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Transition From Our Bed To Cot


If you are a regular reader of this blog you will probably have seen my recent post about co-sleeping and how we have co-slept from the very first day right up till just a couple of months ago. It's been an amazing experience and I wouldn't have changed anything. However Amelia does now sleep in her cot for the most part of the night and I wanted to share how I got her to sleep in her cot. 

I had tried many times before to get her to sleep in her cot but it just wasn't working. So of course I gave up and we just continued to co-sleep until one day I had had enough. My back was so sore from sleeping on the one side, I hadn't had a proper nights sleep in 14 months since she was born and I couldn't wait to get my side of the bed back to sleep like a star fish. 

I started with nap time and progressed from there to bed time. If I were to lay her down awake she would start screaming, if I walked out the room she would throw a fit and if I rocked her to sleep then put her down she would instantly wake up as soon as her head hit the mattress. She was so alert and would know if I was putting her down. The rocking to sleep has never worked with us from day one, she just wouldn't stay still and I would get very impatient and give up. She does however have to be nursed to sleep unless she is in the car or pushchair so that is how she has gone to sleep every night since she was born. 

Once she has fallen asleep after feeding I would lay her down next to be in bed or if we were both lying down she would just roll over when asleep. But to get her to sleep in the cot this would be impossible, which is when I decided that the only way to get her to sleep in there would be to climb in with her...yes in the cot and nurse her to sleep then climb back out. This has worked so far pretty much every nap time and bed time for the past 2 months, however some nights it takes longer than others or I manage to climb out of the cot then stand on a toy and she will wake screaming while I'm hitting myself in annoyance and it's time to start all over again!! 

Many a time I have fallen asleep in the cot with her and woken an hour later to find her fast asleep on me then when I try to climb out she will wake. The majoirty of the time I play on my phone and she will eventually go to sleep then I lay her down next to me and pull myself up against the cot bars then ever so slowly lift my leg over the rail and climb out. It's so hard sometimes not to wake her. I always get asked "how on earth do you fit in the cot" it's actually pretty big, but I do wonder how much longer it will take both of our weights. 

I wouldn't say she is sleeping through the night yet, as she doesn't... she will sleep in her cot from around 10pm until maybe 1pm then comes back into bed with us when I go to bed. She will then sleep in bed with us until 7 or 8am. I don't mind this so much as I get some time to myself after 10pm to blog. She occasionally will sleep in there until 3am or even 5am which I am very thankful for as I get a few hours undisturbed sleep and not crushed to the edge of the bed. I have no idea why she won't sleep all the way through but I can't complain really as she does sleep in there for a few hours and for her one nap during the day. She has once slept in her cot from 11pm until 6am, once 8am which I of course woke up having a heart attack thinking something was wrong and rushing in to check on her. 

I think the main reason that she wakes during the night is to feed, but when she does wake I bring her straight into bed with us and she will nurse for 5 minutes before falling back to sleep again. I sometimes wonder if she wasn't breastfed would she have been sleeping through the night from the first few weeks? Either way she is finally sleeping in her cot and associating it with sleep which is the main thing. Next thing to work on is getting her to sleep all night! 

Do you have any tips on how you transitioned your baby from co-sleeping to their cot or on sleeping through the night?

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65 comments

  1. John co-slept with us when he was a newborn and once he started rolling over (around 3-4 months) we took the side off his cot and pushed it against the bed. This helped get him used to sleeping in the cot, plus it meant I got a little more space!

    When it came to finally giving up co-sleeping, we followed Dr Jay Gordon's method of night weaning, which once we dropped the night breastfeeding, the cot sleeping soon followed. And eventually John started sleeping right through (7pm-7am) in his cot, not long after his 1st birthday.

    We still occasionally co-sleep when John's ill, teething or particularly unsettled but he's now used to having his own space and seems to associate our bed with play as opposed to sleep! I do miss the cuddles in the morning but nothing beats being able to stretch out in your own bed without the fear of waking a baby. That being said we'll definitely be co-sleeping with number 2 having had such a great experience doing it with John.

    Next step is the transition to the toddler bed which we'll be doing in the next month or so - wish us luck!

    Oh and have a read of Dr Jay Gordon's night weaning guide - it really was our sleep saviour.
    http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

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  2. We are co sleepers too :) Such a fantastic way to bond with one's child. Mine is 5 though so I would like her to migrate to her own bed.....soon. lol!

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  3. never co-slept with our 4 but interesting article, toddler bed was a smooth transition - they all seemed to love the big bed!

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  4. I never fully co-slept although Archie spends a portion of the night in with me every night. I find it is just the will power to stay awake during a night feed so they go back into their own cot and eventually they will stop waking as they know they don't get to come in bed with you. Good luck!

