From Co-Sleeping to Sleep Independence!

Hey there, Tiny Duck enthusiasts! Today, we’re tackling a topic near and dear to many parents’ hearts (and sleep-deprived minds): the delicate art of sleep training a 2-year-old after co-sleeping and transitioning your precious child from the cozy cuddle club to their very own sleep haven.

Breaking Up with Cozy: The Co-Sleeping Drama

We get it. Co-sleeping has been the MVP of your nighttime routine, offering warmth, comfort, and a snuggle buddy all in one. But let’s face it: every parenting adventure comes with its own set of challenges, and it’s time to bid adieu to the family bed and stop co-sleeping.

Experts call co-sleeping a “sleep prop,” right up there with pacifiers and bottles. Right now, your child depends on their “sleep prop,” aka co-sleeping, to fall asleep and stay asleep. As you co-slept, you taught your child they can trust sleep, calmly fall asleep, and have a healthy relationship with sleep – you have created a perfect baseline for your child and sleep. Now, your tiny duckling is ready to graduate to the next level. So, how do you gracefully part ways with the nighttime snuggle-fest? Fear not, dear readers, for Tiny Duck Parenting has your back!

Step 1: Prep the Sleepscape

What better way to usher in a new era of sleep than with a bedroom makeover? Get your little one excited about their sleeping space by letting them choose a brand-new bedspread or sheets. Your child is likely used to a big, cozy bed with pillows and a specific type of comforter on your bed – consider getting them their version of all of those cozy comforts!

Step 2: Introduce a Lovey

Have you ever heard of a “lovey”? It’s not just a cute term; it’s a secret weapon in your arsenal. For a few nights leading up to the grand solo sleep debut, introduce a lovable stuffed friend or comforting blanket during co-sleeping time. Soon, your tot will associate the lovey with the comforting presence of you. You can even utilize a lavender room spray before bedtime in your final nights of co-sleeping to build a scent association, then spray it in their room prior to bedtime.

Step 3: Embrace the Transition Tango

Let’s be real – transitions can be tough for both parents and toddlers. Expect a few night wakings as you navigate the delicate dance of sleep training. Stick to your guns, assure your little ones that their lovey and cozy new sheets are their new BFFs, and watch the magic unfold. Expect the transition to take 5-7 nights to improve fully.

Step 4: Reading Books for Comfort: Creating a Peaceful Bedtime Ritual

Reading books can be a wonderful way to ease the process of falling asleep. Choose soothing bedtime stories with gentle plots and tranquil themes to create a calming atmosphere that signals it’s time to wind down and prepare for a peaceful night’s rest. Establishing a consistent reading ritual at a specific time each night in their cozy toddler bed helps your child associate this activity with the transition into sleep, whether you’re transitioning from bed sharing or starting anew. Beyond aiding sleep transition, this practice fosters a deeper bond between you and your child, enriching their life with the joy of storytelling and setting the stage for a lifetime love of reading, all while providing a sense of comfort and security as they embark on their solo sleep journey.

Step 5: Rise and Shine Celebration!

Each morning is a milestone, so why not celebrate it like a rockstar? Make every sunrise a celebration of your child’s newfound independent sleep. Cheer, clap, throw confetti (okay, maybe not the confetti part), and let them know just how incredible they are for conquering the night.

Conclusion: You’re the Sleep Ninja!

And there you have it, fearless parents – your guide to breaking up with the cozy cuddle club and embracing the world of solo sleep. With a sprinkle of loveys, a dash of bedroom glam, and a whole lot of morning cheer, you’ll be the Sleep Ninja your toddler never knew they needed. Stay clever, stay witty, and may your nights of sleep be filled with sweet dreams (and maybe a little more sleep). Until next time, this is Tiny Duck Parenting signing off – because every sleep transition deserves a quackin’ good story!

The transition from co-sleeping to your toddler having independent sleep may have its moments of challenge, but with patience, love, and the right strategies, you’ll help your little one find comfort and security in their very own sleeping space. If you find the transition challenging, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from sleep consultants. They can provide you with tailored strategies to ensure a smooth journey toward your child’s independent sleep.

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About The Author

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Jennie is a certified sleep consultant with a background in Child and Adolescent Studies who specializes in teaching toddlers and children to choose to stay in their open bed, fall asleep independently, and sleep through the night. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies, and spending time in the classroom, she decided to follow her passion and move to New York City to become a professional theatre actress. Between shows, she worked as a nanny. One family had a toddler that couldn’t fall asleep without help, he refused to nap and would wake-up multiple times a night. Frustrated by the lack of resources for toddler sleep issues she became a certified sleep consultant. Relying on her education and experience, she then created Week to Sleep geared for toddlers in an open bed.

Jennie has helped so many families across the country make bedtime easy and enjoyable. She has been featured on Mommy Mingle, Parentville, corporate Google, and buybuybaby. Jennie’s favorite part of working with families is when a toddler runs to their parents in the morning exclaiming, “I did it, I am SO proud of me!