How do we stop co-sleeping?
My son is 10 months old and still sleeps with us. We have tried several times to make him sleep by himself. Does anyone have any advice and how long should we let him cry before we go pick him up? Some say 20 minutes but we have tried that and that doesn't work, it just wakes him up more.
Submitted by rtaylor20071

Transitioning from a family bed to a crib at 10 months of age is bound to be tricky. Some amazing developmental changes are taking place between 9 and 12 months that help your baby become more independent and to communicate better with you. But until he's gotten used to his new "baby powers," he's likely to be more fussy and clingy -- even at night.

Some parents decide to wait out this stage to make the transition to a crib. Others feel it's time to reclaim the bed for "couple time." Both are legitimate decisions, and typically developing babies can handle either one. If you decide to make the transition to a crib, here are some tips:

 

  • Talk to your baby -- often -- about your plans. Read him books about babies who sleep through the night, and show him how impressed you are with those babies. Talk about how happy and rested Mommy and Daddy feel when he sleeps until morning in his own crib. Talk about how daytime is for fun and play, and nighttime is for rest and sleep. Reinforce every little step he takes with praise.

 

  • Consistency is the key. Pick an approach that feels most comfortable for you and your family -- and stick with it. The transition from family bed to crib often takes up to 3 weeks.

 

  • Many approaches work, depending on your family's preferences and baby's temperament. Some babies do better with a parent sitting next to the crib, providing reassurance. Others do better with a "cold turkey" approach. Ask your pediatrician or a child development specialist for guidance in picking the best approach for your baby, if you're unsure.

 

  • Plan for this to be a "big project" in the family, and make sure both parents are on the same page with plans for late-night awakenings. You'll both need support from each other when baby awakens at 4 am!

 

  • Your baby is likely to put up a big protest at first. This is normal and expected. Stay firm and reassuring.

 

  • Remember that this is only one step in the process of encouraging your baby towards independence and self-reliance -- important accomplishments for all of you!

 

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Answered by heatherparents
Community Answers (18)

Great article, it reminds parents that the baby will likely protest, and can take up to 3 weeks to accomplish. Dr. Rutherford (clinical psychologist) responds to a mom's question about moving her baby from the parents' bed to a crib: http://conversationswithmymother.com/how-do-i-get-my-baby-to-sleep-in-the-crib-rather-than-in-my-bed/ Consistency is one of the keys to making this work!
Submitted by mollysara2

Hello! I am a fellow mama and a sleep-training consultant. I have a lot of experience with helping little ones transition from co-sleeping to their own beds. I offer customized sleep plans that you can feel comfortable with and follow up email and phone support. You are not alone! I work with all types of families. I offer help with co-sleeping, night weaning, transitioning to crib, sleep training, re-training after sickness or traveling. Don't give up! Love, Mitzy http://sweetdreamspdx.com/
Submitted by mitzy1975

My three year old will not go to his own bed. He absolutely panics and bedtime is a complete nightmare if I put him in his own bed. Screaming, crying, coughing, choking, it's crazy. I've tried talking to him and letting him know all day that he's going to sleep in his bed, I've put all his favorite animals and toys on his bed but he will not sleep there. I'm assuming he's just not ready and I'll readdress the issue in a few months, I guess.
Submitted by nanoosholdings

my daughter slept with me and i we were sharing a room and i thought to myself its time for me to get out of the room so now im sharing a room with my twin sister so my daughter has her own room. but now what i do and i realize it works i leave the tv on for her and she watches all the nick jr shows and she will put herself to sleep that way.
Submitted by jordyn62510

transition in steps and be open-minded that if one night doesn't work then you will try again the next night. my almost 3 year old co-slept with me for 15 months while my hubby was deployed and I was pregnant and very sick/newborn baby w.horrible colic. he now goes to sleep by himself in his own big boy bed in his own room. it was a gradual transformation but worked just the same and i can prove that he won't be sleeping in our bed until he's 18 like many swore he was going to!!!
Submitted by happymommy0810

how do you manage to ignore your baby cry for 10 - 15 mins when she's alone at night. i can't do that!!
Submitted by leeli61

