We have been co-sleeping with Holly since she was a newborn baby, at the time it was definitely the best decision for us and it saved my sanity in the first few weeks. It meant Holly slept better, meaning I was able to gain more precious sleep and I was a lot less grouchy than usual. (Rob, if you’re reading this… Stop laughing).
Just recently, we’ve made the decision to start transitioning her into her cot in her own bedroom. This will be a huge change for her, as well as us, but we agreed when she did hit the 12-month mark – we’d try her in her own bedroom.
Unfortunately, Holly is still waking 3-4 times a night on a good night, so co-sleeping has been great regarding night feedings. Some nights I’m not even aware that I’ve woken up to feed Holly and I’m able to quickly whip out a boob and when she’s finished, she’ll roll over and fall straight back to sleep. Easy peasy.
As she is still waking in the night, transitioning her into her own bedroom will be a lot harder than it seems, for both me and her. Currently still night feeding, it will mean instead of me being able to dream feed Holly, as well as feed her whilst I’m sleeping, I’ll be having to get out of bed, into her bedroom and feed her.
Unfortunately for me, when I wake up properly during the night, I really struggle to get back to sleep and I know this will make a huge impact on me emotionally – I don’t cope very well on little to no sleep!
I’m wanting to make this period of transitioning as smoothly as possible for her – after all, she spent 9 months snuggled up in my tummy, a year of being close to me whilst sleeping and to then wake up in a cot without mummy or daddy in her own bedroom, will be a massive change for her. I’d hate to think she will be in any sort of distress waking up on her own not knowing where we are or why we aren’t there.
My plan currently is to transition her into her own bedroom and get her used to her cot. I’ll be spending the next few weeks having 30 minutes play a day in her bedroom to get her used to the room. After a week, I’ll be putting her in her cot for nap times and hopefully, once she is used to being put in her cot, I’ll try it overnight (a weekend will probably be better as I’m not at work!).
Fingers crossed I can crack this current co-sleeping arrangement as quite frankly, me and Rob need our space back! Not only for a better nights sleep but also so we’re able to feel that closeness again. It’s been a whole year since we properly cuddled in bed and it’s quite depressing knowing that bed time is usually the only time we’re able to get some proper alone time (sad, I know – the lives of parents hey!), but hopefully in a few months time, I’ll be able to write another update for you all on how it’s going – good, or bad!
As I’ve been thinking about transitioning Holly to her cot for a while, I have done tonnes of research online for advice, tips and how to make it easier for you and your baby. I’ve rounded some up which I feel are so useful and have helped put my mind at ease ready for the big move. As much as I’ll miss the early morning snuggles, it’s time to say goodbye to feet in my face, continuous kicks to the ribs and all-night-suckling!
- Getting used to it
It will take a while for your baby to get used to his/her new environment, especially after spending however long snuggled in with mummy in a big comfy bed. Spend a week or two playing in their bedroom – it could only be for 20 minutes or half hour each day. They will be able to take in their surroundings and become familiar with it. I know for sure if I fell asleep blissfully in someone’s arms and woke up in the middle of the night in a dark, unknown room – I’d be pretty freaked out too! I think getting them used to their surroundings is very important.
- Winding down
Winding down on an evening is one of the key things to help your baby relax and (fingers crossed) have a better nights sleep, although every child is different and what might work for some, doesn’t always work for others! I know babies have a very sporadic routine for at least their first year, so sometimes routines can seem a little pointless (I know that from experience). However, a good night time routine would be beneficial and eventually, your baby will hopefully start to understand that after perhaps a bath and a story, it’s time to settle down.
- Nap times
Ok, as above I have covered a little tip to help your baby get used to their cot and bedroom. After a week or two of spending time with them in their bedroom and giving them the opportunity to explore and take it all in – nap times in their cots can be introduced! It will get them used to sleeping in their cots and won’t be so unusual to them as they’ve probably now gotten used to the new environment. Hopefully, after a couple of weeks of nap times in their new cot, night time sleeping in their cot won’t be so difficult compared to if you were to jump in the deep end and put them in their cot on a night time without them trying it out first.
So there we have it, I hope this post is somewhat useful to anyone thinking of transitioning their baby into their cot. Unfortunately, whether you’re wanting to make the transition or not – it will not change your babies sleeping routine (damn it!) and it will take some time for them to become used to it. Wish us luck!