How to Transition from Co-Sleeping in 5 Easy Steps
One of the first questions I ask my clients is if they have a child sleeping in their bed. About 50% of my clients with young children answer “yes.” Of those, about 90% tell me they do NOT want their child in their bed anymore. The problem? They do not know how to get them out of their beds.
Well, I do know how… And it is not what my clients want to hear because it is not easy to get an unwilling toddler or preschooler out of the warm, cozy confines of mom and dad’s bed.
There are many arguments for co-sleeping – I am not taking a position against that philosophy. I believe that as long as it is done safely, there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping. If you do prefer to co-sleep, just make sure to do your research, The American Academy of Pediatrics is a good place to get educated on the safest ways to co-sleep.
I am of the mind that it is best NOT to begin the habit of co-sleeping. All of us end up sleeping alone, and my view is that it is safer and better to teach children how to sleep independently. Room sharing is different, and I do recommend that for about the first six months or until the parents are ready to move the infant to his own room.
I do have a plan for new parents on how to get the best sleep.
Do not fall into the habit of allowing your baby to sleep with you. Once the habit of co-sleeping is learned, breaking the habit isn’t easy, so it is best to avoid developing the habit.
Create a sleep schedule and STICK TO IT! For example, Dad is on baby duty from 9 pm until 1 am. Mom is on baby duty from 1 am to 5 am.
Mom goes to bed ON TIME. Seriously. The above schedule will only be helpful if moms follow it.
No screens 30 minutes before bedtime. Libraries still lend books…and they are FREE!
When baby wakes, go into the nursery and say nothing. If it is a diaper change that is needed, attend to it with no talking, cooing, or snuggling. If it is a bottle that is required, then give the bottle with no talking, cooing, or snuggling. It is essential that you do not turn the lights on because your baby will be confused that you are running your daytime routines. Remember that consistency is key and you are training your child to understand that waking in the middle of the night is no problem, he gets his needs met, and he goes back to sleep.
If the habit of co-sleeping has already been established, that will take some undoing. But that’s what I’m here for!