Are you currently co-sleeping with your baby and you are now looking into getting your bed back? Are you wondering how to transition your baby from co-sleeping to sleep in their own room? This can be a difficult change, but know that it is absolutely possible! When using the right tools, getting your baby used to sleep in a different environment at bedtime is achievable, but may take some time, practice, and consistency.
I usually let the parents choose what sleep method is best for them. In order for any program to be successful, the parents need to be comfortable with the plan, believe in it and be ready to follow through. If they are not fully on board, they may not achieve their sleeping goals and the process may be more difficult for them. This is why I always create a plan that fits their parenting styles and values. This is extremely important to me, and will always make this my priority when working with families.
That being said, if your goal is to transition your baby from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own room, then the ultimate outcome is to help your baby learn to fall asleep on their own in their crib or bed, without having you in the room as they fall asleep. But before you get there, you need to set the stage! I want you to be as successful as possible and I want things to go as smoothly as possible. Falling asleep independently at bedtime is a skill they need to learn, and requires patience. Working on removing yourself from the equation and promoting independent sleep habits is the key to success.
At bedtime, I suggest starting to do the routine in your baby’s room instead of yours. If you have never done a consistent bedtime routine before, then create a short, consistent bedtime routine that is suiting and relaxing for your baby. If you want to take your time with this process, you can certainly do a few nights of the routine in your room so you are not changing too many things at once. Then once you feel confident and comfortable with the process, after a few nights you can go ahead and move it into their room. You can also co-sleep in your baby’s room for a few nights to offer a smooth transition.
Once you have a set bedtime routine in your baby’s room, you can start working on putting them in bed tired, but awake. Keep in mind that the end goal is to help them learn to fall asleep on their own. From here, you can try 2 different approaches;
Choose a sleep training method
For the first main approach, simply put her down awake in her crib after the bedtime routine, and start a sleep training program that you are comfortable using. If you choose to consult with a sleep professional, make sure that their sleep method fits your parenting style as you will need to be consistent and follow through with the process in order to be successful. Your baby may cry or resist this change for a while, but responding consistently is really the key to helping them at this point. Keep in mind that the second night is sometimes harder than the first, but then things tend to get better in the nights after that.
The second approach I recommend using is a bit more gradual. Instead of going right to putting your baby down awake, instill small changes every other night that gradually fades your presence, and decrease the help you provide your baby at bedtime. Instead of rocking your baby to sleep, (as an example) go ahead and put them down awake in the crib and pat their back until they fall asleep. Do this for several nights. For the next few nights, keep working on offering less and less support and assistance at bedtime and during night awakenings. It will take some consistency and practice, but you can do it! Transitioning your baby from co-sleeping to sleeping in her own room is possible and I can help you achieve your sleep goal for your little one.
Lastly, whenever you decide to make the change, I would recommend not bringing your baby back to your bed moving forward. Remember consistency is key!
The recommendations above are obviously guidelines and may not work for everyone, as each family is different, each baby has different sleep needs, and every parent has their own parenting style. If you are thinking of transitioning your baby to their own bed or crib, contact me and I will create a personalized plan for you and your family.