bedside co sleeper
As soon as parents begin to consider co-sleeping as the sleep practice that will best support their family’s peaceful and restful sleep, there’s one question that always seems to come up: what age is co-sleeping safe for my baby?
To answer this question fully (and give your family all the tools you need to get full nights of stress-free sleep), there are a few important things to cover, ones like:
- How co-sleeping is different from room sharing or bed sharing (and why that difference matters)
- What tools are available to help support your co-sleeping journey…and how parents use them to help their baby get more sleep (while getting more sleep themselves)
- How your baby’s sleep set-up might change at the 5 or 6 month mark (and why this change is an exciting sign of healthy growth)
- What co-sleeping might look like past the 1-year mark (and how to safely sleep as your little one grows older)
We’re going to break it all down so that you can skip straight past the struggle of “trying to figure it all out” and get to the part where you’re getting more restful nights of sleep. While also helping your little one soak in all the co-sleeping benefits each night.
What Is Co-Sleeping and Why Does “What It Is” Matter So Much?
As soon as baby is born, most parents invite their newborn into their bedroom to sleep nearby for a form of co-sleeping called “room sharing.”
Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that room sharing is the safest method of caring for your newborn during the first 6 months of their life (and ideally the first year).
Unlike with some other forms of co-sleeping that involve inviting your baby into your bed to share a mattress, room sharing describes the practice of sleeping close to your baby while still giving them a sleep space all their own. One expertly-engineered to support their comfort and safety.
Choosing to sleep near your baby — while still giving them a space to rest that’s designed for them — lets you experience all the bonding and better rest-giving benefits of traditional forms of co-sleeping/ While also reducing the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
How Co-Sleeping Tools Give You the Best of Both Sleeping Worlds
If you think that “room sharing” means giving up on your co-sleeping dreams and simply popping a crib in your shared sleep space…think again.
Co-sleeping tools like bedside sleepers have made it possible to get the sleep closeness you want at night, without having to worry about the safety of sharing a bed with your little one.
You won’t have to reach over bars…leave your bed…or walk across the room to put a loving hand on your baby’s back. And you won’t have to choose between soaking up co-sleeping benefits or keeping your little one in a crib.
By taking advantage of the sleep innovation that has come in the last few years from co-sleeping tools, caring for your little one is as easy as reaching over from where you’re comfortably cuddled in the sheets yourself.
How Bedside Co-Sleepers Get Involved in the Safe Sleep Conversation
Bedside co-sleepers are expertly-designed to offer you and baby a safe co-sleeping solution to maximize rest time, emotional bonding, and healthy development during the oh-so-important first months of their life.
They do this by giving your little one a firm, stable surface away from the plush and not-baby-friendly softness of your own mattress and blankets — while keeping them within arm’s reach of you all through the night.
There are several reasons why room sharing and separate surface co-sleeping take top prize when it comes to co-sleeping with your newborn during their first few months, ones that remain fully focused on safety and comfort:
Reason #1: It makes it easier to adjust to your baby’s sleep patterns (which makes sleep easier for you both)
When your baby is first born, they aren’t quite oriented to the differences between day and night. This is a truth that easily wreaks havoc on their (and your!) sleep schedule.
Until your baby develops their circadian rhythm — the 24-hour clock within all of us that regulates our patterns of sleepiness and alertness — your baby will have a hard time sleeping for more than a few hours at a time.
Being able to care for their every need (whether that means putting a comforting hand on them during a crisis call or helping them with nighttime feeding them when the times comes) without even leaving your bed can make it easier for you to give care without interrupting your own sleep.
Which means you can get more rest each night, while feeling less grogginess when you wake up in the morning.
Reason #2: It makes nighttime nursing easier.
When babies are first born, they have very tiny tummies. Combine that tiny tummy with all the energy they’re expending growing big and strong and you have the perfect recipe for needing to frequently feed.
Though every baby is different, your baby might call out for feeding every 2-4 hours. And while this might feel like a lot to keep up with during the day, it can feel even more challenging at night.
Choosing separate surface co-sleeping during your baby’s first days, weeks, and months (by choosing to use a bedside co-sleeper) can help you catch some much-needed extra shut-eye while quickly responding to baby’s every nursing need.
You’ll be able to provide them with milk that will help them grow big and strong without even getting out of bed. Which ends up being a win-win for them and you — because you’ll be keeping them happy and healthy while getting extra hours of sleep yourself.
Reason #3: Separate surface co-sleeping uniquely supports mommas post c-section.
Getting sleep after a c-section can be a challenge for some moms.
Just because c-sections are one of the most common ways to deliver a baby today (with c-sections accounting for 1 in 3 births in the US), that doesn’t mean they aren’t major surgery.
Moms need to rest after a c-section. And luckily, safe co-sleeping is one of the best ways for them to support their baby with nighttime feeding while still caring for their body by limiting how much movement they need to do.
Instead of reaching over crib bars or having to roll over and walk to another room in the house, bedside co-sleepers and other safe co-sleeping tools help mothers care for their little one right where they are — while supporting the needs of their still-healing body.
This makes them a no-brainer for many families who are getting back into the swing of things post c-section, and a no-brainer for many moms who find that the crib they purchased (with high bars they have to reach over multiple times a night) just isn’t a comfy enough solution as they heal.
How to Safely Co-Sleep with a 6-Month Old
Throughout Europe, models of bedside co-sleepers are endorsed for and regularly enjoyed by parents and baby up through one year of age. That means parents can support their little one with worry-free co-sleeping throughout all the early stages of their baby’s life.
(In fact, some pretty cool people like Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and German pro soccer player Sebastian Jung have been known to sleep with a babybay by their bedside during these important first months.)
Though the US only tests co-sleepers up through 5 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends continuing to room share with your baby through at least the 6-month mark.
For parents who want to continue to reap the emotional-bonding and healthy-growth benefits of co-sleeping past that 5-6 month mark, this might be a good time to convert your safe co-sleeper into a bedside bassinet that stays right by your bedside.
A bedside bassinet will take all the guesswork out of how to safely co-sleep with a 6-month old, while still giving them new room to grow their independence in a sleep space all their own.
How to Safely Co-Sleep with a 9-Month Old
By 9 months, your baby will be becoming increasingly independent. No longer content to simply lay on their back all through the night, they’ll likely feel the urge to move and crawl around during any break from sleep.
