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How To Help Baby Sleep in a Cot

Getting baby to sleep in a cot can be a tall order. Sometimes it’s a little unnerving for baby to be moved farther away from the comfort of Mum and Dad, and most of the time it’s very unnerving for Mum and Dad! But don’t worry, you’ll soon and forget what all the worry was about in the first place.

To help ease you into the transition we’ve put together our top tips and advice, perfect for getting baby sleeping in a cot for the first time.

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

There’s no reason your baby can’t sleep in a cot from birth, as long as you’re careful about the blankets and bedding you choose.

Many parents, however, prefer to choose a smaller bed such as a moses basket or crib for those early weeks. This will help you keep an eye on your sleeping baby at all times. If you choose to do this, you’ll want to think about transitioning your baby to a cot when they reach four to six months old. This is the time they’ll begin to push up onto their hands and knees and sit unaided, making the relatively shallow sides of a crib or basket potentially unsafe.

Moving your baby from crib to cot

Whether it’s down to safety, or simply that your baby has become too big for their newborn bed, 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 life! If this is your first baby it’s normal to worry about not being able to keep a close eye on your little one 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 cot, and then gradually move them farther away until they end up in their own room.


Getting baby to sleep in cot

Whether your baby is sleeping in a cot for the first time or you’re transitioning them from a smaller crib, there are plenty of things you can try to maximise their chances of getting a good night’s sleep:
  • Keep baby safe: Even young babies can wriggle a surprising amount, that’s why it’s important that when putting baby to sleep in cot, you place them on their back with their feet right at the bottom. This ensures they won’t end up slipping down underneath their bedding.
    • Choose the right bedding: Creating a comfortable sleeping environment with cosy bedding will go a long way to help baby sleep in their cot. For ideas and advice check out our Baby Bedding Guide.
    • Introduce baby to 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. Once baby is used to napping there, getting them to sleep in the cot at night should be much easier.
    • Ease the transition: If your baby has been used to sleeping in a moses basket, place the basket inside the cot for a few nights before putting baby to sleep in the cot for the first time. This will help them get used to their new surroundings.
    • It’s never too early for 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 baby should feel ready to fall asleep when you place them into their cot.
    • Warm the mattress: If baby will not sleep in the cot and simply wakes up crying every time you put them down, try warming the bed surface a little with a hot water bottle and removing it before you place baby in the cot. This should help them settle and fall asleep more easily.
    • Create a restful sleep environment: Dim the lights and 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 your little one.
    If you’re wondering how to help baby sleep in a cot, why not try some of the ideas above? It may be a case of trial and error to find out what works for you, but your persistence will be rewarded when you see your baby sleeping in their cot for the first time, allowing you to get a good night’s rest too.

    Looking for more tips? Visit our Baby Sleep Advice hub to get sleep tips that will help the entire family get a restful night’s sleep.