When our newest baby was born, the crib was already occupied by her older sister, who had just turned two. For the first six months, the baby slept in a tiny portable crib, which worked like a charm (and didn’t take up too much room in our bedroom). But once our toddler learned how to climb out of the crib, it was time to move her to a toddler bed and put our baby into the full-size crib. It took a few days, but our baby quickly got the hang of sleeping in her new crib. If you’re looking at making the transition to a crib too, here are a few tips:

1. Start with bedtime. Most babies go down more consistently and stay down better with bedtime than with naps, so consider starting there and letting them continue to nap in their little bed until they’re used to it.

2. Keep the other surroundings the same. If they were sleeping in your room, try putting the crib in your room for a few days so they everything doesn’t change at once.

3. Make it cozy. Get a crib sheet that is nice and soft, rather than scratchy. Plus, even though my baby doesn’t really care about a cute design, it just makes it feel so much more finished to me.

4. Use sleep aids. Our baby has always slept with a pacifier, in a swaddle, and with a sound machine. By starting her with those from the beginning, it was much easier for her to recognize it was bedtime even if the crib seemed different.

5. Don’t go right in. The first couple of times we put our baby down in the crib, she was so interested in this new (big!) space that it took her a few minutes to drop off. She was talking loudly to herself, making little squawks of excitement, and kicking her tiny feet around. My first instinct was to go right in, but my husband reminded me that she wasn’t crying or upset – just trying to figure out this new space! After a few minutes, she settled right down and drifted off.

Moving your little baby into a big crib can be an exciting and nerve-wracking step, but it doesn’t have to ruin sleeping for everyone.