Trading the bottle for a cup, going from two naps to one, moving from daycare to preschool…all of these important transitions can be hard on a little one! But transitioning your baby from SNOO to the crib doesn’t have to be hard…but I know parents are worried. In fact, “How hard is it to transition babies to a crib from SNOO bassinet?” is one of the top questions parents ask me about SNOO—and I LOVE that I can answer “It’s easy-peasy!” Simply follow my how-tos:

When to Transition Your Baby From SNOO to the Crib

The award-winning SNOO Smart Sleeper was designed for babies up to 6 months old—or until your little one can get on their hands and knees. It’s safe and recommended to keep your baby sleeping in SNOO up until either of those milestones happen.

Do you need to transition babies to the crib when they get “too big” for SNOO?

SNOO was designed to comfortably hold babies up to 6 months old who weigh a max of 25 pounds. And, surprise, even if your baby’s toes touch the bottom of SNOO, it’s a good bet that your baby still fits in SNOO. Here’s why:

  • Babies sleep with their hips and legs open in a frog-like position, not straight like a cigar! That’s why our SNOO sleep sack (and Sleepea swaddle) look kind of like the number eight. They’re designed to accommodate frog legs—and healthy hips!

  • When your baby’s toes reach the bottom of the sack, it helps keep their legs slightly bent, which aids in developing hips.

  • To ensure SNOO can accommodate even the longest 6-month-old, we actually made sure SNOO’s length was equal to that of a 9-month-old baby boy in the 98th percentile! (That does not mean 9-month-olds should be in SNOO! It just means that SNOO is big enough for your 6-month-old.)

  • If you are looking at your 3-month-old and thinking, “Oh no! My baby’s feet nearly touch the bottom of SNOO!” know this: Babies grow very fast in their first three to four months…and then their growth slows down. Plus, it’s not a big deal if their feet touch!

When are babies ready to sleep without SNOO’s rocking?

Every baby is unique and some little ones take a bit longer to wean from SNOO’s all-night, responsive motion than others. But rest assured, a 5- or 6-month-old’s brain is much more mature than a newborn’s, which means they can sustain long, continuous periods of sleep without the need for rocking or swaddling. (Their sleep, however, still greatly benefits from white noise.)

Let me explain: In utero, babies are rocked with every breath and every step. They love the constant rumbling sound, rhythmic motion, and snug embrace that the womb provides. Those sensations (part of the 5 S’s) soothed them to sleep before they were born and continue to soothe them to sleep during the first months of their life, or the fourth trimester.

That’s why spending sleepytime in a still and silent room is so strange for babies…and can actually cause them to wake more often.

BUT once your baby reaches 5 or 6 months old, they have naturally outgrown their deep love for—and reliance on—motion and swaddling. So, have no fear, your 6-month-old baby does not crave the rocking like they used to—and they’re ready for the crib!

How to Transition from SNOO to the Crib

If your baby is between 5 and 6 months old—or they can get to their hands and knees—you’re ready to start weaning your little one from SNOO!  Here’s how…

Step 1: Free the Arms

Take a peek at the shoulders of your SNOO Sack. There you’ll find snaps. Undo the snaps on one side of the swaddle and let one of your child’s arms out of the SNOO Sack. Start with just one arm free and see how your baby sleeps. If they wind up startling themselves awake, don’t fret! Simply go back to both arms swaddled and try one-arm-out again in a week.

After a few nights of good sleep with one arm out, you can free the other arm. (PS: When you release your baby’s arms, continue to fasten the inner bands snugly around your lovebug’s midsection.)

Step 2: Turn on the Weaning Feature

Once your baby is sleeping well with both arms out, it’s time to turn on SNOO’s Weaning Mode. (When your baby is around 5 months old, the SNOO app will notify you to consider weaning.) About a week before you want to move your baby out of SNOO and into a crib, go into your Happiest Baby app and:

  • Head over the Setting icon at the bottom of your screen
  • Under Modes, toggle to Weaning

You can tell Weaning Mode was successfully turned on by heading to the Dashboard page. There will be a “W” at the top-right hand corner. In Weaning Mode, SNOO will continue to give your sleeping baby soothing sounds—but no motion—all sleep long. The motion only comes back on if your baby cries. At that point, your trusty SNOO will respond as usual—with motion and sound—until your baby is soothed…and then gradually returns to some sound, but no motion.

