Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There are lots of reasons you may choose to move your child out of bed with you.  Maybe the bed is getting overcrowded or your toddler has become a kicker.  Doing this gently is possible.  Keep in mind that you won't move your child out of your bed, or room, overnight.  The transition should be gentle and gradual.  Here's a few ideas to get you started:

1.  If your child has slept in bed with you, consider placing a cot or small portable crib next to your bed.  For the first few nights lay down with him while he goes to sleep.  Respond if he wakes up and remember he will likely test your responsiveness.  This is new to him!  Showing that you are there and will respond if he needs you will help establish peace of mind and he will gradually begin sleeping more peacefully, and with less need of your reassurance.
2.  Move the cot to the end of your bed.  Respond to child is she wakes up.  Expect to see some wakefulness and your child establishes you are still coming to her.
3.  Move the cot/crib out of the room.  Some parents move it to the hall.  Others make the leap to the child's new room.  Again your child will likely wake more often the first few nights and once it's established you will come for him/her, fall into more regular and peaceful sleep.
4.  Decide if your child can crawl into bed with you during the night.  We welcome our son into our bed if he wakes in the night.  If you prefer to maintain separate beds, gently take him or her back to bed, soothe them, and tuck them in.

Want more info:
Dr Sears on transitioning from co-sleeping


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