Co-sleeping and bed-sharing– one mom’s fear is another mom’s guilty pleasure. Me? I LOVE bed-sharing with my toddler. The baby cuddles, the smell of his hair, the random touches of my face. (Yes son– I’m still here! Haha!) Something about my baby being in bed with me, makes me feel more secure. That is until I’m getting a ninja kick to the stomach or he’s waking me to feed.
If you’ve been following along with my blog, you know that I was still breastfeeding and co-sleeping my then, 19-month old. However, after a recent visit with the pediatrician and her suggesting I wean my toddler from breastfeeding, I reached out to my mom tribe for their best weaning advice. Of course the weaning topic revealed that my biggest hurdle was nighttime feedings.
And why was my toddler still getting nighttime feedings you may ask? Because we bed-share. And it’s easy. And maybe I’m just too lazy. But I quote from fellow Smother Mother Rachel who made a really good point, “Once he can’t smell the buffet then he won’t wake up to eat.”
Keep reading as these mamas share their best advice for transitioning the babes to their own room.
Update: Since writing this blog post I have managed to wean my toddler from nursing but we are still bed-sharing. I am sharing this blog post for a fellow Smother Mother of mine who is ready to transition her child to his own room.
How to Transition Your Baby To His/Her Own Room
This may sound funny, but take a comforter into your child’s room and sleep on the floor—not in her bed, but on the floor—all night long (Sorry). Even though a slumber party in your child’s room is probably not your idea of a good time, it’s a smart move in the long run. If you’re in her room when she falls asleep and then not there when she wakes a couple of hours later, she will call out or come looking for you. Sleeping in her room all night pushes the reset button, so to speak, on whatever anxiety your child is having about being there alone. She can wake up and see Mom or Dad each time, then just go back to sleep.
After two or three nights, switch to sitting quietly in a nearby chair until your child falls asleep. But no talking! You want to bore your child to sleep. Each night, move yourself farther from your child’s bed—to the door, to the hallway and eventually back to your own bedroom. If your child follows you, you want to calmly walk her back to bed every time she gets up. A secure door gate—or just the idea of it—can also work wonders for certain kids.
My two month old has been happily sleeping in her own crib for the past 2 weeks. I started by putting her in her crib awake, and letting her play in it with me beside her, talking to her etc. Then I started putting her in it (asleep) for her afternoon naps – even if was only for a half hour.
Once she was comfortable with that, we started putting her in it at night, with a monitor so that we can hear her. We still bring her into bed with us when she wakes up in the morning, so we can have that time to play and bond, but she has gone from sleeping 4hrs a night in our room to 7hrs a night in her own room! I think it was more a matter of training me to be comfortable with it than her…
It really sucks moving him to his own room and you will definitely cry. I was more upset about moving Carter to his own room and didn’t have a good night’s sleep for 3 nights. But once I found that Carter was sleeping well and was happier in the morning I was sleeping more soundly too.
You might have to go into his room to comfort him and maybe even feed once or twice. Try weaning one feeding at a time and drop them down slowly over several weeks. Once he can’t smell the buffet then you will be surprised that he won’t wake up to eat.
Hang in there!
It was a ROUGH week full of sleepless nights, but I didn’t let up. I got up with him every time he cried, rocked him back to sleep, and put him right back in his crib. He just got used to it and continued sleeping through the night again. Every Mother and baby have what work for them, but if you’re trying to break habit of something I’d just recommend trying to replace it with something else, or just be consistent in what you’re doing. If you keep giving in he’ll know that whatever he’s doing is working and you’re going to give it to him. Lol. I learned that the hard way many times.
Our big transition lately has been keeping Kaden in his toddler bed. If he got up in the middle of the night it was so easy to just put him in bed with us instead of losing sleep. BUT- I’ve quit that habit as well and I walk him to bed every time he gets up now and sit with him until he falls asleep again. The last few nights he’s slept through the whole night instead of getting up and coming to our room. Not sure if this advice will even help, but I just wanted to share a little bit of my personal experiences and what has worked for us! Good luck
We transitioned my son to his “big boy bed” at age two, I had a similar experience. I was 6 months pregnant and would fall right asleep when we laid down. After a few weeks, he expected me to lay there until he fell asleep. We gradually broke the habit by having me sit in the rocking chair in his room rather than lie with him. I’d sit there for maybe ten minutes then would have “something to do” and would be back to check on him. The period of time I was gone got longer each time. Also, the amount of time I sat in the chair got shorter. After a few months, I didn’t need to sit in the chair anymore and he was comfortable with me leaving after our goodnight routine. I hope that helps with your situation.
My son slept in our bed until he was 10 months old. We could not get him to sleep in his crib, so to get him out of our bed we put him on a matress on the floor in our room. I would lay on the mattress with him until he fell asleep. Sometimes it would take awhile for him to go to sleep, so I had to be patient. After he was sleeping I would get up into my bed. If he woke up at night I would lay on his mattress with him again until he was asleep. Again, I would return to my own bed. After a few days, we moved the mattress to his room. I still helped him fall asleep but he would stay asleep because he was used to the mattress by then. This was the best solution for us. My son wasn’t upset by this and I was right there if he needed me.
I highly recommend Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution Book. If you follow the steps and are patient it works. I have 3 children, the youngest 4 months and have used her method with a lot of success. Crying it out doesn’t feel right because it goes against our natural instinct. Her book really works!!
Co-sleeping Mamas: How did you transition?
What’s your best advice for transitioning babies to their own bed?