how to stop co sleeping
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.
When it becomes time to transition baby from co-sleeping to a crib or room of their own, here’s the first thing you should know: there’s no one perfect way to stop co-sleeping, just like there’s no perfect timeline of when to do it.
At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for your family.
Instead of trying to learn every little thing there is to know about how to stop co-sleeping, prepare for this next important milestone by taking stock of where your baby is in their developmental journey and why your family believes that transitioning from co-sleeping is the right next step.
Being aware of your where and why will help you put a plan in place that will smooth the transition. That way, you can avoid weeks or 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: Know Your Where
For some families, the time to stop co-sleeping comes when baby becomes mobile enough to easily crawl, roll, or scoot out of their safe bedside cosleeper and into the bedding, blankets, and pillows of their parents’ own space.
Though bedside co sleepers are designed to nurture baby in the protective and supported embrace of made-just-for-them mattresses, the oh-so-plush materials that adults prefer (we’re talking down feathers, pillow tops, cushy mattress pads, and layers of snuggly warmth) can easily wrap around baby or leave their body unsupported through the night.
If you’re transitioning away from co-sleeping, you might want to try methods for stopping co-sleeping that still keep baby close.
Here’s how to ease that transition.
Push your baby’s baby bassinet or crib against your bed and let baby spend a few nights getting used to the feeling of having their own space while still being by your side.
Once baby is comfortable with their new setup, move their crib or bassinet farther and farther across the room until they feel confident that having you out of reach doesn’t mean that they aren’t being looked after and loved all night long.
Other families might find that moving slow and steady by preparing their child early with books or chats that discuss the many exciting aspects of moving from cosleeping—A room of their own! A new crib!—can set their child up for success.
Stirring up excitement in advance by showing and explaining to your child what they can expect as they transition away from co-sleeping—and why this is an exciting time in their life, rather than a scary one—can also make moving into a crib or room of their own feel like a natural (and much-awaited!) next step are 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 method, 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.
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.
Though going “cold turkey” might leave you rocking and rolling through some resistance the first few nights, being firm and consistent in your decision to stop co-sleeping will help your baby soon learn that their new room is a safe and secure space to sleep (even if you aren’t always right by their side).
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.
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 baby’s crib for a few nights before leaving them to try out their new space fully on their own.
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.