Are you ready for your baby to say goodbye to your beloved SNOO? Get tips for transitioning from SNOO to crib from a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant.
The SNOO is the fanciest baby bassinet there is. Dubbed as a 24/7 babysitter, the SNOO claims it helps your baby sleep better with its gentle rocking and motion. Essentially, it does a lot of the work getting your baby to sleep so you don’t have to!
Developed by Dr. Harvey Karp (author of The Happiest Baby on the Block), the SNOO is a favorite for many families because of all the bells and whistles and the extra sleep it can potentially get your baby (and you!).
But at some point the rythyms and motions of the SNOO (or a SNOO alternative) stop being effective for your baby’s sleep and it becomes time to transition your baby out of the SNOO and into their crib.
I’ve worked with multiple families who have successfully made the transition out of the SNOO. I’ll share my step-by-step process for how we did it as well as tips for transitioning from SNOO to crib.
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When Should I Transition Out of SNOO?
Wondering how long your baby can sleep in their bassinet? Your baby can sleep in a SNOO up until 6 months old, or until baby is too big for the bassinet, or until they can get on their hands and knees, according to the SNOO website.
That being said, many of the parents I’ve worked with are ready to start transitioning out of the SNOO at 4 months. When babies hit the 4 month sleep regression their sleep often becomes chaotic and unpredictable. Many parents find it a good time to wean from the SNOO and sleep train since their baby’s sleep has declined anyway.
How Do You Transition Out of SNOO?
Sure, you could just move your baby from the SNOO to crib cold turkey, but I always feel more confident when I have a plan! Here are the steps to take as well as some tips for successfully transitioning from SNOO to crib.
Make sure to give yourself time to make the transition to make it a smooth one for you and your baby. Read through these tips, devise your plan, and then implement it to move your baby out of the SNOO.
1. Time in Crib
As you prepare to transition your baby to the crib, you can start getting her acclimated to her crib during her awake time. Put your baby in the crib for about 10 minutes during her wake windows and play with her.
You can practice tummy time, play peek-a-boo, or supervise her with a few fun toys. This will help her get used to the crib and make it a familiar space.
2. Have Another White Noise Sound Machine
The SNOO has a built-in white noise sound machine, so you’ll need a replacement once you’re ready to transition out of the SNOO. I personally love the Dohm sound machine, but there are plenty of other great machines to choose from.
3. Make The Nursery Optimized for Sleep
4. Move the SNOO to the Nursery
If you’re currently room sharing with your baby and want to move baby to their own room when you transition out of the SNOO, start by moving the SNOO to your baby’s nursery. This will also help your baby get used to the new room for sleep, while still being in her familiar SNOO.
5. Transition out of the Swaddle
If your baby is ready to drop the swaddle, then start the transition while they’re still in the SNOO. You can swaddle with one arm out for a few nights, then leave the other arm out as well. You can do this process in the SNOO and then you’ll move your baby to a sleep sack when you move them to the crib.
Wondering when to stop swaddling your baby? The recommendation is when they start to roll over or start to show signs of being able to roll over.
This typically happens between 2 and 4 months, so I always transition out sooner rather than later since the risk of SIDS increases if a swaddled baby rolls to their side.
6. Start Wean Mode
The SNOO has a weaning mode that keeps the bassinet stationary unless your baby starts to cry. As your baby settles, the SNOO returns to stationary but continues with white noise. As you start to swaddle your baby with one arm out, you can turn the weaning mode on at the same time to help wean your baby off the constant motion of the SNOO.
7. Start at Night Time
Naps can be really tricky for babies who are under 6 months old. It’s very common if your young baby only naps 30 minutes, so I always have my families start with night sleep first when they’re making a transition.
We want to avoid an overtired baby, so when you’re transitioning from SNOO to crib, start the transition at night first and continue to offer naps in the crib until your baby’s night sleep improves in the crib.
Once your baby is doing well at night, you can start transitioning from the SNOO to crib for naps as well.
If you don’t already have a bedtime routine in place, now is the perfect time to start one! Do the same 3 to 5 activities each night to prepare your baby for bed and cue to their brain that sleep is on the way.
Make your bedtime routine one that you can do each night, even when you travel to help your baby acclimate in new places.
You can include things like one last feed, 2 bedtime books, snuggles, pajamas and sleep sack, and a final song or kiss.
9. Choose a Sleep Training Method
How will you respond if your baby struggles to fall asleep when you transition from the SNOO to their crib? You likely don’t want to replace the SNOO with new sleep props like rocking your baby to sleep.
Now is a great time for your baby to learn independent sleep habits.
Choose a sleep training method that you’re comfortable with and implement it starting at bedtime. You can implement your technique for each wakeup to help your baby adjust to the crib.
If you’re not ready to sleep train, you can also use the Soothing Ladder and go up the steps.
If your baby still needs a feed in the middle of the night, you can learn how to wean night feedings using your sleep training technique.
10. Stay Consistent
Making the transition from SNOO to crib might take time. Some babies will have no problem with a cold turkey transition, but others may struggle depending on their temperament and sleep patterns.
Stay consistent with putting your your baby in their crib for bed each night and following up throughout the night. With time and consistency, your baby will be sleeping in their crib and you can gift or sell your beloved SNOO to another expecting mama!
Get Better Sleep with The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System
If you want someone to walk you through the process of sleep training, let me help. The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System is for babies 4 months through 2.5 years old. I’ll walk you through how to establish daily routines, sleep schedules, and sleep training techniques to help you break the sleep associations you no longer find beneficial! Check it out here.
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