When and How to Stop Co-sleeping With Your Child?
It is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that no one, even newborns under the age of four months, should sleep in the same bed as their parents. Keep reading to know at what age to stop co-sleeping with your child.
What Is Co-sleeping?
Co-sleeping is described as sleeping near one another, sometimes on the same bed, and more often in the same room.
Why Parents Co-sleep With Their Babies or Toddlers?
For new parents, co-sleeping is the practice of sleeping in the same room as the baby. The risk of a sudden unexpected death, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and fatal sleeping accidents, is increased when two people sleep together. Parenting is a very personal decision, and many parents choose to sleep in the same bed with their babies for various reasons.
Reasons Why You Might Want to Stop Co-sleeping
Taking a step back and assessing the reasons to wean off co-sleeping with your child can assist you in determining whether to discontinue. While the reasons for quitting co-sleeping vary in every household, there are some common ones. Read and learn the reasons behind stopping co-sleeping.
- Hazardous activity: Co-sleeping might be dangerous, depending on your approach. Co-sleeping should be avoided if you or your spouse routinely use sedatives.
- Physically, it may be harmful: As your child gets older, babysitting becomes more challenging. You may get aches and pains in the morning due to an overly heated bedroom and bed.
- Perhaps you will remain awake: Depending on how your child sleeps, you and your spouse may not get enough sleep, resulting in experiencing constant fatigue.
- Sheets get damp: While some children have more difficulty than others, all kids urinate in their beds as they grow up. It may be rather infuriating to sleep with a bed wetter.
- Daytime proximity: Apart from nocturnal naps, your child may need your proximity during daytime naps. This is more difficult if you are not at home throughout the day or if your child is in preschool. If this pattern develops, stop co-sleeping.
- Sleep schedules may be erratic: Your child’s bedtime may vary after 8 p.m., and you and your spouse may elect to stay up longer. Therefore, if you can no longer co-sleep, you may need to discontinue.
When to Stop Co-sleeping?
When does co-sleeping with your children end? As you may imagine, almost every family has a unique answer to this question. It is a trial and error to determine the most comfortable time for you and your kid to stop co-sleeping.
The following are some reminders to help you choose the optimal moment to cease co-sleeping with your child. Continue reading if you’re debating whether or not to put an end to this behavior in your household.
- Take into account your and your spouse’s emotions. Perhaps you’d want to sit down with your spouse and discuss your existing sleeping arrangements.
- Take into account your child’s emotions. Infants cannot express their feelings about co-sleeping; however, their body language while sleeping and waking reflects their opinions.
- Keep an eye out for signals that your youngster is unhappy or too reliant on you or your spouse for aid and guidance.
- It’s something you should discuss with your eldest kid. Children old enough to communicate with you may express their preference for co-sleeping with their parents.
- Your youngster may dislike it on the first night, so give it a few more attempts.
How Can You Stop Co-sleeping?
To maximize your infant’s or toddler’s chances of relaxing and sleeping well in their bed at night, ensure that step by step guide to stop co-sleeping is set up appropriately.
1. Babies Under 6 Months
Follow the steps to stop co-sleeping with a newborn:
- To begin with, if you’ve been sleeping in the same bed as your infant, make sure they have their place in your bedroom (a bassinet, cot, or crib).
- Take 10-15 minutes to rock or feed your baby to sleep; then keep them in your arms until they drift off to sleep.
- Rock or massage your child softly as they go off to sleep. It is better to do the same whenever they wake up at night.
- Your baby may be experiencing the four-month regression between 3 and 6 months.
- Their naps and night-time sleep will improve, thanks to self-settling activities. To help your baby relax between sleep cycles, pay attention to the beginnings of naps and bedtimes.
2. Babies Between 6 and 12 Months
Follow the recommendations below when you want to stop co-sleeping with your kids:
- You may begin teaching your baby to nap and sleep independently in their bed in your room.
- Begin each nap by teaching your kid how to settle independently.
- Separate your baby from you and your spouse during night times as soon as possible. You are more than welcome to spend the night helping her through this.
- Leave the room and teach your child to calm on their own.
