How To Transition Baby From Bassinet To Cot

By Lynn •  Updated: 11/16/21 •  7 min read
Hey Mamas and Papas! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

There comes a time when the little one has to move into a cot. This is because they no longer fit in their bassinets or co-sleepers. The appropriate method to use to transition baby from bassinet to cot depends on several factors.  Such as the baby’s age and his or her ability to quickly adapt to sleeping alone.

Some babies transition easily while others take a few days or weeks. Hence, parents need to prepare for any of these eventualities.

When to transition baby from co sleeping to crib

It has been noted that the longer one delays making the move, the stronger the resistance during the transition.

The ideal time to transition baby would be when he or she is about five to six months as recommended by the American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP).  In fact, most bassinets and co sleepers are recommended for babies under 6 months as seen in this review. This is the time the baby least needs the physical urge to nurse from mummy all the time. Also, at around this time, babies also have minimal need to bottle feed during the night.

Another appropriate time is when the baby starts to outgrow the bassinet or co sleeper. You will know this when he or she starts to roll over, sit up and pitch over the sides. Once you notice this, it is time to transition to a crib since it is no longer safe for the baby. He or she could easily tip over and fall from the bassinet.

Ways to transition baby from bassinet to cot

  • Sleeping in the cot during the day

The first thing most parents try is to put the baby to sleep in the cot during the day and co-sleep at night.

After the first week, start introducing him/her to sleep in the cot at night. Alternate some nights in the cot and some nights in the bassinet until they get used to the cot.

  • Putting the bassinet inside the cot

If the cot is big enough, put the co-sleeper in it and let the baby sleep there for a few days or weeks. As we mentioned in an earlier article, bassinets create a cosy space for the little one due to their small size. Hence, a cot may feel too empty, hard and uncomfortable for them during the first few weeks.

Therefore, letting the baby sleep in a bassinet while inside the cot helps with the gradual adjustment.

Remember to keep alternating. Three nights in the bassinet placed in the cot and one night on the cot without the bassinet. Eventually, they will get used to sleeping on the cot alone.

However, to use this method, ensure your bassinet is detachable from the frame so that it can fit in the crib.

  • Sleep in baby’s room 

You can sleep in your baby’s room but in a different bed until he gets comfortable enough to start sleeping alone. After a few days or a week, starting sitting next to the baby-still in a different bed-until he or she falls asleep then leave silently.

  • Have a bedtime routine

Having a bedtime routine is one of the sleep training methods recommended by sleep consultants. You could probably sing to him a lullaby or tell him a bedtime story so that he gets acclimatised to this in preparation to nighttime slumber. It has the same effects to you since you will start yawning and this will brush on to the baby; eventually, he will fall asleep.

  • Help baby differentiate between nighttime and day time feeding

This move can be done in perhaps two to three nap intervals per day and subsequently to nighttime sleep. This will give the baby confidence of sleeping in the cot by themselves translating to a good night rest for the family.

  • Leave something behind that has your scent

Babies have a high sense of mummy’s presence and this soothes them to sleep through the night in their own cot. Hence, your T-shirt can do the trick or you can place bedding with your scent in the cot to create that atmosphere so that the baby can always feel the mom’s presence close to him.

Watch this video for some great tips from a certified sleep coach Brooke Nalle:

Important things to note when moving baby into a crib

  • The mattress should be firm

This is to enable the little angel to get a comfortable sleep free of pangs. A firm mattress also offers safety as a soft mattress may cause the baby to sleep in a dangerous position and cause suffocation.

  • The sheet should fit perfectly to avoid discomfort while the baby is asleep.  

In addition, it should not be cold. This is because the change in temperature will awake the baby instantly as the baby is accustomed to warmth during co sleeping.

  • Get a full-size crib to grow with the baby.  

The essence of this is to create space to allow different adjustments during the transition period.

  • Ensure the sleeping space is clear. 

It should not be littered with pillows and big stuffed toys as this may crowd the baby’s sleeping area and pose a safety risk.

  • Baby should sleep on their back with head turned sideways. 

This is recommended in order to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or choking on their own saliva and breast milk. It also gives the baby tranquillity when asleep.

  • Always ensure the room has the right temperature

Is it a must to have a baby monitor when transitioning to nursery?

The debate about whether or not to have the baby monitors in the nursery has been on the minds of parents for many years. For some, it is a must-have while for others it is not.  The choice however sorely lies with you depending on your circumstances.

What though are some of the reasons for getting a baby monitor?

1. How big or small is your house

The size of your house is a determining factor because the proximity to the little one is key.  If you can easily hear him when he awakens in the middle of the night, then probably you would not need a monitor.

2. Reduces anxiety

There are monitors fitted with sensor pads under the baby’s mattress. They alert the parent when the baby has not moved or changed position over a period of time.

3. Limits the need to keep checking on the baby at night

When you have a baby monitor, you do not have to keep running to the baby’s room every time you hear a sound. It helps you to discern the sort of sound the baby is making; thus limiting the need to wake up and go checking every time. He could be just dreaming or playing before he falls back to sleep.

Read about how to choose a good baby monitor with multiple cameras here.

To conclude, most babies transition easily from bassinet to crib. So take a leap and try it out do not hesitate. By the sixth or seventh month, he should be able to sleep soundly till morning. If your little angel has challenges adjusting get in touch with your paediatrician.


Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *