As a parent, we have all experienced the midnight kick in the back by a little one that has crawled into bed with us. Perhaps from infancy you had your baby sleep in bed with you, or maybe during some rough nights, you brought your toddler into bed with you so you could soothe and comfort him/her. Before you know it, your toddler is sleeping with you every night – it has become a habit – one that you want to break.
As with everything that is learned during your child’s early years, sleep habits are no different. It is best that the sleeping arrangements for your child begin immediately. While there are many parents that will disagree, many experts believe that the child should be in his/her own bed (bassinet) and own room from day one. Children learn from habit, in which, if they are always in their own bed and room, they are less likely to take residence in your bed and room.
With today’s technology, you can feel better listening and watching your little one from a far. This will give you the peace of mind to keep an eye on the little one, but give your baby or toddler the discipline needed to remain in his/her room and bed.
Of course, situations and circumstances may prevent this from happening and before you know it, you have a little one sharing your bed on a consistent basis. In those instances, here are a few tips on how you can transition your child back to sleeping in their own bed:
- Monsters be gone – many children fear the unknown. Shadows and noises can play with your child’s mind and scare them. Sometimes simple things such as adding a soft night-light or moving toys and furniture will remove the shadows. You can also perform a monster spraying to remove the monsters – just put some water in a spray bottle and spray those monsters away.
- Transition can be fun – slowly transition your child back to their room in stages. You can keep it fun by setting up a camp site (tent included) in your room. Once your child is comfortable with sleeping at the camp site, move the camp site just outside your bedroom door. Slowly transition the camp site closer to your child’s room, until inside the room. You can then transition to the bed.
- Consistency is key – moving your child back to their room demands consistency. If your child comes back to your room at night, carry them back to their room – consistently. If you need to, start with staying in the room until they go to sleep. The next night, stand outside the door. Then down the hall, and so on until they develop the habit of staying in bed.
- Don’t look in their eyes – This little trick is so easy and leads to a lot more sleep for you but it required its own post.
- Tire them out – One way I got my son to sleep in his own room (after years of struggling) was to make sure he was so tired he passed out and didn’t wake up until the following morning. These are the things I did to make sure he went to sleep and stayed asleep at night.
Have you struggled with getting your kids to sleep in their own beds? How old were they when they started sleeping alone? If you have any tips that have worked for you, please leave a comment below!