How can I transition my baby to a crib?

Q: My baby has been sleeping in our bed. When and how do I transition him to his crib?

A: You should anticipate the future, according to Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center, Children's Hospital in Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep, revised edition (HarperCollins). "If you want the baby in his crib by a year, the best time to start making the change is at 3 months of age—before habits are firmly established," she says. That said, small steps are best. "Take a week—or several—and do the baby's bedtime ritual in his room," Mindell says. "Put him to sleep in his crib. When he wakes up at night, bring him into your bed. Go slowly; it's a big transition." (Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against bed-sharing. Find out more about bedsharing here.)