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When to Move Baby to a Crib and 5 Tips How to Transition

When to Move a Baby to a CribWhen to move baby to a crib is 6 months old, on average. However, there are several factors to consider when deciding when to transition baby to a crib. This post will discuss these factors so you can decide the best time to move your baby to the crib and do it successfully. Let’s get to it!

Weight Limits of Bassinets

How long your baby sleeps in a bassinet will include a few factors, one of the biggest ones being their weight. Most bassinets have a weight limit that ranges from 15 to 35 pounds. Be sure to check your specific bassinet’s weight limit.

For example, the Arms Reach Bassinets all have an age recommendation of 5 months or when your child begins to push up on their hands and knees. Other bassinets have a suggested age and weight limit. For example, The CRZDEAL Bassinet suggests up to 6 months and no more than 30 pounds. Smaller bassinets often have a weight limit of 15-25 pounds, though. So you will want to be careful to check your specific bassinet’s limitations. Be sure to stop using a bassinet when your baby is too heavy for it.

Sharing a Room

Another thing to consider when deciding when to transition your baby to a crib is whether you plan to continue sharing a room. If your baby’s crib is too large to fit in your room, then moving them to a crib might also mean moving them to a room that’s separate from you. That’s a big step!

The AAP recommends sharing a room but not a sleep space “for at least 6 months but preferably a year.” Therefore, if your baby is not yet 6+ months and the crib is in another room from yours, you should consider keeping the baby in the room with you for a bit longer…as long as it’s safe to do so. If your baby is already 6+ months old then they may be ready to sleep in their own room.

Babies are loud sleepers, so if your baby is keeping you awake at night but doesn’t need your attention, consider wearing earplugs. With earplugs, you will still hear your baby crying but not be woken up with every noise.

You May Also Be Interested In…
3 Things to Do When Baby Won’t Sleep in a Bedside Bassinet
SNOO: Is It Worth It? And, alternatives.

Growth and Developmental Milestones

Even if your baby isn’t necessarily outgrowing the bassinet due to their weight, they might outgrow it developmentally. Some babies become mobile at a faster rate than other babies. That means they might be rolling over or pushing up on their hands and knees. One of my clients had a baby who started crawling at 6 months old. That’s very young!

(Note: If your baby isn’t mobile, try not to worry! My sons took a long time to crawl and now they are both teen athletes!)

So, when you’re considering when to move baby to a crib, consider that it can be unsafe if they can sit up in a bassinet or crawl off the side of a bed.

Comfort of the Bassinet

Keep in mind that some babies simply don’t like bassinets. My second son was one of them. No matter what I did, he wouldn’t sleep in it for even 5 minutes. I tried warming the surface and putting him all the way to sleep, etc. but he would simply NOT sleep there! He seemed to sleep in his crib just fine, though. To this day, I still can’t tell you what he didn’t like about the bassinet. Perhaps it was the thinner mattress or how small it was. It’s hard to say but if your baby doesn’t seem to like it, maybe it’s just the bassinet! Therefore, your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet long. Most babies, however, sleep in a bassinet until 4 to 6 months old and then start sleeping in a crib.

The Bottom Line: When Should You Move Baby to a Crib?

The bottom line is you should move your baby to a crib when it’s unsafe to keep them in their current sleep space. You might want to move your baby for other reasons and that’s okay, too! Every situation is unique and you know your baby best. If your baby is nearing the 3-4-month old mark, I recommend you start working toward it so you don’t feel rushed. Babies change fast!

Now that you know a little bit about how to choose when to move baby to a crib, let’s talk about HOW to transition them!

How to Transition to a Crib: 5 Tips

How you transition your baby to a crib will also include several factors to consider. Here are 5 tips to a successful transition to the crib using the acronym S.L.E.E.P.:

  1. Spend time in the crib – You don’t want your baby’s first experience in the crib to be trying to fall asleep. And, you don’t want them to be surprised when they wake up in a strange place. You want them to feel comfortable in their sleep space so first spend NON-sleep time in it. You can play peek-a-boo, put them in the crib while you put away laundry with music playing, or let them look at a mobile.
  2. Lay them on their backs for safest sleep. This reduces the risk of SIDS. We can’t always make them stay on their backs but that’s the way they should start.
  3. Empty the crib so there are no loose blankets or toys in the crib. It’s considered a safety hazard unless your baby is a year or older.
  4. Ease into it by doing short sleep periods at first. Assuming it’s safe for them to sleep in their previous sleep space, consider working your way up to all sleep periods in the crib. For example, you might start with one nap a day or just bedtime in the crib. Then, when they wake up, you can use the old sleep space. Over a period of a few days to a couple of weeks, you can work your way up to more sleep periods.
  5. Persist through tough times because quite a few of us reject something new. But, after a while, we ask ourselves “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Your baby might not like the crib, at first. It’s similar to sleeping in a hotel the first night on vacation. At first, the bed just doesn’t feel like our own. Once your baby spends more and more time in the crib, it will feel just like theirs!

You May Also Be Interested In…
How to Get Baby to Sleep in a Crib
Baby Standing in the Crib and Won’t Sleep: How to Handle

A Special Note for Co-Sleeping Families

If you are co-sleeping or bed-sharing, moving to a crib can be a much bigger step. Up until now, not only was your baby in a different bed, they were also snuggled up to you and, many times, breastfeeding on and off all night. In this scenario, we often build in a few smaller “baby steps” into our Personalized Sleep Plans®. We sometimes have to change sleep associations before we move the baby or toddler into the crib. This is because when you change more than one variable at a time (how they fall asleep AND where they sleep), it is often met with even more protest and crying. Many families will give up due to the very intense reaction. A slower process is often more successful for some families for this reason. You might be interested in reading our article, How to Gently Transition Your Baby From Co-sleeping.

