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10 Tips To Help Your Baby Transition From Co-sleeping To His Own Bed

5 min read

Co-sleeping to Toddler Bed
Parenthood presents both challenges and changes. Your entire routine transforms. Gone are those cosy, cuddly nights with your husband. He might have shifted to the extreme end of the bed or altogether to another room. Do you yearn for your sleeping space spiced up with your husband’s closeness? Then it’s time to strive to get those back. It’s the end of co-sleeping with your kid and advancing him to his own bed. Your child is your life and you don’t wish the slightest discomfort for him. But this must happen sooner or later. The later it happens, the more problematic it is. You are not only missing on your “couple time” but spoiling your child to be more emotionally dependent on you.

Transitioning Your Child From Co-Sleeping To His Own Bed

Making a change and end your co-sleeping relationship with your little one will seen tough at first, and the first step is to prepare yourself. If you are sure that you do want to do this and are ready for the transition, then you must take steps to make this huge transition happen smoothly and patiently. Transitioning your child into a separate bed or even a separate room would take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, depending on how long your child has been co-sleeping with you. Actually, the younger the baby, the smooth and easier the process of ending the co-sleeping relationship. Here are 10 tips to make the transition from co-sleeping to toddler bed easier for both you and your child.

10 Tips To Help Your Child Sleep Separately

    1. Have a chat with your tot: Share your plan of new sleep arrangements with your toddler. Tell him about his new and exclusive sleeping space. The more you mention the change, the more he will have time to process, think, and become aware about bed change. You can even read him a story about children who sleep well through the night. Books are a wonderful way to communicate. Talk about other kids who are not co-sleeping. Clap and show how impressed you are with such kids. Start these conversations atleast a few weeks ago before actually implementing the same
    2. Introduce a sleep buddy: Up till now your child has associated you and your hug with sleep. Hand him a stuffed toy or comfy blanket preferably slightly scented with your body mist/perfume. The child connects with it and on identifying your smell, it makes up for your absence. It soothes and provides security. Make it a part of your daily routine. For instance, let him have the toy during meals. However, be careful that this transitional object does not pose any choking hazards
    3. Appoint your child as the designer: Take your kid for shopping the crib or toddler bed. Let him select the crib or the bed and soft toys. Emphasize on the new items for the big boy/girl – new blanket, sheets and of course, the sleep buddy. Let him choose the sheets, and every time he does make a choice, accentuate the confidence by saying ‘you have grown up’. Your child feels he has some control and is enthralled with the newness
    4. Take one step at a time: Start by introducing crib/bed during daytime naps. Do not simply shoot him out of your bedroom. Make one transition at a time. Let him get used to crib as his sleeping place. Then progress towards sleeping in the crib at night. Stay with him till he settles. Keep a chair nearby, hold his hand if he cries. When he is settled in the crib, try increasing the space between the crib and your bed. Gradually, move the bed to a different room. Sleepover some nights so that he does not feel left out

Is co-sleeping a problem

    1. Stay close, within an arm’s reach: As your child struggles with the crib, be sure to let him know you are there with him. Keep the crib close to you. You should be able to hold his hand from your bed. It saves you the trouble of leaving your bed. It is always better to make teh transition in the same room first before moving the child in another room
    2. Stick to a bed time routine: It’s time to establish sleep discipline, if you still haven’t. Devise a specific routine for your child before night’s sleep. It could be: brushing (if he’s old enough) – bathing – listening story – Goodnight and kiss. The story and goodnight part should now be performed in his crib
    3. Recede: During this transition, do not co-sleep. Your kid expects to be awake as he was put to sleep – in your arms. Failing to find your around makes him insecure and he feels as if he cannot trust.. Place him in the crib/bed when he’s drowsy and let him sleep in the crib/bed

Handover a soft toy

  1. Positive reinforcement: Reward your kid if he sleeps through the night. Remind him how proud you are of him and how he is liek a growing boy. Praise him generously. You can let him select fruits for cereals in the morning or make him his favorite milkshake
  2. Create environment conducive to sleep: Remove TV, toys and other electronic devices from your child’s sleeping space. Make sure that the mattress and blanket are comfortable. Do give him a bedtime snack such as warm milk or fruits. Dim the lights and switch your phone to silent mode. Play lullabies
  3. Be firm and consistent: These new sleep arrangements are unnerving for your child. There may be incidences of lapses. If your child tries to slip in your bed, act immediately. Express this as unacceptable and firmly take him back to his bed/room. Do not co-sleep. Consistency is the key

Your toddler is far more adaptable than you think. He will protest at first, which is normal and expected. Do not co-sleep because he cries or is unwell. You don’t want psychosomatic disorders cropping up! A week or two is fleeting but it will help your whole family adjust to the new sleeping arrangements. Your child prefers to be held snugly and put to sleep because that’s exactly how it was during 9 months of pregnancy. It’s not easy for either of you, but practice patience and you will be rewarded!

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