co sleeper to crib
No matter how long you’ve been co-sleeping — or the reasons that brought you to the long-done sleep practice in the first place — there will come a time when you know it’s time to stop co-sleeping.
Maybe your little one has grown out of their bedside sleeper. Or maybe you’re starting to sense that everyone in the family (your little one included!) would get better rest if they were in a crib or room of their own.
Let’s get this out of the way from the get-go: no matter the “why” behind the timing, only you know when it’s the right time to stop co-sleeping.
Luckily, transitioning your little one away from this sleep practice doesn’t need to be a struggle. And it doesn’t need to be a “take months until you’re all desperate for sleep” kind of thing.
With a few gentle tips and pre-transition tricks, you’ll be able to easily nurture your baby into rest in their new crib or room. Without having to feel stressed out while doing it.
Know Your Where and Why
If you’re feeling like you need to do all the research, get the whole process down, and be fully “in the know” when it comes to easing the transition from co-sleeping before finally giving it a go: we get it.
It can be easy to over-invest in the “how-tos” behind a milestone like this. Or worry about whether getting it wrong will lead to mornings of bleary eyes for you and hard nights of tears for your little one.
But here’s the real secret behind making the transition from co-sleeping easier: give up on the over-Googling, and get in tune with your where and why.
Instead of trying to learn every little thing there is to know about how to stop co-sleeping as a first step in the process, prepare for this next important milestone by taking stock of where your baby is in their developmental journey. As well as why your family believes that transitioning from co-sleeping is the right next step for you.
Your where and why are valuable guides that will help you determine the best and smoothest transition strategy for you and your family.
So that you can make things easy from the first night. Instead of dealing with months of exhaustion and frustration as you try out whatever method a well-meaning relative or friend told you is “right.” (With little to no success, we might add.)
How to Stop Co-sleeping: What to Know About Your “Where”
If you’ve been co-sleeping with your baby through the first months of their life (as many parents do with the help of a bedside sleeper), then you’ll likely find that your baby’s developmental milestones are what’s driving you to switch up your sleep practice.
For some families, the time to stop co-sleeping comes when their baby becomes mobile enough to easily crawl, roll, or scoot out of the safety of their made-just-for-them sleep space and into the plusher bedding of their parent’s bed.
Safe co-sleeping tools like bedside co-sleepers are designed to nurture your baby in the protective and supported embrace of a made-just-for-them mattress. On the flip side, the plush bedding that adults prefer — which can include things like mattress pads, thick blankets, and layers of snuggly warmth — can easily wrap around your baby or leave their body unsupported through the night.
If you’re transitioning away from co-sleeping because your baby is starting to enter the exciting time in their life when they’re learning to roll and crawl, then you may be simply looking to move your baby away from your bed but not fully out of your room.
The “where” of where you want your baby’s final sleep destination to be can help you decide what transition strategy will work best to try.
If they’re simply moving to a crib on the other side of your room, then you might find it easier to go “all-in” with getting your little one used to their new sleep set-up. While moving them to a nursery down the hall might mean introducing a little extra prep work into your pre-transition strategy.
What to Do with Your Where: Easing the Transition from Co-Sleeping
If you’re simply moving your baby further away from your bed (but keeping them in your room with you):
Start by pushing your little one’s new baby bassinet or crib against your bed. Instead of keeping them side-by-side with you through the night, let them learn to rest for a few nights in their new sleep space: while you still remain within easy reach.
As your baby becomes increasingly comfortable in their new set-up, move your baby’s crib father and farther across the room.
By doing this process slowly, you’ll give your baby the time they need to gain confidence that having you out of reach doesn’t mean that they aren’t being looked after and loved all night long.
Keep this gentle distancing strategy going until your baby has gained a full sense of peace with their new way of sleeping.
If you’re planning to move your baby to a nursery:
If you’re moving your little one to a nursery down the hall — or are closing out your co-sleeping journey when they’re a little older in age — then you might find it helpful to do even more pre-work to prepare your little one for the transition.
Help your get on a consistent sleep routine, with pre-bedtime rituals that leave them feeling perfectly rested but not over-tired.
If they’re a little older in age, you might also start with books or pre-bedtime chats that help them see the many exciting things they can expect now that they’ve hit this new milestone in their co-sleeping journey (a room of their own! a new crib! oh my!).
By getting consistent with a pre-bedtime routine, you’ll set your little one up to be comfy and relaxed as they sail toward bedtime.
Meanwhile, stirring up excitement for your little one’s new sleeping adventure in advance can help them understand that moving into a room of their own is a natural (and much-awaited!) next step as they grow big and strong.
How to Stop Co-sleeping: Know Your Why
There are many reasons why parents might decide that now is the time to stop co-sleeping.
Whether you’re looking for a little more privacy during the night. Are worried that your child has outgrown your current co-sleeping set-up. Or just feel like the time is “right”: knowing the reasoning behind your decision will help you choose a method for stopping co-sleeping that works perfectly for your family.
Going “Cold Turkey”
Parents looking for a little more privacy might be more inclined to try the “cold turkey” method, where one night your bedroom simply becomes “off the table” as a sleeping option.
We won’t sugarcoat it: going “cold turkey” might leave you rocking and rolling through some resistance the first few nights.
