Have you been co-sleeping and now want to know how to transition your baby to a crib?
It’s a delicate move, but one that can be done very smoothly with some basic techniques and a lot of patience (or, just call us, but that’s another blog!). When you first get home after birth, you never want to let your baby go! Now though, you may have gotten spit up on, cried on, loved on… enough to where you juuuuuuust might want to transition your sweet little darling (messy, gross, loud) angel into his or her crib. We don’t blame you. Here’s how to transition your baby to a crib.
Preparing to Transition Your Baby To A Crib
First of all, you’ll want to get your baby used to their room. Hang out more often in their room and try to start working on routines. For example, one of our favorite ways to create a routine is using song. Come up with a morning song (maybe even a nap time song) and a bedtime song. Try to go into their room and do an activity and sing the song. This could be a diaper change, a mini baby massage, swaddling, or some loving talk from you (followed by the song). Try to stick to the same times each day and continue sleeping in the way you have been.
After a week or two of this routine (or less, you know your baby best and just watch for their signs), try to sleep in their room with them (on the floor or in your rocking chair), and just get them acclimated to sleep of some kind in their room, near their crib. After a few times of you being there holding them in their room, you are likely ready for the next step of how to transition your baby to a crib.
Next, Transition Your Baby To A Crib
Mind you, this article is only for parents and caretakers where this is your goal. In our opinion, it is perfectly fine to continue co-sleeping until you feel ready. In our world, we follow maternal instincts and those are different for everyone. Yet, if your goal is to transition your baby to a crib, your next step is to sleep with them in their room, right next to their crib (you can even take the legs off for a while and put it on the floor).
The way to transition you baby to a crib is this: Fall asleep together (or let them), in the chair or on the floor. Next, verrrrrry slowly, hold your baby to your chest and gently (ever so gently) lower them into their crib while maintaining contact with your baby fully on your chest (to hear your heartbeat). As they touch their bedding of their crib, linger a moment as they touch down, then slowwwwwwly remove yourself. Keep your energy close by for the first few times. They may wake as you pull away, and then gently bring your energy back in. Over time with this process, you will be able to slowly peel yourself away. Stay in the room in the beginning and each time, take yourself further away. You got this. With practice, you can transition your baby to a crib with ease.
We also know that you’re probably going to be watching Baby like a hawk to make sure he or she is comfortable — and breathing. Mamas and dadas worry about SIDS, we know, but there are a few basics to preventing problems. Here is a great SIDS resources you can check out.
Sleep Tools that Help To Transition Your Baby To A Crib
There are a few tools that we recommend to help your baby (and you!) get some sleep. White noise machines help with peace and instill a feeling of calm. Blackout curtains are great. Dimmer switches on your light switches are amazing. They can help your baby transition and allow you to see a little to read and just chill. It reduces the “shock” of light transition by using a dimmer as opposed to on and off (whoa!).
Get the book too. Our owner and founder Rachelle Gershkovich was born with a calling to care for babies. As a child, she wanted to be Nurse Nancy after the Golden Book series. After working with her sisters who also had a drive toward caring for littles, she started Maternal Instincts to help all the parents out there who literally have their hands full. By taking her experience and education as a dietitian and baby sleep expert, she authored Creating Sweet Dreams as an ultimate guidebook for parents during the first year. This book can help you as you go through growth spurts, nutrition questions, or just need a sleep “training” refresher as your baby grows. You can get a copy on Amazon right here.
Also, give yourself a break if things don’t go quite as planned at first. We’re available for phone calls if you have a question or want to consider hiring an expert to work on this transition with you. We also have a Facebook online support group where you can ask questions and get answers from us and other parents who are right there with you.