co sleeping method
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.
For parents wondering when is co sleeping safe?, there are many factors that need to be considered. But the #1 most important one might not be quite what you think…
To know when the right time to start co sleeping with your little one might be, you first need to know the differences between the types of co sleeping that parents might choose to practice as a family.
Because as it turns out, there are many different sleep practices that often get grouped under the “co sleeping” umbrella.
And while some—like enjoying the benefits of a bedside co sleeper—offer an ASTM, TÜV, and Confidence in Textiles certified-safe solution for helping baby catch some rest while sleeping by your side, other common co sleeping practices don’t offer the same safety guarantee.
“Bed sharing,” for example, references the practice of inviting a baby into your own bed to sleep during the night. Though bed sharing is often considered one form of co-sleeping, there are key safety differences between the two.
So let’s break down what those differences (and similarities!) happen to be…
Bed Sharing: What to Know About Safety and The Question When Is Co Sleeping Safe?
The American Academy of Pediatrics knows that keeping your baby close during the first year of their life carries a whole host of benefits (like making nighttime nursing a breeze and helping you easily respond to every crisis call).
That’s why they recommend room sharing with baby for at least the first 6 months of their life, and ideally through the first year.
But in the eyes of the AAP, room sharing is not the same as bed-sharing.
While bed-sharing with 6 month-old or younger babies can carry risks like concerns about comfy bedding, soft objects, or any other pillowy or quilted materials causing harm, room sharing does not create these same concerns.
When you room share, you offer baby the firm, made-just-for-them sleep space they need to feel comfortable, cozy, and safe all night long.
You get to enjoy the adult mattress and oh-so-plush bedding you’ve come to love, while giving baby a sleeping space all their own that is perfectly designed to support them and keep them safe.
Which is the kind of win-win that bed sharing does not always guarantee.
When Can You Start Room Sharing?
Because you’re sharing a space rather than sharing a bed, you can room share with baby from the first moment they come home from the hospital.
On the other hand, bed-sharing with 6 month-old or younger babies is not as easily recommended.
That’s because your baby has yet to learn the escape artist skills they need to untangle themselves from any soft fabrics that come their way. (Those escape artist skills will come one day! But not for a while down the road.)
That’s why many parents of young babies choose to confidently practice a form of co-sleeping that give baby a sleeping space that’s made just for them.
With a bedside co sleeper securely attached to your bed, this is the kind of confidence you get from the first day you bring your little one home from the hospital.
How to Co-Sleep Safely: Down to the Details
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be hard to co-sleep safely.
There are certain gold-star co sleeping practices that help you get stress-free nights of sound rest while supporting your baby’s body and mind.
Bedside sleepers deliver all the benefits of co sleeping like more bonding time with baby, easier nighttime nursing, and boosted support for baby’s healthy physical and mental growth. While also gifting you with peace of mind (which is one of the best gifts of all, can’t we agree?).
Bedside sleepers like the babybay attach snugly to the side of your own mattress, allowing you to sleep comfortably on the soft bedding you love while giving your baby a made-just-for-them sleeping space that properly supports their needs.
That means they can enjoy the firm mattress that’s safest for them—without you having to sacrifice any of your own sleep comfort.
The best part? Bedside co sleepers allow you to always be within arm’s reach of your baby all through the night. That means you’ll be able to soak up all the close-by-baby benefits of co sleeping, without a single moment of stress or worry.
When Is Co-Sleeping Safe with a Bedside Co-Sleeper?
The babybay bedside co sleeper has been lovingly designed to support your baby through nights of safe co sleeping as soon as they come home from the hospital.
That means that the babybay will be there to support all of your co-sleeping needs from the moment that your baby is born!
And when you feel it’s the best age to transition from co sleeping, you can be sure that your baby will be ready to get full nights of rest all on your own, with full confidence that you’re there to support them during every step of the way.
That’s why parents that wonder when is co sleeping safe? should keep this in mind: how you co-sleep matters when you’re trying to decide the right time to start.