As you can probably conclude from the title of this post, we co-slept. There are a myriad of reasons parents choose to co-sleep, but our decision was mostly determined by the fact that Grey refused to sleep in his crib. Of course, by refused, I mean we had some real tummy issues that prevented him (and us) from having a decent night’s sleep for several months. But, I’m saving that story for another post, this post is really about how we got our co-sleeping toddler to sleep in his big boy bed after 2 years of cuddles with mom and dad.
Beside safety, a major concern about co-sleeping with baby seems to be the idea that the child will never leave the parents’ bed. I won’t lie, we upgraded to a king size bed just in case. However, we really believed that Grey could do it and that he was ready. So, when he turned two we turned his crib into a toddler bed and the rest was history!
Ha! Totally kidding. Our first step was to get him to take naps in his bed for a couple of weeks. Soon he knew exactly where to go when we said “nap time!” In addition to being extremely consistent about napping in his bed when we were home, we made sure to play white noise during nap time, which was something we had done since he was born. This helped Grey to feel more secure in his own space.
After the two week mark, we decided we were going to move to the next step–sleeping in his bed at night. Now what I am about to say may not be for everybody and I totally get it, both my husband and I have full-time jobs and covet our sleep, but we decided to sleep on the floor in Grey’s room every night for 7 days while he slept in his bed. We tried our best to make it fun, like a sleep over: we said good night, gave hugs and kisses, turned on our white noise and went to sleep. Again, by day 8 when we said “bed time!” he headed straight for his room and crawled into his bed. This time however, mom and dad didn’t have a makeshift bed on the floor. Dad said his goodnights, turned off the lights and shut the door, while I sat with him until he fell asleep.
I know some toddlers who don’t mind falling asleep on their own, Grey is not one of those, but I cherish the time we spend right before he snoozes. This has been our routine for the past 10 months, and so far so good. There are still nights when he sneaks his way into our bed, but we don’t mind the extra cuddles.
Interested in reading more about co-sleeping? Check out this post by Dr. Sears