With a new baby on the way, my hubby and I knew that it was time for our first born to transition from co-sleeping to sleeping in his own bed.
The transition was a long time coming, especially considering that our oldest was almost 2.
To be honest, I never thought that I’d co-sleep with my children, but my oldest had terrible reflux when he was an infant.
So by the time we actually got him to sleep, it was easier to just lay him in the bed with us.
Fast forward a year and a half later, and co-sleeping had just become second nature for us.
However, once I started to progress in my pregnancy, there simply wasn’t enough room for me, my hubby, our son, my growing belly, and my pregnancy pillow.
Our king sized bed started to feel super small so we knew it was time to start the transition.
Thankfully, the transition from co-sleeping was easier than we thought it would be.
My only regret is that I wish we would’ve done it sooner!
If you’re ready to transition from co-sleeping and finally have your bed to yourself again, this is the post for you!
Keep reading to learn how we transitioned our almost 2 year old from co-sleeping in less than a week!
Establish A Regular Routine
I’m ashamed to admit that before we started to actively transition our little one to his own bed, we didn’t have much of a bedtime routine.
We just kinda went with the flow.
However, I KNEW in order for this transition to be successful, I had to create and STICK TO a regular bedtime routine.
Luckily, this step proved to be a lot easier than I thought, and I was kicking myself for not having done this sooner.
To come up with a simple routine that I could implement that first night, I referred to this post by professional sleep consultant Bridget Jensen.
It’s so important that when you’re transitioning from co-sleeping, that you eliminate any potential distractions.
Your little one needs to understand that it’s now bedtime.
If not, the transition may take a lot longer than what’s necessary.
I’ve found that my kiddo falls asleep 10x quicker when he knows what to expect.
For us, this means no TV for at least an hr before bedtime – not that he’s watching TV before bedtime, but I noticed that our television would just be on, even when no one was watching.
So now we make sure that all TV’s are off at least an hr before we get ready to put him down.
We also turn off all lights in the room except for one lowlight lamp.
Calming music is great too as it helps relax your kiddo before bedtime.
Attempting to put a stimulated toddler down for sleep can be tough so the fewer distractions the better.
Use Favorite Stuffed Animal or Blanket
When we were transitioning our little one, I was afraid that it would be difficult for him to fall asleep because he would no longer have us to snuggle with.
So I made sure to put a stuffed animal in the bed with him.
This was tricky since before now, he didn’t necessarily have a ‘favorite’ stuffed animal.
All of his stuffed animals made him want to play (or he would just throw them out of the bed).
If your little one already has a stuffed animal or ‘luvy’ that they seem somewhat attached to, be sure to use that.
Since our son didn’t, we ended up introducing a brand new stuffed animal.
This way, he was able to only associate it with nap time & bedtime.
Speaking of naptime…
Stay Consistent During Naptime
You definitely want to be sure to carry the transition over into nap time!
Your little one needs to understand that whenever it’s time to sleep, they now sleep in their own bed, not yours.
Consistency is key here.
For us, it was always easier for me to simply lay down with my son in our bed to get him to take a nap.
Needless to say, putting him in his bed during nap time was a transition for us both.
However, I noticed that a couple of days in, when it was nap time, he’d go straight to his bed instead of attempting to get into ours.
This also made the night time, bedtime transition a lot easier.
Use Gentle Redirection
I’ll be honest…
Those first days will be tough and you’ll want to just let your kid sleep in your bed so that you can sleep – but STICK WITH IT.
It’s normal for your little one to cry, or get out of the bed the first few times, but eventually they’ll begin to understand that this is where they sleep now.
It’s important to try not to get frustrated with your little one.
Yelling and snapping at them will only make this process longer, and it may cause them to have a negative association with their bed – which we do NOT want!
Instead, use gentle redirection.
Continue to remind them that this is their ‘big boy/girl’ bed, and assure them that everything will be okay.
If they get up, ask them nicely to get back in bed, or help them back in.
You may want to pull your hair out the first few days, but it gets easier – I promise!
This is probably the most important tips on this list.
Transitioning from co-sleeping won’t happen over night.
This is a huge transition for your little one, and it’s important that you don’t rush through it.
I’ve learned that with any major transition, the more patient you are, the smoother, and quicker the transition will go.
By using these tips, we were able to transition our little one to his own bed in less than a week!
The first three days were the hardest, but once we got past that hump, things we smooth sailing!
We’re now at the point where he falls asleep in less than 10 minutes of being in bed.
So I think it’s safe to say that the rough days have definitely paid off!
So if you’re currently in the middle of transitioning – don’t worry!
The long nights will pay off and you’ll have your bed to yourself again before you know it.