As your baby continues to explore their own mobility, your co-sleeping environment may need to be adapted to support their needs.
Though by now your baby is full of the adventurous spirit and can-do attitude they need to turn your mattress into a fun-filled playground, it’s better to save that kind of exploring for when you’re awake and watching.
The truth is, your baby might still be too young to be fully supported by the softness of your comfy-as-can-be mattress, blankets, and pillows. The wrong roll, twist, or turn during the night can leave baby struck with no clue how to get themselves out.
To keep baby safe, make sure that you move them to a space of their own by converting your safe co-sleeper into a bedside bassinet or standalone crib as soon as baby starts being filled with that must-move, must-dance, must-explore spirit.
The “How To” and Benefits of Co-Sleeping with a 1-Year-Old
As Dr. James J. McKenna — founder and director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame — discovered, co-sleeping supports babies by helping them breathe more regularly, maintain a consistent body temperature, use energy more efficiently to grow strong, and experience less stress.
Though these remain some key benefits of co-sleeping with a 1-year old, it’s also important to remember that every child is unique. The safety of different sleep set-ups will largely depend on your child’s developmental stages and how they line up with your needs as parents.
Between one to two years of age, your child will grow from a tiny bundle of joy into a free-moving and free-exploring adventurer who doesn’t just know how to get themselves into some fun-filled situations…but how to get out of them safely as well.
By this time, your child should be able to naturally be able to move out of, roll over, and free themselves from any kind of restraining blanket, pillow, or comfy comforter that comes their way. Which might give you reason to adjust your sleep set-up to suit.
The Big Takeaway When It Comes to Safe Co-Sleeping for Your Baby
Certain sleep tools like the babybay co-sleeper bassinet are expertly-designed to safely support your baby through their first several months of life (and take all the second-guessing out of answering the question: What age is co-sleeping safe?). But you’ll ultimately have to use your own judgement when deciding when your baby is ready to leave their co-sleeper and crib behind to try out a different sleep set-up.
(Because just like in everything when it comes to parenting, the only one who truly can decide what works best for your family is you.)
But until the day coms when it’s time to transition your baby to a crib, you can be confident that c0-sleeping is giving your child the emotional and physical support they need to grow independent and strong. Supported by a sleep practice that has been nurturing babies like yours for thousands of years.
Experts agree: sleeping close to your baby during the first year of their life helps keep your newborn safe and comforted as they attune themselves to the many sensorial and physical curiosities they’ll encounter as they grow. But how does co-sleeping (and the question: How do I co-sleep safely?) fit into that?
(Stick with us — because we’re about to break down how to co-sleep safely!)
During the first months of your baby’s life, they’re not the only ones adjusting to new experiences.
As a new mom or dad, you’re getting used to your little one sleeping beside you. Getting familiar with the soothing flutter of their eyes. And the way they gently coo when they fall asleep.
You’re also getting used to the feeling of having a little baby within arm’s reach all through the night: which offers just as much comfort as it does challenges for new parents.
So let’s talk about how to co-sleep through safe co-sleeping: One of the best ways to soak up more hours of rest each night. While also giving your baby all the psychological and physical support they need to grow big and strong.
Co-Sleeping Positions: The Safe and the Less Safe
There are many ways to co-sleep, each as unique as the family that practices them.
However, not all co-sleeping techniques put the same emphasis on safety.
Though bed-sharing and co-sleeping are often seen as interchangeable, big safety differences separate them.
Well-designed bedside co-sleepers and other similar safe sleep tools make it easy for you to get a full night of stress-free rest. How? They follow recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (or AAP) by helping you easily keep your baby close during the first months of their life.
Unlike with a practice like bed-sharing, these safe sleep tool give your baby a firm, built-for-them space to sleep. One that keeps them close to your made-for-adults mattress, without you having to worry about them getting wrapped in the too-soft bedding that doesn’t properly support them yet.
Why Does the Difference Between C0-Sleeping and Bed-Sharing Matter?
When bed-sharing with a newborn, all it takes is one wrong wiggle for baby to end up tangled in too-soft bedding or covered by pillows or blankets that they can’t quite crawl out from yet.
Luckily, safe sleep tools like baby co-sleepers fit flush against your own bed (keeping you right beside your baby all through the night!) and give your newborn baby a secure space to sleep comfortably.
Bedside co-sleepers will give you with all the benefits that co-sleeping has to offer—like better bonding between you and baby, supported development for baby’s body and mind, and a better rest for all — without the concerns about safety.
Which is what we like to call a perfect co-sleep scenario.
Keep Your Newborn Baby Comfortable While Co-Sleeping
Not all co-sleepers are created equal.
Think of it like this: when adults walk into a mattress store, they have a list of preferences that could be a mile long.
Not too soft, not too firm, built for back pain, hypoallergenic, all foam, no latex, pillow-top…
It often takes a few hours in the store and a few dozen tested-out mattresses to find the meant-to-be one that works for you.
Just because your newborn hasn’t quite mastered the syllables they need to clue you into what they find comfiest doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion.
That’s why it’s important to find a bedside co-sleeper specifically designed and customized with your baby in mind.
The babybay co-sleeper is designed in a half-moon shape to mimic the protective feeling of being cradled in a hug and constructed from all-natural materials that are friendly both to the earth and to baby’s body.
(Yep, most co-sleepers and cribs are made with toxic chemicals, glues, and finishes that can put baby’s healthy development at risk.)
babybay co-sleepers are also easily customizable with three size options and accessories like hypoallergenic mattresses, mattress covers, canopies, and 100% cotton jersey sheets that take all of the guesswork out of maximizing baby’s coziness and comfort.
Keep Yourself Comfortable While Co-Sleeping
We’re parents too, so we get it: as soon as baby comes, their comfort becomes priority #1.
But it can be difficult to keep your baby comfortable if you’re not feeling well or well-rested yourself.
That’s why making time for some self-care during the early months of baby’s life is an important part of learning how to co-sleep with your newborn.
Being well-rested allows you to put more attention and energy into making sure that baby has everything they need to sleep through the night soundly.
It’s also easier to enjoy and appreciate all the special moments you share with baby—like those oh-so-sweet moments when you’re lying next to baby’s bedside co-sleeper and watching them fall slowly into dreamland—when you aren’t desperately devoting all your energy to simply keeping your eyes open.
