A bolt of fear strikes any time a parent hears the word “transition” or “wean.” Change can be overwhelming and scary! So, if you’re frantically Googling “How to wean from SNOO,” let me ease your worries: As a pediatrician and baby sleep expert, I can assure you that transitioning your baby from SNOO to crib doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if your baby is between 5 to 6 months old, they’re ready to wave bye-bye to SNOO’s all-night, responsive rocking. Really! Their brain is much more mature than a newborn’s. (I don’t recommend weaning before this time, because between months 1 and 4—or what I call the fourth trimester—babies really need womb-like sensations to sleep well.) 

For a smooth transition, all you have to do is time your SNOO weaning right and follow these simple SNOO transition tips.

When to wean from SNOO

You may be surprised to learn that having your baby’s toes touch the bottom of SNOO does not mean it’s time to wean. In fact, it helps your little one keep their legs slightly bent, which aids in developing their hips. Rest assured, my award-winning SNOO was designed to comfortably hold babies up to 6 months old who weigh a maximum of 25 pounds—or until your little one can get on their hands and knees. 

And know this: Once your bub reaches 5 to 6 months old, they no longer crave all-night motion or swaddling like they did in their earlier days. In short, your 6-month-old is ready for the crib!

“We were super nervous about moving [our daughter] to her crib because she loved SNOO so much,” says mom Sasha L. “We didn’t want to just rip the bandaid off, so we decided to start using Weaning Mode about a month before moving her to the crib. To our surprise, she was TOTALLY fine. It would still rock her if she cried, but other than that stayed still. Honestly she was probably ready to switch to her crib before we were ready for her to!”

Related: Dr. Harvey Karp’s secrets for sleep training a toddler  

How to help wean baby from SNOO

Step 1: Start with baby’s arms

Have you noticed the snaps at the shoulders of your SNOO Sack? Now it’s time to use them. Simply undo the snaps on one side and let one of your baby’s arms out. Start by setting just one arm free. After a few nights of good sleep with one arm out, you can let the other out. But, if your baby startles themselves awake with one arm free, go back to both arms swaddled and try one-arm-out again in a week. 

(P.S.: Some babies start to get ready for arms-out around 3 to 4 months. But that does not mean they’re ready to trade SNOO for the crib. Again, I highly recommend baby remains in SNOO until 6 months old or 25 pounds.)

Related: It’s science: This 5-minute walk-sit routine can help your baby fall asleep faster  

Step 2: Switch to SNOO Weaning Mode

Once your baby is sleeping well with both arms out for at least a week, it’s time to activate Weaning Mode. With SNOO Weaning Mode, your baby will continue hearing soothing white noise, but there will be no rocking… unless your baby cries. If your baby becomes upset, SNOO will respond as usual—with motion and sound—until your little one is soothed. Once your baby is calm, SNOO will gradually return to some sound, but no motion.

To turn on Weaning Mode, grab your phone, head to the SNOO app, and go to Settings (the icon is at the bottom of your screen). Find Modes, then toggle to Weaning. You’ll know that you’ve successfully turned Weaning Mode on when a “W” appears on the Dashboard page.

Related: ​​The pandemic drastically increased rates of postpartum depression. Dr. Harvey Karp shares what could help mothers now

Step 3: Move to the crib

Once your baby has been sleeping well with both arms out and with SNOO on Weaning Mode for about one to two weeks, you’re ready to make the transition to the crib. To help the process along, continue with your baby’s familiar and relaxing bedtime routine, complete with dimming the lights 30 to 60 minutes prior to lights-out.

Related: Is the SNOO worth it?

Making crib-sleep easier

For many parents, weaning from SNOO to crib goes hand-in-hand with transitioning your baby to their own room. (It’s recommended that your little one snoozes in your room for at least 6 months.) If this is you, familiarize your baby with their room during the day with some quiet play, storytime and snuggles.

And since babies love the familiar, it’s a good idea to offer as many recognizable sleepytime sensations as you can. For instance, keep your bedtime routine nearly identical to your SNOO bedtime routine. 

And continue playing white noise for all naps and nights. You can even go on playing the SNOO sounds your baby has grown accustomed to snoozing to! SNOObear, my white noise lovey, plays award-winning SNOO sounds—plus three new comforting rhythms—for 30 or 60 minutes. 

Related: 15 real mamas share their bedtime routines with their kids

After SNOObear finishes, it “pays attention” for 3 more hours, ready to start playing white noise again—and level up—if your little one starts to fuss. (Safely strap SNOObear to the outside of Baby’s crib until your baby reaches a year old.) I recommend continuing with white noise throughout the toddler years and beyond to maintain good sleep.

Finally, if your baby weighs 26 pounds or less, there’s another way to keep their crib sleep routine similar to their SNOO sleep routine—and that’s with our large Sleepea swaddle. The award-winning Sleepea is, essentially, our SNOO Sack without the wings. 

And when both of your baby’s arms are free (a must!), you can think of Sleepea as a sleep sack. Sleepea’s familiar swaddle-like feeling might add a bit more comfort to your little SNOO grad. (While swaddling with arms down is 100% safe in SNOO up to 6 months, please remember that it’s decidedly not safe to have a rolling baby swaddled in the crib.)

The bottom line 

In the end, remember there’s no rush to wean your baby from SNOO. Parents who try to transition from SNOO to the crib at 3 or 4 months often find their baby does well at first… only to have their nights disrupted by a sleep regression or a growth spurt. I recommend you wait to start weaning until 5 or 6 months.