Updated: Nov 6
If you’ve got a #snoobaby, there comes a time when you’ll need to move them from the Snoo into a crib. This is a big milestone - congratulations, mama!
photo credit: Kelsey Crandal, Alika Design
I bet you’re having all the feels about the Snoo to crib transition too…
…fearful that your baby knows nothing else and this is going to be really really hard for them.
…excited that you’re approaching or in infanthood and are finally out of the haze of the newborn days.
…bitter that the newborn snuggles are just about over (I said newborn snuggles, not ALL snuggles!).
…sentimental that this was the first place, besides your womb and your arms, where your baby felt safe and cozy.
It’s a lot. Transitioning your baby out of the Snoo can feel like a really big thing.
But I want to share something with you - our children are often way more capable than we think.
Everything is going to be fine, and I’m going to share with you exactly how to help this Snoo to crib transition go as smoothly as possible.
When and How to Transition out of the Snoo
Personally, I’m not a fan of restricting your baby’s movement after 12-16 weeks (even earlier if they’re starting to show signs of rolling!). I want my babies to be able to move freely and become familiar with their bodies so that they can start to be more independent with soothing and getting themselves comfortable. This doesn’t mean we won’t help them if they need it, but how are we to know what they’re capable of if we don’t ever give them the chance to show us?
I’m all about giving babies access to their arms and fingers for soothing (by 3-4 months), and allowing for full movement in their sleep space (by 4-5 months) so they can become more aware of their body and how they can move around.
This means that by 3-4 months, I recommend you remove their arms from the swaddle and start to use the arm holes. You can even do this sooner if you notice your baby has a hankering for putting their fingers in their mouth when they’re awake. At this point I would also turn on weaning mode so that there isn’t movement all night long - only when your baby needs soothing. The sound will still play all night long while your Snoo is in weaning mode.
Then, by 4-5 months, your baby has the capability to learn to soothe on their own (it may also seem that the Snoo’s magic suddenly stops working because they’re experiencing the 4-month sleep regression), so why would we hold them back?! Put your baby in a sleep sack and use the Snoo as a bassinet for this final month.
I know, this seems scary, but they will probably surprise you!
At this point, I’d also recommend utilizing the white noise that you’ll be using when your baby will be in their crib, that way, they also become familiar with it, even if they’re still sleeping in the Snoo.
You could even sleep train your baby at this point if they are still struggling to sleep well. If this is the case for your family, I’d recommend moving them into the crib when you start sleep training.
By 6 months old (or sooner if you and your baby are ready), it’s time to put your baby in their crib.
Bassinet or Snoo to Crib Transition
You can complete the Snoo- or bassinet-to-crib transition in one of two ways:
Put your baby in the crib in your room if you want to keep them close to you, though this definitely isn’t necessary.
Put your baby in the crib in their nursery.
Whatever your preference is, you do you, mama!
Okay, okay, that was very blunt, wasn’t it?
It may help you to have more of a plan. What will you do if you lay your baby down and they begin crying? What will you do if they start waking up throughout the night?
Having a plan of how you will respond to your baby is key here.
Revert to habits that help your baby sleep (not necessarily sustainable).
Soothe your baby crib-side and hope it works.
Implement a sleep training method and be consistent.
If option #3 seems like the best fit for you, I’d recommend you spend a little more time on this website! ;)
Setting the Stage for Sleep in the Crib
You’ll want to make sure the nursery is totally conducive to quality sleep. Make sure it’s dark - use a blackout solution that provides 10/10 darkness. Continue to use a white noise machine. Keep the temperature between 68-72 degrees.
You may also want to spend some extra time in the nursery with your baby when they are awake, so they become more familiar with this space. Spend ten minutes playing in their room, play peek-a-boo with them in the crib, etc. Even start to do their nap and bedtime routines partially in their nursery!
One other thing to note - remember how the Snoo was totally bare besides your baby all swaddled up?? The crib is the same for these next 6 months - totally bare with nothing but your baby in their sleep sack.
After they turn 12 months, you can give them a lovey item to sleep with, like a small blankie or stuffed animal.
Other Helpful Sleep Tips for Your 6-Month-Old Baby
Okay, we’ve covered the Snoo to crib transition, but you still might be struggling with your baby’s sleep.
Here are a few other pointers that might help around this age:
Set your baby up for success by making sure they’re getting the right amount of daytime and nighttime sleep for their body. Start by grabbing our FREE Sleep Needs Chart, and tweaking it based on what your baby is showing you.
Short naps are common at this age. Read this to learn how you can help lengthen them!
Sleep train and stay consistent. After a few weeks, you’ll have a great little sleeper and you’ll find that you actually have more freedom and flexibility with your child’s sleep because it’s now a skill!
And if you need help with the Snoo to crib transition or with sleep training your baby, that’s what we do at Lake Country Sleep. We’d love to help you teach your baby this skill in a way that feels good to you.