There are typically two types of parents when it comes to bedsharing:
- The parent who wants to bedshare, enjoys it, and feels like it works for their family.
- The parent who tolerates it because it seems to be the only way their child will sleep.
If you fall under the first group, this blog is not for you. If you fall under the second group, you are in the right place!
There are countless reasons families end up bedsharing. For some families, it is a choice that is made long before their child enters the world. For other families, it is a series of events that somehow leads them into a situation they don’t want to be in. Whatever your reasons are for bedsharing, you are probably reading this because you are ready to get your little one out of your bed. We are here to help guide you through that transition!
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS RECOMMENDATIONS ON SAFE SLEEPING
It is not our job to judge the choices parents make. We are here to help guide them towards informed decisions. Bedsharing has a long history of being practiced around the world and in different cultures. Despite the history of bedsharing, the AAP advises against the practice to reduce safety risks – mainly for infants and toddlers. Their position on the topic is based on data and statistics collected over decades. Visit their website to look further into the potential risks associated with bed sharing.
PARENTS NEED TO BE A UNITED FRONT
Both parents have to be on the same page for the transition to efficiently work. If one parent wants the transition and the other does not, the process will most likely not be smooth. Consistency is key in being successful. Parents need to agree that they want the same outcome. They also need to work together to set a plan and execute said plan. When things don’t go to plan (there will be bumps in the road), you can remind each other what it is you are working towards and encourage each other along the way.
SET YOUR PLAN FOR YOUR TRANSITION
It is important to have a set plan in place before beginning your transition. Take the time to speak to a sleep consultant or research ideas online of how to handle the many situations that may arise. Odds are, your child is going to resist the change. Imagine being accustomed to cuddling up with the people you love most and falling asleep feeling absolutely safe. Then imagine having to trade that for a room all alone. Of course kids will resist. You are probably going to be exhausted while dealing with your child resisting bedtime. When you have a plan, you prevent yourself from making sleep deprived or emotionally driven choices. Your plan should include your new bedtime routine, how you will handle situations like your kid getting out of bed or using stalling tactics like asking for more food or water, etc. This is why it is important to be on the same page with your partner. You will be tested and it will benefit you greatly to be able to lean on your partner.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Show yourself, your partner and your kid grace throughout this process. Transition isn’t always easy for everyone, especially for children. You should go into this decision knowing that there will be hick ups and setbacks. If you stick to your plan, it will pay out in the long run though. Your family will transition into your new norm and you will most likely experience better sleep for the entire family.