Baby Keeps Waking Up in the Crib

If your baby keeps waking up when you put them in the crib, that may be an entirely different issue. Babies wake for many reasons, including sleep regressions, sleep associations, and more. Be sure to download our free e-Book, 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night to get started on a better night’s sleep or 7 Common Napping Mistakes to fix those short naps!

The post When to Move Baby to a Crib and 5 Tips How to Transition appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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How To Handle Your Baby Standing In the Crib and Won’t Sleep

Baby Standing In CribIf your baby is standing in the crib, it’s likely they aren’t sleeping. Babies and toddlers of all ages stand up in the crib and cry sometimes. In this article, you will learn when standing in the crib starts and how to handle it.

When Do Babies Start Standing in the Crib?

On average, babies start standing in the crib during the 8 month sleep regression. This is when babies become much more mobile, in general. Some babies might learn the skill early around 6 to 7 months old while others might not learn until 9 to 10 months old. All babies develop on their own timetable. If you ever have concerns about your baby’s development, be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor.

Baby Standing In Crib and Won’t Sleep

When babies are standing in the crib, they tend not to be sleeping. Do they do this on purpose?

Sometimes. And, sometimes it’s instinctual.

When they are learning a new skill, babies often “practice” in their sleep. It’s something they can’t control and when they are first learning to stand around 8 to 9 months old, it can be exhausting. They might be crying in the crib and unable to get back down. This can disrupt their sleep to the point where they wake very frequently at night. And, sometimes they stop napping or taking short naps, too!

Once they are older and the skill is no longer new, your baby or toddler could be standing in the crib due to frustration or their schedule needs to change.

If your 1 year old is standing up in the crib, for example, it might be time to add more awake time before their naps. Be sure to use an appropriate 1 Year Old / 12 month schedule. Most 12 month olds can still take a nap after being awake just 2-3 hours while others have graduated to 3-4 hours.

There are many reasons a baby isn’t sleeping so depending on how new the skill is will determine whether standing is the reason they won’t sleep or merely a method to avoid sleeping. We handle each differently.

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How To Help a Standing Baby Sleep Better

So, how do you help your baby or toddler sleep better when they are standing in the crib?

Most babies will learn quickly how to get back down pretty quickly. My two boys learned this within 1-2 weeks of learning how to stand. Since they learn this quickly, if they aren’t crying, try not to give baby standing in the crib too much attention.

But, because they can fall and hit their heads, it’s a good idea to have some type of strategy to follow. Here are a few tips:

  • Practice – During NON-sleep times, be sure you have your baby practice the skill of getting back down. For example, stand your baby at a couch or sofa. Then, put a toy on the ground next to them. Help them bend their knees to reach the toy. Baby squats! It will become second-nature in no time!
  • Allow Some Practice Time in the Crib – Even if they are getting good at this out in the common areas, they may find it novel to be awake in the crib and want to practice this skill. Put them down a little earlier for naps temporarily to allow them to practice for a while. Then, soothe them and encourage them to lay down closer to the time you expect them to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Training – Once you feel more confident your baby knows how to get down on their own, you can use sleep training to break any habits. You may need to change your strategy a little bit, however. We typically instruct parents to lay their babies down periodically rather than constantly. For example, you might lay them down every 8-10 minutes, allowing some space to figure it out on their own but without letting them skip their naps and get more overtired.

As with most sleep regressions and phases, they do end, eventually. The key is not to make new habits you will have to break. To get through 3 weeks of difficulty, some families are having sleep problems for months. Short-term sleep deprivation is challenging but if you put a bit more work in up-front, you will ALL be sleeping more in a couple of weeks!

You may also be interested in:

How old was your baby when they started standing in the crib?

The post How To Handle Your Baby Standing In the Crib and Won’t Sleep appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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Nested Bean vs. Love To Dream Swaddle Up

Nested Bean vs. Love To Dream Swaddle UpThe Nested Bean vs Love To Dream – both The Nested Bean Swaddle and the Love To Dream Swaddle are great products. But, do you need both? Is one better than the other for your baby’s sleep?

In this blog post, you’ll learn about both products and which we recommend!

Love To Dream Swaddle

The Love To Dream Swaddle is a great product to help your baby sleep better that we’ve been recommending for years. This is a product meant to capitalize on all the benefits of swaddling but make it easy to swaddle your baby. It also makes it hard for your baby to break out! Breaking out of the swaddle is a safety hazard.

In addition, the Love To Dream is designed to help you swaddle your baby with their arms up rather than down by their sides. This is typically more comfortable for your baby which can lead to longer stretches of sleep.

The Love To Dream Swaddle also has dual zippers, one at the top and one at the bottom, to make diaper changes easier and faster.

The really cool design of the Love To Dream Swaddle is that it has “wings.” But, these wings are meant to zip off when your baby is ready to be unswaddled. This will allow your baby to find his or her hands for self-soothing and allow them to push up if they roll onto their tummy.

