Help! How do I stop co-sleeping?

“Help!  How do I stop co-sleeping?”

While gallivanting in Maui for my honeymoon my friend and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, Betsy Smith Barney, offered to answer one of your burning sleep questions as she is on a mission to help parents help their children sleep.

The transition from co-sleeping to independent sleeping can be challenging for both parent and child.  As a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, one of the most common requests I receive from parents is, “Help!  How do I stop co-sleeping?”  Regardless of whether it was the original plan or an act of desperation, there comes a time when parents choose to take back the bedroom and move their child to his own sleeping space.

5 tips to help you transition your child into his own bed

  1.   Get on the same page.  Are both you and your partner ready to make the transition? What is your reasoning?  If your family isn’t well rested and happy it’s probably time to make the switch.  If you feel you need to stop co-sleeping out of guilt or pressure, please don’t!  If what you’re doing is working for your family, great. Trust your gut.
  2. Set specific goals.  Make sure the goals you set for your child are age appropriate and reasonable.  It may not be realistic for a 4 month old to sleep through the night independently without supportIf your child is two, then they are definitely capable of learning to sleep in their own space. 
  3. Decide when you want to begin sleep coaching.  Pick a time frame where your lives are relatively calm and there aren’t any travel plans for at least two weeks. Sleep coaching always starts at bedtime and continues thru the night.  You will need a relaxed bedtime routine (no late dinners where your little one is passing out in the car on the way home and being placed in their crib asleep.)  Once your child has learned sleep independence they are more flexible when you have a special event that disrupts their bedtime routine.
  1. Set them up for success.  You cannot fall asleep for your child but you can help set them up for success.  Do what you can to help them by: making sure they take their nap(s) during the day, put them to bed at approximately the same time every night, don’t begin coaching during teething/sickness, make sure they have a “lovey” or a comfort item, etc.
  1. Be consistent!  Your child cannot tell time.  Don’t expect them to put themselves to sleep independently at bedtime but give in to their request at 2am.  This is confusing to our children.  Stick to your plan- all night.

For more information contact Betsy directly at 855-858-BABY (2229) or visit her website at betsybarney.com.

Now we’re curious to hear from you.

Have you tried to take back your bedroom but it didn’t work?  If so, what went wrong AND which of the 5 tips above is the right focus for you?   Leave a comment below.

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