Safe and Healthy Sleep

How to adjust your baby to their own bed

17 Aug, 2021

Co-sleeping has many advantages

From an evolutionary point of view, it is perfectly normal for your child to seek your closeness at night. They instinctively look for your protection while they sleep or even if they have had a bad dream. You can implement this in the form of an extra bed, a large family bed or a cot that is in your bedroom. This type of nocturnal rest has the advantage that both your child’s sleep rhythm as well as yours can adapt. If your baby wakes up at night because they're hungry, you can respond without having to get up all the time. Night-time breastfeeding also ensures a stronger mother-child bond, as the release of the hormones responsible for this is stronger at night than during the day. Being close to you will give your baby a positive attitude towards sleep. You can also sleep more calmly and relaxed because you know that you don't have to worry about the safety of your loved one.

Use these tricks to get your baby used to their own bed

While co-sleeping has some benefits, it's understandable that you want a good night's sleep too. When your child gets older, this is not always guaranteed because, for example, you are clasped at night or kicked around during their dreams. There are a few tricks you can use to get your child used to sleeping in their own bed.

Announcement: Announce to your child that soon they will be able to sleep in their own bed. It’s helpful here if you can tell them the reasons for this. Depending on how old your child is, they may understand these reasons on their own.

Make their room exciting: When getting used to their new sleeping arrangement, it will help your child if you make their sleeping environment cosy and interesting for them. You can do that by buying bedding that has their favourite designs on, buying cuddly toys, giving them a comfort blanket or a night light for example. It can also help if you spend the night with them in their room for the first few nights so that they can get used to it.

Give yourself time and show understanding: Every beginning is difficult. It may well be that your sweetheart thinks the change is stupid at the beginning and doesn't want to sleep alone. In this case, it can help if you take small steps and teach your child, for example, in the first week, they sleep two nights in their own room and sleep with you for the rest of the time. Over time, you can continue to expand the sleep phases in your own bed.

Start with the afternoon nap: As a first step, you can put your child in their own bed for an afternoon nap. If that works well, you can try it out in the evening as well.

Be consistent in the first few nights: So that your child can get used to sleeping in their own bed, it’s important that you remain consistent - even if this is sometimes difficult for you. Tell your sweetheart that you are around and that they don't have to be afraid. This will make them feel secure, even if you don't sleep in the same room.

Allow exceptions: If your child has had a nightmare or is sick, of course you don't have to send them back to their room.

Introduce a bedtime routine: So that your child can continue to associate falling asleep with positive feelings, you should introduce an evening ritual in which you take the time to read to them, cuddle with them or take a bath.

When is the right time to get your child used to their own bed? Only you can decide. Be loving and careful and show them that you are always close by and there for them despite the separate bedrooms.