Nested Bean Swaddle

The Nested Bean products are very innotaive with the simple premise that sometimes you just need a hand on you to feel comfort. That’s what their lightly-weighted products emulate: the feeling of a parent’s hand on your baby. Of course, there’s no perfect replacement for your hand but it’s a great concept!

While Nested Bean has a few different products, the one you’d compare to the Love 2 Dream Swaddle Up would be the Zen One or the Zen Swaddle®.

The Zen One has a 2-way zipper and a strap to keep your baby’s arms down when their moro reflex is still strong. You can stop using it as your baby gets older and they can have their hands up.

The Zen Swaddle is meant to be snug enough for your newborn but flexible to allow your baby to grow. That’s why it has an inner pouch for when your baby is younger, or you can put your baby’s legs on top of the pocket once your baby is bigger. You can also leave your baby’s arms in or out, depending on whether or not you’re trying to stop swaddling.

There are many different colors and prints to choose from for the Nested Bean Swaddle and the winged design makes it very easy to use. No special folding, wrapping, or tucking!

Nested Bean vs Love To Dream – Which is Better?

Both the Nested Bean Swaddle and the Love To Dream Swaddle Up are great products. But, which is better for your baby’s sleep?

We have worked with families who have used both and clients love both products. As a sleep consultant for over 10 years, I can tell you that either product would be a good choice. However, the age of your baby may influence whether you buy one.

Newborns, Pregnant Moms, or a Baby Shower Gift

If you have a newborn, you’re pregnant and doing research, or if you’re buying as a gift, I recommend you purchase the Love To Dream Swaddle UP which is appropriate for newborns. The newborn size does not have zip-off wings but you don’t need them.

Once your newborn weighs 13+ pounds, I recommend the Love To Dream Swaddle Up Transition Sleep Sack with Zip-Off Wings. If you’d rather buy just one of them, go with the Swaddle Up Transition Sleep Sack with Zip-Off Wings and simply use a receiving blanket until your baby is 13+ pounds. Babies go from their birth weight to 13 pounds practically in a blink of an eye!

The benefits of swaddling are clear and your baby will most likely appreciate the snug feeling of being swaddled. The Love To Dream is a bit snugger than the Nested Bean Zen Swaddle. And, your baby will likely be in the swaddle for at least 2-3 months, if not longer. So, your purchase will be well worth the added hours of sleep you will likely get!

And, when your baby is ready to move away from swaddling, you can zip off one or both wings for an easier transition to a sleep sack. Voila!

However, some babies don’t sleep well once their arms are free, of course! Try giving your baby a week or so to get used to it. If your baby struggles with having their hands completely free, you can then consider adding a sleep sack to your toolbox such as the Zipadee-Zip.

Now, if you are comparing the Zen One and the Love To Dream Swaddle Up then they are very similar products. Love To Dream has been around a lot longer as the Zen One product is a new product and more expensive. I like the concept of the 2-way zipper and zip-off wings which they both have. If your baby happens to like a hand on their chest as they sleep, then the Zen One would give you that added benefit. But, if your baby doesn’t settle with a simple hand on their chest, then it’s simply unnecessary. The reviews are better for Love To Dream than Nested Bean on Amazon, though, in general. A few comments describe babies being able to break out of the Zen Swaddle which defeats the purpose and can be dangerous.

Other comments about Nested Bean talk about it “not working.” The “problem” with products with specific approaches to helping your baby sleep is that all babies are different. If your baby doesn’t respond to a hand on their chest, then the weight on the Nested Bean products simply won’t make much of a difference. This isn’t a problem with the product. It’s simply not solving the sleep problem in a way that works for your baby. It doesn’t hurt to try, of course, and these types of products are just tools in your toolbox. You just need the right tool for the right job!

4+ Month Olds and/or Baby is Rolling

If your baby is nearing, or older than 4 months old, we recommend you transition to a sleep sack with hands out. If you already have a Love To Dream, Zen Swaddle, or Zen One then all you need to do is zip off the wings or swaddle with your baby’s arms out. But, if you haven’t yet bought one of these products, you probably want to buy a traditional sleep sack.

Of course, your baby’s sleepwear is only one variable that impacts your baby’s sleep. And, that’s what we do here at The Baby Sleep Site!

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Night Weaning a Breastfeeding Baby and How to Maintain Milk Supply

Night Weaning a Breastfeeding Baby and How to Maintain Milk SupplyWhen it comes to night weaning a breastfeeding baby, you might have a lot of questions. Many moms worry that if they night wean, their baby might lose interest during the day, too. Also, some moms experience a drop in their milk supply when they night wean their baby. This sponsored post will share 5 steps to night weaning a breastfed baby and maintaining your milk supply.

What is Night Weaning?

In my experience of over 10 years, night weaning can mean different things to different people. When it comes to night weaning, it is important we set expectations.

For this post, it is important to keep in mind that night weaning your breastfeeding baby means to reduce milk feedings at night to an age-appropriate number of times. That means that after you “night wean,” you might still be feeding your baby at night, depending on the age of your baby.

Maintaining your breastfeeding relationship with your baby is the #1 priority while also maximizing sleep for both of you

When Can You Night Wean a Breastfeeding Baby?

It is important not to start night weaning your baby until your milk supply is fully established. In my experience, breastfeeding babies eat more frequently at night than other babies. The reason is that breast milk is digested more easily and faster than formula.