Thankfully, baby co-sleeper crib like the babybay can help you get better, longer, and more restful sleep than traditional cribs or other (and less safe) co-sleeping methods.
With baby so close by, nighttime nursing becomes a breeze (rather than a must-do that sucks up many valuable minutes of sleep time).
By sleeping so close to baby, you’ll also be able to be more aware of (and responsive toward!) any concerns that baby has through the night.
That means less time spent in high-energy adrenaline mode trying to discover how to help, and more time spent identifying and caring for baby’s needs the fast and peaceful way.
Because here’s the truth: your baby is growing bigger every day
Sooner than you would believe, they’ll be ready to move out of their bedside co-sleeper into a crib or room all their own.
Instead of spending these early moments in baby’s life worrying about how to co-sleep with your newborn baby, let the babybay co-sleeper help set your mind at ease so you can spend less time stressing and more time appreciating every moment—waking and sleeping!—with your newborn.
Is co-sleeping bad? There’s a lot of conversation about co-sleeping out there. Whether you’re welcoming your first baby to the world or have a family of 5 or 6 already, you’ve probably heard about co-sleeping. And maybe even popped “about co-sleeping” into Google a time or two.
So why all the hype about co-sleeping? Co-sleeping has long been the preferred (and safe, as long as you choose the right method!) way for families around the world to assure that their babies are getting nurturing rest. Before there were beds or mattresses or even cribs, families would gather close together and nestle into a state of happy sleep while lying within arm’s reach.
When the earliest cribs starting coming onto the scene around the 1600s, the hype for co-sleeping didn’t die down. But within the co-sleeping conversation, there’s one important thing to note. Co-sleeping with the help of a safe sleep tool like a bedside co-sleeper is not the same thing as bed-sharing (which is better understood as the practice of inviting your baby to share your own mattress).
That’s why asking “Is co-sleeping bad?” is too simple. But we’re about to set the co-sleeping record straight on all that…
We’re about to break down:
- The back-to-the-basics details about what co-sleeping is and how it became the most common method of sleep around the world
- The benefits that co-sleeping families enjoy, as well as the way families get more rest just by sleeping close to their little one
- How co-sleeping has looked throughout history, and why that matters for sleep deprived parents trying to get more rest now
- Where things really stand in this whole “Is c0-sleeping bad?” question, and what co-sleeping families wish more people talked about
The Best Place to Start Is at the Beginning: What is Co-Sleeping?
Co-sleeping is often the catch-all term used to describe the nurturing experience of sleeping with your baby within arm’s reach.
Though the word “co-sleeping” often brings up images of parent and baby sleeping together in the same bed and sharing the same sleep space, the truth is that there are many ways to co-sleep, and each nighttime routine will look a little different for every family.
In recent years, tools like bedside co-sleepers have made it safe, easy, and stress-free to soak in all the benefits of co-sleeping by giving babies a made-just-for-them place to rest their head and get quality sleep through the night.
These methods aren’t only proven-safe through experience, they’re also backed by some of the strictest safety certification standards on the market, with organizations like ASTM International, TÜV Rheinland, and Confidence in Textiles giving bedside co-sleepers like babybay a full stamp of approval.
And though sleeping in separate bedrooms has become the norm in the Western world (which is the leading thing that causes some parents to wonder whether alternatives like co-sleeping are really the best way to go), that doesn’t mean it’s not the preferred bonding-promoting and safety-assuring method of rest across much of the globe.
In fact, studies (like one famously conducted by anthropologist John Whiting) have found that almost 70% of children living around the world sleep in the company of others. (Take a moment to really let those numbers sink in— 70%!)
Benefits of Co-Sleeping: A Quick But Thorough Overview
Through the act of co-sleeping, you and your baby are able to bond and become close-as-can-be during both your waking and sleeping hours. (Hard to believe, but our sleeping hours account for a third of our day — which is why it’s so important to make them count!)
Your baby also benefits from a boosted immune system and better-supported development for their body and mind, which not only benefits their waking hours but leads to more restful time spent in dreamland as well.
Co-sleeping also makes nighttime nursing a breeze by keeping your baby easily within arm’s reach, so that you don’t have to take walks back and forth across the room or repeatedly over crib bars to give your child what they need.
At the end of the day, it shouldn’t really be surprising that there are numerous benefits of co-sleeping. Human biology naturally encourages child and parent to seek contact during the night.
And while you might think that it’s simply love for your child that has you craving a quick hug, kiss, or loving touch during all hours of the day and night (love is definitely part of it, we promise!), that mutual craving for contact is also just built into our physiology.
While that need for nighttime contact through the night isn’t much-talked about in the United States, it’s something that many other cultures around the world understand well.
In Japan, for instance, the most common sleeping position is referred to as kawa no ji (represented by the character for river: 川). The two longer lines in that character represent the parents, while the shorter one represents the child sleeping between — showcasing the close proximity and sleep-together care that goes into nighttime sleep setups.
But in America and other Western cultures, history has set a trend of separating parents and babies during the night.
That’s not because separating parents and babies is better — we’ve just gotten so used to sleeping separately that it’s hard to imagine that another way of sleeping could be more beneficial.
Co-Sleeping Throughout History: Why the Question “What Is Co-Sleeping” Only Started Needing to Be Asked Recently
The Western world’s interest in sleeping separately can partly be traced back to the 19th century, when it became fashionable to show your wealth by building houses with extra bedrooms and filling those extra bedrooms with plush mattresses and beautiful cribs.
Though collecting mattresses is no longer the in-trend fashion statement it used to be, most families in the Western world continue to encourage their children to sleep in separate rooms.
And while there’s nothing wrong with preferring for your child to sleep in a space separate from yours, over time this became seen as the standard way to sleep in the Western world — which quickly made all other sleeping methods seem like unideal alternatives (even if they did, in fact, actually come with a whole host of rest-giving and mind-balancing benefits).
So Let’s Sum It All Up: Is Co-Sleeping Bad?
When co-sleeping is practiced safely, it delivers a bounty of benefits while helping you feel closer to your child (emotionally and physically!) all night long.
But just like you have to make decisions with safety in mind when preparing a nursery or separate room for your child to sleep in, you need to make safety a priority when deciding the co-sleeping method that works for your family.
