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Most parents of newborns, especially when it’s their first baby, opt to have their infant sleep in the same room as them, at least for the first few months. It seems like a natural instinct to keep your newborn close to you at all times, especially in the very beginning of their lives. Some parents even keep their babies in their rooms during their first whole year of life. No matter how long you choose to co-sleep with your baby, transitioning them to their own room can be difficult – sometimes more so for the parents! Transitioning from co-sleeping to crib is hard, but there are a few things you can do to make it both easier on yourself and on your baby.
Don’t change your mind. It’s important to be consistent and stick with the plan when making the transition. It’s not easy to hear your baby cry or fuss when you put them in their own room and walk out. Don’t worry. This is not the same as sleep training. No need to try to let them cry it out. Go ahead and comfort your sweetie, but try not to give in and put them back in your own room!
Have a sleepover. Some parents choose to sleep in their baby’s room the first couple of nights – probably more for their own peace of mind.
You don’t necessarily have to put them in their crib. If you’ve been using a Pack ‘n Play or Rock ‘n Play, transfer it to your baby’s bedroom and have them sleep in it for a few nights, just to get accustomed to their surrounding before you actually put them in their crib.
Put a small clothing of yours in the crib. Babies tend to suffer from separation anxiety when they’re not sleeping near you. As a newborn, especially if you’re breastfeeding, they take comfort in your smell. Try putting a T-shirt or other piece of your clothing in the crib with the newborn. Make sure to lay it flat and keep it away from baby’s face! Do what you’re comfortable with. If your baby moves a lot, try putting a breathable blanket in your shirt for a few hours and then lay it under your baby when it’s bedtime.
Put the crib in your own room. If your baby just hates the crib, try putting the crib in your room for a few nights and then transferring it to their own room. This is definitely extra work, but if it works, it will be worth the hassle!
Create a steady bedtime routine. This one’s important. Setting up a bedtime routine helps your baby recognize that it’s time to sleep. A bedtime routine can include a bath, pajamas, story time, a song and a bottle or nursing session. Some moms prefer to give their babies their milk in dim light or even in the dark to signal bedtime. Some prefer to feed them before a bath to make sure they put their babies in their cribs awake, to teach them to put themselves to sleep. Whatever your choice, a steady routine as simple as pajamas and a song can cue bedtime.
Even if the transition from co-sleeping to crib is stressful and even heartbreaking, remember that sticking with the plan is important. However, what’s most important is savoring each and every moment with your little one, even during the more difficult parenting moments!
“Anyone else and their SO disagree on where your LO should sleep? Since our son was born, he has slept in the nursery with mom and one of us in a twin bed next to him. First 3 months in the rock n play and in the last two months we transitioned to the crib. Now my SO wants to put him in an arms reach co-sleeper after all the sleep training which I am not happy about. I like my bed and bedroom as the only kid free space in the house and want to keep it that way. Thoughts?”
We are trying to transition our 4.5 month old from co-sleeping in our bed to sleeping in her crib next to our bed.. Any suggestions? She wakes up about every hour crying and I’m exhausted. I’ve slept on her sheet a few nights so it smells like me but that doesn’t seem to help anything.. I don’t believe in the cry it out method but any other suggestions I will gladly take! 🙂
When did you transition to a toddler bed? I think my LO can climb over the crib if he wanted. He co-sleeps with us but we want to transition him to his own bed. If not at least where the crib is pushed up against the bed without the front.
Long story short, 6 mo old has been co-sleeping with us for about 4 months, our Dr. said it’s time to transition him into crib. He used to do fine for naps in crib during the day, now that’s not happening and he wakes up every time I attempt to put him down! Suggestions on what’s worked for you and your LO?
Thoughts on co-sleepers? My son was sleeping in a bassinet until two months old. We transitioned him to a crib with no problem and he was only waking two or three times a night. In the last four months he has increased his wake times up to 10 times per night. He sleeps great when he’s in bed with me but we don’t want to bed share. What co-sleeper works for you?? Advice please!!!
Just curious as this question probably gets asked a lot but how old was your baby when you stopped co-sleeping with them? Was it really difficult to transition them to a crib? First time mom who is still co-sleeping with my seven month old daughter.
Those who co-sleep starting from birth, did you ever transition to a bassinet before a crib? How old was LO when you did this? I love sleeping with my little munchkin, but I also know I’ll get much better sleep once she sleeps in her own bed. She’s 3 weeks old now and I was thinking of starting after she’s a month. We have a bassinet right next to our bed. Is it easiest to start with naps? I didn’t co-sleep with my first in the beginning bc I didn’t know it was an option haha.