Whether it started out as a sheer desperation to get your little one to sleep through the night or you and your family simply prefer this arrangement for other reasons, there comes a point when you want separate beds again. If your child has long outgrown the shared space, it's understandable to look for ways to transition them to their own room. But there are some things you should never do to get your kid to stop co-sleeping, no matter how "over it" you may be.
I know that having a kid who insists on sleeping across the entire width of the bed can be frustrating. Still, you have to tread lightly when it comes to changing bedtime routines.
Thankfully, even if the process may not go as smoothly or quickly as you may like, independent sleeping is possible. Perhaps the hardest part of transitioning your child from a shared family area to their own bed is that it means they're growing up. After my partner and I excitedly put together our son's new "big kid" bed, I was actually a little nostalgic for the days when he could fit on my chest. So whether it's you or your child who is struggling with this change, here's what not to do when it comes to ending co-sleeping.
1. Leave Them Out Of The Conversation
Except for birthdays and those bizarre toy egg videos, my toddler hates surprises. So it's not surprising that, according to The Baby Sleep Site, you should talk to your child about transitioning to their own bed to ease fears. Conversely, keeping them out of the loop can actually cause more anxiety than if you explained it to your little one from the start.
2. Make Bargains
When my partner and I initially tried to close the chapter on co-sleeping with our son, we both gave in and let him sleep with us on occasion. As it turns out, this created a bigger problem. As pediatrician Samar Bashour told The Bump, you have to be consistent to end co-sleeping because going back and forth with "one-time" deals defeats the purpose. It might be hard, but it will work out.
3. Ignore Their Cues
Just like adults, children have their own needs and routines to help them go to sleep. Ignoring signs of distress in your child for the sake of implementing a new bedtime system does more harm than good, as child psychologist Dr. Heather Wittenberg told Parents. Each child is unique and it's a good idea to recognize the difference between annoyed whining and serious mental or emotional problems.