But if you aren’t sure where to start, start here: bedside infant co-sleepers make safe co-sleeping easy as can be by gifting baby with a safe, secure, and supported space to sleep by your side.
Your baby gets to drift off into sweet dreams with you within arm’s reach, while you get to enjoy the worry-free rest that comes from knowing you can quickly and easily respond to any nighttime feeding call that comes throughout the night.
And while there may be other ways of co-sleeping out there, there’s only one safe co-sleeping method we can recommend.
With the right bedside sleeper by your side, you’ll never have to wonder Is co-sleeping bad? again. You’ll be able to confidently drift toward dreamland, knowing your baby is safe, happy, and soaking in all the benefits that co-sleeping has to offer.
For parents who are just beginning to explore co-sleeping, one of the most commonly asked questions is: When is it safe to co-sleep?
We get why that question is the first one that comes to mind. Because once you start to hear about all the co-sleeping benefits you can expect to enjoy, co-sleeping becomes one of those “so….when can I start?!” kind of things.
(Among the best co-sleeping benefits to expect? Better rest for the whole family. As well as reduced stress and more support as your baby works on growing big and strong.)
But asking about the “when” of co-sleeping isn’t always the best place to start.
Because figuring out the timeline of your co-sleeping journey is a natural step in the process. But asking about the “how” of safe co-sleeping is an important part of keeping your baby safe and happy. While having full peace of mind from Day 1.
How to Co-Sleep Safely: Why The “How” Matters
“Co-sleeping” is commonly used as a catch-all phrase to describe the practice of sleeping in the same room as your child. However, it’s important to understand that there are many different ways that parents choose to co-sleep: with some offering far more peace of mind than others.
Though “bed-sharing” is often considered a type of co-sleeping, there are actually significant differences between the two practices.
When bed-sharing, you invite your child to share space on your own mattress. This means making room for them to get comfy surrounded by the sheets, comforters, and pillows that you prefer.
When co-sleeping, you sleep easily in arm’s reach of your child. While offering them a made-just-for-them sleeping space that offers the firm support that their growing body needs.
Actual bed-sharing can lead to sleepless nights full of wondering and worry about whether your child will roll over and get trapped in too-soft bedding. Or worry about whether they’ll feel unsupported by your too-soft mattress during the night. But co-sleeping offers big benefits while whisking those worries away.
What’s the Deal with Bedside Co-Sleepers?
A co-sleeping solution like the babybay bedside co-sleeper gives your child a safe co-sleeping bed that attaches securely to your own. While allowing both you and your baby to rest easy in a sleeping space that fully supports your unique needs.
And though there are other ways to co-sleep safely that go beyond using a safe co-sleeping bed, one thing remains true…
When it comes to the question When is it safe to co-sleep?, parents who have a co-sleeper bed for their child feel confident that their little one is getting safe and sound nights of co-sleeping rest. Because they know their baby is sleeping the night away in a space that has been perfectly engineered to support their growing body with love. With nothing that’s too-soft or too-warm getting in the way.
The best part? They’ll feel that confidence not just some nights: but from the first moment their beautiful baby is brought home.
When Is It Safe to Co-Sleep with a Bedside Co-Sleeper?
The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the benefits of sharing a room with your baby during at least the first six months of their life. But ideally, they say, you’ll room-share through the first year.
You can start sleeping beside your baby in a safe co-sleeper bed from the first moment they get home.
In fact, not only can you sleep with your baby in a co-sleeper bed from the first moment — that’s how many parents love doing it!
Why do so many parents love starting their baby’s life by sleeping snug in a bedside co-sleeper bed?
Partly because it’s one of the easiest ways to get better sleep — while your baby gets better sleep too.
But also because it gives you a sense of peace of mind that your baby is sleeping safe and secure from the first day of their life. Which can feel like the ultimate comfort to parents like you.
Bedside sleepers like the babybay are specially engineered and built with care to offer your baby a co-sleeping bed that is a safe space for them to catch some Zs. While still letting them remain close by your side all night long.
And while other sleeping practices—like bed-sharing—can leave you tossing and turning with worries and “what if” thoughts all night long, bedside co-sleepers take all the guesswork and concerns away.
With the babybay bedside co-sleeper, you’ll be be close enough to support baby’s healthy development and care for their every need, while giving your baby the firm, supportive mattress and just-for-them space they need to sleep secure and sound.
Which is the perfect recipe for sound sleep every night of the week.
Why Do Experts Recommend Sleeping Beside Your Baby?
Not only does sharing a space make you more responsive to your baby’s needs (as well as a host of other benefits!), but it lets you function as a kind of “jump start” to support your baby’s healthy development.
As anthropologist James J. McKenna found, when parents and baby sleep close by, they naturally start to regulate their sleep state, oxygen levels, temperature, breathing patterns, heart rate, and brain waves to match.
So by sleeping close to your baby during their first months of life, you positively support their still-developing biological and physiological systems in big ways. (Which is key to helping them grow healthy and strong!)
By co-sleeping with baby from the first moment they come home, you’re able to put these “jump start” effects from the get-go. Which is important considering how much of your baby’s energy during the first months of their life is focused on learning and exploring the new world they’ve just come into.
Deciding When to Co-Sleep: The Big Takeaway
If there’s one big takeaway to leave with, it’s this: the answer to the question When is it safe to co-sleep? depends on how you co-sleep.
Every family’s needs and priorities are different, and ultimately only you know where your child is in their development and what that means for your co-sleeping journey.
However, there’s one co-sleeping truth that’s not up for debate: once you’re ready to start co-sleeping, a bedside co-sleeper crib specially engineered to support your baby’s needs takes all the guesswork and worry out of how to co-sleep.
So when you’re ready to start co-sleeping, babybay will be here to help you and baby spend every night sleeping sweet-dream sound.
Here’s a scenario that all co-sleeping families are familiar with: You’ve loved waking up with your little one every morning. Giving them a snuggle as the sun shines through your bedroom window. Watching their little eyes open to the world and greet you with a gentle smile as a way to hello.
But one day it just hits you: it’s time to stop co-sleeping and give your child the independence to be in their own baby crib. Which means you have to figure out how to transition your baby from co-sleeping to crib without stressing them (or you) out.
