Tips for HELPING Children learn to Sleep in Their beds
Whether you were planning on sharing a bed with your child or it just sort of happened one day, you probably want your bed back sooner than later. Even when children are tiny they have the ability to stretch out into incredible lengths making it nearly impossible for parents to get comfortable and get a decent night of sleep. If you’ve already tried to get your child into their own bed and couldn’t go through with it because it ended up being a disaster, there is hope for you.
Get Them Excited About Their Bedroom
Children love having something to be excited about. Involve them in the decision-making process in setting up their new room or adding their own personal touches to their room. You can allow them to test out different mattresses to find the mattress they’d feel the most comfortable sleeping on. Allowing them to decorate their room will get them excited about the process of decorating and having their very own space set up how they want it. Of course, you can set limits to what they can pick out, but even just letting them select their blankets and artwork can make all the difference in the world to them.
Set Up a Bedtime Routine
Have a bedtime routine and actually enforce it. Make sure they know exactly what you expect of them. If you want 8pm to be light’s out, then make sure lights are off at exactly 8pm. If your child is still very little, you can consider reading a book to them about sleeping in their own bed. With little ones, it’s best to start the bedtime process much earlier than their expected bedtime. Bathing, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading stories, and everything else takes a lot of time and can often take longer than expected.
Consider Sleeping Beside Them For A Few Nights
Your child is used to your comfort, which is why they want to sleep with you in the first place. If you just turn the lights out, kiss them, and walk out of the room they’re going to panic. You can help the transition go much more smoothly if you sleep in their room for a few nights. Avoid sleeping in their bed though because will just reverse the process. Consider having a “slumber party” with them and set up an air mattress or a sleeping bag on their floor beside their bed. Just knowing you’re there beside them will bring them comfort.
Bring On the Praises
If your child had a good night and managed to stay in their own bed all night or even part of the night, let the praises rain down on them. Let them know you’re proud of them because children absolutely thrive on praises. Consider making a goodie bag and let them pick out a small surprise for having a good night because this encourages them to want to keep doing what you want so they can get rewarded.
If your toddler is still in a crib and you’re thinking about putting them in a toddler bed, wait until you know for sure they are ready. It’s a really big change which can be frightening if rushed. Have patience with your child and stand your ground. Let them know the rules and make sure you enforce them. It’s easy to cave in and let them come back into your bed but try to avoid doing this in the first few weeks of transitioning to their bed. With persistence, you’ll be able to have your bed back sooner than later.