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Can Babies Sleep in a Crib Right Away? Everything to Know

    Yes, a baby can sleep in a crib right away, as long as the crib meets safety standards and follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for a safe sleep environment. However, many parents choose to start with a bassinet for the first few months due to its smaller size, portability, and convenience.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendations

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest place for a newborn to sleep is in the same room as their parents but on a separate sleep surface, such as a bassinet or a crib, for the first six months to a year. This practice, known as room-sharing, has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by up to 50%. The AAP also advises against bed-sharing, as it can increase the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.

    Why Start with a Bassinet?

    While it is possible for a newborn to sleep in a crib right away, many parents prefer using a bassinet for the first few months. Here are a few reasons why:

    • Size: Bassinets are smaller and cozier, providing a more womb-like environment that can help your baby feel secure and comfortable. This can lead to better sleep for both baby and parents.
    • Portability: Bassinets are typically lightweight and easy to move around the house, allowing you to keep your baby close by while you attend to daily tasks or catch some rest.
    • Convenience: With a lower height than most cribs, bassinets make it easier for you to check on, soothe, and feed your baby without having to get out of bed.

    Transitioning to a Crib

    While bassinets are great for the first few months, there will come a time when your baby will outgrow it, and you’ll need to transition them to a crib. The right time to make this move varies for each child and depends on factors such as their size, mobility, and sleep habits. Generally, it’s time to switch when:

    • Your baby exceeds the weight limit for the bassinet, which is typically between 15 to 20 pounds.
    • Your baby starts to roll over, sit up, or push up on their hands and knees. These developmental milestones indicate that your baby may be at risk of falling out of the bassinet.
    • Your baby appears uncomfortable or has difficulty sleeping in the bassinet due to limited space.

    Safety Tips for Cribs

    When you decide it’s time to transition your baby to a crib, keep the following safety tips in mind:

    Choose a crib that meets current safety standards: Look for a crib that has been certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and adheres to the guidelines set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    • Use a firm, flat mattress: A soft, plush surface can pose a suffocation risk. Make sure the mattress fits snugly within the crib, leaving no gaps where your baby could get trapped.
    • Avoid using bumpers, pillows, and soft toys: These items can increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation. Instead, opt for a fitted sheet and a wearable blanket or sleep sack to keep your baby warm.
    • Place the crib in a safe location: Keep the crib away from windows, blinds, and curtain cords to reduce the risk of strangulation or falls. Also, avoid placing the crib near heaters, electrical outlets, and other potential hazards.
    • Adjust the crib’s height as your baby grows: Most cribs have adjustable mattress heights. Start with the highest setting for newborns and lower it as your baby becomes more mobile. By the time your baby can pull themselves up to a standing position, the mattress should be at its lowest setting to minimize the risk of falls.
    • Maintain a smoke-free environment: Exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of SIDS. Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is always smoke-free.
    • Put your baby to sleep on their back: The AAP recommends placing babies on their backs for every sleep, as this position has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. As your baby grows and begins to roll over on their own, you don’t need to reposition them if they roll onto their stomach during sleep.

    Easing the Transition for Your Baby

    Moving from a bassinet to a crib can be a significant change for your little one. Here are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible:

    • Establish a consistent bedtime routine: Creating a predictable bedtime routine, which may include activities such as bathing, reading, or singing, can help signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep.
    • Make the crib a familiar environment: Before transitioning, let your baby spend some supervised awake time in the crib, such as during playtime or diaper changes. This can help them become more comfortable with their new sleep space.
    • Use white noise or soothing sounds: White noise machines or a fan can help create a calming environment that mimics the sounds your baby may have heard in the womb.
    • Keep the room cool and dark: A cool, dark room can help promote better sleep. Aim for a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and use blackout curtains or shades to block out light.
    • Be patient: It may take some time for your baby to adjust to their new sleep environment. Expect a few nights of disrupted sleep as they get used to the change, and be prepared to offer extra comfort and reassurance during this transition period.


    While it is safe for a newborn to sleep in a crib right away, many parents choose to start with a bassinet due to its smaller size, portability, and convenience. When it’s time to transition to a crib, ensure that it meets safety standards and follow the AAP’s recommendations for a safe sleep environment. With patience and consistency, your baby will soon adjust to their new sleep space, and everyone can enjoy a better night’s rest.

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