How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib After Co Sleeping
Has your baby been sleeping in your room or in your bed for a few months?
Do you love being able to cuddle up with your baby but feel like it is time to get them into their own space?
Eventually, all co-sleeping or co-bedding arrangements have to end.
Are you wondering how to get baby to sleep in crib after co sleeping?
No matter how much you love your baby, you know that they won’t be sharing a room with you forever, so you’ll need to prepare for how to make this transition.
Some babies have no problem with the transition at all; others find it difficult to adapt to their new arrangements.
In reality, you have no idea how they are going to react!
The best thing that you can do is to be prepared for any possible reaction.
How to Get Baby to Sleep in Crib After Co Sleeping
Take some time to learn all that you can from these 11 tips.
Use these tips to make the process easier on your family when it is time to figure out how to get your baby to sleep in a crib after co-sleeping.
Tip 1: Close but Not Too Close
When you are getting ready to transition your baby from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own room, you will want to start to transitioning away from co-bedding.
To be clear, co-bedding is when you actually share a bed with your baby.
Co-sleeping, on the other hand, is when you are sleeping very close to each other in the same room.
You will want to start the transition away from co-bedding by setting up a bed or crib that touches your bed but keeps the child from being directly in your bed.
This will help you and them with the transition.
It will be less jarring to be slightly farther away at first before you create even more separation between you.
Keep them close, but not too close, and transition gradually.
Tip 2: Keep the Crib Nearby
Another tip that you can try to use when working on how to get baby to sleep in crib after co sleeping is to keep the crib nearby.
Was their crib or bassinet usually set up right against your bed to facilitate better co-sleeping?
Start by moving the crib slightly farther away from your bed and then move it to the other side of the room.
Do this gradually, but keep the crib nearby at first to help you and your baby adjust to the changes.
Tip 3: Sleepover in Their Room
Once you’ve moved your baby into their own room, have some sleepovers there for the first few days or weeks to ensure that they are going to be safe and comfortable.
It will also help to ease your mind to be nearby when they are first sleeping in their own room.
Set up a mattress on the floor and sleep there for a few nights before you fully transition to sleeping in separate rooms.
You’ll feel better for it in the long run.
Tip 4: Go Gradually; Start With Naps
Rather than trying immediately to remove your baby from your room or yourself from your baby’s sleeping habits, start by only having them sleep away from you during naps.
This adjustment period will help your baby become accustomed to sleeping away from you for at least a few hours.
In turn, it will ease the overall transition process.
In time, you’ll be able to have them there at night without as much fussing, and that will be a relief to everyone in the family.
Tip 5: Stay in the Room After They Sleep
Another thing that you can do to make your baby more comfortable is to spend a little bit of extra time in the room with your baby after they go to sleep.
Sit in the room and read for half an hour after they fall asleep.
As you do this, gradually move your chair closer to the door each night.
Eventually, you’ll be out of the room, and your baby will still be perfectly comfortable.
Your presence in the room can help your baby remain calm and comfortable, and that is why staying for a bit after they fall asleep is a good idea.
Plus, you’ll also benefit from getting to see that your baby is safe and happy.
Tip 6: Leave a Little “You” Behind
When you’re setting your baby up to go to sleep, the primary goal is for your baby to be comfortable.
One way that you can help them to comfortably adjust to the new sleeping arrangements is to leave something that smells like you, such as a piece of fabric or a shirt of years, nearby.
Babies rely on smell for a lot of their comfort, and they are used to having your smell nearby.
By setting them up with a small token that will keep your smell nearby, they are more likely to be able to comfortably sleep even in their new arrangement.
Make sure that whatever you leave behind is safe for your baby to be near.
You don’t want to leave something like a large pillow that could become a hazard to their health.
Wrapping them up in a blanket that you often use is an excellent alternative to that idea.
Tip 7: Be Consistent
Once their new routine is in place, avoid co-sleeping with them to prevent any confusion.
Don’t even take naps together; it’s confusing for the baby.
While you can understand why this change is happening because you are making the active choice to change things, your baby is not going to know why, unless they are gradually transitioning to their new sleeping style.
If you sleep with them one night and then not the next, it’s going to be even more difficult for them to adapt to their new routine.
That is why it is so important to be consistent when making this change.
