You may have chosen to co-sleep, or share a bed with your baby, because it makes breastfeeding at night more convenient. Or perhaps Daddy likes the closeness and bonding with his precious little one.
Of course, there are some babies who end up sleeping in their parents’ bed simply out of habit. Perhaps, one night, your little one had a bad dream and woke up tearful.
To calm her down, you let her sleep with you and she quickly nodded off. The same thing happened the next night, and the next. Before you knew it, the habit had been established by accident rather than by design.
Other parents, however, cite possible disadvantages. For instance, sexual intimacy becomes impossible, and a restless baby can disturb their sleep. The child might also become too reliant on Mummy and Daddy for everything.
It’s a matter of personal choice. But if you decide that you’ve had enough of co-sleeping, and want your baby out of your bed, here are some suggestions.
Plan in advance
Don’t break her routine suddenly. Tell her your plans, even if she doesn’t fully understand.
(Also read: Baby sleeping in bed with you? Know the risks)
Get her involved
No one is too young to design her own room. Your little one can be with you when you’re shopping for her bed sheets, cupboards and curtains. This enhances her connection with her room.
Encourage your little one to play in her room and new bed before she actually sleeps there.
Move her toys, games and clothes from your room into hers. She can play there during the day even though she continues to sleep in your bed. Then, pick a night where she will start to sleep there.
As she has spent much of her life sleeping beside you at night, chances are she will resist sleeping in her own bed at first.
Expect her to be fretful. This settling-in phase might last up to three or four weeks, so be patient. Just don’t give in to her protests.
(Also read: Baby still not sleeping through the night? Do this!)
Stick to your plan
The first four weeks after the transition begins is very important. That’s the time when your young child will probably put up her strongest challenge in the hope of returning to co-sleeping with you.
Remind yourself that you reached the decision for her to return to her own bed for good reasons.
Once co-sleeping is a thing of the past, be flexible enough to consider the practice in special circumstances.
For instance, when she is ill, co-sleeping could give her recovery a psychological boost. One-off occasions like that won’t do any harm. However, be careful that you don’t slip back into old habits.