As a seasoned parent and passionate supporter of positive parenting, I’ve come across many a restless night trying to get my little ones to sleep!. I can tell you this; a bassinet can be your best ally. But how do you get your baby to sleep in a bassinet? Carry on reading and hopefully you will be well on your way to answering this question!
The Importance of a Bassinet for Baby Sleep
Bassinets serve as a safe and snug spot for your baby to sleep during their first few months. They’re designed to be compact and cozy, mimicking the confining environment of the womb that new-borns find comforting. Plus, a bassinet’s compact size allows you to keep the baby close for easy night time feeding and comforting, without the risks associated with bed-sharing.
Benefits of Getting Your Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet
Teaching your baby to sleep in a bassinet has numerous benefits. First, it establishes a healthy and independent sleeping pattern early on, setting the stage for smooth crib transition later. Second, it ensures your baby’s safety by reducing risks like suffocation or overheating, associated with bed-sharing. Lastly, it grants you some much-needed rest and peace of mind, knowing your baby is sleeping safely nearby.
Safety should always be a priority when choosing a bassinet. It should adhere to safety regulations, feature a firm mattress, and a sturdy base. Keep the bassinet free of loose blankets, pillows, or toys, which can pose a suffocation hazard.
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet
Achieving a successful transition to bassinet sleeping doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a structured approach.
Creating a Sleep-friendly Environment
Choosing the Right Bassinet
Choose a bassinet based on safety features, comfort, and functionality. It should be easy to clean, with a firm and fitting mattress, and mesh walls for good airflow. Check out my guide to the best bassinets here!
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
A consistent bedtime routine is crucial. A typical routine would include bathing, a gentle massage, reading a story, or singing a lullaby before sleep. These activities signal the baby that it’s time to sleep. Find a routine that works for you and your baby and stick to it.
Introducing the Bassinet to Your Baby
To make the bassinet a familiar space, introduce it during the day. Put the baby in the bassinet for naps or quiet time. They’ll associate it with rest, which can help when you’re ready for night time sleep.
Transitioning from Co-sleeping to Bassinet
Start by placing the bassinet in your bedroom. The baby still feels your presence, but also learns to sleep independently. Gradually, you can move the bassinet to the nursery or wherever you plan your baby to sleep in the long term.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
If your baby seems anxious when you leave (which is totally normal), spend a few minutes comforting them. You could pat their back or softly sing a song. A personal item, like a worn T-shirt, can also soothe the baby, making them feel your presence. I have written an article on sleep training that you might find helpful
Addressing Night Waking
If the baby wakes up, try calming them without taking them out of the bassinet. If they continue crying, it’s okay to pick them up for a bit, then put them back when they’re calm.
Consistency and Patience
Remember, adjusting to a bassinet takes time. Your consistency in following the routine and patience during setbacks will play a big role in your baby’s transition.
Additional Tips for Success
Many parents (myself included have found weighted sleep sacks to work wonders… the gentle weight mimics the sensation of your palm by adding a lightly touched-feeling area on the chest, helping babies to self-soothe and sleep longer when not in your arms. Pacifiers can also help soothe the baby.
Try not to rush to the baby at their first whimper. Give them a chance to self-soothe.
Final Words From Me
Though challenging, getting your baby to sleep in a bassinet is rewarding. The process encourages independent sleep habits and ensures safety. With these strategies and patience, you can achieve successful bassinet sleep for your baby.
When should I start using a bassinet for my baby? Right from birth. A bassinet is designed for newborns and is the safest place for them to sleep.
Can I put my baby in a bassinet right after birth? Yes, a bassinet is designed for newborns and is the safest place for them to sleep.
What should I do if my baby refuses to sleep in the bassinet? Be patient and consistent. Try making the environment more comforting with white noise or a swaddle. If they continue refusing, consult with a pediatrician.
Is it safe for the baby to sleep in the bassinet all night? Yes, as long as the bassinet meets safety standards and is placed near your bed, it’s safe for all-night use.
How long can a baby sleep in a bassinet? Until they begin to roll or push up on their hands, usually around 3-4 months. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines.