If you’re stumbling upon this blog from an internet search, you’re likely a co-sleeping parent. And odds are that you’ve encountered an obstacle with co-sleeping. If this is the case, then I’ll tell you now that there is no “best age” to transition from co-sleeping. Instead, the timing is more about when it’s no longer working for your family.
Every family is different
As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, my job is to help those families who reach out to me. So, if co-sleeping works for you, you more than likely don’t need my services. However, if it’s not working, I can help.
Because every baby is different, there’s really no best age to transition from co-sleeping — it’s really more situational. While I am not an advocate for bed-sharing, I trust parents to make the decision that’s right for their family. However, the basics of the Sleep Sense program require that I follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations regarding safe sleep practices. The AAP advises against sharing the same sleeping surface with babies and advocate for room-sharing as a safer alternative.
Sleep training while co-sleeping
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no way to sleep train your baby while co-sleeping. The purpose of sleep training is to help babies sleep independently, which directly contradicts the nature of co-sleeping. Sleep training, while co-sleeping, creates confusion for babies because it sends mixed messages. And because one of the basics of the Sleep Sense program is consistency, there’s no possible way to sleep train and co-sleep simultaneously.
The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition
While there is no “best age” to transition from co-sleeping, research points to transitioning sooner rather than later. Prolonged co-sleeping is often associated with an increase in maternal stress levels, as well as affecting aspects of children’s social and emotional growth.
When it comes to babies and toddlers, the longer you co-sleep, the harder it is for them to transition. This is because they’ve always had a parent next to them to coax them to sleep, making independent sleep a foreign concept and a new skill they must master.
If you’re ready to transition your child from your bed, I’m here to help. I study your baby’s existing sleep habits, personality, and temperament to create a personalized plan that works for your family.
I’ve been working with Philadelphia-area parents for more than seven years to help their babies sleep healthily. I offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to see if sleep training is right for your family.