Have you been enjoying co-sleeping with your little one but feel like it’s just about time for your child to move to his or her own bed?
Is your baby no longer getting a good night’s sleep when co-sleeping?
Are you and your partner losing sleep with this sleeping arrangement?
Whatever your reason might be, you’re sure to know when it’s time to think about transitioning baby from co sleeping to crib.
In this article, we’ll provide a little information to help you understand why it might be time to stop co-sleeping earlier than you may have originally planned. You’ll learn about the potential problems associated with long-term co-sleeping and you’ll be better able to make an informed decision on whether or not it’s time for you and your little one to start sleeping separately.
After that, we’ve put together 11 of the best tips for moving baby from co sleeping to crib sleeping. Whether your child has been in a co-sleeping product or has been sharing the bed space with you from day one, you’ll find all the help you need to figure out the best method for going about this transition in your little one’s life.
Learning how to transition baby from co sleeping to crib can be challenging, and it may lead to a few fussy and sleepless nights. However, when you go into it armed with the right information, you’ll already be well on your way to success in the long run.
So let’s get started learning about making this important shift in your sleeping arrangements!
Many parents and health care professionals alike often recommend that when moving from co sleeping to crib 9 months of age is one of the latest stages you should begin. Some recommend starting the transition even earlier, while there are plenty of other parents who believe co-sleeping is fine into the toddler years and sometimes even much longer than that. While co-sleeping for a long period of time may work well for some families, there are always some downsides to this sleeping arrangement that you should keep in mind.
Whether you’re moving from co sleeping to crib 3 months of age or later on in your child’s life, there are plenty of tips that can help you make the most of this experience. In this section, we’ve put together lists of tips for moving from a bed sharing situation to a crib as well as transitioning from co sleeping to crib. No matter which method is right for you and your child, you should be able to find plenty of information to help you get started or to help you get over any hurdles you might be facing along the way, too. Read on to learn more!
If your child is sleeping in the bed with you and is not using any attachment pieces to do so, then he or she is bed sharing. (Note: a bed rail does not count as an attachment piece.) This type of co-sleeping can be a little harder to transition from, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done successfully!
When you first put your baby in a separate room, he or she is going to notice right away that something’s very wrong—or at least it’s wrong from your baby’s perspective. You can help alleviate some of the initial stress of sleeping in a strange place by sticking around for the first few nights. This way, your child will be able to see, hear, and smell you nearby just like he or she did during bed sharing, but you’ll be closer to getting back to a separate room.
You may begin the night right next to your baby’s crib, sitting in a chair or standing up so your child can see you. You may want to start by reading a bedtime story or singing a favorite bedtime song as your child begins to fall asleep. Make sure that, as your child is getting settled, he or she can see, hear, and smell you easily. This will help your child to relax and feel like falling asleep more quickly and easily while you’re still in the room.
Sleeping in the same room with your baby is not the same thing as sleeping in the same bed with him or her. If you’ve been bed sharing, you’re not doing your baby or yourself any favors by continuing to bed share in a different room. If you’re putting your baby in a crib, this is going to be pretty impossible anyway, since you wouldn’t be able to fit into your child’s bed. However, if you’re moving your baby to a toddler bed, make sure you stay out of it completely.
Your partner may be the one encouraging you to stop co-sleeping with your baby, to begin with, but even if not, you need to both try to agree to share the responsibilities of tending to a baby in a separate room. Up until this point, you might have been doing most of the work, especially if your baby has been consistently sleeping on the same side of the bed as you every night. From here on out, however, you’re both going to need to get up during the night and walk to another room to reach your baby when he or she cries.
If you’ve been bed sharing and find that your baby is absolutely not welcoming the idea of sleeping in a room entirely separate from yours, you may need to take a step back—but not all the way back. Put the crib in your room for a little while and place your baby in it when it’s time to go to bed. This will allow your baby to get used to the idea of sleeping in a crib in the first place without expecting him or her to immediately adjust to sleeping alone.
The best thing you can do for your baby during this transition period is not to set expectations that are too high. Your baby absolutely will be able to transition to sleeping in his or her own room eventually, but it’s unfair to expect a young infant to do this without crying or getting fussy at all. Prepare mentally and emotionally for your child to cry and fuss during the night, and decide ahead of time if you’re going to take a “cry it out” approach or opt for a “no-cry” version of transitioning instead.
