How do I know it’s time?
Around the three to four month mark, as little ones are coming alive to their surroundings more and we see their ability to begin to roll in their sleep show up, we want to start the transition away from using a sleep prop like the Snoo. The Snoo comes with a weaning feature, which you can use if you feel rather nervous about no longer having the aid of the Snoo. The other option is to go cold turkey. Put your little one down into their new sleep space, the crib, and let them begin their journey of starting to find their comfy spot.
If your little one is placed on their back, but rolls to their belly while sleeping, there is no reason to go and roll them back. This is a sign that developmentally they are ready, capable and are looking to get more comfortable. At this point, when signs of rolling have shown up, we would say they should no longer be swaddled at night as it is now dangerous.
How do I make it Happen?
Leaving behind the comfort tool (for both the baby and parent) the Snoo and transitioning to sleeping in a crib can seem scary. The reality for many littles ones, however, is that this allows them to actually get more restful sleep. Sometimes we as parents hold on to these “miracle fixes” thinking this will sustain better sleep for longer, but it can flip quickly on us when we have over used them and they are now prohibiting our littles and us from better night and day sleep.
Give yourself a lot of grace, as regardless of how you transition the first night or two will be potentially tough. Breaking a sleep association only becomes more and more difficult as your little one has more and more awareness. Whether you choose to use the weaning tool or go cold turkey, don’t beat yourself up if the first night isn’t an instant fix. More than likely this will also correlate with your journey of beginning to help your little one develop and grow their skills in self soothing. The most important thing is to be consistent. Try your best to not create a new (and potentially harder to break) sleep association you cannot sustain. This could look like physically rocking to sleep, bouncing, feeding or even as far out as driving them in the car. If you can’t see yourself doing it in a month, then don’t start now.
We do recommend that you give your little one a sleep sack, as this is a sustainable and positive sleep cue. Seeing as the Snoo has a built in swaddle (whether you used that one or swaddled independently), a sleep sack is great to introduce around this time and can be carried on for years. It also helps keep our little ones warm at night because they will not have the ability to return their covers if they fall off until later on in toddlerhood.If you are concerned about the moro (startle) reflex still waking your little one, but they have started to roll, I would recommend the zipadeezip, as this is great because their arms are covered up still, but they have the freedom to roll to their side/tummy, and it is safe for them to sleep the entire night in.
If you have survived the newborn stage by using theSnoo and you know that your baby is near to outgrow it or they have started showing developmental signs, by moving or rolling around, then it is time to transition your little one to the crib. The reality of the situation is there is no “magic transition.” Just start by putting your little one in their crib, build up a good nighttime routine, and combine that with your sleep coaching method of choice (if you are not sure what this is contact us here at A to Z Sleep Solutions), and within a couple of days your little one will have adjusted, and you will get your great sleeper back again. It’s really important for our little one’s development, for them to have that freedom of rolling/moving around so that they can find their comfortable spot and assist them with their self-soothing.
Always remember that cry it out is not the only option. If you would love some support and encouragement during this transition, please reach out for help. As sometimes having someone that has a fresh perspective and has the experience of helping support many other moms in your same place, can help it all come together much more naturally for you. Take a look at our A to Z Sleep Solutions Services and let me know how we can help you.