You've just settled into your brand-new life as new parents or parents of more than one child. The fourth trimester is a little bit of a blur but blissful none the less. Your new baby may have been sleeping soundly next to you in a bassinet waking for feeds at any given time.
However, the time may have come to transition your baby into a crib. This is an important milestone for families; it's the end of the newborn phase and the start of infancy. We get it, it can be emotional and a bit of learning curve. Nevertheless, this significant move will be the best course for you, your family and most importantly, your baby.
What are the first signs of transition?
First and foremost, if your baby is showing signs of rolling its time to start the process of transferring them into a crib and out of being Swaddled.
Bassinets are much shallower than most cots. Babies can get stuck if they roll onto their stomachs. A baby that is learning to roll from back-to-front needs their arms free to help roll back, and/or lift their neck and head sideways for clear and unobstructed breathing while face down. For safety reasons alone, you need to make the transit.
The initial signs of rolling can include:
- Attempting to roll body when un-swaddled
- Pushing up on hands during tummy time, lifting one hand off the ground
- Fussiness when swaddled/fighting the swaddle when going on
- Disrupted sleep
- The disappearance of the startle (moro) reflex
- Attempting to have hands free/up around their face when the swaddle is on
Are they too big for the bassinet? Is your baby banging their hands or head at the edges? Are they waking themselves and ultimately you up? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to get your baby into a crib.
How do you transition with ease?
Babies don't do well with significant changes; the best approach is slow and steady. Lots of changes all at once can disrupt their little world. If your baby is still being swaddled and you notice the signs of rolling you need to start with the transition to arms out. Once they are sleeping arms out, you can begin your journey to crib sleeping.
A starting point is to begin the crib transition in the daytime, place your baby down for their first-day nap in the crib. This way you can watch via a monitor and listen, remember that this is a change for you too, don't be so hard on yourself. The following day put your baby in the crib for both their morning and afternoon nap, by the third day, your baby will be ready to sleep each nap in their crib. The following night your baby will be ready to sleep their first night in the crib, ultimately transitioning them out of the bassinet. Deep breath, mama, you got this.
If you would like to start this method at night, begin with placing them into their crib after the first feed. The following night repeat the process after their second feed. Continue this practice until they are comfortably transitioned into their crib.
You can choose to keep your baby in their crib next to you or place them into a nursery. Whatever you decide will be the right option for you and your family. As per the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, they suggest room sharing to continue up until one year of age.
How do you avoid disrupting sleep?
If you're struggling with the move, you're not alone. Remember your baby would choose to sleep with you if they could. Be gentle on yourself, baby steps, ironically. To help with the big day and avoid any disruptions to their sleep follow below.
1. Create a solid bedtime routine: If you haven't already, get a set plan in place. For example, dinner, bath, Long Sleeve Pajamas, story, Cocoon Swadddle Bag, Jersey Bag, Sheeting Bag, Sleep Suit Bag, quick snuggle, good night kiss, place baby on back to sleep. Babies love routine, so keep it up, they will feel more comfortable and aware of the new surroundings.
2. Stay in their room: Consider having a sleepover for a few nights to ease your babies worries, plus it makes the midnight feeds a little easier on you. Hot tip, keep their ergoPouch on them when you feed overnight, it will help them distinguish between uptime and sleep. If they're stirring, place your hands on their back to calm them, this will help them feel safe and connected to you.
3. Add some creature comforts: If your baby has been sleeping in our products, you should continue to keep them in their ergoPouch. If they're rolling, you should no longer be swaddling your baby. They should be sleeping with arms out in their Cocoon Swaddle Bag, or they are now in a Sheeting Sleeping Bag. Not only are they going to keep baby warm and secure, but they're also are a great sleep cue, which will help baby head off to dreamland. Ensure you have a fitted crib sheet made from right quality fabric. Place a t-shirt that smells of you near the crib, but not inside the crib. This will help to settle them when you're not in the room.
4. Get them used to their new environment: Have some playtime during the day in the cot. Tummy time is a great way to get baby used to their new surroundings, place some toys and watch your little one play with delight.
Expect a few nights of tears; this is a big leap for a baby into their new environment. You and your baby may surprise you by seamlessly going into their new space without a hiccup. Always remember to be kind on yourself.
What products do you need?
As we enter Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we suggest the following products for your infant to aid in their sleep.
Butterfly Cardi: If your baby has started to roll and is being swaddled (arms in), you will need to transition them to sleep with their arms out. We suggest you do this at the first signs of rolling, for their safety. The ergoPouch Butterfly Cardi is a useful tool to help with this next transition. The Butterfly Cardi is designed to be a transition aid worn over your baby's swaddle or sleeping bag, to help them transition to arms-out with minimal sleep interruptions and maximum sleep comfort. *Suitable for little ones who are ready to transition out of swaddling into arms out sleeping, ages 2-6 months. Not to be used as an alternative for swaddling.
Long Sleeve Pajamas: The TOG rated ergoPouch Long Sleeve Pajamas is a must-have for Winter. Created to be worn underneath our Cocoon Swaddle Bag, Sleeping Bags and Sleep Suit bags. We suggest either a 0.2TOG or a 1.0 TOG, dressed under our Pouches. We will forgive you if your baby end ups wearing their Pajamas all day, too comfortable and cute to take off.
2.5 TOG Jersey Sleeping Bag: If your baby likes the slimmer fit around the chest (like the Cocoon Swaddle Bag) in their Bag try putting your baby in our 2.5 TOG Jersey Bag. The 2.5 TOG is perfect for cold rooms ( 57-70°F), meaning no need for blankets. Ideal from 3 months it's a great first Sleeping Bag to transition into. Beautifully soft, warm and secure. The Jersey Sleeping Bag is great to add into your routine as a sleep cue; once your baby sees it, they will know its sleep time. For extra warmth, put your baby in a Long Sleeve Pajamas.
Cocoon Swaddle Bag: If you want to keep your now rolling baby in a Cocoon Swaddle Bag, that's absolutely fine. We suggest putting them in a 3-12-month Cocoon Swaddle Bag, in either a 1.0TOG or 2.5 TOG for warmth during Winter. Remember if they are rolling baby needs to be no longer swaddled and, sleeping with their arms out.
Arm Warmers For added warmth, you can't go past our innovative arm warmers. Designed as little bolero style jacket to be used over the top of any Cocoon Swaddle Bag, Sheeting Bag or Sheet Suit Bag. A great option to add warmth as the weather cools later in the evening.
And there you have it, our guide to a smooth transition from bassinet to crib.
You can always refer to our' What To Wear Guide' for support with dressing them for sleep. For now, good luck, mamas, we have been there with you, and we support you.
With love and sleep wishes, eP. x
Source: Helen Stevens - Transitioning to a bassinet to a cot newbornbaby.com.au/newborn-overview/baby-sleeping/transitioning-from-bassinet-to-cot/