Stress Free Transition to the Crib

September 26, 2011 | By More

The dreaded transition to the crib.

I know what your thinking … what a nightmare.

But it actually wasn’t … it was a Nice, Peaceful, Stress Free Transition.

Yep, it’s possible! If you’re interested in a peaceful transition to the crib; keep reading. Hopefully this will give you some ideas to help your little one transition easier and put less stress on all of you!

From the beginning I didn’t want to do the Cry out method with Caden. I honestly don’t believe in it and I know this is a huge debate with parents but in my opinion I just don’t feel like it was necessary, especially at his age. I think Caden is way too young to know how to manipulate us. He obviously cries for a reason and I being his mom believe I should attend to him. Now, do I run whenever I hear a noise? I did in the beginning but as I learned his cries I realized sometimes he wasn’t crying for me to feed him, change him or burp him, it was just a little fuss that lasted a minute or two at the very most and then he would fall right back to sleep, which usually ended with a little fart. :) he-he.

 We first started Caden out in his rock n play. It was amazing, he felt secure and snug and slept great in it. He slept in our room next to my side of the bed until he was about 4 weeks old. At that point we decided to move his rock n play into his room. We wanted to get him familiar with his room before we transitioned him into the crib.

We then started putting Caden in his crib with his mobile on during the day while he was awake and alert. This allowed me to do a load of laundry, eat, use the bathroom, whatever. This also allowed him to get comfortable with his crib. If he started getting fussy I would take him out. I wanted him to feel safe and secure in his crib just like he did in his rock n play sleeper. And more importantly I didn’t want him to associate his crib with crying. I would do this daily.

When he turned 2 months old we thought it was time to start the transition. He was still small enough for his rock and play but I wanted to give us enough time to transition him slowly and stress free.

I then did some research and read many articles on how to transition. Most of the articles said to get him to nap in his crib first. We tried that numerous times but he was such a light sleeper during the day I knew that wasn’t the route for us. If he was going to sleep in his crib he had to be knocked out just because it was so unfamiliar at this point. So, we scratched that idea and started doing it our own way.

I went about him napping in his swing, pack n play and car seat (when we ran errands). He sleeps pretty much anywhere during the day which I like because we aren’t confined to our home for his naps.

I tried putting him in his crib (at night) on his back but his arms would flare up like he was falling and it would wake him up. He only liked being swaddled from the waist down so swaddling his arms was not an option. (Not to mention I didn’t want to start the swaddle and then have to break it later.) So, I went out and bought a crib wedge ($15)  to prop him up a little bit since everything we own is inclined. This helped out a lot.

I started a routine from the beginning which also helped. We bathed him, he would hang out with his dad for a little while, read a book (if he wasn’t too fussy) changed his diaper, swaddled him (chest down), turned on the sound machine, sat in his glider, rocked and fed him until he is full and almost passed out. At that point I would put him down in his crib. He would toss and turn a little bit and then fall completely asleep. (We put him down drowsy because it teaches them to fall asleep on their own. This has worked wonders and I highly recommend.)

In the beginning he would wake up after an hour. Then I would pick him up and get him back to sleep and put him back down in his crib. I tried this 3 times; if he kept waking up, I would put him in his rock n play for the rest of the night. I did this nightly, not pushing the crib too much. Each night he would sleep longer and longer on his first stretch in the crib. I would put him in his rock n play for the 2nd stretch. (I was way too tired to have him waking up on the 2nd stretch.)

Once he went down in the crib for his first stretch we started to work on the 2nd. We did the same thing, I would try 3 times to put him down in the crib after the third time I put him in his rock n play. This only took a couple nights before I was able to put him back in the crib after waking up for the middle of the night feeding.

And Presto! It worked. A nice, stress free transition to the crib.

The next step I took was taking the crib wedge out and at this point he slept better without it.

I also weaned him off the swaddle. He started to roll over and I felt like I should break the habit now rather then wait. He hasn’t missed it at all. He sleeps in sleepers with footies and sleeps like a log and sleeps for 5-8 hour stretches which makes for a very Happy Baby during the day.

Conclusion: There are a several methods out there to chose from and while this may seem like a process;  this method worked great for us and it was easy on all parties. Mostly importantly on me :).  We took it step by step and it turned out to be a great transition. Caden gets a better night sleep, which in turn allows Mommy and Daddy some rest too.

How did or do you plan to get your little one to the crib?


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Category: Parenting

Comments (3)

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  1. Jen says:

    Wow, thanks for the tips. Were there any books that helped in your research? Our little Maya is almost 4 weeks, sleeps in a Pack N Play napper
    In our room, and is not on any feed/sleep routine yet–looking forward to the day!

  2. lindsay says:

    How long did the entire transition take

  3. Cheryl Joy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I started transitioning my baby to the crib tonight and posts like yours were very helpful!

    All the best to you!