Hi, Kim West, The Sleep Lady and in today’s vlog, I’m going to answer this parent’s question:
“How do I get my 18-month-old co-sleeper out of my bed and in to her crib and in her own room? She has always been a great sleeper, nursed to sleep and has slept through the night since 2 months old, waking only one or two times at night to briefly nurse and right back to sleep. Now, she’s crawling and she’s crawled off the bed two times even with the railing up. We need to transition ASAP for safety sake.”
Of course you could completely change your sleeping set up if you want to continue to co-sleep. I want you to know that I do have lots of information on how to co-sleep safely. Now, if you want to end the co-sleeping, then you can do it in a couple of different ways.
Spend Time In Her New Room
First of all, if you already have the crib set up in her room, I would spend some time in there with her. Make sure it’s cozy and sleep-friendly. Change her in there, get her dressed in there, and have her play on the floor in there while you put laundry away (or whatever you need to do). I want you to make it comfortable for her so that it’s not like a foreign planet. If there is room in her room, you can make a temporary bed, by putting a mattress in there so that you can co-sleep with her in her room for a few days.
This is not mandatory, but if you would like a little more gentle transition to ending co-sleeping, that would be the way to do it.
Follow Her Normal Bedtime Routine
Go ahead and do whatever you normally do in your bed, only with the mattress on the floor, and co-sleep in her room for a few nights. Then you are going to pick a night, whether it’s 3 or 5 nights later, where you put her in the crib. You can still sleep on the mattress for a couple of days so that you can quickly attend to her during night wakings. After a few days, I would remove the mattress so she doesn’t start to think, “That’s where mommy sleeps and I sleep over here.”
Make Sure She’s Well Napped
Know that you’re going to have to start that first night in the crib on a night where she’s well-napped, and then not nurse her to sleep. Have her soothing bedtime routine, and nurse her with the light on. You could also read a little book afterwards. Change her diaper if she’s still falling asleep.
You want to make sure that she’s aware that she’s being put in to her crib. Now, some moms will even do a hand off to their partner and have them take over. Maybe ask your partner to read the 6 to 8-month-old chapter in Good Night, Sleep Tight, or look at some of the appropriate videos in one of my sleep courses.
Use The Shuffle
Go ahead and start the The Sleep Lady Shuffle from there as it is outlined in my book. Within 7 to 10 nights, she should be sleeping through the night! Of course, don’t forget to talk to your doctor so you can create a nighttime weaning plan because you want to have that plan set up before you start the sleep coaching so that you’re not trying to make any decisions in the middle of the night.
Video filmed by In Focus Studios