If you’ve been sleeping within arm’s reach of your baby for a while, you know all about the many co-sleeping benefits. You might also know that co-sleeping has a magical way of fostering independence in your little one, which will go far in making this transition from co-sleeping to crib as easy as can be.
But what’s the secret to stopping co-sleeping without stress?
Well, here it is:
Consistency is key
On the list of best practices for how to transition baby from co-sleeping to crib, being consistent takes the top spot.
It can be difficult (okay, not just difficult—sometimes it can feel gosh darn impossible!) to think logically when you’re woken up at 2 am from a deep dream state.
But once you’ve put a plan for transition in place, it’s important to follow through on it. Not just sometimes. But every single night of the week.
Keeping consistent will help your baby feel more comfortable with the sleeping changes you’re making. Which will shorten the transition process and help you get back to the long nights of restful sleep you crave. Fast.
Of course, there might be nights when your half-asleep brain doesn’t quite stop your parenting instincts in time and your transition plan goes out the window.
Don’t worry about one or two-speed bumps along the way. Just get back on track with your transition plan the next night.
Keep your baby close
Just because you’ve decided to move baby into a crib of their own doesn’t mean you have to move your baby far away.
Choosing to gradually transition from co-sleeping to crib (rather than going all-in one night) can ease some of the stress for both you and baby.
On the first night you transition from co-sleeping to crib, keep your baby close by pushing the crib firmly against your bed. Your baby has been sleeping within arm’s reach for a long time now…which means being anything more than a few feet away from you might initially feel like a shock to the system.
By putting your baby’s new crib in the same spot next to you that they’ve gotten used to sleeping in, they’ll be able to keep a sense of familiarity. Even as they get used to their totally new sleep set-up.
As the nights go on, slowly start moving your baby’s crib farther away from your own sleeping space. Do that until your baby is fully comfortable and confident sleeping away from your side.
If you’re a co-sleeping family who has been using a co-sleeper crib:
For families who have been enjoying the many benefits of a bedside co sleeper throughout their co sleeping journey, this gradual transition can be made even easier.
Use a conversion kit to transform your bedside co sleeper into a baby bassinet. Then make a plan to start moving your baby’s bassinet away from your bedside slowly during the nights ahead.
Because baby is already familiar with the sensations of sleeping in their made-just-for-them baby bedside co sleeper, they’ll feel more confident and comfortable as they adjust to the changes in their sleep routine.
Instead of feeling the impact of many surprise changes at once (New mattress! New crib! More distance away from you!), they’ll be happy to catch some Z’s in the familiar sleeping space they already love.
Sleep with their stuff (so that they feel like they’re sleeping beside you!)
Your baby has slept right beside you for many nights, which means they’ve gotten used to being calmed by the familiar feeling of sensing you nearby.
(Fun fact! Because newborns are still learning how to find meaning in all the things they see and hear on the daily, they develop a strong awareness of smell. Which means just having you close enough to offer the comfort of scent will set them in a peaceful mood!)
Putting a little extra care into making sure that baby still feels the sensation of having you close (even when you’re across the room) can go a long way in making sure nights remain stress-free and rest-filled for all.
Sleep with your baby’s bed sheets for a few nights before you start the transition from co-sleeping to crib. By doing this, you’ll guarantee that your little one is surrounded by comfortable items that smell like you. So that when the time comes to set them up for a new sleep set-up, they’ll have all the extra comfort they need to make the transition from co-sleeping seem easier.
Of course: you’ll want to choose the item you give to baby wisely. Sleeping with bulky blankets or plush toys can be a safety concern for newborns. Which means leaving those kinds of items in their bed will leave you with more worry than peace of mind.
But by sleeping with baby’s sheets and fitting them snugly on your baby’s mattress before they tuck in for the night, you’ll be able to help soothe your baby and keep any separation anxiety away. Without a single safety concern.
Pick the right time
Only you know what’s best for you and your family. Which means only you know when will be the right time to transition baby from co sleeping to crib.
For many families, the decision to stop co sleeping will come when baby becomes too active during the night. Or when you more generally decide that it would be better for you to get back to having some space of your own.
But even if your decision to transition away from co sleeping is accompanied by some need to make the switch now! feelings, set the stage for an easy transition by making sure that it’s a good time to start a new routine.
Avoid making big changes when family is in town, a big project is forcing you to work long hours, or other big life events are taking over your time and emotional energy.
Making sure that both you and baby are feeling settled, calm, and ready to rock and roll toward a new routine will help keep things feeling stress-free.
Give yourself a break!
Though many parents wondering how to transition from co-sleeping to crib feel pressure to get the process “perfect,” remember that only you know what works best for your family.
Give yourself a break if there’s a day when your perfectly-made plans go out the window. And know that your baby will get comfortable and content with the transition from co sleeping to crib soon.
As long as you keep consistent in your plans, the day you’ll have successfully transitioned to a crib (instead of just Googling “how to transition your baby from co-sleeping to crib”) will come. Maybe even sooner than you think!
You don’t need statistics to back up the fact that getting a full night’s sleep with a new baby can be hard (heck, you just need to look in the mirror to see the black rings under your eyes and that spell “I need some coffee or wake-me-up tea…stat!”) But if you’re feeling like one of the many sleep deprived parents out there who need some relief, just know that you’re not alone.
Adults tend to need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. But with frequent feedings and cries for comforting as the new normal, getting that much shut-eye can feel near-impossible to do. In fact, scientists have discovered that new dads tend to lose an average of 13 minutes of sleep a night, while new moms lose over an hour of sleep on average.
And while chugging caffeine might seem like a solid short-term solution at first, the truth is that it might take years (or, at least, up until your child is around 6 years old) before your sleep schedule returns to its pre-kid patterns.
But that shouldn’t be cause for concern. Because while studies are pretty clear on the fact that long-term sleep deprivation comes with some pretty not-fun negatives (like increased anxiety, irritability, reduced cognitive functioning, and postpartum depression onset), there are ways to take back control of your sleep — while still making sure your little one is getting high-quality shut-eye of their own.
