What Age to Put Baby in Crib?

The decision to move your baby to a crib is one which should not be undertaken lightly or when you feel you may cause more strain on your baby because of more upheaval. The age to put baby in crib is something that comes down to the personal choice of the parents as you look to do what is best for your infant as they grow. It is important to remember the first few months of the life4 of your baby are always difficult with a lack of sleep and finding a feeding schedule for your baby. Transitioning from a bassinet in your room to a crib usually takes place between three and six months, and raises a number of other questions.

When should baby use a crib?

The first step to deciding what age to put baby in crib setting should be taken when you are looking to transition from the ease and comfort of a bassinet in your room to the larger crib. A parent who has a larger or taller infant will often feel they have to move their baby earlier as they are struggling to fit into the bassinet or travel crib. You may feel the age to put baby in crib will be earlier or later, but this is, in fact, a transition made for the comfort and happiness of both parents and child.

There are a number of considerations to take when you are looking to decide where your baby will sleep when they are firstborn. Many parents decide the easiest option will be to place the crib in their room for the first few years of the life of their baby as they understand their child will need to be close to the mother for breastfeeding. If you decide to place your baby’s crib in your room from birth you will be faced with an entirely different question of when to move the crib into your baby’s room.

How to transition to a crib

If you are considering moving your baby to a crib you will be faced with a series of questions. The first is obviously the age to put baby in crib which is usually when they have outgrown their travel cot or bassinet sometime around the third to sixth month. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a series of recommendations for transitioning your baby to a crib, which includes:

  • Finding a crib large enough to accommodate growth spurts
  • using a firm mattress which does not allow your baby to feel aches and pains
  • removing all unnecessary items from the crib
  • Setting the temperature i the nursery to between 68 and 72F

A firm mattress

A firm mattress is vital in protecting your baby from the aches and pains of a soft sleeping surface. Firm means there is little to no give in the sleep surface which should remain the same no matter the age to put baby in crib. A firm mattress is also thought to help with the problem of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome which can be helped by following the recommendations laid down by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Unnecessary items

There are many different issues which can be caused by the use of unnecessary items placed in a crib when an infant is transitioning to a crib. No matter what age to put baby in crib, you will need to follow the guidelines from the AAP, which include the need for nothing but a mattress and fitted sheet to be placed in a crib. When a baby is moved into a crib they should only be given these two items instead of you filling your baby’s crib with bumpers and other items such as soft toys. The risk of suffocation is increased when extra items are placed in the crib which makes it difficult for you to rest easy when your baby is first transitioning no matter what age to put baby in crib.

A slow transition

The age to put baby in crib may seem very early when you are looking to transition an infant of between three and six months into their own bed. However, the move to their own bedroom will be even more traumatic for yourself and your baby as this will be the first time you have spent a night without them in your room. Much like the correct age to put baby in crib, you will need to take your time when deciding when to transition your baby from your room to their own. Many parents take the opportunity to move their baby to a crib as the perfect moment to transition an infant to their own room.

Making the transition to your own baby’s room is not something you should rush. After all, your baby has become accustomed to sleeping in a travel crib or bassinet and may take a little time to become used to their new surroundings. Switching to a crib can be traumatic for your infant as they will need to be moved slowly from bassinet to crib.

When you decide you have reached the right age to put baby in crib you will need to take things slowly to make sure your baby is comfortable at all times. The best bet for a successful transition at the right age to put baby in crib you should start out by taking naps in the new bed to ease the move.

It is important you do not simply place your baby in their new crib and leave them there for the night thinking this will result in a full night’s sleep from the get-go.

How can you ease the transition to a crib?

It is important you remain involved in the movement towards sleeping in a crib whether in your room or in your baby’s room. When you feel you have reached the correct age to put baby in crib you will have to take things extremely slowly as any time around the sixth month of life your infant will have become used to sleeping in the tight space of a bassinet close to your body. Although you should never sleep in a bed with your baby, you should have their bassinet placed close to you in your bedroom to allow baby and yourself to build your bond and feeling comfortable as your baby sleeps.

Conclusion

The first step to making the transition to a crib will be for you to spend some time with your baby in their new bed. If you have already established a routine of bathing, feeding, and changing the diaper of your baby before putting them down to sleep you should keep this up. When you move your baby to their crib you should do the same movements and tasks as prior to every nap or night’s sleep. Your baby may be a little upset with the change in the sleeping environment and you should spend a little extra time making sure they are comfortable and happy before leaving the room. If you are concerned about your baby you can spend the first few naps in the room with a baby or sleep in the room with your infant to make sure you are comfortable with the new sleeping arrangements for your family.