Moving from the crib to the bed is a very confusing moment for parents, who do not know when to do it, sometimes accelerating it or, on the contrary, delaying it. After all, getting a baby to sleep in a completely new environment is difficult for them. Since babies quickly grow out of their bassinets, many parents cannot even decide when to transition babies to cribs.
The doubts usually revolve around the fact that their child does not suffer with the transition and that it negatively affects the sleep routine acquired in the first months of life, which is often difficult. A recent study could be of great help to parents since it pinpoints the exact age at which children should make this change: three years of age. This is the conclusion of a meta-study conducted at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and published in Sleep Medicine. “Doing so at this age offers less resistance at bedtime, fewer nighttime awakenings, and more sleep time,” according to its results.
There is no doubt that getting a good night’s sleep should be a priority for the whole family. Both parents and children should have regular and consistent sleep routines and schedules. According to the Institute of Sleep Medicine, sleeping well has an impact on children’s mood, attention, learning, and development, “it is essential to be clear that better sleep, especially in childhood, is health”. On the other hand, not sleeping will make it more difficult for the youngest members of the household to perform tasks, they will be more prone to tantrums and their character will be more changeable.
How long should my baby sleep in a bassinet and what age should I move her to a crib?
Many newborns start their sleeping lives in a bassinet or other bedside sleeper in their parents’ room. This is convenient since you can comfort and feed your infant in the middle of the night without shuffling down the hall in the dark. Plus, it follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’ advice that babies sleep in the same room as their parents — but not in the same bed — ideally for at least the first six months. If you’re wondering at what age a baby stops sleeping in a bassinet, there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. It depends on your particular bassinet’s weight limit and your child’s development.
And when you have a new baby coming?
If you’re having another baby, it might be time to switch your toddler to a new bed so the crib will be available. You should try to make the switch at least 6-8 weeks before your new baby is due. This will give your toddler enough time to get used to the new bed and not make them feel like the new baby is taking their bed. Depending on your child’s age, you may also consider borrowing or buying another crib. Having a new baby is going to leave you with little sleep. If your toddler isn’t ready for a bed, that means less sleep for everyone. Instead, decide if your toddler is truly ready for a bed, and don’t be afraid to keep them in a crib if that’s best for them.
When to move the baby to a crib?
While there’s no hard-and-fast age for when to move baby to the crib, there are many signs you need to watch carefully to make the right decision. Before we look for tips on how to transition a baby to a crib, let us understand a little about the signs when your baby is ready for switching their bed.
Your baby has surpassed the weight limit for the bassinet
Some bassinets or bedside sleepers can only acquire babies as low as 10-15 pounds but others can hold up to a 25-pound baby. Your current bassinet likely has a weight limit printed on it somewhere, or you can check the manufacturer’s website to find the weight limit. Follow the instructions on your bassinet to see if it is safe for your baby to continue sleeping in at their current weight.
- Check the instruction manual of your bassinet to find out if it can hold your baby’s weight or not.
- If you are unsure about the weight limit, start thinking about a crib once your child reaches the 15 pounds benchmark.
Your baby fits the bassinet
Weight is not the only alarming factor crucial in determining when to transition the baby to the crib. If your baby’s physical development is fast and they look cramped inside their co-sleeper or bassinet, it is time to introduce them to a crib. This is one of the biggest reasons why some parents don’t even purchase a bassinet and pick a pack-n-play for their newborns instead. The six-month mark is when most parents say that their baby is outgrowing their first bed. Some babies grow faster than others and you might find their legs are getting longer by the day. At this age, it’s usually ok to make the switch.
Your baby has started to roll over
If your bub is still under the weight or size limit but has started to roll over already, it is high time you consider transitioning them to their crib. Take a look at how much your baby’s moving during the night. If they’re shifting positions and rolling over, it’s time to move them. A space that is too small for your baby like a bassinet can be dangerous for an adventurous sleeper because they can be smothered against the sides of their little bed.
Your little one can sit in the bassinet
Although an exciting milestone, a baby who has learned to sit is not at all safe to sleep in a bassinet, or else they might fall and hurt themselves.
Your current night’s sleep
How much are you able to sleep when sleeping with your baby next to you? Do you or your partner wake up every few hours when the baby fusses? Or are you getting the right amount of sleep you need? Ask yourself these questions when you’re deciding if it’s time to move your baby to a crib.
Parents are often surprised at their own reactions when it comes to changing the baby’s sleeping location. They’ve gotten used to having their baby right next to them when they start fussing and making the change can be emotional. Your baby is growing up. It’s recommended that you sleep in the same room as your baby for at least the first 6 months and up to your baby’s first birthday for safety reasons. But that doesn’t mean you can’t move them out of their bassinet.
Although more research is needed, it is recommended that parents do not rush this change; make the transition slowly, wait until the child is three years old and adapt, for example, the crib to the height of the bed little by little.