How can I help my 6 month old daughter sleep in her own crib? Ever since she was born I slept with her and breastfed her, but the bed is getting a little cramped now and I stopped breastfeeding?
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Bobbie - posted on 09/18/2012
Oh boy, Candice there is no easy way out of this one I am afraid. You are going to be so tempted to get her and bring her back in when you feel lonely just as often as not. Many mothers just don't realize how much comfort that little warm body brings them. Therefor be prepared to be strong when you shift her into crib sleeping. For her sake she should be left to sleep alone even when you have to sleep alone. I had a friend who didn't believe me when I told her this. Her son cried the first night he adjusted to going down into his crib but slept peacefully every night afterward for months. Sure enough she fought loneliness when her husband was out of town for 6 nights. By the second night she brought her son into her bed with her to keep her company. When her husband returned she realized that she had to put her son through another night of adjustment crying to go to sleep again without her.
But to answer your question. Start with nap times and see how long it takes for a sleepy well fed dry baby to sooth herself to sleep. Keep room as dark as possible during her nap time. No sound, no lights, no bottle. She may go down within minutes. Some children always cry a little and 10 minutes is the norm to get use to. Then once she is sleeping in her crib for naps easily and you are sure YOU are ready to transition to PERMANENTLY changing her sleeping place, then remove all co-sleeping comforts from your room that you may use. Make a great grown up bed with new covers meant for a couple and place her in her bed and kiss her good night. They really do go down easily at this young age. You will be patting yourself on the back if you are able to let her settle herself down rather than go into see her on that first night. I promise, without interference of you going in on night one, she will fall to sleep in 10 minutes on night 2 :)
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