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Where Should My Baby Sleep?

Take a wild guess as to when I transitioned my first baby from a bassinet to a crib…7 weeks! This was a personal choice made for various reasons, but it is what worked best for our family.

One of the most common questions I receive from new parents is about where their newborn should sleep, and when they should transition them to a crib. It’s a decision that can greatly impact both the quality of sleep for the baby and the parents' peace of mind. So, I wanted to take a second to chat about the best places for newborns to sleep, and when to transition them to a new sleep space.

Where Should Newborns Sleep?

Bassinet: A bassinet is a very popular choice for newborns due to its small size and portability. Placing your newborn in a bassinet has several benefits:

  • Proximity: Keeping your baby close by makes nighttime feedings and comforting easier.
  • Safety: Bassinets are designed to meet safety standards, providing a snug and secure sleeping environment.
  • Comfort: The cozy space of a bassinet can mimic the womb, promoting better sleep for your newborn.

Crib: While bassinets are suitable for the first few months, eventually, your baby will outgrow it. Transitioning to a crib is a natural progression and offers its own advantages:

  • Longevity: Cribs are designed to accommodate your growing baby, providing more space for movement which is a key component to self-soothing.
  • Safety: Most of today’s cribs follow to strict safety guidelines, reducing the risk of accidents. Make sure there is no bedding, bumpers, blankets, or lovies in the crib.
  • Independence: As your baby grows, sleeping in a crib encourages self-soothing and independence.

When to Transition from Bassinet to Crib:

The timing of this transition varies for each baby, but here are some signs that indicate it may be time to make the switch:

  • Size: If your baby is nearing the weight or size limit of the bassinet, it's time to transition to a crib.
  • Rolling Over: Once your baby starts rolling over or showing signs of increased mobility, a crib provides a safer sleeping environment.
  • Disruption: If your baby's sleep is consistently disrupted in the bassinet, they may be ready for the transition to a crib.
  • Noisy: Babies can be very noisy sleepers, so if you as a parent are having a hard time sleeping through all the cute (but disruptive) baby sleep sounds, it might be time to transition to their own sleep space so everyone get the sleep they need.

How to Transition:

Gradual Transition: Start by having your baby nap in the crib during the day for at least the first nap of the day to familiarize them with the new sleeping environment. If that nap did not go well, do the rest of the naps in her bassinet. Once she is feeling comfortable with the first nap in the crib, gradually increase the amount of time she spends in the crib until she is ready to sleep in it overnight. At that point, you would do all sleep periods in the crib. 

Consistency: Establish a consistent bedtime routine. Consistency is key to helping your baby adjust to their new sleeping arrangement.

Patience: Be patient and understanding during the transition process. It may take some time for your baby to adjust to sleeping in a crib, but with patience and consistency, they will eventually settle into their new routine.

Links to popular bassinets and cribs:

Baby Delight Bassinet

Angel Bliss Bassinet

Essex Baby Crib

Baby Letto Crib

If you need help with transitioning your little one to a crib or nursery, please reach out to us!

About the author

Amanda Medley

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

Don't go through another night of bad sleep.

Contact us to schedule your FREE 15-minute sleep evaluation!

Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

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