In this complete guide for sleep deprived parents (who are finally ready to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day), you’ll discover:
- Why following your baby’s lead is the key to getting dream-filled nights that leave you refreshed in the morning
- The key ways you can rely on your support network to ease the pressures of nighttime stress and sleeplessness
- Why sleep hygiene might be the most-important (and rest-giving) part of your nighttime prep routine
- How postpartum doulas and after-care specialists make nighttime sleep magic happen (just by supporting you in the right, should have thought of that! ways)
- The sleep setup that has been scientifically proven to help you sleep longer and spend more time in REM — while your baby gets peaceful and bonding-filled rest right beside you
How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation with a Baby: Follow Their Lead
When your baby sleeps, that’s your cue to sleep too. Simple enough, right? But hold up — it doesn’t always feel that easy.
It’s tempting to spend the first year fighting against their baby’s natural rhythm and needs, or ignoring clear baby sleep cues when they start showing. Because when there is a schedule to keep or visiting grandparents to pay attention to, it can be easy to ignore the yawning and eye-rubbing or assure your baby “just a few more minutes!” while keeping them wide-awake and surrounded by love and attention.
And while being surrounded with loving people sounds like a good thing (and it is most of the time!), ignoring those baby sleep cues when they come on sets you and your baby on the fast-track to tumultuous sleep.
You can try to get your baby on your clock, but this will only add to your exhaustion. The time will come when your baby can wait a bit before being put to sleep (without any over-exhaustion symptoms coming on), but don’t expect it right away.
Instead, follow the #1 trick for how to deal with sleep deprivation with a baby: let your baby take the lead, and commit to getting rest-time in when you can.
When Possible, Share Responsibilities with Your Partner or Loved Ones
Listen to your body when it says you need to rest. And no matter how independent you are, talk to your partner or other nearby friends/family/neighbors/people close to you about how they can help you during those rest-needing moments.
Working with your support network to rotate responsibilities will make it possible for you to sleep, heal, and be at your best. (Remember, child birth takes a lot out of your body, and if you had a cesarean section you might be having an even harder time finding ways to get comfortable and get quality sleep after c-section.)
The American Academy of Family Physicians echoes the importance of letting others help during your postpartum recovery:
“During the first six weeks, pay attention to your body…resist the temptation to do more. Overdoing things at this point can set you back in your recovery. Concentrate on nourishing your body with good foods, drinking plenty of water (especially if you are breastfeeding), and getting enough rest.”
Your baby, body, and relationship will all benefit from practicing good communication. So think of asking for help as the natural thing to do after child birth — and get the support you need to finally sleep.
Practice Proper Sleep Hygiene as a Sleep Deprived Parent (Yep, That’s Really a Thing)
The concept of proper sleep hygiene is all about setting up your sleep environment and making choices during the day to not interfere with your body’s ability to sleep. And unsurprisingly, the same tips that help you get more shut-eye during other times of your life offer much-needed advice that take some of the difficulty out of how to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent.
For example: not drinking caffeine after 2pm, fighting late-night cravings, and removing technology from the bedroom can all set your mind at ease and leave you geared up (or geared down) to cozy into bed and fall into dreamland as soon as your head hits the pillow.
With a newborn added to the nighttime equation, it’s hard for your body to make sense of the nightly schedule you’re keeping up. With feedings waking you up every few hours, sending mixed messages to your body in the form of late-night caffeine or social media scrolls can make it hard to go back to sleep on command.
But if it’s nighttime and “struggling to sleep” feels firmly where you are (while popping things like “How to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent” into Google’s search bar), here are some quick tips that will help you calm your racing mind and make drifting into nighttime slumber easier:
- Doing 5-10 minutes of yoga or peaceful meditation
- Sipping a cup of herbal tea (herbal teams like chamomile and peppermint are naturally decaffeinated)
- Closing the blinds, or using blackout window treatments to help cut through your body’s circadian rhythm and let your system know it’s time for rest
Services to Help with Slumber: Postpartum Doulas and After-Birth Care Specialists
Postpartum Doulas and After-Birth Care Specialists are specially trained to help moms in the first weeks or months after giving birth. They work with you — often in your home — to help you feel comfortable adapting to all things parenthood. (They’re also covered by state health care and independent insurance coverages in many cases.)
If your lack of recent sleep is partly a result of all the recent changes in your life or concern about whether you’re “doing things right,” postpartum doulas or after-birth care specialists can help set your mind at ease by giving well-researched answers to all of your most keep me up at night questions about parenthood.
Struggling with getting baby to latch on? Worried you’ve swaddled your baby too tightly? Experiencing anxiety about how your body is healing? Don’t know why your baby won’t stop crying?
With compassion, understanding, and a helpful attitude, professionals like these will help with all of it. And bonus: they’ll also listen to the specifics of your situations and give some relevant-to-you tips and tricks for easing the exhaustion pressures of the nighttime hours.
Although this uncharted territory of parenthood can be frightening, don’t forget about the resources available to help you. If you’ve got a question, ask it. If you’re unsure of something or something feels off, trust your gut and find help. There’s nothing like peace of mind when it comes to a good night’s sleep.
Try Out a Bedside Co-Sleeper (Your Sleep Cycles Will Thank You)
This might just be the quickest and easiest to new parent sleep deprivation on this list: switching to using a bedside co-sleeper can make all the difference in terms of a good night’s sleep by taking all the “getting up to breastfeed or care for your little one” sleep disrupting out of your nightly regimen.
Co-sleeping has long been the generations-loved and around-the-world-respected sleep solution for helping both parents and baby sleep better — and longer — at night. When done safely (like with the help of a safety-certified bedside co-sleeper), co-sleeping promotes physiological syncing between parent and baby (which sets breathing, heartbeat, etc. into a balanced and calming pattern that affects the peacefulness of both), and leads to increased time in REM sleep and rest in longer intervals.
If you think about it, the proven benefits of staying extra-close to your little one at night make sense.
Your baby has spent upwards of 9 months in the womb, getting used to the feeling of having their mother’s heartbeat nearby and the natural body rhythm of a loved one surrounding them. Safe co-sleeping replicates this closeness, making the transition from womb to the real world less jarring (which leads to easier ease during the moments when drifting into dreamland is on the agenda).
Want to try the bedside co-sleeper thing out?
Consider the leading attachable bedside co-sleeper by babybay. Not only is babybay the only eco-friendly sleeper on the market, but they’re also committed to sustainable manufacturing and are created by parents, for parents — showing a true understanding of your everyday struggles and needs. That puts them on the front line of your mission to end end your status as sleep deprived parents, while making every night of sleep one that is filled with plenty of peaceful dreams and beautiful bonding.