Newborns should feed every 2 hours. By 4 weeks old, babies are going 2 to 3 hours between feedings. And, by 6 weeks old, your baby might be able to do one longer stretch of sleep at night of 3-4 hours. By 3-5 months old, most breastfed babies eat 2-3 times at night. And, by 6 months-old, we can usually night wean to just 1-2 feedings. After that, many breastfeeding babies continue to eat at least once a night until 7-12 months old, depending on a variety of factors. It is important to feed your baby the appropriate number of night feedings by age.

You might also be interested in: Newborn Schedules By Week

But, how will you know when your baby is ready for fewer night feedings?

There are a few signs it’s time to night wean your baby, including your baby showing less interest in feedings at night, or your baby isn’t eating as much during the day. Once you start solid food, that is another common time that some babies will drop one of their night feedings. But, it’s important not to overdo the solid food simply to decrease night feedings.

Another thing to consider is whether your baby is eating out of habit or due to a sleep association with breastfeeding. If your baby is getting older and still comfort nursing every 1-2 hours all night, this is a common time to consider night weaning.

All babies are different, so the age at which you drop all night feedings will vary for each mom and baby pair. You might want to take our Is Your Baby Ready To Night Wean? Quiz.

How to Night Wean a Breastfed Baby

So, now you have set your expectations about what age to night wean your baby. How do you night wean? Here are the 5 steps to successfully night weaning a breastfed baby without negatively impacting your milk supply:

1. Maximize Daytime Milk Feedings

Most moms try to encourage their baby to eat more during the day, so baby stops waking up so much at night. Consider that there are a few keys to this you might not have thought of.

If you are trying to feed your baby very often during the day, this might increase night feedings. When your baby does a lot of “snacking” during the day, your baby might not get as much of the fattier hindmilk. This is because you are not emptying your breasts.

We want to encourage fuller feedings during the day. For some babies, that means spreading out daytime feedings once it’s comfortable for your baby.

Some babies will nurse every time they are offered the breast but then not nurse very long. Consider the time between feedings during which your baby nurses the “best.” It might be a longer session where you feel your baby is emptying at least one or both breasts. Again, the amount of time varies with each mom and baby pair.

My first-born could only go up to 3 hours between feedings and never go more than that. I’ve worked with some moms whose baby goes up to 4 hours. The average, in my experience, seems to be every 3 hours once baby is past 2-4 months old.

2. Decide How Many Night Feedings Are Appropriate, Then Add One

Once you have spent a few days trying to maximize milk intake during the day, there may or may not be any change to the night feedings. Consider that it’s a chicken and egg problem in that your baby might not eat more during the day until you cut back at night.

In this step, decide how many night feedings you plan to end up with and then add one. For example, if you have a 5-month-old and plan to night wean to two feedings, plan for three feedings to start.

Now, feed your baby that many feedings at night, if you’re not already. Using the previous example, if your baby is waking every two hours, up to 5 times a night, plan to feed them three times and set the feedings at least 3 hours apart. An example might be to feed your baby at 10 PM, 2 AM, and 5 AM, to start. Choosing the times to start with might involve taking the time of the first feeding right now and adding 30-60 minutes.

What do you do when your baby wakes up and it’s not a feeding time?

You would settle your baby in other ways as much as possible. If your baby is unhappy about the change, this is where gentle sleep coaching often comes in. Don’t be afraid to take several days to gradually work your way up to this, though. The pace is up to you and small changes can mean big progress.

Once your baby is comfortably feeding these many times at night, you can move on to the next step.

3. Begin to Delay Feedings

Finally, start delaying the first feeding of the night by 30-60 minutes each night until you are only feeding your baby the target number of times. This often only takes a few nights. Voila!

But, there are a couple of more steps to consider.

4. Keep Up Your Milk Supply When Night Weaning

When you are night weaning your breastfeeding baby, you do need to be careful about your milk supply. When you don’t breastfeed for many hours in a row, this can negatively impact your milk supply. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes two weeks to notice the drop in supply and it’s tough to get it back up. We can’t predict which moms will experience this, unfortunately. In my 10+ years as a sleep consultant, I’ve seen it enough times that we guard against it.

In addition, sometimes your goal is to drop one night feeding, but your baby decides to sleep through the night! That can be a blessing for your sleep but a curse on your milk supply.

Therefore, it’s best to be proactive to maintain your milk supply while night weaning. Here’s how:

Breastfeeding operates on a supply and demand basis. The more your baby demands, the more milk your body makes. If your baby stops demanding milk for 12 hours at night, your body might think this is a signal to stop making milk at all times.

So, the easiest way to simulate demand for milk is to pump your breastmilk!

But, didn’t we night wean so we can get more sleep?

Yes, indeed! Depending on the age of your baby, you might only need to pump once a night and can do so right before your bedtime. The younger your baby, the more times you will need to pump, of course. One idea that works well for younger babies is to pump before your bedtime and then set your alarm about 5 hours later for one more pumping session.

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast PumpWhen I was breastfeeding my two boys each for about a year, I was pumping as well. I used a Medela Pump In Style, so I’m a big Medela fan. The same pump was able to pump for two years! But, that was over a decade ago and pumps have come a looooong way! That’s why I’m delighted to introduce you to Medela’s newest pump, the Freestyle Flex Double Electric Pump.

