I’m willing to bet you’re reading this blog for either of these two reasons, or both:
- Your baby currently sleeps in a Snoo
- You’re uncertain, or even fearful, of what to do next and how to get them out of it
Many clients come to me and they’re extremely terrified of transitioning their baby out of the Snoo or bassinet and into a crib.
I get it. This machine has been your saving grace these first few months and has allowed you to get more sleep than you likely would have without it. Your baby knows nothing else, and you’re concerned about how they will do without it.
You’re a great parent for even being concerned in the first place!
I’m here to tell you today that it’s really not that bad, and you’re probably just psyching yourself up for nothing. Take a deep breath – in, 2, 3, out, 2, 3, 4, 5 – one more time – in, 2, 3, out, 2, 3, 4, 5 – and keep reading.
First, let’s identify why you’re scared of this transition in the first place.
Change is hard for everyone – that’s the first thing to recognize.
Also, and especially if this is your first baby, you may not recognize what your little one is actually capable of. You might be getting in the way of them having some really great sleep because of this!
You’ll probably find that your baby will sleep just fine once they transition out of the Snoo, as they will have access to their body. They will get to know their body and be able to move around in a slightly larger space.
Up to now, I have yet to have a baby who reacts really strongly from being transitioned out of the Snoo.
In this post, I’m going to tell you exactly what to do and when so you can help your little one have a seamless transition too.
Step One – Turn on weaning mode.
About a week before you’re planning to move them out of the Snoo, turn on the weaning mode. I prefer around 12 weeks old. Yes, I know your baby can technically sleep in this thing until they’re six months old, but I’m also a big believer in helping your baby learn about their body – how it moves and how they can use it to help them sleep better. They’re not going to learn this if they’re still swaddled up and in such a small space.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends removing the swaddle by 12 weeks old since many babies are starting to roll or are showing signs of rolling. This is big from a developmental perspective! Your baby is starting to be more mobile, and we don’t want to restrict them from moving around, however it may look at this stage.
Step Two – Free your baby’s arms.
Remove one arm from the swaddle first. You can still swaddle your baby with their other arm in. After three nights or so, it’s time to remove the other arm too, so both arms are now out. At this point, you’re using the Snoo as a bassinet…a really nice bassinet.
Giving your baby access to their hands can be super helpful too, especially when it comes to learning to self-soothe.
Previously, the Snoo did most of the soothing. Now, your baby has to figure it out on their own, or guess who they’re going to be looking for – YOU!
If your baby has already been unswaddled and you’re using the Snoo just as their bassinet, I would still recommend moving them into a crib around 5 months, for the same reasons listed above – we want them to be able to move around and explore their sleep space, developing their spatial awareness.
Step Three – Practice sleeping in the crib.
Start small. Practice a nap in the crib here and there. Take your time if that’s your jam. The only reason you’d want (or need) to rush this part is if your baby is older than 6 months, they’ve reached the Snoo’s weight limit of 25 pounds, or they can sit up or get to their hands and knees.
As your baby begins to get more comfortable with naps in the crib, you can add nights too.
Boom – done! You did it! Your baby is now sleeping in a crib!
Where should the crib be located?
This is a frequently asked question as well! Should you have your baby in their nursery now or should they still be in your room with you?
It’s totally up to you! I’m flexible and often recommend doing what feels right for you. This is a zero-pressure situation.
If you want, you can have the crib in your room.
Here are a few things to consider:
- If mom is breastfeeding, make sure the crib is as far away from her as possible
- If your baby is moving around a lot (babies are active sleepers!) and keeping you up, you can put them in their own room
- If it was working, but it is no longer, then it’s time to explore other options
If you start the transition from the Snoo to the crib and you see sleep start to unravel, you may need help with encouraging self-soothing skills. Reach out for help here.