Most kids love to sleep with their parents and it is quite common that kids that are already in school revert to Mom’s and Dad’s bed every now and then. If you are used to the co-sleeping it probably doesn’t bother you much but if you never really co-slept it can be annoying. People speak about little babies crying when they have to sleep alone but what about crying toddlers? How can you make a co-sleeping toddler sleep in his own bed? Here are some ideas and advice for how to do it.
Move to His Bed
Start sleeping together in your toddler’s bed. At bedtime you go with your toddler as if you are also going to sleep and then you slip out. Later at night your toddler might wake up and demand to come to your bed. At this point you can come back to his or let him join you. To be effective you should get yourself out of bed and soothe him back to sleep in his.
Before your toddler goes to sleep you can explain that you will sleep in your bed and that he is welcome to come over when it is morning again, light outside and so on. He might tell you that he doesn’t like this idea but you will simply explain to him that this is the new order and that you need to rest. By preparing your toddler for sleeping in his own bed till the morning it will make the transition easier for him.
Learn to Wait
Many times your toddler will wake up during the early evening and it could be that he needs to do nr 1. If this is the case you go with him and then soothe him back to sleep in his bed. If he wakes up momentarily and make noise you shouldn’t run to his bed immediately. You can simply call him from the other room and announce that you are there and that all is OK. You’ll be amazed to see that this often does the trick.
Making a co-sleeping toddler move to his bed demands patience and lots of kindness. You can’t expect a change in a few days it might take several months. If your toddler suddenly returns to your bed frequently he probably needs some extra closeness at night. Give it to him and stick to the pattern described above. If he feels safe the transition will be faster and easier.
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You want to co-sleep but your partner says “no, no kids in our bed!”
This is a quite common scenario and it can create problems in the marriage if you don’t solve this issue in a respectful and working way. If the mother doesn’t want to co-sleep things are pretty easy to work out. The father might have great ideals of everyone sleeping together but if Mom can’t handle it he most likely will let her decide.
It is more difficult when the father doesn’t want to co-sleep. In this situation the mother might move to her own bed with the kids and this is very hurtful for Dad who gets to sleep alone.
It is very important to remember that things are not black or white and kids grow up. Still, during those years that co-sleeping is a possibility you need to work out a good plan for how. Listen to each other and try to make a compromise. Perhaps you can co-sleep in one room and have your own bed in another.
If the father feels that the mother only partly co-sleeps and then joins him he won’t feel as abandoned, especially if he knows that they have an agreement to do things this way till the kids sleep through the night.
Kids do enjoy co-sleeping but kids also need happy parents that respect each other. It is not worth making a fight over this issue since the most important is for the kids to grow up in a harmonious and respectful environment where they can develop into harmonious and respectful adults!
Co-sleeping with many kids can be fun and very relaxing but you won’t succeed unless you work on the space and the rules for co-sleeping.
First of all, you must have space for co-sleeping if you are planning to let a lot of kids come and co-sleep with you. You might consider having a bedroom consisting just of beds. You won’t see the floor and cleaning will be a hassle but at least you will all sleep good and comfortable.
Make sure that small babies get the safest space and that everyone knows just where they are allowed to co-sleep. You decide who sleeps where and if they don’t stick to these rules you simply pitch them back to their own bed.
Let the kids start sleeping in their own beds and explain to them that they are welcome to yours but only if they come very silently and let you sleep. Make a rule that says that co-sleeping is allowed but it is not allowed to make noise or wake Mom before there is light outside. Even very small kids can understand this reasoning and they will be happy to oblige.
Don’t overdo it! Ask yourself if you really enjoy the co-sleeping. If it gives you good rest and you are not bothered by sharing your bed it is great but if it is difficult for you it might be a bad idea. You shouldn’t co-sleep because all of the popular psychologies tell you that this is the best. You should do it because it is the best for you!
If co-sleeping with many kids drives you nuts you need to kick them out of the bed gently but firmly. Perhaps a mattress on the floor will do till they get that the best place to sleep for them is in their own beds. If you have been blessed with many kids you should also consider that they can co-sleep without you!
If you have been co-sleeping but you feel that it is time to move to separate beds there are many ways to do this. You will always have to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of your baby. If the baby is not ready to sleep alone it would be a big change to put him straight from co-sleeping to his own room.
It is easier to move from co-sleeping to separate beds once the baby knows to speak. A toddler can understand the idea of having his own space and you can make the change into something fun and exciting.
Start by putting the baby in his own bed right next to your bed. If you had him sleeping in a baby bed that was attached to yours you might want to put the side on again and just place the bed close to yours. If you had a new baby that needs to come into your bed you should try to fit the toddler’s bed close to your bed as well to avoid feelings of resentment and rejection.
It is a very bad idea to move the toddler out of your bed and room due to the arrival of a new co-sleeper. Try to keep everyone together. This will create harmony and peace which is good for the continued relationship between the new siblings.
Once your baby has accepted sleeping in his own bed it is much easier to transfer him to his own room. Don’t panic if you will revert to co-sleeping stage at times. This is natural and part of the baby learning to feel safe sleeping alone. Let the toddler come and sleep in your bed when he wants to but make little rules for it so that you will still be able to sleep comfortably in your own bed!
It can feel a bit scary to start to co-sleep with a newborn baby. It is so fragile and you are afraid to roll over it or accidently push it with your arm. To co-sleep safely with a newborn you can adjust your bed and bedroom. Start by looking at how your bed can fit the newborn baby. Is it possible to co-sleep with a lot of space?
