How Long Does Co-Sleeping Last?

As a parent, you've probably spent a while pondering the pros and cons of co-sleeping. Whether it's something you're fully invested in, knowing when co-sleeping stops will probably help you make a more informed decision. Because sharing a sleeping space with your baby might seem reasonable, but what about sharing your sleeping space with a 5-year-old? Figuring out what you and your partner expect out of co-sleeping before you make a decision can be helpful for everyone involved. If you're wondering how long does co-sleeping last, you're not alone.

The truth is, co-sleeping lasts as long as you want it to last. Like any sleeping arrangement, according to What To Expect, co-sleeping has its pros and cons. Supporters believe that co-sleeping leads to more sleep for baby, helps mom sync her sleep schedule with baby's, and encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime nursing more convenient. Oftentimes, mothers who swear they're not going to co-sleep with their baby wind up caving into the idea, and then aren't sure how to find their way out. According to The Bump, there are several ways to end co-sleeping that will make the transition easier on everyone.

Regardless of your intentions about sleeping arrangements, once you start co-sleeping with your baby, it can seem like a daunting task to change over to sleeping in their own bedroom. Whether you choose to make the switch after you're done breastfeeding, when your child starts becoming more mobile, or for whatever reason, whenever you and your partner decide it's time to stop co-sleeping is when you'll put an end to your co-sleeping arrangements.

According the The Bump, working with your partner during this sleep transition is extremely important. According to What To Expect, in families where both parents feel good about the sleeping arrangement (regardless of what the arrangement may be) parents and babies wind up happier in the long run. You'll want to create a plan that's personalized for your family, since not all children have the same tendencies, and since not all parents agree on sleeping methodology. “Some babies do better with a parent sitting next to the crib, and others do better with a cold turkey approach,” Samar Bashour, MD, a pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, told the site. By making a plan with your partner, you'll deliver the most important thing to your child — consistency. According to a Parents article by Dr. Heather Wittenberg, consistency is key when making the transition from co-sleeping to children in their own bedrooms. So whether you decide to co-sleep with your baby for a few months or a few years, the most important part of ending co-sleeping is having a solid plan with your partner.