Many parents worry how they can get their co-sleeping older babies into their own room and into their own cots. However, there’s another way which can be much easier, much more gentle and less stressful for everyone. The floor bed!
The difficulty of using a cot is having to settle them into it. Contrary to popular belief, many children under the age of 2 do not lie down and go to sleep happily on their own. Many still need a feed or a cuddle to do this. But getting them to go into the cot after feeding or cuddling to sleep can be difficult. As soon as you lower them down and let go, they’re awake again, either almost straight away or at the end of the first sleep cycle.
A floor bed can remedy a lot of the problems. Either just a mattress on the floor, or on a low slatted bed base, or on conjunction with a cot (or two) with the side taken off.
Here are some of the positives:
* Baby is settled to sleep in the bed they are expected to sleep in. Often a baby falls asleep in its parent’s arms or bed as this is the easiest way to get them to sleep. Then when the baby wakes up, they find themselves in their cot, sometimes in a different room. This can be very disorienting as any adult who has awoken somewhere different to where they fell asleep can testify!
* If the baby wakes in the night, the parent can settle them back to sleep in the baby’s own bed easily with a feed or a cuddle. No need to move them out of their environment.
* The fact it is on the floor means it is safe if they roll out or get up and wander in the night. And they will not try to climb out of the cot! Ensure furniture is screwed to the walls for safety and nothing can be pulled on top of them. Parents can also use a baby monitor.
* Parents can co-sleep part of the night in baby’s bed if necessary ensuring a good night sleep for all. This also means that the other parent can remain in the parental bed. The co-sleeping parent can sneak back to their own bed if they are still awake once baby has settled.
* It is a very gentle way to encourage a baby to move into their own room or in with their sibling whenever the parents think this is the correct time for their family.
* Later on the parent can gradually retreat by lying next to the child, lying a bit further away, popping out for a minute, until eventually they are happy with a story, a kiss and a cuddle and then sleep.
So for parents wanting a gentle way to transition a child to sleeping on their own space, this can be an ideal solution.
Photos courtesy of Gentle Parenting Twins and Triplets UK & Ireland facebook group.