It can be hard but stick to your new routine even if that means that you and your baby have to go through a few teary nights.
Use a portable crib when traveling to keep up the routine as much as possible even when you are away from home.
This can be a great time for their adjustment to take place since there will be a new environment.
The key is consistency, so make sure you follow through on your end of things, as well.
While it might feel like “just one nap” with your baby isn’t going to mess up the progress that you’ve made, it really could.
So, you need to be consistent and follow through on your end of this transition.
Tip 8: Try Using a Noise Machine
Using a noise machine to soothe your baby can help to make the overall process less stressful.
It can also help you be able to leave the room without waking up your baby after you put them down to sleep.
Noise machines usually play lullabies or white noise, and you can adjust what they play very easily to make your baby comfortable.
Additionally, the noise machine can act as a kind of new routine for your baby.
They will know that the sounds mean it is time for bed, and they may start to get drowsy.
This can be very helpful when you are traveling.
You can turn on the noise machine, and they will start to get sleepy even when they are in a new, unfamiliar environment.
There are many different noise machines out there, so take a look at what options you like and see if you can incorporate one into your routine to make the transition process more comfortable.
Tip 9: Don’t Rush the Bedtime Routine
Another vital thing to consider is whether or not you are rushing through your baby’s bedtime routine in an attempt to get them to sleep fast.
Sometimes, this is a result of your family being too busy.
You feel overwhelmed, so you rush through bedtime activities, like bathing and changing, just to get to the part where you can take a little break.
While we fully understand this sentiment, you need to remember that the bedtime routine is part of what will help your baby to fall asleep peacefully.
Hence, you need to make sure to continue doing it as you transition away from co-sleeping.
Take time to prepare your baby for bed; cuddle with them, and make them very comfortable as it gets to be bedtime.
By doing this, you’ll be setting your baby up for a good sleep and also giving you great bonding time that is irreplaceable.
Bedtime is a beautiful bonding time between baby and parents, so make sure that you are devoting yourself to this ritual as you prepare to put your baby to sleep each night.
Tip 10: Transition Early
It is usually recommended that you start transitioning your baby out of your co-sleeping arrangements before they are 18 months old.
However, there are always going to be exceptions to that rule.
If you’re transitioning because another baby is on the way, make sure to do it sooner rather than later.
Why is this important?
You don’t want your older child to feel like they are being replaced by a younger child.
They are already going to have trouble adapting to not being the youngest or only child in the house any longer.
Kicking them out of your room the day that the new baby comes along is only going to make this worse.
Instead, start the transition process at least two months before your baby is due.
By giving you and your child a few months to transition to a new sleeping arrangement, they will not feel like they are being replaced by a new sibling that they have just met.
Instead, they will be able to look more favorably at the new baby in the house.
Of course, there are exceptions here.
If your baby is still very young, you could transition to having them sleep in the same room but farther away until they are old enough to be in their own room.
Tip 11: Have a Conversation
Have you let your child co-sleep until they were 18 months or older?
Are they old enough to understand you and to really grasp that your situation is going to be changing?
If you are working with an older child, you need to communicate to them what is changing and why.
They are old enough to notice a difference, so it is your responsibility to make sure that the difference is handled well.
If you don’t take the time to talk to them and ensure that they understand the changes happening, they might become stressed about the differences they are going through.
You can explain the change in a way that makes the child feel very excited and positive about it.
Explain to them that they are grown up enough to deserve a big kid bed, and talk to them about the exciting things that this means for them.
It’s going to be challenging to help a child of any age understand why they can’t cuddle with their parents every night anymore.
However, it is crucial that they are taught this lesson and gain their independence.
By having an honest conversation with your child, you will help them to learn just that.
Teary moms and babies might feel like the transition from sleeping in the same bed or room to sleeping separately are nearly impossible, but that is not true.
Sure, it is difficult to no longer be sleeping so close together or spending every minute together, but it is important to make this transition.
You want your baby to grow up to be strong and independent, as well as loving.
You’ve already shown them how much you care about them in the first few months of their life; it’s now time to transition to showing them that you will always care about them, even when they’re not sleeping in your room.
The transition is difficult, but you can use these tips to ensure that it won’t be impossible as you move forward in your lives together.