If you’ve gotten into the habit of co-sleeping with your baby, meaning you take your little one into your bed with you at night, it’s best to break this habit as soon as possible. Especially for young babies, co-sleeping isn’t considered to be safe, since adult beds are usually too soft for little babies and contain things like pillows, blankets, and other people—all of which can help to contribute to the risk of SIDS.
To help you go through this transition and make the change easier on you and your little one, here are three tips for transitioning out of co-sleeping with your baby.
Make This The Only Big Change
Once your baby gets used to things being a certain way, it can be hard to have them embrace a new change. So to help give them the best chance of taking it well as you stop co-sleeping, Marygrace Taylor, a contributor to What To Expect, recommends that you make this change is sleeping arrangements be the only big change that is taking place at this time.
To do this, you’ll need to pick the right time to stop co-sleeping. Ideally, you should try to not make this transition if there are other big changes coming soon, like a trip or a big developmental milestone. Having these things take place simultaneously can make your baby even more stressed than he or she already will be.
Simulate You Being Near
Most likely, your baby will miss being near you while he or she is sleeping. But luckily, you don’t actually have to be right next to them in order to make them feel like you’re still close.
One great way to simulate you being near, according to Claire Gagne, a contributor to Today’s Parent, is for you to sleep with their bed sheet or blanket the night before you put them in their own bed. This way, your baby will be able to sense your smell and may feel calmer because of it.
Commit To Consistency
Making any kind of transition with your baby won’t always be easy. But if it’s for their own good, it will be worth it in the long-run. The key here is to stick it out until they get used to it. For things like sleep training and stopping co-sleeping, Nicole Harris, a contributor to Parents.com, shares that it can take up to three weeks for your baby to adjust. So although hearing them cry and knowing exactly what you could do to soothe them can be very hard to handle, do your best to be consistent and commit to making this change happen.
If you’re needing to transition your baby out of co-sleeping with you, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do this.