The Freestyle Flex is the newest breast pump from Medela, with a light, compact and portable design that offers true mobility. It’s is perfect for the active mom who pumps several times a day. Here are a few details about this great new pump:

  • Small and Lightweight – This pump fits in the palm of your hand and weighs less than a pound. You can easily put it in your pocket, in your purse, or in your baby bag.
  • Wider Breast Shield – It has a wider entry point to the tunnel with a different angle. They measured moms getting 11% more milk per minute as it promotes better emptying of the breasts. This is really important because breastfeeding moms constantly worry they don’t have enough milk. This will help reassure you that you probably do!
  • USB port – You can use your computer to charge this pump rather than needing an outlet. And, once charged, it stays charged for two hours, which will give you ~3 separate pumping sessions.
  • Overflow Protection – Unlike other pumps, this pump has overflow protection so milk doesn’t get in the tubing. This makes it easier to clean, and you won’t need to replace the tubing.
  • Comfort – This pump has PersonalFit Flex breast shields that offer a four-way fit and adapt to your natural shape.
  • Two-Phase Expression™ Technology – This technology mimics a baby’s natural sucking rhythms by allowing you to switch phases before and after let-down.
  • Quiet – This pump is very quiet, which can give you the confidence to pump in all kinds of places! One thing I really liked is that the tubing connects more vertically, so it’s more discreet to pump.
  • Flexible – If needed, you can pump just one side or both at the same time. So, if your baby only empties one breast, it makes it easy to pump the other breast for some milk stash.

Pro Tip: Some insurance companies will reimburse your pump purchase at any major retailer such as Amazon. Check with your insurance company directly to find out more.

The Freestyle Flex pump also has an app, MyMedela. Using the app is another way to help you be successful. You can track breastfeeding and pumping sessions, baby’s height, weight, sleep, and diaper changes all in one place.

If you are also going back to work during this time, you might be especially nervous about your breastfeeding relationship. Medela also has resources for working moms with their New Moms’ Health Returns program.

5. Keep Offering More Milk During the Day

Lastly, the final step in night weaning is to go back to the first step and continually offer more milk during the day. As you gradually reduce how much milk offered at night, you might find your baby’s appetite increases during the day. It’s important to make sure your baby is getting enough milk in a 24-hour period.

I hope this post has given you confidence in night weaning and maintaining your milk supply, so you can achieve all of your breastfeeding goals! If you need support, be sure to check out Medela’s free breastfeeding support and community The Moms’ Room or access their 24×7 lactation consultants!

What are your questions about night weaning or your experience with night weaning your breastfeeding baby? Did you experience a drop in milk supply? Did you pump?

This is a sponsored post by Medela LLC, but the opinions are all my own.

The post Night Weaning a Breastfeeding Baby and How to Maintain Milk Supply appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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How to Wean and Transition From SNOO to Crib

How Wean Transition From SNOO to CribThere are many amazing baby sleep products. If you’ve landed here, I assume your baby has been sleeping in the SNOO and hopefully, you have found the SNOO worth it. But, all good things come to an end. This post will review how to wean and transition from the SNOO to the crib.

When to Transition From SNOO to Crib

The SNOO is designed to be used until your baby is up to 5 to 6 months old. But, that means you need to start weaning from the SNOO before your baby’s fifth or sixth month birthday.

Obviously, you might decide to transition sooner. If it’s because you feel your baby is outgrowing the SNOO, keep in mind that it was designed for babies as big as a 9-month-old in the 90-95th percentile. Worried your baby doesn’t like it anymore? I highly recommend you experiment with the settings just in case he has “outgrown” a softer movement.

If you decide to transition, just like many transitions, I recommend you start 3 to 4 weeks before your desired goal. That way, if things don’t go smoothly, your baby gets sick, your baby is sensitive to changes, or something else thwarts your plans, you have plenty of time without as much stress.

3 Things to Do Before You Transition From SNOO to Crib

Before you transition from SNOO to crib there are 3 things you might want to consider doing to make it a smoother transition.

1. Introduce the Crib During Awake Times

Familiarity is your friend when it comes to a new sleep space. Try to have your baby spend time in the crib during playtime during the day. You might turn on some upbeat music or a crib toy. Play peek-a-boo or sing. While your baby might only last a few minutes at first, after doing this several times a day for a few days to a week, he or she might start to like it!

2. Move the SNOO to the New Room (if applicable)

It is recommended to share a room with your baby for the first 6 months to a year to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have chosen to move your baby to their own room as part of this transition, you might want to try moving the SNOO to the “new” room, temporarily. You can also set up a makeshift bed or air mattress for you to sleep on while in the same room. This way, you are familiarizing your baby to the room before you transition to the crib.

If you have decided to continue sharing a room with your baby, you might consider where to put the crib and move the SNOO to that location if it’s not already.

3. Make a Decision About White Noise

One of the key features of the SNOO is the built-in white noise. Since you won’t be using the SNOO anymore, you might want to consider whether you want to wean from white noise altogether or use a new white noise source. There are many options for white noise, now, including our free white noise downloads. Here are also a few products we like:

White Noise Products We Love


Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine
Nothing fancy and not very cute, but simple and effective! And, they have a portable white noise machine, too.


Bubzi Co Baby Sleep Aid
Okay, so it’s not just a white noise machine…it’s a white noise machine, night light, and lovey rolled into one cute little device!

 
 
LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise MachineLectroFan White Noise Machine
This is one serious white noise machine. It boasts 10 different fan sounds at varying frequencies, and its volume is incredibly precise, making it easy to adjust your white noise based on what’s happening in your home at any given moment. You can let this machine run all night long, or you can use the built-in timer for automatic shut-off.

