Most babies outgrow their bassinet in 3-6 months. Babies who grow faster than average are most likely to be too big for the bassinet in 4 months. Bassinets are a popular choice of sleeping accommodation as it’s easy to squeeze into a small bedroom.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in their parents’ for at least the first six months. Having a bassinet makes it easier for new parents to tend to the infant during the early days when they wake up and cry every couple of nanoseconds.
Even though general consensus says that the bassinet to crib transition should take place within 3-6 months, there are lots of variables at play here. Here’s you can tell if your baby is too big for the bassinet.
3 Tell-tale Signs That Your Baby Has Outgrown the Bassinet
The right time to move your baby to a crib depends on the following factors:
Your Baby Is Feeling Smothered in the Bassinet
You know it’s time to switch to a crib when their heads and feet begin to get smothered against the sides of the bassinet. Some babies grow really fast and they can feel cramped in the bassinet even when they haven’t exceeded the specified weight limit.
So, the next time you put your little one down for sleep, notice whether there’s enough space for your little one to stretch out. If the baby feels cramped up, chances are that it will wake up more frequently than usual.
The Baby Has Exceeded the Weight Limit of the Bassinet
Almost any reputed bassinet brand would mention the weight limit on the package. Standard models can carry anywhere from 10-15 pounds. Then there are extra-large bassinets that can safely handle 30 pounds or more. If your bassinet is a hand-me-down, chances are that you won’t know the weight limit for sure. In such a case, the best practice is to stop using it once your baby weighs 15 pounds.
However, I am strictly against the idea of using a hand-me-down bassinet for safety reasons.
The Baby Has Started to Roll Over and Sit Up
Rolling over is an important milestone. Some babies start to roll over and sit up from anywhere between 2 to 4 months, although mine didn’t until the 7th month. Bassinets are typically designed for infants and therefore, are shallower than cribs.
So it’s practically possible for the baby to fall out of the bassinet. Unless your bassinet allows you to have a deep bassinet, it’s strongly recommended that you shift your junior to a crib once they begin to roll over in sleep and sit up.
How to Make the Transition from Bassinet to Crib Smooth?
The sudden change could be difficult to register if you are used to co-sleeping with your baby. It’s not unusual for the baby to fuss more than usual in a new sleeping space.
So, it’s best to take it slow, one small step at a time, allowing both yourself and the junior enough time to acclimatize to the change.
Start with Small Changes
Ease your baby into the unfamiliar space by making them take a nap during the day at first. Then let them play in it during the evening. Eventually, they will get used to being inside all the time.
Put the Crib in Your Room
If you are used to having your baby by the bedside, it’s better to put the crib in your room for the first couple of days or weeks. Once they get accustomed to the new, large sleeping space, you can move the crib to the nursery.
Make the space comfortable for the junior by using the same sheets and blankets you used in the bassinet. The familiar smell could make them feel cozy and secure in their new bed. You can also use a soft nightlight or play some white noise to help them relax.
Take a Nap in the Nursery
The next step of the transition is to make the baby get used to sleeping in a separate room. For a seamless transition, grab a couch or air mattress in the nursery and sleep there for a few nights.
Babies are intuitive beings. They feel a sense of calmness and security when their parents are around. Having a parent in the room would help them ease into peaceful slumber in the crib.
Apply the Chair Sleep Training Method
Complete the switch from bassinet to crib with the tried and tested tactic of gradually disappearing from the room. During bedtime, sit on a chair right beside the crib and move away by a few inches as the baby begins to fall asleep.
Drift a little farther away every night until you find yourself out of the door. If the baby doesn’t fuss, your job is done here.
There’s no rule of thumb for deciding at what age a baby should transition from a bassinet to crib. Some babies would outgrow their bassinets in 3-4 months while some could take 6-7 months or longer to reach that milestone.
Buying a plus-size bassinet makes sense if the infant weighs over 7.5 lbs which is the average birth weight for babies. Having a large bassinet is not only safer but also makes fiscal sense as the baby can use it for a longer period.