Sometimes, it starts with co-sleeping in infancy. Or occasionally, a bad cold or a rough night will open the door to a regular co-sleeping arrangement with your toddler. Whatever the case, if you’re ready to have your bed back to yourself, and ease your child into sleeping in hos own room, our tips may help to make the transition a bit easier on everyone.
- Schedule your transition wisely. Don’t plan on disrupting your toddler’s sleep routine before or after a vacation, a time change, or the beginning of a new classroom at daycare or preschool. Pick a span of time when your family will be home, and nothing else will be changing in his life.
- Plant the seed. Before you begin the transition, talk to your toddler about the fact that she’ll be sleeping in her own bed in her own room very soon. Read a book like It’s Time to Sleep in Your Own Bed as a way of working through some of that toddler discomfort around transitions.
- Create a special space. You’ve got the toddler bed ready, and the furniture all arranged, but maybe involve your little one in picking out the details. Go to the store and choose sheets and blankets she loves, stuffed animals that she’s excited about, and maybe some new pajamas that will get her excited about bedtime!
- Spend the night together. You may want to consider sleeping in the room with your toddler for a night or two. Put a mattress on the floor next to her bed, and camp out there. Explain to him that you’ll spend the night with him for a few nights, but on, say, night number 3, you’ll tuck him in and then bid him goodnight and leave the room.
- Is he still uneasy? If your toddler is really resisting the change, think about building in a final step. Stay by your toddler’s bed while he falls asleep, and then leave once he’s out. This may make him more comfortable with his new sleeping arrangements, and after some time, the thought of sleeping in his own room all night by himself will seem like old hat, and he may feel more comfortable with you kissing him goodnight and leaving before he’s fallen asleep.
We know that a few of you out there are trying to break the co-sleeping pattern. What tools are you finding useful? If you’ve successfully transitioned, what worked best for your family? Let us know in the comments section.