If Your Baby Only Sleeps In Your Arms
“Young infants understand the world in a very sensory fashion, which is why they find the warmth and softness of your arms so soothing,” says Polly Moore, Ph.D., director of sleep research at PAREXEL Early Phase in Glendale, California, and author of The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program. “In fact, research shows that a baby can tell if she’s being held by one of her parents or someone else. She knows what Mommy feels and smells like.”
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep in the Crib:
Make the crib feel more Mom-like, says Dr. Moore. “One reason a baby gets upset when you try to transition him to the crib is the drastic change in temperature. He goes from the heat of your body to a relatively cold bed,” she says. However, never place a blanket, pillow, or lovey in the crib with your baby because they greatly increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
If your baby’s under 3 months, swaddle them, feed them, and ease them into the crib. For babies who are beyond the swaddle, try a sleep sack. If your cutie still protests, stand next to the crib for a few minutes with your hand on their tummy to soothe them, Dr. Mindell adds. “A belly rub is fine, but avoid picking her up. It will confuse her.” These comforting tips should get your newborn to sleep in the crib.
What If My Baby Is Up All Night Wont This Just Mean I Have Further To Walk Before I Can Help My Baby
Sometimes, transitioning your baby out of your room can actually help him sleep better at night. You can read about how room-sharing can keep older babies and parents from sleeping well in this room-sharing blog. But if near-constant wakings are keeping you from transitioning your baby to her nursery, we can help! We have resources to help you teach your baby to sleep so that your whole family can get the rest you need. Just click here to find the class thats right for your baby!
How To Make The Transition Easier
During the crib transition, nighttime routines can be tricky for both the baby and parents. Maybe youve had a long day and youre not feeling up to the routine or your baby is beyond tired and nothing will calm them. Weve come up with a few tips for both the baby and parents to help make the transition easier.
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Why Does My Newborn Only Sleep When Held
Now, the easy answer to this question is because your child is used to it. But thats not the only thing to consideryou are also used to it. A lot of parents wouldnt feel comfortable with their babies falling asleep anywhere but in their arms.
If sleeping in your arms is a habit, it can be hard for baby to fall or stay asleep by themselves . There is nothing wrong with cuddling your newbornyou truly cant spoil thembut for you to get the rest that you need, you might need your arms free.
You can start small by putting your baby down in their crib when they are very drowsy but still awake for one nap a day. The more you do this, the more that they will get used to being able to fall asleep and stay asleep in their own space. While older children can be sleep-trained, newborns should not be, so if your baby seems like they are in distress, dont be afraid to soothe them.
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Be Patient And Take Your Time
The transition needs patience and time. You assess your babys readiness through their physical behaviors. When they are ready, you dont have to do things quickly. Make small changes until you observe them adjusting little by little. If you want to transition your baby faster, they can not adapt to a sudden change, it will be harder for you to transition your baby.
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Baby Milestones To Consider
Most babies start sleeping through the night at the age of 4 to 6 months. At this age, theyre able to go through the night without needing food, and you start to enjoy longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep. During this stage, your baby is also growing rapidly and might start to outgrow their bassinet.
Theres no guide to tell you exactly when to move your baby to their crib, but there are some ways to tell if your baby is ready to make the switch:
Create A Environment For Sleep
We all sleep better when we are cozy and comfortable, so ensure your nursery is a perfect place for baby sleep.
- Make it dark: Use blackout blinds or curtains to block out the light. Especially for daytime naps.
- Keep the noise down: Although you dont want to be walking on eggshells and in complete silence every time your baby snoozes, its important for things to be quiet. We used a white noise machine until our daughter was almost 3, and told us she prefers quiet. White noice machines can be comforting, and is a good option if youre worried about noises waking them up.
- Check the room temperature. You want it not too hot, nor too cool. Between 68 and 72° F is best, with the correctly rated sleep sack and clothing for the time of year. Our bath thermometer doubles as a room thermometer, which is quite handy for babies!
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A Safe Crib Mattress And Crib Sheets
Ensure you have your crib ready for safe sleeping to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome . This means choosing a crib that meets the current safety standards for sleep.
The crib should be empty, aside from a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet. Remove any loose blankets, stuffed animals, bumper pads, or extra pillows.
If you are planning to travel with your baby, youâll also need to choose a portable crib.
Make Transitioning From Bassinet To Crib Easier
You may be surprised to learn that the biggest obstacle to transitioning from bassinet to crib is your emotional reaction to the idea. Many parents get used to having their baby right next to them in a bassinet. They cant imagine sleeping separately.
Your baby may also not warm up to the idea at first. Babies are highly dependent on routines and dislike change.
If youre worried that youre about to stir up a storm of wailing and crying, relax. There are ways to make the change easier on everyone.
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Tips To Transition Your Baby To A Crib
Baby still sleeping in your room in a bassinet or rocker? Wondering how to transition your baby to a crib in the nursery? Here are 10 simple tips on how to transition your baby or toddler to sleeping in a crib in her own room!
Are you ready to transition your baby out of your room?
Whether your baby has started sleeping longer stretches, or youre ready to have your room back with your spouse, there are many reasons why parents transition their babies from a bassinet to a crib.
