How to Transition From Co-Sleeping to Crib

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A monumental day has come, my little one has slept through the night in her crib! Since she was about six months old and we became accidental co-sleepers I’ve kind of been longing for this day! I won’t sugarcoat it, making the transition from co-sleeping to crib wasn’t easy. In fact there were a lot of tears involved (for both her and me). But we did it and I’ll tell you how!

When scouring the internet for tips and how to’s of transitioning my 1 year old from co-sleeping to crib sleeping, the results were lacking. Most articles were for younger babies or they went something along the lines of “I put my baby in her crib and she slept through the night on night one”. That was so not our case. It was a long process with a lot of nights where I got less sleep than I really prefer!

START WITH NAPS

I started out with getting her to take naps in the crib. At the time she wasn’t, she was taking them on me. We started this process in December. It took a lot of work to get her to go to sleep, rocking, walking, singing but eventually she would take a nap in her crib. Granted they were only about 30 minutes, 45 if I was lucky. But she’s not big on sleep in any form or fashion.

Getting your baby to take a nap in their crib will help them to get use to the crib and for them to know it’s a safe place! That way when it’s time to lay them down to go to bed at night they’re familiar with where they are and they’ll know that the crib is for sleeping.

How to transition your little one from co-sleeping to crib.

START THE NIGHT OFF IN THE CRIB

After a week or two of naps going well I started to place her in her crib after she nursed at night. She would typically sleep in there until about 1-3am. At that point I would go in and get her and she would continue the night co-sleeping.

BE PERSISTENT- THE 3 NIGHT RULE

Once that was going well I finally motivated myself for the 3 nights. If you never heard of the 3 night rule it’s essentially that it will take, on average, your baby 3 days or nights to get use to the change you made. Our pediatrician told us about it! So, during those nights, when she would wake up at her usual time instead of bringing her to our bed I would get her to go back to sleep.

Sounds easy, it wasn’t. I would either have to rock, walk or sing her back to sleep. I even had to go as far as laying in her crib with her and then sneak out once she drifted back off. Because she stayed in her crib she woke up a couple times versus one and I would just repeat the process until she went back down. And just an FYI the second night is the hardest. You’ll want to give up, but DON’T!

She didn’t immediately start sleeping through the night after the 3 days but I could just lay her back down and rub her back and she’d fall back asleep. That’s where we’re at right now. One wake up a night but she goes back to sleep easily.

PRODUCTS THAT MADE IT EASIER

How to transition your little one from co-sleeping to crib.

VTech VM5251 5” Digital Video Baby Monitor with Full-Color and Automatic Night Vision, White

You would think with her out of my bed I would sleep a little easier. Not quite, I actually get a little worried. Is she okay? Is she breathing? Did she just cry? However, with the VM5251‘s high-resolution, 2.4-inch color LCD screen and 9-level sound indicator I sleep much more peacefully!

It has full-motion video, full color for when she’s napping, and automatic infrared night vision for bedtime! I can actually see her little chest move up and down on this, which is so cool! I love that it has a temperature sensor and will alert me if her room is getting too hot or too cold. It also has up to 1,000 feet of range so I can check on her from anywhere in the house!

My absolute favorite feature is the sound activation mode! The big, bright screen is amazing until I’m ready to go to sleep in a dark room. But you can turn off the LCD screen and if there’s a sound in her room the screen will turn back on!How to transition your little one from co-sleeping to crib.Having the VTech VM5251 on my nightstand is like having her still in the bed with me! This is my most essential item when it comes to transitioning from co-sleeping to crib. You can pick one up at Target.com! It has seriously helped this mama sleep more soundly!

Lavender Essential Oil

There are nights where it seems like her little body just can’t seem to settle. On those nights I’ll take a roller ball of lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil and rub it on the bottom of her feet. It helps her to relax so she can actually drift off to sleep. Just make sure your little one is old enough and be sure to get your’s from a reputable source!

