Get Your Bed Back Now: When And How To Stop Co-sleeping
Co-sleeping is one of the best things that you can do for your child. No memory is as precious as those twilight times when your baby is cuddled by your side.
But no matter how much your child wants to bed share, there will come a time when he’s got to sleep on his own. That is inevitable, after all, who wants to co-sleep up to grade school?
So you have decided to call co-sleeping quits?
Perhaps your baby is now too big he is occupying most of the bed. Or it could also be due to dads’ protests.
But how are you planning to get your bed back? Are you prepared to face your child’s protests and tears?
Here are five proven tips on when and how to stop co-sleeping.
Calling It Quits: 5 Tips On How To Stop Co-sleeping
1. Let your child pick up his “big kid” bed and decorate his room
Choose a bed that is big enough to accommodate your child up to his grade school years. Dress up and decorate your baby’s room with his help. Make it cozy and comforting.
Ask around for room decoration ideas. Personalize it with his/her chosen cartoon characters or theme.
And don't forget:
There will be times when you will lie down and snuggle with your kid, so the mattress must be wide enough for both of you. It must be sturdily built.
Plus, kids just love to bounce on top of a new mattress, so choose one that can withstand all that jumps.
Lastly, choose a waterproof cover for the bed to save you some sanity and time spent cleaning a soiled mattress.
2. Wean your kid of nighttime breastfeeding
Finish weaning your child before you stop co-sleeping. So it's always a good idea to plan it ahead. You don’t want your child to knock on your door and wake you up in the middle of your sleep just to nurse.
But that doesn't end there.
Don't just quit co-sleeping cold turkey. You have to consider quite a number of things.
For starters, check your child’s weight. It must be within the normal range. If your kid is underweight, focus first on his diet.
When you stop co-sleeping, it may be a stressful time for your little one. He may protest and fuss around for a few days. Based on my experience, my kid tested my resolve by refusing to eat his food. So observe and consider this well before you call it quits.
3. Introduce a security object
During this time, your child may be needy. Be prepared to work with his Oscar award-worthy cries. Keep him comfortable and feeling safe by giving him a security object.
What objects are good?
Mom or dad’s old t-shirt will do. Even better, let him pick his choice of cushy pillow, fluffy comforter or stuffed toy.
Be prepared to have another security object on hand since you will have to wash his favorite pillow/toy regularly.
And every chance you get, let your toddler play in his bedroom and his bed. He must treat his bedroom as his space, a place where he is comfortable and safe.
4. Set a new bedtime routine
Tuck your child to sleep in his new bedroom. Read some stories and reminisce the day with him. Give some back rub to put him in a relaxed state.
Try to leave the room before your child falls asleep. Turn off the lights but keep a night lamp open. Stick with your bedtime routine daily until such time that your kid can get accustomed to it.
Stick with a standard sleeping time.
5. Make compromise and transition as necessary
There are times when your child has nightmares, or perhaps he is ill and wants mom’s extra touch. Cut your child some slack every now and then.
This means you can invite him back in your room on some nights or you can sleep in his so he doesn't have to readjust all over again.
So when and how to stop co-sleeping?
As soon as your child is ready. There's no exact age for that, just observe your child's development and preparedness for independent sleeping.
It may feel weird for the both of you at first, but you'll get used to it. To encourage your little angel further, praise your child and acknowledge him during this time. Tell him how good he is for trying independence as early as now.