Now that you’ve prepared from the transition from SNOO to crib it’s time to get going! Here is an easy 5-Step Process:

Step 1: Stop Swaddling

The SNOO has a built-in swaddle, but more than likely, it’s time to stop swaddling baby. By now, your baby is probably rolling over and it will be unsafe to be in the crib swaddled.

Before moving your baby to the crib, practice being unswaddled. While still in the SNOO, unswaddle your baby’s arms. This way, your baby can get used to having their arms free but the SNOO will still automatically respond to your baby’s fussing and crying just as it always has. You may or may not need to soothe the baby more for a few nights, but hopefully, within a few nights to a week, your baby will be used to being unswaddled and sleeping just as well as before in the SNOO. If not, move forward anyway.

Step 2: Wean Motion Gradually

The SNOO has a weaning mode you can turn on using the app. This mode will wean your baby from being dependent on movement to sleep. However, there are a couple of things to consider, however.

With the weaning mode on, the SNOO will use white noise but will NOT use continuous motion all night to keep your baby asleep. However, if your baby starts fussing or crying, it will respond with motion. This is a good first step. But, there’s more to consider.

If you imagine the SNOO putting your baby to sleep at bedtime using motion and then every two hours all night. This can still be a dependency that your baby might have when in the crib. Therefore, I recommend you consider a couple of other steps:

First, make sure you put the motion limiter on so the SNOO will respond to your baby’s fussing and crying but with less intense motion than before. This will help wean them more fully from movement.

The last step you can do is lock the motion at one of the lowest levels of movement, so the SNOO can never go above that level. For example, if your baby has been dependent on some higher levels of movement, you might lock the level at Level 3 for 2 days, then Level 2 for 2 days, then Level 1 for 2 more days.

Step 3: Turn Off the SNOO

One more thing before you move to the crib. I recommend taking a test drive without the SNOO. Turn it off completely for 2-3 days before you move baby to the crib. Or, for a more gradual process, you can turn it off at bedtime and then turn it on later on in the night, if needed. The closer you get to the morning, the more difficult sleep can be for your baby. So, feel free to work your way up to not needing the SNOO for the entire night. It will be a good investment of 3 to 7 days.

Step 4: Introducing the Crib

It’s time to start introducing the crib. Some parents will start naps in the crib and keep the SNOO at night. But, remember, day and night sleep are handled by two different parts of the brain, so it might not make any difference.

To introduce the crib, you can try to put your baby down for bed normally but this time in the crib instead of the SNOO. Don’t be alarmed or surprised if it doesn’t go well, at first. It’s similar to adults going to a hotel. The first couple of nights are the worst sleep for many of us. But, as the days go by, the bed starts to feel more like your own. Your baby will start to feel like the crib is their bed.

For a more gradual process, feel free to move the baby back to the SNOO later in the night, if necessary. What starts as an hour or two might quickly increase to many more hours. It’s okay to take your time.

If your baby fusses or cries, you might need to do some gentle sleep training.

Step 5: Transitioning from SNOO to Crib Completely

The final step to transition from SNOO to the crib is to keep your baby in the crib all night and for all naps. If you are struggling to say good-bye to the SNOO, move it out of the room so you’re no longer tempted to use it. Some devices we become dependent on just as much as our babies!

I hope these tips have been helpful in the transition from SNOO to crib. Give your baby a week or two and I’m sure your baby will be sleeping through the night in no time. If not, we’re here to help!

The post How to Wean and Transition From SNOO to Crib appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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SNOO: Is It Really Worth It? And, Alternatives.

SNOO Is It Really Worth It and AlternativesThe SNOO is a bassinet with a built-in swaddle that keeps baby safe and automatically starts moving in order to keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time. But, is the SNOO worth it? We will explore the pros and cons of the SNOO and help you decide if it’s right for you.

What is a SNOO?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet is a bassinet for newborns to babies up through 5 to 6 months old. The bassinet has key features that set it apart from other bassinets such as the Arms Reach Bassinet:

  • Built-In Swaddle – This bassinet has a built-in swaddle that is very secure. Your baby will not be able to break out. What’s more important is that it will keep your baby sleeping in his or her back, which is considered safest to reduce the risk of SIDS. Furthermore, your baby won’t be able to roll over while swaddled, which might be when to stop swaddling.
  • Detects Crying – The SNOO has multiple microphones to pick up sounds your baby is making including fussing and crying. It “responds” to your baby depending on what it’s detecting.
  • White Noise – The SNOO also has built-in white noise which automatically turns on if/when your baby starts fussing or crying. There are three different sounds and it chooses different sounds for sleep versus crying.
  • Movement – When this bassinet detects fussing or crying, it can move automatically. It has a slow swing for sleep but faster jiggle for upsets.

As you can see, the SNOO bassinet is indeed “smart” and one can see how it would add more sleep for new parents. This is especially helpful when some babies won’t sleep in a bedside bassinet at all. But, is it safe and is the SNOO really worth it?

Is SNOO safe for newborns?

While there is always risk to using any “device” for your baby, the SNOO has appeared to have undergone rigorous testing. Dr. Harvey Karp is not new to keeping babies safe and I am confident safety was the #1 goal for the invention. After all, the idea is to reduce the risk of SIDS by keeping baby on their back in the first place. And, Dr. Karp has been helping babies sleep with his Happiest Baby Series for many years.