If youre curious about using a bassinet vs crib from the beginning, check out this post!
If youre wondering how to transition your baby to a crib, or how to go about transitioning from SNOO to crib, here are 10 tips so you can successfully transition your baby to sleeping in her own crib, in her own space.
Grab my free guide, from cot-to-crib to get all my tips for transitioning your baby out of their bassinet in your bedroom to their own nursery!
Final Thoughts On Transitioning To A Crib
We hope that this article is helpful for you to be able to make a smooth transition from sleeping in a bassinet in your room, to your baby sleeping in their own nursery.
The process is tricky to do, and all parents feel a little worried during this milestone in their babys life. But keep at it, and theyll soon be sleeping the night away in their crib.
Please feel free to share this article with other parents and check out the rest of our blog for other great sleep tips and parenting information.
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Create An Environment Thats Conducive To Sleep
- The room should be cool and dark which helps to promote melatonin production.
- A white noise machine like the Baby Shusher is recommended as it replicates the noises heard in utero and it also drowns out external noises.
- To help with feeding or nursing during the night, a red, orange or yellow nightlight is recommended which helps to promote melatonin production. Avoid blue or green light which actually suppresses melatonin.
How Big Is Your Baby
Bassinets and other bedside sleepers are great for newborns, but they usually come with weight limits. Some are as low as 10 pounds , though most can hold a 20-pound baby.
Check the instruction manual or the manufacturers website to find the weight limit for yours. If you cant find the weight limit, err on the side of caution and move your little one to a crib when she hits 15 pounds.
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Establish Consistent Bedtimes And Naptimes
Creating predictable routines and rituals for naptime and bedtime can help your baby enjoy and anticipate going to sleep. Pediatrician and child development expert Dr. William Sears suggests lying down with your child in her room for a nap for about a week at certain times of the day to help her understand the concept of naptime. At night, start a consistent routine involving bath, stories, cuddling and rocking to pleasantly introduce bedtime. All of these routines help build her sleep associations with her crib and room, making her more likely to fall asleep there.
Play Time In The Nursery
Spend some quality playtime in the nursery with your little one. Play on the floor, do some diaper changes, read books, do your bed time routine in the nursery, etc. Make any excuse you can find to go in the nursery with your baby and get as much time as you can in there.
Doing this a few times per day for a couple of days will help get him acquainted with the room and will make the transition much easier on everyone.
How Do I Transition My Baby From Co
This can be a tough transition babies can become quite used to what they have at bedtime when they fall asleep! Getting her used to a different environment at bedtime will probably take some time, practice, and consistency.
The thing that will best help her to sleep overnight in her crib will be to help her learn to fall asleep on her own in her crib, in all likelihood without even having you in the room as she falls asleep. Before you get there, though, you need to set things up so she will be as successful as possible and so that things will go as smoothly as possible. Remember, falling asleep at bedtime is a skill that we all learn how to do. We get used to certain things around us that help us drift off to sleep, and when those things arent there, it can be tough. Think about it: if you sleep somewhere other than your own bed, or without your favorite blanket or pillow, it is probably tough to do at first.
Finally, if she wakes during the night, do what you typically do to get her back to sleep as quickly as possible even if that means bringing her back to bed with you. Be sure, though, to move all soft bedding and pillows away from her in your bed, and that she is monitored so that she does not fall out of a bed without rails.
If Your Baby Can Roll Or Sit Up
It may be that your little one is still the right weight and size for their bassinet, but is beginning to roll over or sit up.
This is a definite sign to transition from a bassinet to a crib.
It simply isnt safe for babies who can move to stay in a bassinet. Their rolling, wiggling, and moving could make the bassinet unsteady or tip it over, so its time to transition.
As a reminder, at this stage you also need to stop dressing baby in PJs and a swaddle, and simply dress them in appropriate PJs for the season, with a sleep sack optional. Once a baby can roll and move on their own, swaddles are hazardous and their hands and arms need to be free.
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How To Tell Its Time To Transition Baby To Crib
Has the baby outgrown the bassinet? Check if his/her feet and head seem to keep hitting against the bassinets edges. This is an indication your baby needs more space.
What does your baby weigh? Different co-sleepers and bassinets have different weight limits. Check the bassinet manual to know its weight limit. If you cant find the limit, be sure to transition baby from bassinet to crib when he/she weighs between 10- 20 pounds.
Can your baby sit up or flip out? Kids are different. Some are more active and energetic than others. If the baby can sit up or rollover, it is risky for them to continue sleeping in the bassinet.
Remember, the longer the wait, the higher the resistance. It is easier to transition your baby to crib at a younger age than when they are older. Avoid transitioning ahead of significant environmental changes, including moving to a new home or a vacation.
When To Transition Your Baby To Their Crib
For those of you who are still pregnant but reading up on how to care for your baby, you should know that your little one can start sleeping in a crib from day one if you prefer. Theres nothing wrong with that!
The reason bassinets and cradles are so common for the first few months is that theyre small and fit nicely in your room. This is convenient because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in their parents room for at least the first six months.
However, its perfectly fine to put a mini crib in your room and let your infant sleep there from the get-go.
That being said, if your baby is currently in a bassinet, sooner or later theyll need to make the move to their crib. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind before deciding when to do it.
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