Sleep Training: Transitioning Baby to Crib


Last week we decided it was time to move Palmer over to her crib. She sleeps pretty well through the night and we don’t do an evening feeding so it was the right time to transition her. We originally had her in a RnP bassinet next to the bed. She started to get claustrophobic or something because she would freak out when her feet hit the side of the bassinet.

She was still pretty little so we transitioned her to the PnP for a month. This was one thing I was super opposed to before the baby came. I did not want to have my child sleep in a PnP. I have no problem with parents that do it but ideally, I wanted my baby to sleep in her crib from the start so she could learn that her room is a safe and enjoyable place to hang out during the day and at night. Unfortunately, things don’t always happen how you imagine them. After my c-section, I didn’t want to move 3 feet from the bed so putting her in her crib was out of the question.

I know you’re supposed to – No, there is no “supposed to” method. Remove that thought from your mind right now or it will make you crazy. Now, I’ve read that babies should nap in their cribs during the day. This will teach them that the crib is their place to sleep. Mine child does not think this way. She naps where she’s comfortable (if ever) which is her rocker, or the playmat, or in my arms while I am pinning my dreams away. I think maybe getting the baby to nap in the crib will greatly increase your chances of the baby liking their crib but I don’t think it’s necessary for a successful transition.

WARNING: This is not a fun transition. It will break your heart hearing your baby cry while you figure out if you’re going to let her CIO (cry it out), immediately jump up and hold her, or something in the middle. It took me a couple days to figure out that we wanted to do a little of both.

For parents transitioning their children into the crib, be patient. I guess that comes with everything in parenting/dealing with a new baby. It takes time. We spent the first 3 nights sleeping in the room with her. I looked at this situation as our first unofficial slumber party and tried to make the most of it. By night 4, we were ready monitor her from our room and she did great. The daytime napping was probably the hardest to tackle (and will continue to be for my little reflux baby). I hope to eventually get her into her crib for naps. I do notice she’s starting to like hanging out in there because I place her in there when she’s in a good mood (and I need to do laundry or something) and she really enjoys hanging out and watching the ceiling fan. Works for me… back to what we did…


Our night time routine for sleep training:

1. Feeding – We try and start this process around 8/9 but she is not typically not interested in going to bed during that time. Typically we start the process at 11pm. She feeds until she pretty much falls asleep on me. Around 15-20 minutes.

2. Pajamas and Evening Diaper Change: We then take her over to the changing table for her final diaper change of the evening and putting her in some pajamas.

3. Swaddle Time: We love the Summer Infant SwaddleMe swaddlers. It takes all the stress out of swaddling and she stays secure all night without flailing arms and legs waking her up.

4. Book Time: We read 2-3 stories to Palmer every night. She usually gets very tired during this time so it’s the best to transfer her to the crib after this step.

5. Crib Time: Transfer Palmer to the crib. Put her on her back with one of her Wubbanubs (preferably the frog – it lays flatter and is light so when she flings it around, it follows her). P loves Wubbas and they keep her happy as she dozes off; however, her paci is slowly killing me. Amazing that it soothes her to sleep but when it falls out… it’s the end of the world.


If Palmer wakes or starts to fuss, I will take her and rock her in the rocker or sway back and forth until she is calm and drowsy again. Once calm, I will put her back in the crib.

Our Challenges:

– Tyson vs. the UPS Truck: This (and unexpected visitors) is the reason why Tyson barks during the day… and the reason his sister wakes up from her nap at 2pm.

– Gassiness: When she’s feeling gassy, there is no way she’ll go to sleep.

– Reflux: We recently purchased a wedge for the crib so I hope that helps but you can hear her gurgling when lying on her back. 😦

– Paci/Wubba: See above. Both a blessing and a curse.

– Noticing Early Cues: We just don’t always pick up on her sleepy time cues. I think we’ll get better with time at noticing and putting her to bed.

Although she’s not a great napper and likes to shift around in bed, I believe we have successfully transitioned her to sleep overnight in her crib.She’s sleeping anywhere between 5-8 hours a night in the crib. I’m sure this will all change when she’s starts teething or we pass the point of swaddling. I guess only time will really tell.


clearly not sleeping


Have you started a sleep routine for your little one? What works for you? 


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