Changing Where Your Baby Sleeps
Sleep setups should change as the needs of the baby and family change. Each family’s sleep journey will be different, depending on their values and needs. The changes in your child’s sleep arrangements could look like any of the following (or your own unique combination!):
Bassinet -> crib -> toddler bed
Bassinet -> crib -> floor bed
Bassinet -> floor bed
Bedsharing -> crib -> toddler bed
Bedsharing -> crib -> floor bed
Bedsharing -> floor bed
Bedsharing long term
Sometimes safety will prompt the need to change sleeping locations. If your baby is beginning to roll over, they should no longer sleep in a bassinet, since they could roll out. If your child is climbing out of their crib and you feel it is dangerous, you should move them to a safer setup. If you are no longer able to bedshare safely for any reason (medications, arrival of a sibling etc.), your child should be moved into their own sleep space.
Besides safety reasons, you may simply decide that it is a good time for your family to change where your baby sleeps. A change in sleep setup can be successful if you take the following steps:
1 - Ensure that your child is at an easy-going stage.
If your child is sick or going through a sleep regression or heightened separation anxiety, you’ll want to choose another time when the odds will be in your favour.
2 - Allow your child to get acquainted with the new sleep setup.
Allow your child to spend time in the new sleep space during the daytime to get comfortable with it. You may want to sing songs, read books or play quietly with toys in the new sleep space.
3 - Include the new setup in your bedtime routine
Once your child is used to the new space during the daytime, you can add some time in this space during your bedtime (or naptime routine).
4 - Prepare the new space to be cozy (if needed).
If your child wakes up immediately after being set down on a new mattress, you may want to warm it with a warm towel or hot water bottle. Be sure to remove the heat source before putting baby down.
5 - Start the nap or night in the new space.
Your child likely will not sleep long stretches immediately in their new sleep space. Begin the nap or night in the new space and once they awaken, you may settle them in their usual way, back in their usual sleep space, until you are able to slowly transition them to longer and longer stretches in the new sleep area.
If you’re ready to make a change but don’t want to do it alone, I’m happy to help! Book a free consultation call today!