3. 1-year Old Babies
If an older child has been used to being nursed or rocked to sleep, the methods discussed below may help them transition to sleeping on their own.
- It is possible to console them with your presence, touch, and voice even if they cannot be fed or rocked to sleep.
- While they’re sleeping or napping, put a chair next to their bed and utilize voice and touch to help them unwind.
- Lift them and hug them till they calm down; then put them back to bed and do it all over again if necessary.
- A progressive reduction in the amount of time you spend touching and singing them to sleep in their bed can help them learn how to settle independently.
- Your child may be moved into their room after they are capable of self-settling for naps and bedtimes without your supervision.
Follow the steps to stop co-sleeping with toddlers:
- Allow them to pick out some new sheets or a soft toy and provide them with a nightlight to help them get some shut-eye.
- New sleep associations may establish during the 2-year regression, leading to separation anxiety or nap refusal individuals.
- From sleeping near their bed to gradually moving away and eventually leaving the room may be necessary if they suffer from separation anxiety.
- Your child may wake up more often because of their newfound independence.
- Introduce your child to their separate and room bed gradually.
Is There Any Quick Approach to Stop Co-sleeping?
While there is no right or wrong method to wean off your kid’s co-sleeping habit, your doctor can surely advise you on the most effective techniques to deal with your child’s concerns.
It’s worth examining the following suggestions:
- To begin with, keep your toddler’s crib or bed in your room rather than in a separate room. After she’s become accustomed to sleeping on her own, bring the crib back into her room. This will allow them to focus on one change at a time rather than a slew of changes.
- Invite your friends over for a night. A sleeping area on the floor, maybe with a cot or sleeping bag, should be set up to help her feel safe. This will gradually get your child accustomed to sleeping alone.
- Using the chair approach is an alternative option. Position yourself in a chair near your child’s crib or bed while they settle down for the first time at home. The chair should be moved farther away from her each night until she’s on her own.
- Getting some shut-eye is a good start. Your child doesn’t sleep well at night because you don’t want to stay up with them until they do. An alternative strategy would be to let your child take naps in their room at first and gradually transition them to sleeping in their bed at night.
Tips to Stop Co-sleeping
Consider the following co-sleeping transition tips:
- Inform your child about your goals: Read to your kid books about fast sleeping newborns and mention how pleased and invigorated parents feel after a good night’s sleep in their cot. The day is filled with fun and activity, while the night is filled with slumber. And praise them whenever possible.
- Make a choice: The ideal technique will depend on your family’s and child’s requirements. The closeness of a parent to a baby’s crib may bring comfort to some infants.
- Apply ‘cold turkey’ strategy: The ‘cold turkey strategy works wonderfully for some individuals. Your doctor or a child development specialist can assist you in determining the best plan for your child.
- Consistency: The most critical aspect is consistency. Determine what is most beneficial for you and your family. Maintain your composure and toughness while your youngster shouts at you.
- Plan this ‘major project’ well-ahead: The parents must agree on managing late-night awakenings. When the infant awakens about 4 a.m., you will need help. Bear in mind that this is merely the beginning of your infant’s path to independence and self-reliance.
This article should assist you in determining whether or not to discontinue co-sleeping with your infant. It is critical to ensure your baby’s safety in any co-sleeping setting, regardless of age. Though older children are less likely to be harmed, you should adhere to safety guidelines and regulations. Limitations may be surpassed if one family member no longer desires to co-sleep. That is why everyone’s sleeping arrangements must be agreed upon.
1. How Long Will It Take to Stop Co-sleeping?
Co-sleeping is not a permanent arrangement. While reintroducing the crib may need some repetition before it becomes regular, the whole sleep training process often lasts three weeks or more.
2. What If My Baby Gets Sick or Gets a Nightmare?
If you’ve ever had vivid nightmares when ill, you’ve most likely experienced a fever dream. When an adult or kid has a fever, they may have these terrifying and strange dreams. Follow these strategies to reduce your child’s chance of nightmares:
- Ascertain that they sleep.
- Maintain a positive attitude about the bedtime routine.
- Assure your child.
- Discover remedies to your nightmares.