them be more comfortable. Usually around the 3-6 month mark your baby will start to outgrow his bassinet. Not only will he outgrow his bassinet, but he will also start breaking out of his swaddle. So, how do you make the transition to the crib easier?
Naps for the twins during the first 6 months would take place in all different locations. The Pack N Play, their cribs, car seat, rockers, etc. With M, our singleton, he basically napped in his Rock N Play and his bouncy seat. Both of these devices have the baby sleep on an incline. When M came along, I had totally forgotten that I used to have the twins sleep on flat surfaces. I did this on purpose because I knew they would have to eventually sleep like that in their cribs. Since I had 2 year old toddlers running around the house I had limited napping space for a newborn. Quite often he would end up napping upstairs in the Rock N Play. The other half of this story is we did not get his room and crib ready before he was born, knowing he would be sleeping with us for about 3 months. If I were to do it all over again I would have his crib and nursery ready ahead of time, like I did with the twins.
With that being said, it is a good idea to have your baby nap in his crib as much as possible. That way when it is time to start sleeping in it at night, it will not seem like such a big change for him. We did have M take most of his naps in his crib from about 3 months on, but he still did not sleep well in his crib at night. Whereas, he would sleep just fine in his Rock N Play sleeper.
Moving Away from the Swaddle
I am a huge supporter of the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit. All my kids have used it and slept well with it. It has been a great device to transition out of the swaddle, but it was also key for transitioning my children, especially the twins, from the Rock N Play sleeper into their cribs.
Cry It Out
If you still cannot get your baby to sleep well in his crib with the Baby Merlin, you can try the cry it out method. This is what we did with M when he was around 6 months old. Before this age, I was not comfortable letting him cry, but you will have to decide for yourself at what age you are okay with it. He also dropped his night feed at this age, so the timing felt right. For more details on how to implement the cry it out method click here.
I also want to mention that I did find a blog post with advice on making your crib mimic the Rock N Play sleeper, which you can check out here, but in our case this didn’t work.
Letting M cry in his crib, was not as bad of an experience as I thought it might be. After about 3 nights, he was sleeping through the night, in his crib. Every few nights we need to give him his pacifier in the middle of the night, but he goes right back to sleep without being held, so I’m not complaining.
Steps for an Easier Crib Transition:
- Set up the nursery and crib before baby is born.
- Have your newborn sleep flat for at least some naps from the time you bring him home.
- Use the Baby Merlin Sleepsuit for transitioning to the crib AND to get away from swaddling.
- Move the bassinet into the nursery and have your baby sleep in the bassinet in his own room for a few nights.
- If your baby is still fussy about his crib, the cry it out method should do the trick.