In addition, the movement of the SNOO will not work unless the swaddle sack is clipped to the device. It is also vented to prevent overheating and allow baby to breathe freely. And, they added a metal plate to block WiFi exposure or you can simply turn off WiFi. It appears they’ve thought of everything.

But, what about night feedings?

Will the SNOO work “too well” and lead to a baby to miss nighttime feedings? This was my first concern when I learned about this product.

It appears they’ve thought about, too.

The SNOO isn’t supposed to replace parenting altogether. It’s just another tool in your toolbox. The SNOO will stop movement if there is continuous crying for a couple of minutes. The SNOO is only meant to soothe your baby back to sleep when she does NOT need something. Do keep in mind, too, that your doctor will instruct you to feed the baby at regular intervals for the first several weeks of life. You will need to set an alarm for that, so you can feel confident your baby shouldn’t skip feedings just because you are using a SNOO.

Should you keep the SNOO on all night?

The SNOO is meant to keep the guesswork out of this. It automatically detects when to go on or increase the movement and stops if your baby is crying continuously.

When should you start using the SNOO?

Parents can start using the SNOO with their newborn, so from birth.

How long can you use the SNOO? When should you stop using the SNOO?

The maximum weight limit of the SNOO is 25 pounds. You can use a SNOO until your baby is approximately 6 months old.

Keep in mind, however, the SNOO may operate more frequently at night after 3 months old.

Once your baby starts his 4 month sleep regression (which can start anytime between 12 weeks old and 5 months old), your baby will cycle through more sleep cycles. That means your SNOO may have more “work” to do.

If you are concerned your baby is outgrowing the SNOO or no longer likes it, you may want to experiment with the settings using the app. He or she may simply need faster or more rigorous movement.

We have worked with families to help them transition from SNOO to crib around 3 to 5 months old, on average.

SNOO Price and Is It Worth It?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet sounds like a dream, right? Unfortunately, some dreams aren’t cheap.

This fancy bassinet is over $1,200!

However, you can now rent one for dollars a day.

Can you really put a price on better sleep?

If this can truly give your family hours more sleep per night for the first 6 months of life, in my opinion, it really is worth it. And, if you compare the cost of a night nurse for $200-300 a night, it’s a no-brainer!

There are a few things to consider, however.

First, not all babies enjoy being rocked or jiggled to sleep! While many babies do enjoy movement and it soothes them to sleep, it can irritate some babies. And, if your baby isn’t soothed by movement, then the SNOO is a very expensive bassinet, swaddle and white noise machine!

Second, some babies simply need that human touch. We worked with one client who had to rock their baby to sleep and THEN put the baby in the SNOO! If you have to put the baby back to sleep yourself each time he wakes, there is simply no point to spending this much on a bassinet.

Third, although sleeping on their back is safest, not all babies like to sleep flat on their back. From a young age, my son enjoyed moving to his side to sleep.

Finally, some babies are naturally good sleepers. Obviously, my baby was NOT one of them, hence this website. However, I’ve talked to many parents whose baby started sleeping through the night as young as 6 to 8 weeks old. Not all babies will need anything this “fancy.”

Unfortunately, until your baby is born, it’s impossible to know if they will be a naturally great sleeper nor their taste in sleep space, swaddle, pacifier, or any other product. However, based on the reviews of the product, it appears most babies and parents like the SNOO. So, if you have the budget, there’s a good chance it will help get everyone more sleep.

SNOO Alternatives

Of course, there are so many amazing baby sleep products to buy, so not everyone will be able to splurge this much on just one item!

There isn’t a perfect alternative to the SNOO. It’s innovative and likely took years of research and development. We have found one product that looks pretty close and another product that might help.

The Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet is meant to be a true SNOO alternative. It even has “cry detection technology” to soothe the baby when they start crying. It has 3 different motion speeds to fit your baby’s preference. In addition, it has 2-speed vibrations for babies who prefer to be jiggled or bounced. Lastly, it has 10 different songs or soothing sounds (white noise, music or nature sounds) for additional soothing. You can find the right settings for your baby and it has a memory function so you don’t have to find it over and over again. This bassinet is at the fraction of the price at just under $300 and with great reviews! The main thing this doesn’t have is the built-in swaddle but you can easily swaddle your baby first and then place them in this bassinet.

The Green Frog Bassinet has a rocking feature that’s great for newborns. It isn’t “smart” of course, so you’ll need to soothe the baby yourself. However, it’s easier on your back especially when you are recovering from labor. In addition, you guard against your baby sleeping on your chest or in your arms which can become a problem later on.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you decide whether the SNOO is the right choice for your family. Always remember that all these tools in our toolbox help us be better parents, but there is never a replacement for parenting. There is no shame in adding more tools in your toolbox!

The post SNOO: Is It Really Worth It? And, Alternatives. appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

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Zipadee Zip vs Love To Dream Swaddle Up – Which is Better for Baby’s Sleep?

Zipadee Zip Vs Love To Dream - Which Is Better for SleepThe Zipadee Zip vs Love To Dream – both the Zipadee Zip Swaddle Transition sleep sack and the Love To Dream Swaddle are great products. But, do you need both? Is one better than the other for your baby’s sleep?

In this blog post, you’ll learn about both products and which we recommend!

