How to Transition Baby From Co-Sleeping to Crib
Deciding to transition your baby from co-sleeping to sleeping independently in their crib can be a tough task for parents. Most families don’t set out planning on co-sleeping, it typically happens out of necessity. Between the crying, multiple nighttime feedings, and wakes, it seems almost more convenient to have your baby sleep with you in your bed to get through those sleepless nights. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages co-sleeping due to the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). They do, however, recommend room sharing or having your baby sleep in a safe sleep space in your room. The safest place for your baby to sleep is a flat, firm surface. With nothing else around them (no blankets, pillows, bumpers, lovies, etc).
Your baby (and you!!) have gotten used to bed sharing and often find comfort in the closeness of co-sleeping. It’s a hard decision to make. But usually, it’s made because either one or both of you are sleep deprived. Luckily, it is possible to change this habit and help teach your baby to sleep independently so that you can reclaim your bed! It will take a bit of time, effort, and consistency to get your baby to sleep in a new environment- but it can be done. If you are ready to transition from co-sleeping to independent sleep, take a read through this gradual approach!
How to Transition Baby from Co-Sleeping to Crib
If you haven’t already, establish a bedtime routine that you can follow for naps and bedtime. This is HUGE for helping babies sleep through the night. I have an entire post dedicated to bedtime routines and why they are important. When transitioning your baby from co-sleeping to their crib, starting with a consistent bedtime routine to cue them that it’s time for bed is the first step towards a good night’s sleep in their crib. There are lots of baby sleep products to help your little one sleep through the night!
It’s Nap Time
Naps are a great place to start when transitioning your baby from your bed to their own sleeping space. Naps are a great starting point because you’re not being woken up from your sleep to tend to your baby’s needs. Naptime is also a great time to start the transition, allowing your baby to get used to their new surroundings in shorter stretches while you’re already awake.
Sit By the Crib
Sitting by the crib while your baby is falling asleep can be very helpful and comforting to your baby. Since you have been co-sleeping, your baby is used to and finds comfort in you being nearby. Offering a hand through the crib rails or gently rubbing their back for soothing can be very helpful to your baby feeling at ease while they transition to the crib and fall asleep in their new sleep environment. This can be a very effective method for babies 12 months and older!
Move Their Crib Into Your Room
If you have the space, moving your baby’s crib into your room is a great way to stop co-sleeping while still maintaining the closeness of having your baby nearby. With the crib in your room, you can still quickly respond to your baby while they are sleeping safely in their own space. This can be a great gradual approach to start with and can be less overwhelming for you!
Move Into Their Room
If moving the crib into your room isn’t an option, you can temporarily move into your baby’s room. This isn’t meant to be a long-term solution, but it can be very helpful in maintaining the closeness of having your baby nearby without sharing a bed. Once your baby has gotten used to their new sleeping arrangements, you can go back to sleeping in your room.
Depending on your baby’s age, sleep training is, in my opinion, the best way to transition your baby to sleep in their crib. By working with a sleep consultant, I can help you set up a plan to teach you and your baby how to sleep independently in their own space. I can help you overcome overwhelming sleep problems by developing healthy sleep patterns. Learn how to put your kids to bed (in their crib or room) and gain back valuable time for yourself and your family! When you successfully sleep train, you can finally get to sleep and stay asleep. I have a whole blog post that talks about the benefits of sleep training and how they have an impact on the entire family.
Sleep is a vital part of life for everyone, especially for kids. For babies and toddlers, sleep is key to their growth and development. Co-sleeping can often cause disruptive sleep, a fussy baby, and exhausted kids and parents. Deciding to transition your child to sleep in their crib is the first step in teaching them healthy sleep habits that they will carry with them throughout their life. If your child is older, you can still make the decision to stop co-sleeping and transition them to sleeping in their own space. I have multiple different packages and support options available to help you and your child sleep better independently- in their bed and out of yours.