How to Get a Toddler to Sleep in Their Own Bed?

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Written By Tony Garrett

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How to Get a Toddler to Sleep in Their Own Bed?

Co-sleeping, or bed-sharing, is not recommended for babies and poses safety risks. It is important to establish a bedtime routine and transition your toddler to sleep in their own bed. This can be a gradual process, and it is crucial to choose the right time and be consistent with your approach. Encourage your toddler’s independence and create a sleep-friendly environment in their room.

When to Stop Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping, or bed-sharing, is a common practice among parents of infants. However, it is important to be aware of the safety concerns associated with co-sleeping, especially for babies under 1 year old. Experts strongly advise against bed-sharing with infants as it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Room-sharing, where the baby sleeps in their own crib or bassinet in the parents’ room, is recommended for the first 6 to 12 months to reduce this risk.

After the age of 1, the safety concerns regarding co-sleeping decrease, but it is still not the best choice for several reasons. Co-sleeping can have a negative impact on parents’ sleep quality and may lead to disturbed sleep patterns for both the child and the parents. Additionally, prolonged co-sleeping may have potential negative effects on children’s mental health, inhibiting their ability to develop independence and self-soothing skills.

To ensure a safe and healthy sleep environment for your child, it is recommended to transition them to sleep in their own bed by the age of 1. This gradual process allows the child to develop independence and self-soothing skills while maintaining a sense of security. It is important to create a sleep-friendly environment in their room and establish a consistent bedtime routine to facilitate the transition.

Age Recommended Sleep Arrangement
0-6 months Room-sharing in a separate crib or bassinet in the parents’ room
6-12 months Room-sharing in a separate crib or bassinet in the parents’ room
1 year and older Sleeping in their own bed in their own room

Remember, every child is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to transitioning from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own bed. Take into consideration your child’s readiness, create a supportive environment, and be consistent in your approach. With time and patience, you can successfully help your child develop healthy sleep habits and ensure a restful night’s sleep for everyone in the family.

How to Wean a Toddler off Co-Sleeping

Weaning a toddler off co-sleeping requires a thoughtful plan and consistent approach. It’s important to set the stage for the transition by discussing it with your child and highlighting their readiness to sleep in their own bed. Choosing a period when there are no other major changes happening in your toddler’s life can help ease the process. Opting for a gradual approach instead of an abrupt transition can also make the adjustment smoother.

Consider implementing strategies that will help your toddler become more comfortable sleeping in their own bed. Starting with afternoon naps in their room can be a good initial step. This allows them to get used to the environment without the pressure of a full night’s sleep. Another approach is to bring their crib or bed into your room first and gradually move it into their own room over time. This way, they still have the comfort of having you nearby while slowly transitioning to sleeping independently.

Creating a positive association with their own bed is essential during the weaning process. Try having sleepovers in your child’s room, where you stay with them until they fall asleep. This can provide them with the reassurance and support they need as they adjust to sleeping alone. Be patient and expect some resistance or protests from your toddler. It’s crucial to stick to the plan you’ve established and avoid giving in to their requests to go back to co-sleeping. Consistency is key in helping them develop new sleep habits.

Tips for Weaning a Toddler off Co-Sleeping:

  • Discuss the transition with your child and emphasize their readiness for sleeping in their own bed.
  • Choose a period with minimal changes in your toddler’s life to initiate the weaning process.
  • Start with afternoon naps in their room to help them become familiar with the environment.
  • Bring their crib or bed into your room initially, and gradually relocate it to their own room over time.
  • Have sleepovers in your child’s room, providing reassurance and support until they fall asleep.
  • Stick to the established plan and be consistent, avoiding the temptation to revert back to co-sleeping.

By following a gradual approach and offering support during the weaning process, you can help your toddler develop healthy sleep habits and become more independent in their sleep routine.

Pros of Weaning off Co-Sleeping Cons of Weaning off Co-Sleeping
Encourages independence in sleep Initial resistance from the toddler
Promotes healthy sleep habits Potential for disrupted sleep during the transition
Creates a sleep-friendly environment Parents may experience less sleep initially
Allows parents to have their own space for uninterrupted sleep Potential for increased bedtime routine challenges


Establishing good sleep habits for your toddler is essential for their overall well-being. By addressing sleep associations and creating a consistent bedtime routine, you can help ease the transition to sleeping in their own bed.

A bedtime routine plays a crucial role in signaling to your child that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Include activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music. Consistency is key, so try to follow the same routine every night.

Breaking the sleep association with co-sleeping can be challenging, but with perseverance, you can achieve success. It’s important to reinforce the expectation of sleeping in their own bed. Offer rewards, such as stickers or small treats, to motivate your child and make the process more enjoyable.

Remember, establishing new sleep habits takes time, so be patient. With your guidance and a sleep-friendly environment, your toddler will gradually learn to sleep independently, leading to better sleep and increased independence for both your child and your family.

Tony Garrett

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