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Smart Parenting

Practical advice about raising children

Tips for Moving Your Baby to Their Crib

The time has come to transfer your little bundle of joy out of their bassinet or your bed (if you’re co-sleeping), and into the crib in their own room. Since the nursery is where your baby will spend a great deal of their time moving forward, it’s important to make it feel as cozy and welcoming as possible. Here are a few key factors to help guide you while adjusting your baby to their new environment.

happy, sleeping baby
Photo courtesy Davenport Public Library.


A room that’s too bright will hurt your baby’s sensitive eyes, so be sure to choose a lightbulb with a lower wattage, or just stick to lamps. Even better: Install a dimmer switch to simplify your life and provide the right amount of light with just a turn of the knob. Another great lighting option would be to use blinds or plantation shutters to keep the room dark during nap time.


Infants tend to be very sensitive, so it’s a good idea to make sure any bedding you have picked out won’t irritate their delicate skin. A good rule of thumb is if you find the material uncomfortable, so will your child. Stick with fabrics you’ve used before and make sure after they’ve been washed and reused a lot, you can switch them out for new ones.


No one wants to sleep in a room that’s either too hot or too cold, so ensure that the temperature is comfortable for your baby. Of course, blankets should be nearby if you need to swaddle your little one, but the thermostat should stay fairly consistent. If you have large windows, make sure the sun isn’t overheating the room, or cooling it down too fast if it’s on the shadier side.


The way a nursery is decorated can either aid in helping your baby drift off to sleep peacefully, or engage them. Using muted colors and patterns goes a long way towards a good night’s rest. Mobiles can be helpful in calming a fussy baby, and a crib that allows for easy grabbing can be good for perfecting their motor skills.

First time parents usually have questions about how and when to make the change. While information from friends, family, and even your doctor is helpful, the best advice is to trust your own instincts and listen to your child. Usually once your baby can roll over on their own, it’s a safe to assume they’re ready to move into their own room. But don’t be afraid to take it slow. The adjustment can be a little nerve-wracking for both the parent and child, so here are a few tips to help make it as painless as possible. Once you’re certain the nursery is prepared for your baby, try using these simple instructions.

Preparing your Baby

A good first step in making the transition would be to do a trial-run during the day. Participate in non-sleeping activities, such as reading a book or playing with a toy, to help gradually ease your child into their new space and will introduce them to their new surroundings, so it will be less of a shock later.

Try laying the baby down in his/her crib for short naps. The decision to move forward will depend on the success of the step above. If your baby is still struggling to transition, especially if you’ve been co-sleeping, a good suggestion is to bring along an item with your scent on it. Babies tend to feel more relaxed when the familiar scent of their mother or father is nearby.

Once baby is napping in their nursery, sleeping overnight in their crib is the final step. When transitioning, remember to go at whatever pace is best for your family. There’s no true right or wrong when it comes to parenting choices.

It can be mind boggling, as a new parent, to try to figure out the right time and way to transition your little one. But by utilizing these tips you just might find that it takes away some of the confusion and stress.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.