If you’re using a bed attachment for your baby, he or she may either be sleeping in a crib or cot that is physically attached to your bed or may be using one that stands on its own right next to or hanging over your side of the bed. This type of co-sleeping may be a little easier to transition from, but it can still cause some struggles that some babies have difficulties overcoming without a little extra help from you.
A new stuffed toy or comfortable blanket can be a nice way to make your baby’s new sleeping arrangements seem better than the old ones, but if your child is still very young, this may not always be a safe option. You can ask your child’s pediatrician for recommendations about what should or shouldn’t be placed in your child’s crib. If you can’t find something that’s safe enough for use in the crib, you might try a fun new mobile or a crib aquarium to give your baby something fun to enjoy when it’s time to go to bed instead.
Yes, moving your baby from a co-sleep product to a crib is a difficult transition for everyone involved, but it may also be the right time to start night weaning. You might feel like it’s extra tough to refrain from feeding your baby as often during the night while he or she is getting used to sleeping in a separate crib, but these two stages in your child’s development can go hand-in-hand pretty well. As your baby moves to a separate room, you’ll be less likely to want to get up and feed him or her often during the night.
Your baby may feel more than a little confused when he or she is suddenly sleeping further away from you than ever before, but setting up a strict nighttime routine is a great way to help your child figure out when it’s time to get ready for bed. Your bedtime routine may include a story or song, cuddle time with you and your partner, and a variety of other activities like putting on pajamas and—when your child gets older—brushing teeth. All of this should be performed in the same order every night and around the same time, too.
Do not put a whole shirt in the bed with your baby, but consider cutting a small piece of an old t-shirt that you’ve worn over and over again and placing it in the crib. Take care to choose something that’s small enough not to be a suffocation hazard but not so small that it will become a choking hazard instead. A piece of clothing is only one option; you may be able to come up with something else that will give your baby comfort instead.
This is crucial for your baby’s safety as well as for his or her happiness. Make sure you pick a crib that’s the right size for your child and will be useful for him or her until it’s time to transition to a toddler bed. Choose a crib that has a comfortable mattress, preferably a new one, and do not put any items in your baby’s crib that aren’t necessary.
You know that you’ve been able to keep a close eye on your baby while he or she has been bed sharing or sleeping in a co-sleep attachment, but how can you be sure you’re providing your baby with the safest possible sleeping arrangement now that he or she is going to a separate bed—or even to a separate room? If you’re worried about keeping your child safe in his or her own crib, here are some tips to help you get started.
Your baby’s crib probably came with a mattress already in place, and you can usually be replacements if the original one starts to wear out. Make sure you fit it with a tight sheet that doesn’t come loose easily and won’t become a potential choking or breathing hazard for your little one.
Safety standards for baby products change almost every year, and what was considered safe enough when you were little probably wouldn’t be up to par these days. Drop-side cribs, for example, have been phased out almost entirely because they were proven to be too unsafe for most babies.
Even if you feel like these cords are out of the way, there’s always a chance your baby could reach them or something could fall into his or her crib. Prevent the risk of suffocation and choking by keeping these items safely far away from your baby at all times.
Sleeping on the sides or stomach can significantly increase the risk of SIDS in children under one year of age. However, eventually, your baby will learn to roll onto his or her side or stomach while sleeping. It’s okay if your baby does this naturally but always put him or her to bed starting out flat on the back.
It’s better to err on the side of cooler clothes and use a baby sleeper if you’re worried about your child getting too cold during the night.
By keeping these helpful safety tips in mind, you’ll be able to provide a safe sleeping experience for your child even after it’s time for him or her to go to a separate crib or even an entirely different room of your home. There are a lot of other important safety tips to keep in mind when you’re thinking about how to set up your baby’s crib and how to put him or her to sleep safely every night, so make sure to do your research before time to make your sleeping arrangement transition for best results.
We hope we’ve given you some helpful information about how to get co sleeping baby to sleep in a crib, whether you’ve been sharing the bed with your little one or enjoying a co-sleeping attachment instead. This can be a difficult time, especially if the two of you have been truly enjoying the co-sleeping experience up until now, but eventually, it’s going to be time to change your sleeping arrangements.
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If you’re still having trouble getting baby to sleep in crib after co sleeping, you may need to speak with your child’s pediatrician for more suggestions. Some babies will take to the new change a lot more readily than others, and if your baby is struggling with this transition, don’t worry. Eventually, he or she will enjoy sleeping in a separate bed and even in a separate room, but you may need to be a little more patient in the meantime.
Good luck with your co-sleeping transition, and sleep tight!