Most parents are apprehensive about the transition from co-sleeping to their baby sleeping independently. Especially if you’ve gotten your little one into a solid bedtime routine and your child is getting adequate sleep. It can be a daunting challenge for any parent, and sometimes it can seem like the effort isn’t worth the reward! However, making sure that both parent and child are getting optimal sleep is key for a functioning, healthy household, as the effects of sleep deprivation can be extremely serious. After the 6 month mark, you can begin your baby’s transition into their cot. The process can be as easy as a few days to taking several months. This is our guide in helping speed up that process to make it simple and stress-free for you and your bub!
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If your baby is sleeping in bed with you, the first time they sleep in a cot will be a big change for them. Putting a cot alongside your bed at the same height as the mattress, will help your baby feel like they’re still on the bed with you. They’re used to being within close proximity to you, so gradually moving them away from your own bed is the key here. Across the time span of a few weeks, slowly move their cot further away from the bed. This helps your baby get used to not being within physical reach of you, and also allows them time to process their new environment of being in their own cot. Aim to have their cot as far away from your bed as possible, so that they are accustomed to the surroundings of their cot and comfortably sleeping in their new bed. From here, you can make the big move into their own room. Making them feel safe and secure in their cot is going to be the most important thing during this transitional period.
Children are extremely sensitive to their environment. They crave order and structure; going to sleep and waking up in an unfamiliar setting will be a struggle at first. To ease their transition to sleeping in their own room, we recommend spending some time sleeping in the room with them. You may have to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag (sorry!), but being close by while they’re still adjusting will decrease your child’s stress and make them feel safe in their strange, new environment.
Getting your baby familiar with their cot during nap time can be extremely helpful in their transition. Usually this is easier on the child than getting a full night’s rest in a new environment–so taking advantage of this time during the day will aid in simplifying the transitional process and cause less stress on both parent and baby.
Once your baby settles into their new environment, make sure to offer comfort and support if they wake up intermittently during the night. Using your Glow Dreaming at this time will also be extremely important to maintain a sense of calm and familiarity for your child (we recommend introducing their Glow Dreaming as early as possible). Try not to bring them back to bed with you if they are distressed–this can confuse your child as they may interpret this as a reward for their behaviour, and could enforce bad sleeping habits.