Easy and gradual, gradual and “easy does it” was the strategy that I found most successful in making changes when my (forever) babies were growing up. Whether it was moving from cradle to crib, learning to suckle from bottle as well as mom, adjusting to new caretakers, it soothed me, in addition to baby, to slowly introduce the change in small, even sometimes tiny, steps.
For example, when I started to think about the babies sleeping in another room, I thought about what could be kept the same even as they made this change. So we first put them (my daughter, and later both sons, together in the same crib) to sleep in the crib during nap time, to become accustomed to the bed and the room, and to associate it with sleep. We used the same “sleep cues” (e.g. music, swaddling or blanket) and established a comfortable routine becoming accustomed to sleeping in the room before moving baby/both babies into the other room at night. We then moved our night-time routine in their room: undress for bath, dress in cozy pjs, nurse, story and music before cradle. Finally, we began putting them to sleep in their crib in their room. This took place over many days and nights, until we all felt comfortable with the change. When they were sleeping in their crib, I did use the monitor to keep an ear out for cries, and we all got better sleep.
We used this approach often over the years for many parenting challenges. For me, making changes gently helped me adjust to the ever growing separation from each of my babies. It comforted me that my daughter had the comfort of routine and of the familiar, and each of my sons had his brother right there beside him. I believe these efforts provided comfort for them as well. Sometimes it is better “to rip the bandaid off”, but we have found that “take it easy” often is less painful. Be gentle with yourself, be gentle.