Baby Sleep Tips: Transitioning to the Crib

How to transition to the crib in three days. We used the Dockatot and swaddle plus a bedtime routine to get baby to sleep in his crib. - Baby Sleep Tips: Transitioning to the Crib by popular DC mommy blogger Baby Castan on Board

Transitioning to the crib was a concern I had so we tried to make the transition as early as possible. We created a strategy and thankfully the transition to the crib took just three days using the DockATot (get $10 off a DockATot using this affiliate link). Let me preface these baby sleep tips by saying Aiden has always been a pretty decent sleeper. If you have a not so great sleeper, you may want to check out this post on ways to get your baby to calm and sleep which is a guest post by a baby sleep consultant.

Also, it’s important that I say upfront that the DockATot is not approved for overnight sleeping. Our pediatrician was OK with us using it in the crib as long as he isn’t rolling (which he is not). This is our personal experience. You should definitely check with your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Aiden has slept in his own room since the first week he came home — in his Rock and Play. We really liked the Rock and Play because he had gas issues so the incline helped and the vibration seemed to help him stay asleep. About a week ago we noticed that when we came to get him in the morning his legs would be up almost over the front of the Rock and Play so we decided it was about time to transition him to the crib.

transitioning to the crib baby in dockatot - Baby Sleep Tips: Transitioning to the Crib by popular DC mommy blogger Baby Castan on Board

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We knew this day would come (although we thought it would happen closer to three months) so we have been trying to put him down for naps in the DockATot which is flat and we figured if he was comfortable with it, it might make the transition to the crib easier. It seems to have paid off!

Tips for transitioning to the crib:

  1. Put them in their room. If they are sleeping in a pack and play or rock and play in your room, move them in what they are used to sleeping in their room and see how it goes for a few days/weeks.
  2. Get a sound machine. Aiden (and most babies) sleep better with a sound machine. It reminds them of the womb. If you aren’t already using it in the area they are currently sleeping in give it a try so they get used to it.
  3. Trial and error. Try doing naps in the crib first. This is a low(er) stress way to see how they will handle the crib and get him/her used to sleep in the crib. We first got Aiden used to sleeping in the DockATot and just placed that in his crib because we knew he was comfortable sleeping in it.
  4. Do it as early as possible. As with anything related to babies, the sooner you instill good habits that you want them to have the better.
  5. Don’t stress. Here’s the thing. Maybe your baby isn’t quite ready for the crib. That’s OK. Babies have a way of just doing things on their own time. If you are overly stressed your baby might sense it and that won’t help matters. It might take you baby three days or it might take them three weeks. Being consistent and patient is the best strategy.

Here is our experience with transitioning to the crib:

Night One:

We swaddled him and then placed the DockATot in his crib and did our usual routine of rocking him to sleep. Once he was out, we put him in the Dock and he slept for about five hours before he woke up for a feeding. After the feeding, I put him back down but he woke up about every hour after that. We think it may have been related to gas because he just ate and then was lying flat.

Night Two:

We did the same routine as night one, EXCEPT, this time we put a few blankets under the Dock so there was about a 45-degree angle (it is important to note that Aiden is not rolling yet). You can also get a crib wedge for this exact purpose. He slept for six hours and then woke up for his feeding and went back down without waking up again.

Night Three:

He slept through the night! Our plan is to keep him elevated at least until he starts rolling and then we will try him lying flat again (without the DockATot).

Update! Using the Dock and swaddle proved to be a great help in transitioning to the crib. It also helps when we have gone out, or out of town, because it is familiar and reminds him of sleeping. He has slept really well through the night and we didn’t really experience four-month sleep regression.

Did you have an easy or hard time transitioning to the crib? Any other baby sleep tips you want to give? Share your experience!











Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to an energetic preschooler and newborn, a wife to my amazing husband Dan, and I work full-time as a meeting planner. I started this blog because, after having my first little guy, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the amazing (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Realizing that we would probably have more kids in the future, I wanted to document everything, so we would remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!

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