How to Transition Baby From Co-Sleeping to Crib
Making the decision 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 multiple night feedings and wakeups, it seems almost more convenient to have your baby sleep with you in your bed. 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, one that is made because either one or both of you are not getting quality sleep at night. 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.
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 babies. I have a whole 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 sleep in their crib.
Start With Naps
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 own sleep to tend to the needs of your baby. Naptime is also a great time to start the transition. Because this time will allow your baby to get used to their new surroundings in shorter stretches.
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 can be very helpful to your baby feeling at ease while they transition to the crib and fall asleep in their new sleep environment.
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. All while they are sleeping safely in their own space.
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. However, 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 own 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. You can learn how to put your kids to bed (in their crib or room) and gain back valuable time for yourself and your family! 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. Baby and toddler sleep is key to their growth and development. Co-sleeping can often cause disruptive sleep for parents as well as their kids. Making the decision 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 big kid get their sleep on track. And get them sleeping independently in their bed and out of yours.