If you’re a new parent trying to get your precious little angel to go to sleep soundly and (preferably) through the night, this article is the one for you.
It is common knowledge that efforts to get your baby to sleep away from you, whether it is in your room or another location altogether, i.e., a nursery, can result in separation anxiety for both you and your child, and an unhappy baby equals an unhappy parent.
Therefore, we want to make that transition as smooth for you as possible, following are some helpful tips and tricks for you to avoid and any all unpleasant events that might transpire.
1. The psyche of a Baby
Firstly, it is vital to understand the psyche of the child. There are very few feelings that compare to that of snuggling up close to a loved one and peacefully slipping into slumber.
On a similar note, few feelings compare to abruptly going from sleeping with a loved one to sleeping alone.
Therefore, these transitions need to be handled with much tact to protect your baby from feelings of abandonment or emotional scarring.
Depending on their age, your baby might adapt to sleeping alone within a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months.
However, despite how long or tiring the process might be, be sure not to take a step backward otherwise you will lose significant progress and will have to a lot of extra effort to cover that loss.
2. Choosing the Right Bed
Before even beginning the transition, it is imperative to decide on your child’s new bed, i.e., the age-old question of bassinet vs. crib.
Although both are safe for newborns, there are some significant factors to keep in mind. A bassinet is relatively small, cheap, convenient, and portable.
However, it has a shorter life span as compared to a crib and is only usable for the baby’s first couple of months.
On the other hand, a crib, though relatively more costly, has a much longer life span.
It is much sturdier and can be turned into a toddler bed due to its larger size, once your baby grows up.
Therefore, a crib is very much worth the investment.
3. The Transition
Now for starters, during the day, let your toddler play and have their nap time in the crib so that they can become accustomed to it.
As your child gets more comfortable with the crib, it won’t seem like such a threat or a foreign object anymore.
Use positive descriptors and point out all the perks of the crib in simple and uplifting words.
These can include, “Big bed just for you,” “colorful, new sheets” etc.
Also, sleep in your baby’s room or beside the crib to make your baby feel as comfortable as possible in the new environment.
Then add more distance between yourself and the crib as they fall asleep. Allow anywhere from a few days to a week for your baby to adapt to this arrangement.
Next, move onto sitting by the crib as your baby falls asleep. If they object to the change, comfort them as needed, but keep moving forward.
Try to spend no longer than a few days at this stage unless your baby has major issues, such as abnormal, extensive crying fits or excessive restlessness.
This will also allow you to monitor baby movement in the crib and check for any behavior that might endanger the baby.
4. Keeping Your Progress Consistent
Once you reach this milestone of co-sleep to crib transition, there’s no reason to panic or fear for constant midnight wake-up calls.
There’s a simple bedtime routine that you can follow to ensure your baby’s first all-nighter.
Usually, bedtime routines consist of bath time, followed by a relaxing oil massage, fresh diaper, and pajamas.
A few minutes of intimate time that can be spent cuddling; singing softly or reading, is highly effective and encouraged.
If your baby starts fretting, instead of rushing to check on them, try and wait a few seconds longer, and give them enough time to fall asleep on their own.
5. Ensuring Safe Sleep
Another important factor to consider is safe sleeping. There are several tips that you can employ to ensure this for your child.
Once your child is sleeping in their crib with minimal disruptions, you’re already on the right track.
In case you have more than one child, put them to sleep in their cribs.
Also, lay your baby flat on their back and keep the crib free of blankets, loose sheets, and soft stuffed toys because these might increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cause the child to suffocate.
Furthermore, it is better to buy a crib without drop-down side rails and use a custom made a mattress for your child’s crib such that it fits perfectly into the crib without any gaps between the rails and bedding.
6. The Best Cribs Out There
For this purpose, it is important to do ample research before deciding on what would best suit you and your child’s needs.
Some of the safest cribs on the market include The Stork Craft Valentia Convertible Crib, The Graco Ashland Classic Baby Crib, The DaVinci Autumn 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, The Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard, and The Graco Harbor Lights Convertible Crib.
All five cribs are available on Amazon.
In short, getting your baby to sleep solo is an arduous task, but one that surely, in the long run, will give your baby to get the most of their night’s sleep and result in a healthy and happy baby, and will allow yourself as a parent to take a much-needed breather!
We hope this article helps you in achieving the best night’s sleep for both your child and yourself!