If you’re a parent, then you are possibly very aware of the positive impacts and effects of Co sleeping on your relationship. Not just your relationship with your partner, but your relationship with your child. Cosleeping is the biological norm, but it’s not the norm for many people, which is why we have nurseries and cribs and setups for babies that make them sleep away from their parents. In many cultures across the world however, co-sleeping is the norm because like in the animal Kingdom, as parents we want to be close to our children and be responsive to their needs.
Safe Co sleeping is something that if anybody is co sleeping with a child they need to adhere to, but there are plenty of benefits to safely co sleeping with your children, as you may already know. However, there does come a time when your safe Co sleeping environment becomes less safe because you get less sleep with your child moving more and more in the night or becoming too big to share the bed with. If you’re ready to make a change and you are ready to end that cosleeping relationship, then the best thing you can do is learn how to transition your child so that it’s easy for everybody. If you’ve been Co sleeping for some time now, you are going to find it difficult to let go of this nighttime snuggles. While you can still do it, it’s time to start shopping around for a mattress for toddler bed, a nice chest of drawers and get their bedroom really ready for them to have their own little space. It will take some getting used to to go back to a relationship where you sleep in separate beds, but it’s beneficial for you both to have that space as much as it has been for you to sleep together. So if you are ready to end your cosleeping relationship, here are the top tips that you need to transition your Co sleeper to their own bed.
Talk about it
The conversation of going back to a separate sleep environment will all depend on the age of the child. For example, you’re not going to sit and have a lengthy conversation with a one year old about the fact that they need to go and sleep in a toddler bed. Now you may, however, want to make space to talk to your 8 year old about it because you are ready for them to be in their own bed again. You should also discuss it with your partner because a family bed has been the norm for you guys for many years, which means that you need to have a conversation about transition. You and your partner have to be on the same page and work together to make this transition a success, and it’s not always going to be the easiest thing to do. In fact, that transition of moving your child from your bed into their bed, especially when you get up through the night, is going to take away your sleep, and you both have to be ready for that. If your child is old enough for a conversation, then it’s time to sit down and start discussing what it would be like for them to sleep in their bed in their room. Because they are a big boy or a big girl now, and it’s time that they learn to sleep on their own.
Give them something to transition with
You can take it in as many big or baby steps as you like, but it’s actually a lot easier to transition your Co sleeper into their own bed if you start with their bed in your room. So what that would look like is having a floor bed with a mattress for your child to sleep on next to your bed. If they come into your bed through the night, you then have to just transition them to the mattress on the floor. They are still in your environment and they can still hear you and see you and know where you are, but it just means they are not directly laying down next to you in your space. This is a good way to begin that transition, because then they can get used to what it’s like to be away from your bed without having to be away from you entirely.
Go to the toy store
The next stage of transition is using a transitional object, and this is where you can take your child to the toy store to choose a stuffed animal or a toy or any kind of lovey that they can use to identify this with their new bedroom. So when you are choosing to transition them into their space, you can tell them to choose something to take with them that they can sleep with. This way, the love that they choose to sleep with in their bedroom will be associated with their bed in their room on their pillow. You can make the lovey a part of your day and give it some personality, so you can give your child the responsibility of putting their lovey into their bed and tucking him in and then getting in to sleep beside them and look after them just the way that you’ve always done.
Choose the right bed
If you are transitioning them into their own bedroom across the hall from you, then you need to go bed shopping. The family bed has been what they’ve been used to for so long, so you might consider getting a double or a king size bed for their bedroom if there’s enough space rather than just a single. This will give them that feeling that there is plenty of room for them to sleep and to starfish if they want to, and you can let them pick out their own special sheets and a blanket to go on top of the bed as well. When you do this you give them some control over their environment, which is often the biggest problem with transitioning from Co sleeping to their bedroom. A toddler bed is a great idea, but if your child is a little bit older than a toddler, you might choose a bigger bed to start with, because that way they will feel safer.
Add a rocking chair to their bedroom
If there’s one thing that you might remember from those newborn years, it’s that when you’re trying to get yourself out of the space of a sleeping child, you shuffle. If you have a comfortable chair in their bedroom, whether that be a glider or wooden rocking chair or a squishy old armchair, you have somewhere to get yourself comfortable while they fall asleep. Once they’re asleep, you can shuffle yourself out of the room. It’s something that you might have to do for the first few nights because your child will be getting used to sleeping by themselves. They may not stay that way all night long, but you could at least give it a go. And it also means that you’re not having to sit on a hard floor while you wait for them to fall asleep.
Consider your feeding relationship
If you are planning to transition from the family bed, but you haven’t yet finished breastfeeding, it may be a consideration. Like reading at the same time, which can be a lot of change for a little person.Of course, don’t ever night wean your child if you or they are not ready to do so, especially if your child is still very young.you want to ensure that your child is still getting the right nutrients. Night weaning is probably a good idea if your child is over the age of two or three and you are ready to transition from the family bed. Doing it all at the same time may feel like a lot, but it will help you to transition easier because your child will not be expecting to feed at night.
Remember that your child will be OK
Those first few weeks after you transition from a family bed to their own bed will feel difficult. A child needs to feel secure to be able to sleep, which is why you started the family bed in the first place. As an adult, you may feel more secure sleeping beside a partner, and if you put it into context, your child is just doing the same thing that you’re doing.However, there comes a time when everybody is ready for the family bed to end, and if that time is now, you just have to ensure that that transition is a smooth one. Your child is going to adapt and they are going to be OK. You just have to get yourself ready and be in solidarity with your partner to make sure that you are in this together to have the outcome that you want.