How to Stop Co-Sleeping With Ease: A Practical Guide

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This blog will explain how to stop co-sleeping in a practical guide.

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Co-sleeping with your child can be delightful, but consider your baby sleeping independently as he or she ages. This creates several developmental benefits for your child and you as a parent.

This guide will help ease the transition for peaceful nights and a stronger bond! 🤗

What is co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping in children means sharing a bed or snoozing nearby with parents or caregivers.

It's like having a sleepover every night! This closeness can make nighttime comforting easier and can be especially handy for breastfeeding.

Just remember to keep safety in mind, like ensuring there's enough space and avoiding any hazards.

Importance of transitioning from co-sleeping

Sharing a sleeping area with your infant, or co-sleeping, is a popular option for many parents. As babies get older and parents start thinking about their sleep needs, the move from shared sleep to solo sleep—while still providing comfort and closeness—often comes into play. 

Co-sleeping, especially bed-sharing, can pose a greater danger to infant health in specific situations. Research has shown that certain factors can raise the risks caused by bed-sharing, and caregivers should avoid bed-sharing in these circumstances.💡 Sleep Foundation

Why should I stop co-sleeping with my child?

While co-sleeping can be advantageous in the early stages of infancy, it can be detrimental to your child's sleep quality over time. Self-sufficient baby sleep also encourages:

  • Transitioning helps your child develop self-soothing techniques and confidence, which in turn helps them feel more independent and accountable.
  • You and your child can sleep for more extended periods and at a deeper level, boosting your energy and improving your mood all day.
  • Research has indicated that sharing a bed with a partner may lower the incidence of SIDS and other sleep-related fatalities, especially during the first few months of life. 
  • A sense of security and intimacy between parents and their children can be fostered by co-sleeping. Warmth and physical touch in the family bed can foster comfort and bonding.
  • Shared sleep experiences, mainly during late-night feedings or early-morning hugs, while babies sleep can offer peaceful bonding and engagement opportunities.
✨Friendly reminder:
Safe co-sleeping procedures, such as abstaining from alcohol and tobacco and sleeping on sofas or soft beds, are crucial to follow.

At what age should children stop co-sleeping?

While there isn't a set "perfect" age to cease co-sleeping, most experts suggest switching between 6 months and two weeks at 3 years old.

"As parents, we have a responsibility to prepare our children for life. Hence, helping them move from a state of dependence and insecurity to another of independence and security is a requirement for them to grow properly. Co-sleeping won't enhance that goal."
💡Dra. Lorena Koppel

Signs that your child may be ready for independent sleep

Although no two kids are alike, several telltale indicators indicate that your youngster is prepared to go out independently and sleep alone. Look out for these indications:

More sleep mysteries solved! Dive deeper into independent sleep in our blog: when to transition to toddler bed

🌃 Waking less frequently at night

You may see fewer and farther between nocturnal wake-ups as your child ages and their sleep patterns become more established. Their increasing capacity to sleep through extended periods indicates they are growing accustomed to sleeping independently.

🛌 Showing interest in their bed or room

Is your child showing signs of interest in their room or bed? They may arrange their favorite toys, request naps, or simply explore them with a fresh sense of wonder. 

Their growing interest in their sleeping space or area may indicate they're prepared to make it their own.

💤 Sleeping soundly through some stretches of the night.

Although all children wake up occasionally, it is a good sign that they sleep more uninterrupted hours at night. In the StoryBook App, you can find the keys to this.

How to stop co-sleeping

While co-sleeping can be a lovely experience, it may be time to switch to independent sleeping as your child ages. This article provides valuable tactics to help you smoothly get through this milestone and open the door to quiet evenings of rest for you and your child.

1. Assess readiness

Determine whether your child is ready for independent sleep before jumping in. Think about things like age (between 6 months and 3 years is what most experts advise), developmental stage, and sleep habits.

2. Establish a consistent bedtime routine

The secret is to be consistent! Create a relaxing nighttime ritual that includes cuddles, massages, reading, baths, and lullabies. 

Open your Storybook app, and look for a novel that he likes or one that you feel can help him relax; Little Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty can help you with that. It is also advisable to accompany it with a massage. 

If you need more detailed information about bedtime routines, please take a look at our article. Bedtime routine chart

massages for kids

3. Introduce a separate sleep space

Create a sleeping sanctuary in your child's room. Invest in a comfy bed and linens, decorate it with their favorite items, and maintain a comfortable temperature and darkness.

4. Comfort objects and sleep aids

Offer solace items such as a cherished blanket or plush animal. Another way to create a relaxing atmosphere is with white noise machines or relaxing music. Nightlights could provide comfort to older kids.

Tips for a gradual transition to stop co-sleeping by age

Overcoming the comfortable haven of shared sleeping quarters and venturing into the realm of self-sufficient sleep might resemble maneuvering through a treacherous jungle gym. But don't worry! With the wealth of techniques for a smooth transition that this guide provides.

Another mystery is solved about sleep! Explore independent sleeping in more detail on our blog: how to help baby sleep

Babies (Under 1 Year)

  • Soothing Techniques🤱

Establish soothing nighttime rituals, such as rocking, lullabies, and baths. Provide natural noises or white noise devices to create a calming atmosphere.

  • Reduce Night Feedings🌌

Speak with your pediatrician about reducing midnight feedings gradually to promote longer periods spent sleeping in their bassinet or crib.

Toddlers (1-3 Years)

  • Involve them🧒

Allow your child to make their room, pick out their bedding, or select a specific stuffed animal to cuddle with. This sense of ownership fosters independence and enthusiasm for their room sharing their sleeping area.

  • Comfort Objects🆒

Give them a cherished blanket, teddy bear, or nightlight to help them feel safe and comfortable in their crib or new sleeping space.

  • Time-Out Method⏰

You can use a mild time-out method if your child gets out of bed regularly. Give them a succinct explanation of why they must remain in bed, gently escort them back to their area, and reassure them. Critical elements of sleep training include consistency and gentle coaching.

If you need more detailed information about sleep training methods, please take a look at our article. Sleep training methods

Pre-schoolers (3-5 Years)

  • Clear Expectations🎑

Outline the expectations and routine for bedtime and give a clear explanation of why they must sleep in their bed. Don't be harmful, and speak simply.

  • Rewards and Consequences🏆

Establish a reward system for remaining in bed, such as obtaining a sticker chart or reading an additional story. On the other hand, if someone consistently gets out of bed, establish mild penalties, such as skipping a morning activity.

  • Negotiation🧒

Establish a reward system for remaining in bed, such as obtaining a sticker chart or reading an additional story. On the other hand, if someone consistently gets out of bed, establish mild penalties, such as skipping a morning activity.

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Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.


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