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Life with Baby

How to Transfer a Sleeping Baby from Your Arms to a Crib

It's easy as long as you don't mind her waking up!

Your darling little angel is finally asleep and there’s just one problem: she’s in your arms. The arms you need to cook dinner, go to the bathroom, substitute dry shampoo for yet another shower, or do just about anything you’d planned to do while she was napping. Never fear! Here’s how to transfer a sleeping baby from your arms to the crib in just 9 easy steps:

1. Wiggle at least one of your fingers loose, then turn on the white noise machine in her nursery. Though you will obviously be moving as carefully and quietly as possible, inevitably the fabric of your shirt will rub against the fabric of her shirt, creating a rustling sound that to a sleeping baby is basically as loud as setting off fireworks indoors.

2. Pull your little one away from your soft, warm human body so she can slowly adjust to the temperature of the cold, soulless room. Feel guilty about this even though there is absolutely no reason to. Hold her out in your hands like an offering to the nap goddess.

3. Bring your baby over to the corner where the crib is, but do not put her down yet. That would be a rookie move! We’re nowhere near ready to attempt a transfer. We’re just getting baby used to the corner where the crib is—the intangible things like the weight and smell of the air and the subtle changes in light from the area by the rocking chair.

4. Perform the arm test. Carefully lift your baby’s arm a few inches and let it drop down. If it flops like a piece of banana thrown from a high chair, you’re in good shape. If she stiffens, abandon ship! Try another 10 minutes of rocking and shushing and then repeat the process.

5. Gently lift your baby over the side of the crib. Do not put her down. Just hold her there, floating a few feet over the crib mattress, like a tiny genie. Count to 10. If she doesn’t wake up, move on to step 6.

6. Moving so slowly that it’s almost imperceptible to the human eye, begin to lower your baby toward the mattress. You got this! Channel every ounce of muscle control you ever gained in a barre fitness class.

7. Your hands have reached the mattress! Your baby is, unfortunately, on top of those hands. One at a time, extract your fingers from beneath your sleeping child.

8. You did it! Congratulate yourself with a silent fist pump! Wow, what should you do first? Maybe wash the dishes or pay some bills or do something for yourself for once like—no. No no, wait, no. No, it can’t be.

9. Sorry, but it is. You haven't even made it to the door and already your baby is cooing happily in her crib, eyes wide open. Check the time and realize with dismay that she's actually been sleeping for 45 minutes already. Ah well, at least she's cute.