Zipadee Zip Swaddle Transition Sleep Sack

zipadeezipWe have been recommending the Zipadee Zip for a long time even before they were on the Shark Tank. The Zipadee Zip, created by a company named Sleeping Baby, is a really great invention to help your baby sleep better when it’s time to stop swaddling.

The “wings” of the Zipadee Zip stop your baby from feeling like they are falling when the Moro reflex is still strong. Many babies are ready to transition away from the swaddle before the Moro reflex has gone away, which is where the Zipadee Zip shines. It is safe for sleeping especially when a baby is rolling over and otherwise can’t be swaddled. And, it’s also good for when your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled, yet can’t seem to stay asleep without it.

If your baby has eczema or otherwise scratches herself, the Zipadee Zip will protect the skin. I was always terrible at keeping baby’s fingernails clipped!

There are many different styles to choose from for the Zipadee Zip. And, although you won’t need the wings as your baby gets older, so many babies like this sleep sack that they make toddler sizes as well!

Love To Dream Swaddle

The Love To Dream Swaddle is another great product to help your baby sleep better. But, unlike the Zipadee Zip, this is a swaddling product. It is meant to capitalize on all the benefits of swaddling but make it easy to swaddle your baby. It also makes it hard for your baby to break out! Breaking out of the swaddle is a safety hazard.

In addition, the Love To Dream is designed to help you swaddle your baby with their arms up rather than down by their sides. This is typically more comfortable to your baby which can lead to longer stretches of sleep.

The Love To Dream Swaddle also has dual zippers, one at the top and one at the bottom, to make diaper changes easier and faster.

The really cool design of the Love To Dream Swaddle is that it has “wings” too. But, these wings are meant to zip off when your baby is ready to be unswaddled. This will allow your baby to find his or her hands for self-soothing and allow them to push up if they roll onto their tummy.

Zipadee Zip vs Love To Dream – Which is Better?

Both the Zipadee Zip and the Love To Dream are great products. But, which is better for your baby’s sleep?

We have worked with families who have used both and clients love both products. As a sleep consultant for over 10 years, I can tell you that either product would be a good choice. However, the age of your baby may influence which you buy.

Newborns, Pregnant Moms, or a Baby Shower Gift

If you have a newborn, you’re pregnant and doing research, or if you’re buying as a gift, I recommend you purchase the Love To Dream Swaddle UP which is appropriate for newborns. The newborn size does not have zip-off wings but you don’t need them. Once your newborn weighs 13+ pounds, I recommend the Love To Dream Swaddle Up Transition Sleep Sack with Zip-Off Wings.

The benefits of swaddling are clear and your baby will most likely appreciate the snug feeling of being swaddled. The Love To Dream is much snugger than the Zipadee Zip. And, your baby will likely be in the swaddle for at least 2-3 months, if not longer. So, your purchase will be well worth the added hours of sleep you will likely get!

And, when your baby is ready to move away from swaddling, you can zip off one or both wings for an easier transition to a sleep sack. Voila!

However, some babies don’t sleep well once their arms are free, of course! Try giving your baby a week or so to get used to it. If your baby struggles with having their hands completely free, you can then consider adding a Zipadee Zip to your toolbox. For some families, having both is perfectly reasonable! They really address two different time periods in a baby’s life.

4+ Month Olds and/or Baby is Rolling

If your baby is nearing, or older than 4 months old, we recommend you transition to a sleep sack with hands out. Once your baby is rolling from back to tummy, it is no longer safe to swaddle.

But, do you use a Zipadee Zip?

We highly recommend the Zipadee Zip for many babies, but there are a few things to consider:

  1. Does your baby use a pacifier?
  2. Does your baby like to suck on their thumb, fingers, or hands?
  3. Does your baby like to crawl around while self-settling to sleep?

If you answered no to all of these questions, the Zipadee Zip is an excellent choice!

However, if you answered yes to any of these questions, the Zipadee Zip may or may not be the best sleep sack for your baby.

Baby Likes to Suck on Thumb, Fingers, or Hands

If your baby likes to suck on their thumb, fingers, or hands, it may work out fine. Some babies will simply suck their hands through the cloth of the wings. But, if your baby likes to really feel their fingers or thumb inside their mouth mimicking a nipple, this might not work out very well. Some babies will adapt while others will struggle. This can lead to excessive crying during sleep training.

Baby Has a Pacifier

Some babies suck on their pacifier as they fall asleep but then don’t need it again. That would make using the Zipadee Zip work out just fine.

However, some babies struggle with self-settling when they can’t maneuver their own pacifier. We want your baby to be able to wake up between sleep cycles, find their own pacifier, and pop it back in. For these babies, we’d recommend a sleep sack with hands out such as the Bitta Kidda with a built-in lovey attached.

You can use the Love To Dream sleep sack with the wings zipped off, but if you don’t already have it, there’s not much use for the wings. It defeats the purpose and it doesn’t make much sense to buy the Love To Dream, in my opinion. If you’re planning to have more babies, however, you can consider it an investment!

Zipadee Zip vs Love To Dream – Which to Buy?

If you still don’t know which product to buy and can’t afford to try both, I highly recommend you start with the Zipadee Zip. This is based on over 10 years of working with families and getting reports about which products their babies love. I know based on the experience of many families that your baby is most likely going to LOVE it!

Of course, your baby’s sleepwear is only one variable that impacts your baby’s sleep. And, that’s what we do here at The Baby Sleep Site!

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