If you have a giant bed with lots of space and you have made it secure on all sides you could let your newborn baby sleep at a good distance from you and only get close at nursing times. As the newborn baby grows you will be able to snuggle more freely.
The good thing about baby beds is that they have firm mattresses which are good for the back and spine of the baby. If you want to enjoy this you could use a baby bed and attach it to yours. There are readymade co-sleep bassinets for newborn but your baby will outgrow this bassinet fast. In this case it is better to use a bassinet for a baby carriage and simply place it next to you in the bed.
Have a handy person take off one side of the baby bed and then safely secure it to yours. This will create a very safe co-sleeping and it can be used for years. You will always have your space and the baby will co-sleep safe right from being born!
It is true that there have been horrible accidents when co-sleeping has led to the unspeakable. Does this mean that co-sleeping is dangerous? The answer to this question is yes and no. It all depends on who you are and how you will co-sleep.
Co-sleeping is dangerous if…
Your bed isn’t secured (read more in our article How to co-sleep safely to fix this problem)
If you place your baby in a dangerous position like too close to the edge of the bed or with too many pillows and blankets covering his face and movements.
You are taking strong medicine which makes you act less focused and clear.
If you are taking drugs or have a problem with alcohol.
Co-sleeping is not dangerous if…
You are healthy and not taking any kind of drugs, including medicine.
You have secured your bed so that your baby can’t fall out of it.
You are breastfeeding and wake up when baby wakes up.
You make sure that there are not too many pillows and blankets surrounding your baby.
Take these points into account when you try to decide if co-sleeping is dangerous. Remember that co-sleeping is a very individual thing. Some moms can’t stand it and it would be stupid for them to co-sleep against their senses. What is right for you will be wrong for the mother next door. Co-sleep if this is what you desire but make sure to co-sleep safely and take all of the dangers into account before you start!
Once you’ve decided that you want to co-sleep with your child you need to make sure to do this safely. In the Western world we don’t sleep on cots on the ground and a fall from a bed could be very dangerous for a baby. You will also have to consider your own medical condition. It is never recommended to co-sleep if you are taking any forms of drugs.
To co-sleep safely you need to make sure that the baby will not be able to fall out of the bed. It is a great idea to move the bed up to a corner so that you only have the side of the feet and one long side to secure. The lower part of your bed might already have a rail but if not you need to secure it. You can buy plastic rails to fit to the sides of your beds and these are excellent for co-sleeping.
Works for co-sleeping
What works for co-sleeping isn’t always a pretty sight and you must be prepared for this. Your bedroom might look very crowded and it can also be more difficult to clean when everything is cramped together. Consider the extra effort for cleaning and the crowded look the price you pay for safe co-sleeping.
Co-sleeping and drugs
It is well known that the tragic accidents that have occurred in connection with co-sleeping were mostly related to the condition of the mother. If you are on heavy medication or even worse, on drugs, you should not co-sleep with you baby! You need to rely on your natural signals to feel the baby and not roll over him. It is also recommended to breastfeed while co-sleeping because this creates a sleeping pattern in which you and your baby synchronize.
Dangers of co-sleeping
If you have made the co-sleeping safe by securing your bed and you are breastfeeding and not on drugs, you should be able to co-sleep safely. Remember that the baby will grow fast and it is only for the first few weeks that you would be able to roll over the baby without waking up. Listen to your own intuition. If it doesn’t feel safe to you to co-sleep then don’t do it. In the end of the day every Mommy has a special sense for what will work the best for her and her baby!
Happy and safe co-sleeping!
Today most moms are aware of the concept of co-sleeping. Not that sleeping with your kids is something new. It is just that today it has become hype and we are supposed to be for or against it. The truth is that all parents co-sleep to some extent. Kids and parents love to snuggle together. This is natural and good.
Co-sleeping from an early age
The reason that many moms choose to co-sleep right from start is that it makes many things a lot easier. When the baby is right next to you, and you are breastfeeding, you will not have to get out of bed for the feedings. In the beginning you might have to sit up with the baby to get the positioning of the breast right but after a while you should be able to breastfeed while lying down. It is simply so amazingly comfortable to slumber while breastfeeding and you will feel a lot more rested once it is time to get up.
Co-sleeping makes secure kids
When the baby has you right there from start there is no need to teach him how to sleep. Sleep comes naturally when we feel safe and this eliminates a lot of crying and insecurity from the baby. When you co-sleep with your babies you don’t need to use any cry-it-out methods because there won’t be any crying. How is that for a good solution for how to put baby to sleep!
Co-sleeping makes the baby go to his own bed faster
It might sound as a contradiction but what happens with many babies that co-sleep is that they are ready for their own beds much faster. In families that don’t co-sleep it is very common to have older kids come to the parents bed for security. A baby that co-sleeps from the start has already filled up on this security and becomes more independent. The co-sleeping pays off since you will have your own bed for yourself for real within a few years.
Trust and connection
Co-sleeping creates a special bond between the child and the parent which is unique and something everyone should allow themselves to experience. Childhood passes by so fast and soon enough the kids are out of the house in their own beds! Co-sleeping makes the most of those precious years so catch the moment and co-sleep!
There are, of course, safety issues that one must understand when it comes to co-sleeping. Read more about safe co-sleeping here at Expert Mom!