This week’s video blog is from Kid’s in the House, a wonderful parenting resource filled with expert advice on hundreds of topics, including sleep. This video helps you through the transition from moving your co-sleeping child to his own bed, gently and effectively. Here’s the transcript:
“If you have decided you want to end co-sleeping, here are my suggestions. It’s a multi-step process because you can’t just go from all sleeping in the same bed, to ending this arrangement abruptly and sending your child to sleep down the hallway by himself. He won’t understand that.
A family meeting is always a good idea to introduce the idea of the change. I’m really supportive of open communication – not surprising children with major changes and expecting them to understand why things had to change. Have a family meeting and discuss with your child that he is going to be sleeping in a new room. I would suggest you plan this when you have a few nights where you can actually co-sleep in their room.
Now that the idea has been discussed, keep talking about their room and playing with them in their room. Make sure you have a soothing night time routine. Then sleep with him in his room for a few nights (no more than five) to help them get acclimated to the change. Then pick the big day – often parents choose a Friday or a Saturday night – for the first night to sleep by himself.
You calmly begin the night by telling him that you are no longer going to lie down with him, but instead, you are going to sit up next to his bed until he’s asleep. Then you are going to explain that you are going to go to your own bed and spend the night there. Every time he gets up at night and comes to find you, return him to his own bed and calmly tell him you are going to stay with him until he falls asleep again and then move to your bed afterwards. You’re going to move out slowly every few nights until he is drowsy but aware of you not being there and finally putting himself to sleep.”