How to transition baby from co-sleeping to cot

Often when babies are little, parents co-sleep so they can get much-needed sleep. What happens when baby gets older and starts to move around more though? There is always the fear that once they’re moving and crawling or even walking (as toddlers) that they can crawl or climb off the bed while the parents are sleeping, which is clearly unsafe. This means, they need to transition back to the cot for night sleeps, for their own safety (and to give the parents back some sleep!).

What’s important is that we certainly don’t want to go from something as beautiful and loving and caring as co-sleeping to something quite brutal and dramatic like leaving them alone in the room, shutting the door and not going back, etc. We certainly don’t want to move from one idea straight to the other, which is probably what a few people might consider doing.

What’s important is that you respond to their needs and you do this process as gently as possible for both parent and child. My suggestion would be to sleep in the room for a while, perhaps put a mattress on the floor next to the cot, so you’re still there with the baby. It’s like when you were co-sleeping. That way they still feel comfortable, that you’re right there with them, just like before.

Then as it always is with any sleep training, it would be a matter of trying to gradually do less. It might be that you physically withdraw from the room gradually, or you spend a little less time in the room gradually. That’s totally up to you how you do that, but it’s important that you gradually ease the baby into this process.


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