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  5. its too early for us to co-sleep, and im not sure yet if i can do it, just to scared to squeeze LO between us)

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  6. kieran robertson18 August 2013 at 21:03

    scared to squash them!

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  7. great article

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  8. we did with our youngest with no probs except the occasional wetting!!

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  9. If we had a bigger bed I would have co slept...luckily with my 4th he settles to sleep well but I miss those sleepy cuddles

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  10. Good luck, Amy still comes back in with us some nights and do you know what, I really don't mind. I love cuddling up with her in the morning and I always find that she sleeps longer with us x

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  11. oh my goodness, i think you are so patient sleeping/napping in her cot like that! I couldn't have done that. My son used to sleep very well after the first 6 months, but he was bottle fed. He did cause us other problems though, like try and climb out of his cot very early on, and then progressed to being able to unlock the baby-proofed cupboards, undo his seatbelt (that freaked me out!) and also got onto the window ledge and waved at a lady outside, that she knocked and told me what he was up to, as he'd been put up there for a nap as I was exhausted! What we did early on was lower his cot side down and place a mattress onto the floor next to the cot so if he did roll/fall out it would be a soft landing. he got into a bed in no time. I guess it depends on your child. Can you not sit beside the cot perhaps (especially if the side lowers down) then you'll be close to her and can creep out when she falls asleep. You have to be very crafty when you are a parent and start thinking of how to outsmart them! I never would have believed that children even from an early age can manipulate their parents, sometimes even not knowingly. Good luck, I am sure it will work out fine, especially as you are not getting stressed about it. One time, our son was a lot, lot older, about 8 I think, and he had a phase of dragging his bedding into our room for a week or so. We never did find out what that was all about! It wasn't a problem as he slept on the floor. After all, someone said to me "you never hear of a teenager wanting to sleep in the same room as their parents do you?" and it's true! x

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  12. I think they do it when they are ready. Some babies start to sleep through at 2 months, others don't do it until they are almost 3. I tried to co-sleep with my first LO, but he preferred his own bed!

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  13. I used to always sleep in my dads arms xD used to cry otherwise

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  14. With my two sons, I was very very lucky! I was a young mum and I lost my partner, so dealing with young boys on my own at 18 I was a bit nervous, but I was amazed when they both slept right through the night from day one, and it has never changed! They can sleep anywhere, now I have two girls with my husband and while my 3rd child was a great sleeper too (slept right through from 5 months) my fourth baby Charlie-Margaret was colicky, plus she was also born teething! It was a bit of a nightmare at first lol as I wasn't used to not sleeping, but a few weeks of co-sleeping worked wonders, she felt settled, and we had done the same thing by putting the cot right up to the bed, and since she turned 2 she has slept all night again, just like the others. Yay! lol

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  15. Never co slept and found after 5 days the waking and crying stopped at bed time, we also cut naps out at the same time as going from cot to bed so it was a big change

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  16. A very interesting article. Thanks!

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  17. I am due soon, and planning to co-sleep.

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  18. I will share this with my friend too, she let her child sleep in her bed on holiday, and is having real trouble getting her to sleep in her cot again :-)

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  19. Great news that she is at least spending part of the night in her cot. I found the best way to deal with it was not to stress. Babies and toddlers pick up on this and it stresses them too.

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  20. I never co slept with my little one but have had major problems with getting him to sleep. I hope that you can get her to sleep regularly in her cot soon. Nothing beats sleeping like a star fish!

    Hele

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  21. This can be a great cause of anxiety for both parents and children. My tips are whatever works for both is best. A nightly routine is a good idea so that the child knows that after bath time it is bed time. When my boy was small we put the cot in the bed room and then gradually as time went on he was transferred to his own bed which was low to the floor so he did not fall out. My husband or I always read him stories and later he would watch cartoon videos( probably frowned upon by many!) but he enjoyed them and went to sleep naturally. On occasions when he was not happy to stay upstairs he would sleep on the settee beside us and we would then carry him up to bed. This phase will not last forever and like potty training they will do it in their own time. It is not a competition as some mums would believe. Thanks :)

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  22. I have never co-slept but enjoyed reading the post, luckily my sons have both been good sleepers.x

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  23. A very interesting read, never had my babies co-sleeping me though.

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  24. This is really interesting but neither of my children co slept with me, but I did have issues getting my little boy from his cot to a bed when he turned 2. X

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  25. I *love* co-sleeping. I don't like to be alone, so why would my babies? And they will all move out eventually, so it's not like it's a bad habit that will last.
    When I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I needed more space. What we did was put a cot mattress on the floor next to my bed, so my son slept there in the night. We could still have a snuggle before he fell asleep and hold hands in the night. What surprised me was as soon as the new baby was born my son moved in to his own room! I never even asked him to but from that first night he did with no issues at all.

