Co-sleeping is something that my husband and I have done with our son since he had learned to roll from his back to his belly. If you are wondering why, stay tuned for that blog!
Within the past week we have transitioned our 9-month-old son into sleeping in his own bed, in his own room.
Seriously guys, not having to share a bedtime with your child is FREEDOM!
Introducing… The schedule! Mason’s schedule!
You don’t have to follow this exact schedule, but it is important to establish one, eventually your baby will be able to recognize the agenda you put him/her on.
- Draw a bath: Now is the opportunity for your baby to splash and play as he/she gets ready to wind down for the day. And of course, who doesn’t love the smell of a clean baby!
- The last supper: Don’t worry, they don’t actually fall asleep with a bottle. Just make sure you get your last bottle in for the night! If your schedule calls for actual baby food I would recommend feeding your baby before the bath.
- Say good night!: No, this isn’t the last time you’ll see your baby before morning comes. Because next…
- Relieve the crybaby! Part 1: Yes, your baby will cry at this point. But we’re not doing the cry-it-out method because it is unnecessary, I’ll explain later. Instead periodically check on your baby. Do this by entering the room every 15-20 minutes, patting his/her back, and in a positive tone, tell them positive things like “You’re a good baby”, “It’s okay, honey”, and “It’s time to go night-night, baby”. By doing this you not only help calm them in that moment, but your child understands a key thing: “They will come back for me“. Eventually your child will fall asleep on his/her own. Will they stay asleep for the night? Of course not. Don’t forget to change diapers at this time as well.
- Relieve the crybaby! Part 2.: Your baby is bound to wake up within the first few nights of you following this routine and cry the way they did in part 1, which of course feels like forever. Nonetheless, continue to do the same exact thing! We personally noticed at this time that if we attempted to give our son a bottle of milk he would drink it for a second and end up spitting it out. Instead, we give him a bottle filled with water he drank some, but again, not all. This allows him to stay hydrated especially because he sweats so much during his sleep. Your situation may be different depending on your child’s age, they may still be a milk drinker at night.
The main reason why your baby will cry is simply because they are not used to being left on their own. With co-sleeping you’ve always been by their side, and they have not yet learned how to comfort themselves not just back to bed, but in general.
Refer back to I said that the cry-it-out-method is unnecessary, know why?
It’s been less than a week, and I don’t hear one peep!
Once my son is put in his crib he is a-ok! And I mean, through the entire night! He doesn’t bother to cry once he’s placed in his crib because he knows that no matter how loud he screams or how long he cries, mommy and daddy will not be back to take him out. And if they come back they’ll only change his diaper and/or give him a drink of water. He now understands that if he gets uncomfortable in the middle of the night he is the only one that will put himself back to sleep.
Putting an end to co-sleeping is the introduction to self comfort that your baby needs to learn.
This has worked for us, and can work for you, as long as you continue to follow the same routine every night.
Stay strong! Be patient!
Best of luck,