Co-Sleeping to Independent Sleep: How We Made the Transition


co-sleepingWhen my twins were born, to say my husband and I were sleep deprived is an understatement.

We tried everything, adjusting sleep schedules, sleep sacks, adjusting room temperature, changing feeds — you name it.

Our son was a great sleeper and much preferred to be in his own crib. But we just weren’t able to find a sleeping routine that would work for our daughter, other than having her sleep in our bed.

And thus, we started the journey of co-sleeping.

And this was something I thought we’d never be able to give up. However, by the time our daughter was 2.5, we had another baby on the way. And I knew it was time to end our co-sleeping experience and transition her to sleep in her own room.

At first, I was really nervous for this change and honestly, thought it would be really challenging. But with a few adjustments, the transition ended up being quite easy.

Here are some things we did to help our daughter adapt.

From Co-Sleeping to Independent Sleep

Discuss the situation beforehand.

One thing that really helped was talking about the transition with her, making sure she understood what was happening.

Since we were conversing with a two-year-old, we kept it quite simple. Stating,“In a couple weeks, you will be sleeping in a big girl bed.” And, “Pretty soon you will have your very own bedroom and will be able to sleep all by yourself.”

She caught on to the concept really quickly and would often bring it up to us at random times throughout the day. Clearly, she was thinking about it and processing in her own way.

We made it a point to often assure her that we would be right down the hall. And would be checking in on her throughout the night.

Get your child involved in the process.

Another way to make the transition easier was to let her pick out her own bedding. We went to the store and looked at different patterns of bedding, and she was able to pick out her favorite one. We made a big deal out of this and talked about it at great length. And told her that she would have a day to go pick out her own bedding in her favorite color. She looked forward to this and brought it up in conversation many times before we actually made the trip.

We were able to show her what her new bed would look like by taking her shopping for a twin bed. Although she didn’t have any say in what bed we picked out, she did get to lay on them in the store and get a feel for what a new bed would look like.

We also allowed her a chance to help take down her crib and set up her new bed. This was a really exciting part of the process for her. She loved being involved in every step, and it really made her first night of independent sleep in her new bed a breeze.

We found that after talking about it for a few weeks and then following through with these steps, we were able to transition from co-sleeping to independent sleep quite easily. She never once asked to be back in our bed and now tells us, “I will call you when I need you, mommy and daddy.”

While I wouldn’t give up a single night of co-sleeping, I am grateful for that our co-sleeping journey ended on a positive note.

And for more on kids and sleep, read Encouraging Kids to Fall Asleep on Their Own:The Timer Method.
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Ashlee is a wife, mother, teacher, and infertility awareness advocate. Born and raised on a farm in south central North Dakota, Ashlee grew up learning about the true meaning of hard work, love of family, and the importance of faith. After graduating from high school, she moved to Moorhead where she would meet the love of her life and future husband, Jay. She attended MSUM where she earned her degree in English Education and began teaching in 2014. In 2018, Ashlee earned her Masters in Education from The University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. After struggling through infertility for five years, Ashlee and Jay welcomed miracle twins, Hannah and Leo, to their family in 2019. They currently reside in Horace, ND, building their dream home in 2021. Ashlee’s love of reading and writing is manifested in her work as a full-time language arts teacher at Kindred High School in Kindred, ND and as a part time online adjunct professor at the University of Mary. She also works part time as a receptionist at Scheels. Ashlee credits her ability to juggle the demands of full-time work with her part time jobs to her parents, who have always showed her the value of hard work. Ashlee is blessed to have a hands-on husband and in-laws always willing to lend a helping hand. Ashlee has a passion for sharing her infertility journey in the hopes of helping others who are experiencing it themselves. She shares about infertility and motherhood on her Instagram page. Ashlee’s personal hobbies include baking, decorating, and shopping. She and her family enjoy summer road trips, weekends at the lake, and traveling to her parent’s farm. Ashlee wishes to share with her readers the joys and challenges of life as a working mother and her experience battling infertility in the hopes of inspiring them in their own lives.

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