There are a variety of sleeping arrangements these days for babies from parents’ bed, rock n plays and bassinets to pack-n-plays/play yards and cribs. How do you know when your baby has outgrown their current sleeping accommodations? Today we will focus on WHEN to make the transition from bassinet to crib.
Baby’s tiny bodies love the close quarters of a bassinet. It is more womb-like than the crib. Bassinets are mobile, smaller and fit nicely next to the bed so many parents choose to place their baby in one from the first night home while others start with the crib. The decision is yours; there is no hard fast rule.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, “sharing a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent” https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/american-academy-of-pediatrics-announces-new-safe-sleep-recommendations-to-protect-against-sids.aspx
As always, make sure your baby sleeps on their back and that their sleeping surface is firm and uncluttered. No bedding, padding or stuffed animals.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR BABY IS READY FOR THE TRANSITION:
First, what are the manufacturers weight limits for the bassinet? Most bassinet weight limits are 15-20 pounds but may vary. A smaller or premature baby may get longer use out of it than a larger baby. This can mean that the transition may occur anywhere between 3 and 6 months. Make sure you start the transition prior to baby exceeding the limit.
Second, once the baby is rolling over or trying to sit up, the shallowness of the bassinet becomes a danger. Babies could fall out or tip the bassinet over.
Third, does your baby look uncomfortable? Is their head hitting the top or their feet up at the end? Your baby could be long and lanky and only 12 pounds but they may look squished in their bassinet.
Lastly, has your baby reduced or dropped their middle of the night feed? Babies tend to start entering deep sleep quicker and stay in deep sleep longer between 3-6 months.
If you are nervous about this move, try putting the baby down in the crib for nap times. Play with your baby in the crib, do tummy time or lay them in the crib if you are putting laundry away or cleaning up their room. If their crib is in another room, hook up a monitor so you can still see them.
Keep an eye on their weight, mobility and length to know when to begin the transition from bassinet to crib. This will be one of MANY transitions as they grow.
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