It’s no secret that bedside cribs and co-sleepers offer a host mind and body-boosting benefits, while helping the whole family get more restful nights of sleep. (Like making nighttime nursing easy and giving baby a healthy psychological and physiological development jumpstart — just to name a few of our faves!)
But you can enjoy an even bigger benefit boost by choosing a bedside co-sleeper that isn’t just safe and supportive for your little one, but is versatile as well.
Because when your bedside crib can easily transform into a portable bassinet, you have even more flexibility when it comes to choosing how you’ll nurture your baby during their sleeping and waking hours— while also making things easier on you.
The Pros of Using a Portable Bassinet
A portable bassinet, a bedside crib, a bedside co-sleeper: there are plenty of options out there when it comes to choosing a place for your baby to rest their head and catch some Z’s.
But when it comes time to choose which will work best for your family, finding one that matches your lifestyle needs — as well as the needs of your little one — is key.
How to Make Your Bedside Crib Moveable
Though some families might decide that choosing a baby co-sleeper that securely attaches to their own bed might offer everything they need, others may find that choosing a more moveable option (like a wooden bassinet or bedside crib) is better for them.
For parents who have a nursery space that they’re hoping to move baby into when the time eventually comes to transition from co-sleeping, having a bassinet with wheels lets them roll baby back and forth between rooms, helping baby become well-accustomed to both.
A bassinet with wheels also allows you to move your baby to new rooms in the house without waking them.
This can be a much-needed feature for families who want to keep baby close throughout the day without needing to rely on a baby monitor, stock up on extra products, or feel confined to the bedroom to do it.
Your Baby Bassinet Makes It Easier to Offer Comfort
A baby bassinet for bed is also perfect for families who find that their baby prefers to be rocked or swayed to keep calm throughout the night.
Without needing to leave the warmth of your covers, you can easily reach over and comfort your baby with a rocking motion by gently moving your baby’s portable bassinet back and forth.
Meaning you’ll be able to keep resting, even as you give your little one the kind of comfort that lets them happily drift back to dreamland!
Take an inside peek at how one family made their babybay mobile with the bassinet conversion kit — and loves the flexibility it offers!
Your Wooden Bassinet Will Keep Your Baby Cocooned
Your baby has just spent 9 months in the womb. And though they might be excited to have all the adventures the world has to offer, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a transition period when they experience a little discomfort while getting used to their new environment.
Traditional cribs are big. And while this might sound like a good thing at first (it gives my baby plenty of room to grow, right??), having too much extra space can be disorienting for some babies.
But when you convert your babybay co-sleeper, into a wooden bassinet, you’re able to enjoy all the advantages of a bassinet or crib —while making it easier for your baby to sleep happily in the more familiar and comforting embrace of a smaller sleeping space.
All babybay co-sleepers (including ones that have been transformed into a portable bassinet) are artfully designed to mimic the half-moon embrace of a hug (a shape your baby will be all-too-familiar with after growing in the womb).
So while your baby is soaking up all the new things the world has to offer, they’ll feel fully loved and embraced in comfort while doing it.
How to Turn Your babybay Bedside Co-Sleeper Into a Portable Bassinet
All it takes is a few minutes to install the guard rail, and you have a safe way to move your baby’s sleeping space around the house with ease.
Your baby’s co-sleeper mattress is fully height-adjustable, which makes it easy to line up their sleeping space to the height of your own bed and reach over to care for them during the night without having to leave the comfort of your sheets.
And though our uniquely-designed guard rail is made to keep you comfortable as you care for your baby, that doesn’t mean that it’s not equally comfortable and safe for your little one!
They’ll feel snuggled in a sleeping space made-just-for-them, protected by a guard rail that will keep them safe through all sleeping and waking hours.
There’s a reason why co sleeping has been one of the most-loved sleeping practices throughout history (and continues to be the bedtime norm for over 70% of children in the world!). Sleeping close to your baby gifts the whole family with better nights of rest, while promoting deep bonding during waking and sleeping hours. But is there a secret to how to break co sleeping when it’s time for your use of the sleep practice to come to an end?
For every co sleeping family, there inevitably comes a time when stopping co sleeping seems like the right next step. And when that time comes, it can be difficult to know how to break co sleeping and move your baby to a room of their own without it causing baby (or you!) extra stress. Rest assured: being unsure how to go about this transition is totally normal.
Luckily, all you need to ease the transition from co sleeping is a little planning—and a little patience!
That’s why we’re breaking down some of our top tips for smoothing the transition from co sleeping to a room of baby’s own—so that you can help your baby feel comfortable in their new space, while taking all the stress out of stopping co sleeping.
Know There Probably Will Be a Transition Period When Stopping Co-Sleeping
Though you might know that it’s the perfect time to transition your baby to a room of their own, that doesn’t mean that your baby will be immediately on board.
That’s because babies—just like adults!—are creatures of habit, and getting used to a new setup after so many months spent catching shuteye co sleeping safely by your bedside will take a little getting used to.
Even if you just know that your baby is fully ready for this next milestone in their co sleeping journey, you should still be realistic that getting baby comfortable with the change might involve a few nights of frustration (for you both!).
If you’ve been practicing safe co-sleeping positions for a while now (like catching your Z’s with a bedside co-sleeper!), then baby has gotten used to having you close and easily accessible if they want love, cuddles, or nursing during the night.
Though we have every confidence they’ll get used to their room soon—and you should have that confidence too!—it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to put a little work in to showing them that you’re still there to care for their every need (even if you’re no longer sharing a room!).
When Deciding When to Stop Co-Sleeping, Choose the Right Time
If it’s deep in the holiday season and you have a few dozen family members roaming your hallways and sleeping on your couch, it’s probably not the right time to decide to stop co sleeping.
When deciding how to break co sleeping, choose a time when all is calm in your household and there aren’t any major life changes or stresses—like big work projects or family events—that could make it difficult for both you and baby to focus all your attention on the task at hand.
During this time of transition, you should be focused on helping your baby get comfortable with their new sleeping arrangement. If life is feeling a little on the crazy side, consider waiting to transition from co sleeping until things have settled down.