    I'm currently co-sleeping with baby number 5 who is now almost 15 months and I can tell you, a super kingsize bed is the way to go!

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  26. A very interesting article. Fortunately we never had any problem and they took to the cot with no bother at all.

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  27. never co-slept, I like my space when sleeping

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  28. co-sleeping always scared me i was afraid id roll over on to them

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  29. Very interesting article, thanks.

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  30. I didn't co- sleep with my three, but I did have a tough time getting my eldest child to sleep 'at all'. So much so I took her to the doctor because she would 'sleep' for 15 minutes in every 12 hours and it was making me really ill.

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  31. I never co slept with my son as I wanted him to be independent, it has worked for us because we never have any problems when it comes to bed time. My tip is to make their own room so lovely and magical that they want to spend more time in it.

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  32. Rio sleeps on his bed from about 8.30 -2ish.. then when he wakes i put him in bed for abit of milk with me and he sleeps again until 8.30am. Cant grumble but like you say..the next step is in their own bed all night. He used to sleep through all night (from 12 weeks) x

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  33. Never co slept so no idea sorry

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  34. Afraid I disagree with co sleeping, just think its too risky, but thats just what I think and its up to everyone to make up their own mind

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  35. My son just never slept through the night - not that he cried, he just stayed awake. I put him in a bed early so he could get out and play with his toys whenever he wanted. He just wasn't allowed out of his room. Mind you, I heard every movement even though he was as good as gold.

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  36. I remember it being like musical beds, I would put my son back to his bed continuously but within a shorttime he would be back. After I bought him his own bed I would leave him in my bed and get into his, but sooner or later he would join me again.

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  37. I co-slept with all of mine and never had a problem getting them to sleep in their own beds - until the youngest. She is 11 now and still comes in our bed some times(only once in a while but still!)...and she is not a still sleeper!

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  38. Interesting post hun - we were quite strict with Jack, he occasionally co slept whilst I was breastfeeding but once I stopped, he seemed to know to sleep in his own cot x

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  39. very helpful! made my sister-in-law read this as she's just had her child x

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  40. I co slept with my oldest and it was a nightmare to get him back in his cot bed, exactly he never did, he went straight in his junior bed at the age of 3, still had to lay with him for hours to get him to sleep. Funny enough he is 8 now and can't get him out of his bed in the morning. When my youngest was born (4 now) I didn't want him to sleep in our bed as I couldn't go trough the transition to cot bed again as I had with my oldest and I have to say my youngest always been a good sleeper from day one, in all the beds ( moose basket, cot, junior bed and now big bed).

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  41. She looks like an angel on that photo. Great post. I can see me coming onto your blog all the time for advice when our baby is born!

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  42. I wish I'd kept co sleeping with the Baby In Red. We can't co sleep now :( no one sleeps well.

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  43. I never co-slept as I was too afraid of rolling on the baby in my sleep, but I always had the moses basket & later the cot right next to my bed. Sometimes I've had one in a moses basket on one side & one in the cot on the other side of our bed! Atm my 18 month old sleeps in the cot right next to us & we don't hear a peep out of him until morning.

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  44. Loved reading this - very interesting.

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  45. I never co-slept after the once that I nearly rolled over onto my son, it frightened me after that.

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  46. Didn't co sleep with my first 2, they were easy to go from cot to bed but my last one is still sleeping with me and is nearly 7 because she says she is keeping 'me' company! Her father and I split 4yrs ago and until recently we have been on our own but when my new partner stays over she goes in her own bed surprisingly easy, when she was a baby she used to scream when putting her down in her cot too, like she was petrified of it, so she had also slept with me and her father from very young age on and off. It suits our lifestyle at the moment though I would not fully recommend it for getting undisturbed nights sleeps! :-)

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  47. Caroline Mortimer21 August 2013 at 18:26

    Still waiting for mine to sleep through the night! She's 19 months old!!!!!!!!!!!

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  48. I'm never co-slept but i have read that it is quite popular in other cultures. I would be too scared of rolling over in the night though to actually do it

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  49. I remember this like yesterday and my son is a teeneager now!

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  50. interesting read. my daughter only sleeps with me on occasion now. usually when she is ill

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  51. Our daughter slept in cot but we had to put a rolled up towel in a horseshoe shape under the fitted sheet so she felt safe (health visiter advised us to) but she wouldn't go in her own bed. She is 5 next month and shares bed with me, hubby moved into spare room 2 years ago. We are in middle of doing her bedroom up in princess style in hope she'll sleep in it before starting school. Not holding my breath.

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  52. Would love to win this for my grand daughter. She is ready to have a 'big' bed now x

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