How to Get Your Baby Used to Their Cot: Easing the Transition

6 min read

Last Modified 17 August 2023 First Added 17 August 2023

Making the transition from rocking your baby every night in your arms to finally allowing them to sleep in their cot can be a longer process for some compared to others.

In this guide, we will answer all your questions: why it is an important transition to make, when is the right time, how to get your baby to sleep in their crib, our tips and tricks, and reasons why your baby may be rejecting their cot.

Why is it important that babies sleep in a cot?

As your little one grows in those early years, experts recommend that providing them with their own sleep space becomes increasingly more important.

When you co-sleep with your baby every night, you are slowly tiring yourself and your relationships out more and more. Disrupted sleep, your partner’s back is beginning to hurt from weird body positions, and as a couple you are unable to bond as you have a baby between you.

A key part for your baby’s sleep independence is reducing the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the NHS, this is a sudden death where no cause can be found.

Co-sleeping can be done safely, but it is always the safest option for a baby to sleep in a cot as these have been designed with a baby’s well-being as the priority. For more comprehensive advice, feel free to explore resources from organisations like the NHS or blogs written by the Lullaby Trust regarding co-sleeping advice.

Baby in bassinet.

When is the right time to move your baby from a bassinet to a cot?

This can vary between each child. Keep a look out for signs to show your baby is outgrowing their bassinet, for example, struggling to sleep comfortably, or becoming fussier during sleep and naptime.

It is also key to consider safety factors in terms of their development, such as if your baby is beginning to roll over on their own.

How to transition your baby to a cot?

Patience and consistency are essential for transitioning your baby to their new sleep space. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Use the cot for day naps: Introduce the cot during your daytime naps together, your baby will become familiar with it gradually.
  2. Place the cot side by side with your bed: This allows your baby the comfort of being able to see and sense your near, providing support and safety until they adjust.
  3. Familiar scents: Make the cot welcoming by having your little one sleep with their bed sheet, this way they can have a familiar scent around. Remember not to give it to your baby as a comforter, as you want to avoid loose blankets or bedding as this can be unsafe.
  4. Gradual separations: Slowly reduce the amount of time you stand or sit there soothing your baby to sleep, help guide them in learning how to self-soothe.

For baby’s older than six months and you are now wanting to move them into their own room, here are some additional tips to consider that can make the transition smooth:

  • Move your baby next to your bed at first, once they can sleep all night in their cot, that is a wonderful sign to know they are ready for their own room.
  • Play consistently in your little one’s room, make them become familiar with the new environment and associate it with feeling safe and happy!
  • Possibly consider moving into your little one’s bedroom for the first few nights just so your baby can get used to it. Having you nearby will help soothe them or alternatively just stay with them until they are asleep.

In need of a safe cot or travel cot for your little one but unsure which are suitable? Shop the full range of travels cots and carriers today.

3 Tips for babies that will only sleep in your arms

For those parents finding it challenging to transition your baby from being held to sleeping in their cot, here are a few times to address different issues:

Create Motion

Mimicking motions that your baby loves will provide them with comfort even when you may not be holding them or in the same room. We suggest baby equipment such as a baby bouncer, swing or rocker. These are great to give you some time to relax while your baby is being supported.

Soothing Sounds

Experts have suggested that incorporating calming white noise or soft lullabies can be wonderfully soothing for your baby to relax and eventually sleep. These sounds replicate the sounds they associate with your arms and womb, bringing them true relief.

Comfortable Cot

Using a comfortable mattress can go a long way in a making your cot perfect. Add some soft toys or a piece of clothing that carries your scent for the perfect welcome.

Every baby has their own personality and is completely unique. Feel free to experiment with different methods and approaches until you find what works best for you.

Baby being held.

Reasons why your baby might be suddenly fussy and how to fix it?

If your baby suddenly becomes fussy and has trouble sleeping in their cot, there could be a variety of reasons for this:


Your little one might be having a mini tooth poke out soon, which is discomforting and can disrupt their sleeping patterns. Explore rattles and teething toys to find the best tools to soothe them.


Illness for babies, like adults’, can cause sleep disruptions. Prioritise your child’s comfort, offer loving cuddles, we suggest baby toys for extra cuddles and consult your GP if needed.

Separation Anxiety

At times, babies can struggle sleeping when they cannot sense or see their caregiver’s presence. Take the necessary steps to gradually introduce them to their cot as mentioned above and provide comfort along the way. Some babies need more patience than others.

Changing sleep pattern

Sleeping patterns changing is inevitable when your little one begins to grow. Be patient and adjust to their routine accordingly.


In summary, navigating this transitional period has its ups and downs, but the main takeaway is to be patient, consistent, and attentive to your baby’s needs. Difficult sleeping patterns are just a phase, and like any other phase, it soon shall pass!

If you need some developmental toys to assist your baby’s learning skills, have a look at the full range at Early Learning Centre.

To read our disclaimers, please click here.

You may also like