Don’t Just Stop Co-Sleeping Cold Turkey! Have Some Sleepovers
Just because it’s time to stop cosleeping doesn’t mean the transition from cosleeping to a room of baby’s own has to happen all at once.
You can help your baby get used to their new room by planning to spend a few nights on a mattress or sleeping bag on their floor.
If you’ve been practicing safe co-sleeping positions with the help of a bedside co sleeper bed, then your baby has gotten very used to having you within arm’s reach.
You can get them used to sleeping alone—while also helping them feel comfortable, confident, and nurtured in their new room—by showing them that you’re still physically there to support them.
Ease the Transition From Co-Sleeping by Finding Other Ways to Bond
One of the biggest co sleeping benefits is how much time your baby gets to spend with you.
When baby is sleeping by your side with the help of a tool like the babybay bedside co sleeper, your night hours are full of deep moments of bonding.
As you make your plan and consider how to break co sleeping so that the transition is as stress-free as possible for the whole family, consider putting a new cuddles-filled nighttime routine in place before you make the transition.
Finding ways to show baby your love before they go to sleep—and getting them used to that routine before they move into a room of their own—will help them feel physically and emotionally supported in their new setup.
So that during the nights when they’re getting used to sleeping in a room all their own, they know that your love is still close by.
If you search for “co sleeping” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find a definition that looks like this one (courtesy of Merriam-Webster): co sleeping is “the practice of sleeping in the same bed or close by in the same room with one’s child.”
Seems simple enough to understand, doesn’t it?
But in truth, this definition doesn’t even begin to answer the question What does co sleeping mean?
Because this definition groups three very different sleeping practices—bed sharing, room sharing, and co sleeping—under the same “co sleeping” umbrella.
To get a more accurate answer to the question What does co sleeping mean?, it’s important to understand the differences between these three sleeping practices. (Because yep — they’re all different and all come with differing degrees of safety attached.)
Once you understand the pros and cons associated with each, it will become easier to decide whether enjoying the benefits of co sleeping is the right next step for your family.
Co Sleeping, Bed Sharing, and Room Sharing: How Are They Different?
“Co sleeping” is often used as the catch-all term for describing the experience of sleeping close to your baby.
However, co sleeping with the help of a safe bedside co sleeper is a very different experience than practicing more general room sharing or bed sharing. When people use the term “co sleeping,” they’re likely referring to one of two fairly different sleep practices: room sharing or bed sharing.
Because it can be easy for all this different terminology to get kind of (or very!) confusing, here’s a quick breakdown of the similarities and differences:
“Room sharing” refers to instances when baby is invited to sleep in the same room as their parents—but on a different sleeping surface. When parents choose to sleep in their own bed with their baby catching Z’s in a crib or baby bassinet nearby, they are participating in room sharing.
“Bed sharing” refers to the practice of not only inviting your baby or child into your room, but into your bed as well. When bed sharing, children and parents sleep together on the same mattress and share bedding.
So How Are They Different?
While a bed sharing setup helps parents take advantage of many co sleeping benefits (like feeling more bonded with baby by sleeping so close by), it can be difficult to guarantee safe co sleeping positions when you’re sharing a bed.
That’s because the oh-so-soft mattresses and bedding that parents often prefer are not the safest choice for babies, especially when the baby is still so young that they are not easily able to untangle themselves if they’re accidentally covered by bedding.
Parents who are unsure about whether bed sharing is the right practice for them often turn to bedside co sleepers (also called a bedside crib, along with a few other names) as a perfect solution.
Bedside co sleepers offer a blend of safety and closeness while giving both you and your baby a perfect made-just-for-you place to enjoy the night and sleep tight.
So What’s the Deal with Bedside Co Sleepers and Bedside Cribs?
When you practice co-sleeping with the right bedside crib, you’re able to enjoy all the benefits of bed-sharing, without the safety concerns that sharing a bed with your baby can bring.
This type of safe co-sleeping is sometimes referred to as separate-surface co-sleeping, and involves sleeping on your own mattress with your baby safely cuddled in a bedside baby co sleeper, baby bassinet, or crib pushed against your bedside.
By using safe co sleeping solutions like the babybay bedside co sleeper, you get to enjoy the plush and comfy bedding and mattress you prefer, while your baby enjoys a made-just-for-them crib mattress and sleeping space all their own.
Which means you’ll be able to co sleep soundly, knowing that your baby is feeling supported by a firm mattress that is perfect for their growing body, while being comforted by the feeling of having you no more than an arm’s reach away.
Co Sleeping Benefits: What Positive Experiences Should You Expect?
The connection between baby and mother doesn’t end the moment that baby is delivered. In fact, experts agree that babies and their caregivers remain physiologically connected to each other in complicated but powerful ways following birth.
As anthropologist James J. McKenna found, babies who sleep close to their caregivers wake up more frequently, but those wakings are also less disruptive than when they are catching Z’s further away.
Parents who are sleeping beside their baby are very aware of and receptive towards these moments of wakefulness, which and will often take a moment to offer touch, check for crisis, hug, or otherwise support their baby in quick but loving ways.
These loving touches go a long way in helping baby settle their stress levels and breathe easy, which positively supports their psychological and physical growth.
But beyond these moments of nurturing, co sleeping makes nighttime nursing easier, and helps the whole family get longer, more restful nights of sleep by making it simple to know when baby needs support and offer the proper care. (Which is good news, because if there’s one thing that all parents could use more of—it’s sleep!)
Separate-Surface Co-Sleeping: What’s the Best Sleeper to Use?
There are many different co-sleepers out there that can be used for separate-surface co-sleeping, but not all of them are gold-star status when it comes to ease, safety, and comfort.
The babybay bedside co sleeper is specially engineered to fit snugly against your own bed, meaning you don’t even have to leave your mattress or reach over awkward crib bars to care for your baby during the night.
And because babybay considers your baby’s safety and comfort as Priority #1, you can be confident that baby will feel secure and supported when cuddled into the half-moon shape designed to mimic the warm embrace of a hug.
Meaning that your baby will feel more than happy to settle into dreamland with you by their side, while you catch some much-needed Z’s of your own—knowing that you’ve found the answers to What does co-sleeping mean? and have a sleeping solution that delivers big co sleeping benefits while delivering peace of mind.