Every parent inwardly jumps for joy once their baby finally falls asleep after hours of rocking, cooing, lullabies and maybe even a feed. Perhaps you are a parent of a newborn and just discovering the struggles of getting your baby to sleep, or maybe you’ve been a parent for a while but still struggle when it come to your baby and bed time? It’s a feat many parents will struggle with and the joy of seeing your baby finally nod of is something like nothing else. But what if they have fallen asleep in their car seat, their pram or in your arms and you need to transfer them gently down elsewhere so they can get the z’s they need? How can you move a sleeping baby without waking them or hearing those dreaded cries? Well, moving a sleeping baby is not so different from deactivating a bomb. You must move slowly, gently, carefully and take a few things into consideration if you want to move your sleeping baby without waking them.
So, How Do You Move a Sleeping Baby Without Waking Them?
In all honesty, there is no magic trick when it comes to moving a sleeping baby without waking them. It’s the combination of perfect conditions, an ideal environment and a lot of patience that will allow you to move your sleeping baby without waking them. Below we have detailed some of the most important things to consider when trying to move your baby while their sleeping:
- Make Sure You Have Ideal Conditions: If you think your baby might be about to fall asleep, then make sure that you have done their pre-nap or night-time routine, so they have a lovely cosy sleeping environment. This routine can include making sure your baby is wearing comfortable, breathable clothes for sleeping in and if it is cold you could also try pre-heating their cot or bassinet with a hot water bottle – as being put in a cold crib is a sure way to wake your baby up.
- Create a Quiet and Peaceful Environment: Do your best to make sure your baby falls asleep somewhere where there won’t be any sudden or loud noises. Another good idea is to use a white noise machine – turn it on as your baby is falling asleep and then as you transfer them as well, moving the machine into the space where you lay your baby down. A white noise machine can help to calm your baby, reducing the chances of them waking.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race: When moving a sleeping baby you must take your time and make sure that you lift your baby correctly - First slide one hand, with splayed fingers, gently under their head, making sure to also support their neck and support their bottom with the other hand. Use the same method putting them down, with one hand supporting their head and neck and the other under their bottom. Bend your knees so you are as low and as close to the crib as possible and lay them down gently and slowly. Then, withdraw the hand that is under the bottom and place this hand lightly on their tummy for reassurance as you withdraw your hand from underneath their head and they lay flat. Ensure you do not pull away too fast, as any sudden movements could wake up your baby.
- Make Sure They Are in a Deep Sleep First: If you try to move your baby as soon as they close their eyes, it is likely that they are in a light stage of sleep. One way of testing if your baby is in a deep enough sleep stage is the arm test: lift your baby’s arm and drop it. If they don’t show any signs of stirring, they are ready to be transferred. Another method is to check they are breathing deeply and their muscles are relaxed. If they do stir when you try to move them, wait at least 20 minutes before trying again.
- Use the Snugglebundl: Though possible, all parents know just how difficult it is to move a sleeping baby without waking them. The Snugglebundl takes away all the struggle, all the guesswork and all the worry about waking your sleeping baby as you pick them up and put them down. Essentially a blanket with handles, the Snugglebundl provides full head, neck and body support for your baby thanks to the hammock like design, making it simpler than ever before to transfer a sleeping baby.
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How to Move Your Baby into Their Crib Without Waking Them?
The toughest part about moving a sleeping baby is transferring them down in to their cot from your arms. Below we have given you some more ideas and tips to try for when moving a sleeping baby into their crib without waking them:
- Try a Night Light: Most babies will be sensitive to light and changes in room brightness even when they are asleep. You don’t want to take your sleeping baby from a dimly lit room and then have to plunge them into brightness. You also don’t want to take them into a completely dark room and risk tripping over. So, before your baby’s nap or before you think they might be about to fall asleep, turn on a dim night light near their crib. It’s also worth making sure that you have a clear path to their cot, reducing the risk of tripping and any sudden movements.
- Snuggle Them Up to Their Favourite Toy or Blanket: Most babies have a cuddly toy or safety blanket which provides them comfort. If your baby is about to fall asleep in your arms, get their favourite toy, pop it in their arms and as you lay them down, make sure the toy stays with them. This will give them a soothing sense of stability and something to hold on to.
- Place a Worn Item of Your Clothing in the Crib: When you place your baby down in their cot with a worn item of your clothing, they are less likely to realise they are no longer being cuddled because they will still be able to smell you. A vest, non-fluffy jumper or t-shirt would be ideal to lay your baby down with!
How to Move Your Sleeping Baby From The Car?
So now you have the ultimate test. All parents know that trying to wriggle their hands underneath a sleeping baby to lift them out of the car seat, all the while supporting their head, their body and not hurting your back, is practically impossible. The more upright position of a car seat also presents challenges. Most parents will leave a sleeping baby in their car seat and carry the whole weighty car seat inside. However, this is problematic. You should not let your baby sleep in their car sea for too long. Studies show that the longer a baby is in a car seat the more their oxygen levels drop, meaning a baby should not be asleep in their car seat for any longer than necessary. Furthermore, car seats are cumbersome to carry (even for the strongest parents!), meaning they can put a real strain on your back. This is where the Snugglebundl comes in. The Snugglebundl was designed to help parents lift their baby out of the car seat, pram or shopping trolley and into their arms without waking them up. With the hammock-like design of this lift and lay transfer blanket, it not only makes picking up and putting down your baby easier, but provides you with the perfect solution to taking your baby out of the car seat asleep! It also makes a brilliant car seat liner, cosy nap wrap and is made of a dense but thin and breathable material, making it perfectly safe for car seat use as it won’t compress in a crash. It fits in any car seat, has been crash tested, and is described by parents as a “real life-saver”.
So, What Are The Best Options When Moving A Sleeping Baby?
Moving a sleeping baby is no easy task, but with practice, patience and a Snugglebundl you are sure to master the art of keeping your little one soundly snoozing as you get them from A to B. When your baby is successfully settled and sleeping, it’s time for you to make yourself a celebratory cup of tea and do some much-needed self-care.