Sleep Sack or Blanket

Now that my daughter is over a year old it’s safe for her to sleep with a light blanket (via AAP guidelines). But if your babe is under a year a sleep sack is the way to go! It’s essentially a wearable blanket, so you know they’re warm without the risk of them pulling it over their head. In the colder months I’m always worried about her getting too cold so having a little extra warmth helps me know she’s nice and cozy!

Coffee

For you, not the baby. Trust me you’ll need it!

BE REALISTIC

I had such high hopes that I could be the one to lay her down and she just would sleep though the night and everything would be just peachy. Truth is it’s hard on little ones to go from being close to you all night to now being on their own. Give them and yourself some grace. If it’s not working out. Take a week off and try again.

Also know that this, unfortunately, doesn’t mean your kid will never sleep in your bed again. Thanks to teething and a cold she’s already been back in our bed for a couple nights. It then takes a couple nights to readjust again but she does go back. (And I’m sure when she eventually transitions to a toddler bed in a year or so she’ll be toting into our room.) However, I’ll take her sleeping in her crib most nights and occasionally sleeping with us to consistently co-sleeping.

We never intended to co-sleep, it came out of a desperate need to sleep. Now it’s likely to always be an ongoing thing to get her to sleep in her crib. She’s a cuddly baby and loves being near us but we need our space! Have you ever transitioned a little one from co-sleeping to crib? I’d love to hear how you did it in the comments!

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How to transition your little one from co-sleeping to crib. See how @VTechUSA made it easier! #ad #MyVTechNursery

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14 thoughts on “How to Transition From Co-Sleeping to Crib”

  1. Great tips! Sounds very similar to my experience, but the VTech baby monitor helped give me a peace of mind during the transition. Thanks for sharing!

  2. When you started getting her to nap in her crib, were you laying her down already asleep? My 6 month old still naps in my arms and wakes whenever I try to lay her down! Any tips? We cosleep, but I would like to start transitioning her once this awful growth spurt is over!

    1. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If she is asleep I get in her crib while holding her and then put her down (her crib is at the lowest setting). If you can keep her close to your body until she’s on the mattress it helps. I think it might stimulate falling sometimes when we put them down and that’s why they wake up but it’s only a guess! Good luck with the transition, praying it goes smoothly!

    2. I have this problem with my son, he’s also deaf so I’ve had to try the following which seem to work. I will lay him down (mostly when he semi awake or been napping for a couple of mins) if he wakes up when I put him down or gets fussy I give him his paifier as it helps sooth him. My husband found that if we help him keep his hand flat against the bed since he normally sleep with them this way. He have the flat and above his head on each side, that this seem to ease him into going to sleep. I’ve also transition him when he in deep sleep and it’s hit or miss if he’ll stay that way but for a few morning he stay in long enough I can get his sister ready for the bus. I also add lavender oils to his humidifier and will use lotions that have it as well but only apply to feet, chest and back.

  3. I created a “nest” in my lo crib while transitioning her from a rock and play to the crib. I rolled large bath towels in a circle and placed them under her fitted sheet. Made it feel cozy

  4. I’ve been consistently co-sleeping with my 8 month old for 2-3 months now. Right before we started co-sleeping I started a job working over night and was gone 2 nights a week. 3 weeks ago I moved up to 3 nights a week and it’s been hard on her. She’s been keeping her dad up till 2 or 3 am at least 1 night a week. I think it’s starting to settle a little but I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to try and transition her now or should I wait longer?

    1. I know it can be hard on them when a change like that takes place. It might be best to keep things as normal as possible until she gets used to your new schedule and then make the transition. I’d also ask your pediatrician for advice, mine is always insightful on stuff like this! Hopefully she’ll let your hubby get some sleep soon!

  5. I love the term accidental cosleepers. That’s us too!! Haven’t successfully made the transition. I’m a teacher and sleep is a necessity so I give in!

  6. Thanks for the tips! Been trying the very same thing with my 10month old son..im glad to know im not the only one going through this.

    1. Just keep trying! Increase the amount of time each time you place him in there before you go in and console him. My daughter did that too for a little bit! Good luck!

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