However, being firm and consistent in your decision to stop co-sleeping will help your baby learn that their new room is a safe and secure space to sleep (even if you aren’t always right by their side).
The Slow and Steady Approach
On the other hand, parents who have been prepping for a transition away from co-sleeping for a while now might find that a slower and more methodical approach (like slowly moving your baby’s crib or baby more and more distanced from your own) leads to quieter and less stressful nights of rest for all.
(This is especially true for parents who have been watching their baby hit come closer to developmental milestones for a while, with full understanding that they’re making their way toward independence quickly.)
If you’re not in a rush to quit co-sleeping, then coming up with a game plan —by outlining how and when you’ll slowly transition baby away from co-sleeping — can help make the process a smooth one.
Plan out small changes you can make each night that will ultimately build to baby’s full sleeping independence.
This might mean deciding how far you’ll move their crib from your bed every night, or coming up with a plan to sleep on a mattress beside your baby’s crib for a few nights before leaving them to try out their new space fully on their own.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
No matter when you make the transition, know one thing: how to stop co-sleeping depends on the needs of your baby and family.
So rather than looking for the “right” method, simply continue to ask yourself: is this plan right for us?
Keeping that question at the top of your mind will make sure that this next step in your co-sleeping journey is a smooth and exciting time for all.
Is it feeling like time to encourage your baby to stop co-sleeping? Or to switch them over to a new set-up so they can catch their Z’s in a space all their own? Great! But does it also feel like a challenge to figure out how to transition from co-sleeping to crib?
Less great…but good thing we have you covered on that front!
Here’s the most important thing to remember as you start on your journey away from co-sleeping: every family is unique. And so is every co sleeping journey.
Though family, friends, or strangers online might swear by one method of transitioning from co-sleeping, that doesn’t mean that this is the right method for you.
As you make plans to transition from co-sleeping to crib, take into account your own needs. Also take into account how your baby’s personality might respond better—or worse!—to different possible methods.
Though there are many parent-loved approaches out there (from taking the gradual approach to stopping “cold turkey”), there’s one thing you should keep in mind no matter which strategy you choose…
Consistency is key.
Though there are sure to be a few bumps along the road or nights when things just don’t seem to go according to plan, keep at it!
Putting a plan in place and following it closely will help your baby quickly get used to their new nighttime routine.
Why It’s So Hard to Transition from Co-Sleeping to Crib
Have you ever suffered through a night of tossing and turning because you were in an unfamiliar place? Or lost plenty of good hours of rest because you were sleeping on a mattress that wasn’t your own?
It’s common for anyone (adults and babies alike!) to have a hard time sleeping when they’re getting used to a new sleeping environment. Or when they’re adjusting to new nighttime sounds.
Your baby has gotten used to the comfortable feeling of sleeping by your side. Suddenly moving across the room into a crib of their own—or moving into a whole new room of their own—is bound to create some confusion and discomfort during the transition stage.
But the more consistent you can be, the easier it will be for your baby to feel comfortable with the new routine you’re setting.
It’s important to hold strong! Even in the tempting moments when you’re faced with your baby’s discomfort and a night or two of lack of sleep.
By outlining your goals ahead of time and being clear on what method you’ve chosen and why you believe it’s the one that will best support your baby’s transition, you’ll be able to roll over all those bumps and help baby get used to their new routine in no time.
How Bedside Co-Sleepers Help Ease the Transition from Co-Sleeping to Crib
Luckily, families who have been co sleeping with the help of a bedside co sleeper like the babybay often have an easier time transitioning baby away from their bedside.
Because your baby is already familiar with the feel of their baby co-sleeper, they won’t have to get used to a new sleeping space. They’ll just have to get used to a new distance from you.
With a bedside sleeper conversion kit, you can easily transform your bedside co-sleeper into a standalone baby bassinet. One that you can gradually move across the room until your little one gets used to sleeping away from your side.
Before you know it, your baby will be sweetly exploring dreamland all night long. Even when you’re not right by their side.
The Real Key to Transitioning from Co-Sleeping to Crib: Be Consistent
You’ll hear this advice again and again, and for good reason: keeping consistent is the most important thing you can do to help baby feel confident and comfortable as they get used to their new nighttime routine.
Some experts recommend putting an “our bed is off limits” rule in place for the first three months after you’ve stopped co sleeping. This means that your baby is not invited onto their mattress at all—even for nap times or cuddling—until they’ve had enough time to adjust to sleeping in a space all their own.
It makes sense that many parents find this an effective tactic to stop co-sleeping. Your baby is still too young to logically understand why cuddling at 10am is totally fine, but sleeping by your side at night is off-limits.
Keeping your baby completely away from your bed until they have fully adjusted to their new nighttime routine can help deliver sounder nights of comfortable and confident sleep for them. And sounds nights of sleep for you!
Of course, if you’ve been co sleeping with the help of a bedside co-sleeper, then your baby is likely well-prepared to take on the challenge of adjusting to a new sleeping space.
Because they’re already used to being comfy and cozy on a mattress all their own, they won’t have as much trouble leaving your bedside behind. (Especially if you’re simply transforming your trusted bedside sleeper into a baby bassinet that baby gets to continue to happily sleep on all night long!)
Which means when it’s time to figure out how to transition from co-sleeping to crib, you can be confident that your baby is well-prepared for the journey ahead.