I would maybe try to comfort your child while he is in his crib. Rub his back, talk softly to him, sing him a song, just let him know you are there. Also I found that my smell is what comforts my son. I lay a Tshirt I have worn that day and tuck it into his mattress and lay him on it so he can still smell me. If he falls asleep on you maybe try playing a cd with heartbeats on it to comfort him. I found these things to help my son get to sleep on his own.
Submitted by ashleyshark11

@rayjeffus you are rude and the ignorant one and maybe you should keep your comments to yourself. Take your name calling back to the playground where the kiddys play.
Submitted by llang2009

We co-slept with all 7 of our children. I also nursed all 7 till somewhere between 9-15 mo. We never had a bit of trouble transitioning. We always had some type of little bed next to me. Somewhere around 6-9 months the children would stretch and push away in the night. Since I and the child were clearly less comfortable I would take that opportunity to lay the child down in their own space. If the child woke up and cried to be fed or changed I could still respond quickly to the need. Once the child was weaned the need for co-sleeping seemed to not exist. The child's bed did not instantly move from my side. The child, unless sick, was content to have their own space close to mom. Sometime around 2 the child moved to a room close by. I think the idea of co-sleeping is that it is natural. We never planned to co-sleep it just happened naturally. We never planned to kick the kid out it just happened naturally.
Submitted by spencerkids71

I slept with my son until he was 2. We never transitioned to a crib, only to a big boy bed with safety rails. It was super easy for me, I simply told him for a few days he was going to his own bed, put him in and the rest is history. I did need to lay with him for about a week or two until he would fall asleep, and he still has some nights where he wanders into our bedroom, but otherwise has done fine. My opinion is obviously wait until he is older and the transition may be easier.
Submitted by Shellz448

I slept with my son until he was 2. We never transitioned to a crib, only to a big boy bed with safety rails. It was super easy for me, I simply told him for a few days he was going to his own bed, put him in and the rest is history. I did need to lay with him for about a week or two until he would fall asleep, and he still has some nights where he wanders into our bedroom, but otherwise has done fine. My opinion is obviously wait until he is older and the transition may be easier.
Submitted by Shellz448

Rayjeffus is completely out of line. This is supposed to be a supportive environment. No one technique works for every baby. We are encouraged to give our feedback but blatant rudeness, accusations and spiteful remarks are ... well, childish.
Submitted by butterfliesgal

My son use to sleep with me until i found out that he loved my fragment smell it made him feel safe,so i put a little on a shirt i did not use and i kept putting it in his crib at every nap time,at firtst it was a hard for him but i kept tring and after a week or so he started sleeping in his crib now his a 2 1/2 yr old and he sleeps and a car bed in his own room with no lights on am very proud of him.Also its ok to let your baby cry for 10-15 mins.
Submitted by palomaSC

I had a community bed with my first and now with my second. it does last a long time trying to get them out of the bed my oldest sleep on our floor for a little while then i sat in his room till he fell alseep after a few night he would go in and fall alsleep on his own but both my boys wouldnt go to sleep on there own. i would lay them in the crib and they would stay up for hours. i love having them sleep with me and i would do it for every kid i have.
Submitted by lilmikesmom

I have 3 kids and when I was ready for them to leave my bed, I started snuggling really close to them. When they rolled over to give themselves some room, I would roll over to be right next to them. It worked well with all three kids. They decided to sleep in their own beds so they didn't feel so crowded.
Submitted by kajbeckr

Both of my kids slept with us until right after they turned 1 year. There is NOTHING wrong with letting your kids sleep with you. In my opinion that is what they need. With both my kids, I took the Supernanny approach and would sit next to their crib every night but moving farther and farther away from them until I was out of their room. I would just sit on the floor read my kindle until they fell asleep. Granted it took a couple weeks but I do not believe in the traditional cry it out method.
Submitted by gillis5683

Read the book the no-cry cleep solution. By Elizabeth Pantley. It really works!!!!
Submitted by cathleendowning