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How To Help Baby Sleep in a Cot

Moving baby into a cot can be a tall order. Sometimes it’s a little unnerving for your little one to be pushed farther away from the comfort of what they know, and most of the time it’s very unsettling for Mum and Dad too (and you wouldn’t be the only ones)! Knowing what age to put baby in a cot can throw you off too – particularly with lots of people putting their two pence in. But don’t worry, with our guide, you’ll soon forget what all the worry was about in the first place.

To help ease you into the transition of Moses to cot, we’ve put together our top tips and advice on how to get baby to sleep in a cot.

What’s the right age for putting baby to sleep in cot?

Wondering what age to put baby in a cot? There’s no reason why your little one can’t sleep in a cot from birth, as long as you’re careful about the blankets and bedding you choose.

Although you might prefer to go from Moses basket to cot instead (as a lot of parents do). That way, you can keep an eye on your little one at all times. Then, think about moving baby into a cot at about four to six months old. It’s around this age that baby will start to explore and move around freely, so you’ll want to make sure that they’re safe and secure in a proper cot – because we all know how quickly babies can move when they want to!

Moving baby into a cot

Little ones grow a little bit more every day so, before you know it, they’ll have grown out of their Moses basket and it will be time to thinking about moving baby into a cot. But the decision to move your little one to a cot can be a difficult one. Often this transition means moving baby from your bedroom to their own room – a big step in a little person’s (and a parent’s) life! If this is your first baby, it’s normal to worry about not being able to keep a close eye on them when they’re asleep. And the idea of having to move to a different room for night-time feeds can be a concern too. But take small steps. You can even start off with baby’s cot in your room so that they can take comfort in still seeing you from their new bed, before gradually moving them farther away until they end up in their own room.

Baby not sleeping in a cot?

Whether your newborn won’t settle in a cot or you’re transitioning baby from a smaller crib, there are plenty of things you can try to help them drift off:
  • Keep them safe: You’ll be surprised at how much young babies can wriggle which is why it’s important that, when putting a baby in a cot, you place them on their back with their feet right at the bottom. This makes sure they don’t end up slipping down underneath their bedding.
    • Choose the right bedding: Picture a comfortable sleeping environment with cosy bedding – sounds good, right? It will go a long way to help baby sleep in their cot. If you’re wondering what the best bedding is, check out our Baby Bedding Guide.
    • Put baby in a cot in the daytime: Starting with playtimes, get baby used to the cot in daylight so it’s a familiar place to be when you put them down at night. Next, tackle daytime naps when you’re feeling less tired and more patient (that time will come, we promise!). Once they’re used to napping there, moving baby into a cot at night should be much easier.
    • Ease the transition: Baby not sleeping in a cot? If they have been used to sleeping in a Moses basket, place it inside the cot for a few nights before moving baby into a cot for the first time. This will help them get used to their new surroundings.
    • It’s never too early for a routine: Get baby used to the idea that it’s bedtime with a relaxing routine that involves, for example, a bath, a story, milk and cuddles. And keep to the same times each night. That way they should feel ready to fall asleep when you place them into their cot.
    • Warm the mattress: If your newborn won’t settle in a cot and they just wake up crying, try warming the bed surface a little with a hot water bottle and removing it before you put them to sleep. This should help them settle and drift off more easily.
    • Create a restful sleep environment: Dim the lights, speak in hushed voices and make sure you keep the room at the right temperature for sleep. Baby will soon learn that this signals night time. You could even introduce white noise if you find this settles them.
Are you hoping for a little more sleep for you and your little one? Why not try some of our ideas on how to get baby to sleep in a cot? It may be a case of trial and error, but your persistence will be rewarded when you see your baby sleeping in their cot for the first time – and you’ll get to celebrate with a good night’s sleep yourself.
Looking for more help? Visit our Baby Sleep Advice Hub to get sleep tips and advice that will help the entire family get a restful night’s sleep.