Continue with Weaning Mode for about one to two weeks, so your baby can get used to sleeping in a still bed.

Step 3: Move to the Crib

If your baby has been sleeping great with both arms free and Weaning Mode for about one to two weeks, you’re ready to make the transition to the crib! Here’s how to make the big move most successful:

  • Continue with your tried-and-true relaxing bedtime routine, complete with dimming the lights 30 to 60 minutes prior to light’s out.

  • If your baby is 26 pounds or under, consider putting them in our large Sleepea swaddle—arms out. Sleepea is, essentially, our SNOO Sack without the wings. So, the familiar swaddle-like feeling might be a comfort to your little one in the crib. Just remember: Babies who can roll need to have their arms free!

  • Keep playing white noise for all naps and nights. Most parents find that white noise is very useful for maintaining good sleep throughout the toddler years and beyond.

  • Consider SNOObear and/or SNOObie. Both white noise machines feature the award-winning SNOO sounds your little one is used to. SNOObear plays for 30 or 60 minutes, then “pays attention” for 3 more hours, ready to start playing white noise again if your little one starts to fuss. (SNOObear can be safely strapped to the outside of Baby’s crib and moved into the crib once your baby reaches a year old.) Meanwhile, SNOObie is nightlight-white noise machine combo, an OK-to-wake sleep trainier, and more. 

Transitioning From SNOO to the Crib Too Early

Remember, there is no rush to wean your baby from SNOO! Parents who try to transition from SNOO to the crib at 3 or 4 months often find their baby does well initially…only to have their sleep disrupted by a sleep regression or a growth spurt. I recommend you wait to start weaning until 5 or 6 months.

That said, some babies start to get ready for arms-out around 3 to 4 months. (Before then, babies simply don’t have enough motor control over their arms, so they bonk themselves awake a lot.) But if your baby wakes themselves up when their arms are free, they’re just not ready to transition yet…and that is okay! You want to make sure you go at your baby’s pace.

Transitioning Baby to Their Own Room

For many parents, the transition to crib coincides with transitioning Baby to their own room, as well. (It’s recommended that you sleep with Baby in your room for at least 6 months.) If that’s the case, it’s important to familiarize your baby with their room—and build happy memories there—during the day…even if you don’t end up moving them into the nursery right now. That means enjoy some quiet play, storytime, and snuggles in the nursery before you move your baby to their room.

What Parents Have to Say About Transitioning From SNOO to Crib

Here, a few parents share their first-hand accounts of weaning from SNOO:

The Switch to the Crib Was Seamless

“We turned on the weaning feature a couple of weeks before we planned to move our baby to the crib. I was worried about the first night, but it went really well! (We always bumped the level up to purple and let it gradually come back to the blue level—with sound, but no motion. He was always asleep before SNOO stopped moving.) The switch to the crib was seamless and he has slept through the night in [the crib] ever since. Couldn’t be happier!” –Molly

Slept for 12 Hours in Crib!

“For the past 5 months (or 172 days) she has slept in her @happiest_baby SNOO…On her first night sleeping in her own crib, she slept 12 hours straight – 8pm to 8am!” –pamelaz (Read her full review of SNOO on BrooklynFarmGirl.com.)

Better Than I Could Have Ever Imagined

We took the transition [to the crib] slow, we started with one arm out for a week, then two arms out for a few weeks, and then finally turned on the weaning mode. We kept our daughter in SNOO on weaning mode for about three weeks and then finally made the move to her crib when she turned 6 months old. She transitioned to her crib better than I could have ever imagined from the first night. I 100% recommend this product to any and every parent. –Jessica G.

No Problems Switching to Crib

Weaning him off was so easy with the weaning feature as well so we had no problem at all switching him to his crib. This was the only product we spent big money on and it was so worth it! –Keagan H.

SNOO: The Good-Sleep Teacher!

The weaning feature helped when she was 5 months. At 6 months, she was ready for her crib. It took a few nights for her to get used to her new surroundings, but now she is back to her 11 to 12 hour stretches. Thank you SNOO! My baby learned all of her good sleeping habits from you! –Anonymous

 

For more on safe and sound sleep in the crib…

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.