If you are a parent with a baby or young child, you may find the act of co-sleeping with your child a common practice. You would have either placed your baby's crib in the same room as yours or opted for sharing the same bed with them. Either way, it's probably provided you with endless endearing moments of snuggles and quality time! Parents tend to practice co-sleeping oftentimes to ease breastfeeding, nursing, and attending to their newborns, toddlers or young children. To Wean or Not to Wean? Image credit: xFrame The act of co-sleeping with your child comes with plenty of benefits, and a slight set of risks. For one thing, it builds your bond with your child in a way you wouldn't be able to once they begin to claim their independence. Just like how you find comfort in your other half's embrace, it's only natural for your child to feel the same way about yours. Studies have shown that bed-sharing children oftentimes display no negative cognitive or behavioural tendencies. Rather, any cognitive or behavioural discrepancies are more commonly associated with socioeconomic circumstances or social judgments. The risks remain for infants below the age of 1, or if your infant has yet to be able to roll over their belly. Did you know? Separating where your newborn sleeps can be life-saving and minimises the chances of SIDS. A baby ought to have plenty of space to manoeuvre about in deep sleep. Remember, space is also especially important for the little one to avoid being smothered! Do your best to ensure their crib or sleep space is free from oversized pillows or mountains of plush toys. Co-sleeping can be a lovely bonding experience with your child. The truth is, the older they are, the safer it is to be co-sleeping! For infants, sharing your bedroom with their crib or placing the crib by your bedside provides you a much quicker means to come to their aid on late nights or too-early mornings. When should you "wean" your child from your bedroom? Image credit: Canva If you have a four-year-old who still barges into your room in the wee hours of the night, you are not alone! Bed-sharing tends to peak especially around the ages of two to four years old. It is completely natural for your child to still be developing their confidence and independence at this stage of childhood. There's nothing wrong if you wish to provide a sense of comfort and security to soothe their anxieties by sharing your bed with them. Besides, these are the safest ages to be doing so anyway! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's strongly discouraged for children below the age of 1 to be co-sleeping as they are more prone to smothering or airway blockages by their surrounding plushies or pillows. So if that's the case, when exactly is the best time to wean your child from your bedroom? Before all else, it's always best for you to seek advice from your paediatrician! As in all facets of our life, parenthood is a game of strategy and picking your battles. Whether or not you would like to wean your child from your bedroom, it essentially lies in the kind of family dynamic you want and what works best for every member of the family. But say if the baby is still in need of frequent breastfeeding, or wakes every hour or so into the night, you might want to consider leaving their crib in your bedroom until your paediatrician says otherwise. How Do You Wean Your Child From Your Bedroom? Image credit: Motherhood Story Some parents choose to wean their child from their bedroom as early as when the baby first rolls over onto their belly. Some, at twelve months or older. On the other hand, many parents may still be finding it a work in progress with their toddler or young children. The task lies, most importantly, in building your child's confidence for the world around them. It definitely entails your patience in order to impart reason and establish a gradual, healthy routine! Slow and steady 'weans' the race! Ease into bedtime an hour before by peeling them away from screens and dimming down the lights at least an hour prior. If your child expresses anxiety or fear for being left alone in their bedrooms, take time to communicate with them about it. Sometimes, your children simply crave reassurance: \t \t \tThat there indeed are no monsters under their bed. \tAnd you are indeed within close proximity (in case you were wrong about the monsters)! Chipping away their fears and insecurities will require patient convincing and in this case, weaning your child may be a\u00a0gradual process. Occasionally, all it takes is to leave the door ajar and the dim lights on. Other times, you may need to spend more time in your child's bedroom with them, day or night. This is to help nurture familiarity and harbour positive emotions towards the room. You can also have your bedroom off-limits by nighttime, try playing with your child on their bed often, or letting them have their daily naps in their bedroom before eventually taking turns with your partner accompanying them overnight. As you pick your battles, some nights you might want to be flexible and cave to their pouts and pleas to seek refuge under your sheets\u2014go for it! For a fearful child, a little snuggle with the parents on late nights can go a long way. From Baby Steps to Bigger Leaps! Image credit: Canva The essence is in taking small steps to achieve a bigger goal, which is to have our little ones fearless and confident enough to stroll about with their own two feet. With much patience and perseverance, eventually comes the moment when your little one has finally begun to embrace independence! You may have succeeded in establishing fixed routines the little ones are now sticking to. However, it's completely normal for rough nights every now and then. These are periods that require your utmost patience and creativity in order to concoct ways to ease them back into their bedrooms. One way is to play games with your child in your home surrounding during the day. Who would've thought a game or 'peek-a-boo,' 'I spy' or even 'hide-and-seek' could contribute to their esteem and perception? These games aid your child's perception of object permanence. You may have noticed this when your child becomes upset at an object or person is removed from their sight. Playing games such as peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek inadvertently teaches them that things (especially ones that provide them comfort, security, and positive emotions) continue to exist despite being out of sight. As your child races about the house in search of the perfect hiding spot, they might just find their once scary bedroom, theirs to conquer! Eventually, they will be spending overnights in their respective bedrooms willingly! Image credit: Canva Parenthood never came with a universal manual which is why it's all about figuring out what routine works best for each member of your family. Remember to take a breather every now and then, especially on rough days! After all, your best arsenal in child-raising will always be a clear mind and your heart at ease. Rome wasn't built in a day. When it comes to your little humans and parenthood, well, it really is a life-long process of teamwork and perseverance! For more interesting stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!