Ending Co-Sleeping: Moving Children To Their Bed
While co-sleeping or having your child sleep in the same room as you can have many benefits, this sleeping arrangement cannot last forever. Moving your child to his or her own bed and his or her own room can afford you more privacy and your child more independence as well.
When is the Right Time?
There is no "right" time to move your child into his own bed. Make the move when it feels right for all of you. Having another baby on the way, you and your spouse wanting more privacy, or the feeling that everyone would have a better night's sleep in their own beds are all adequate reasons for moving a young child out of the family bed and into their own bed.
However, toddler-hood can be a tumultuous time, so schedule the move for a time when your child is not toilet training, starting preschool, giving up a pacifier, or hitting any other milestone. This will minimize the stress on everybody.
How Do I Start the Move?
Start the change gradually. You don't want your child to feel like he is being abruptly kicked out of your bed. Try having him take his naps during the day in his own bed in his own room. You can also have him sleep on his own mattress in your room instead of in your bed. Talk to him about one day sleeping in his own "big kid" bed in his very own room and answer all of his questions and concerns.
Let him know that no matter where he sleeps Mommy and Daddy are still right in the next room if he needs you. If he has a comfort object like a bear or a blanket, having this object in the new room will ease the process.
If he doesn't already have a comfort object, try offering your little one a "sleeping buddy" before you make the move so he has a sleeping companion to take with him when he moves to his own bed.
Alternatively, you can move your child into his new room right away and sleep with him in his room for a little while. Gradually start to move out by just laying with him until he falls asleep, sitting with him until he falls asleep, or tucking him in.
What Do I Do About Nighttime Visits?
It's only natural that your child will wander back into your bedroom in the middle of the night for the first little while. Remain calm and upbeat, and don't except overnight success. Lead your nighttime visitor back to his own room and sit with him for a while. You may alternatively keep a small mattress on the floor in your room for him to sleep on if he needs. You can eliminate it as he starts return on a less regular basis.
If your little one has an older sibling, think about letting them share a room. This will provide nighttime comfort away from you. You should also treat the move like the big milestone it is. Celebrate the big moving day with your child, and think about letting him pick out some of his own bedroom décor