4 Steps to Transitioning from Co-Sleeping

Hello, dear mamas.  So someone commented on YouTube the other day asking me to go back to filming my regular ‘ole vlogs.  Well, consider your wish granted, my friend… I published a vlog last week and here comes another one today, which also is in response to a viewer’s question on YouTube.

This viewer wrote in asking “How do I transition my baby to the crib after co-sleeping?”  Great question, and one with which many parents have grappled.  However, I am not the best person to answer this question since I did not co-sleep with my children as babies (I have done a bit of co-sleeping with them during vacations.)  Short of useful advice when it comes to transitioning a co-sleeping child, I turned to the Sleep Lady (great name) — here are some of her tips when it comes to stopping co-sleeping, and then one of my own based on my general experience with babies, kids and sleep.

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1. Talk about it.  Sleep Lady recommends starting a conversation with your child at least three to five days in advance before you stop co-sleeping, addressing the fact that his sleeping arrangements are about to change.  Strikes me that this piece of advice is spot on since you want your child to feel comfortable and in control of what is happening, rather than having him or her be taken by surprise, which could cause more stress and anxiety.

2. Introduce a Lovey or Transitional Object.  If your child associates sleep with their favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and then this object comes with them to their own big bed or crib, how much more comfy and secure will they feel?  Great tip.

3. Gussy Up the Bed.  Whether it be Dora or Thomas the Train sheets, surround your child with bedding and all the bells and whistles that will get him excited about his new, independent space.  Sort of like the advice you got with potty training and investing in fancy undies your child could select himself.  Oh, and consider having your child pick out these special goodies, which will make your child feel like a big kid for sure.

4. Go cold turkey.  Now here’s where I stray from this wonderful Sleep Lady’s advice.  Sleep Lady advises a few transitional nights during which you continue to stay with your child in a chair in their room.  Personally, I think it’s better to put your child down in bed once and for all, to avoid ambiguity and another potential transition (when you leave the room). Whenever things got murky in my house when it came to who slept where, that slippery slope would open up and it stuck me hard in the gut that the best thing I could do was to draw the lines very cleanly.  My two cents.

What advice would you give to a parent looking to end the co-sleeping relationship and transition their child to a bed?  Please comment below and thanks so much for watching CloudMom!