Are you trying to get your child to sleep in their own bed? If yes, you are not alone. It is actually a very common problem parents face. Surprisingly, there are even some teenagers who still sleep in their parents’ bed.
But guess what?! My children have been sleeping in their own beds since they were born. They transitioned so easily from the crib to a toddler bed, and they are both sleeping in their own rooms now.
Co-sleeping is a very controversial topic. You can read some of the benefits and disadvantages of co-sleeping on the American Academy of Pediatrics website. If you are interested in how to get your children to sleep in their own beds, keep reading. Trust me, this will be a life changer.
As I mentioned before, I have never co-slept with my children. But, if you have, don’t worry. You can decide whenever you want your children to sleep in their own beds. It is best to start this as early as possible.
If you believe that your child will always be sleeping in your bed, you should not worry. Children can be positively influenced to choose what is the best for them by just guiding them. They are going to want to sleep with you because they are used to it, they feel safe around you, and they love you.
When you feel like it is affecting you and your child’s life, then follow the steps I mention in this article to positively get your child to sleep in his/her bed.
Children need about 12-14 hours of sleep per day. That is more than what you and I need. Sleeping helps rest your body and get it ready for the next day. For a good night's sleep, you need silence, a comfortable space, and no disturbances. When you and your child share a bed, you will keep waking each other up by simply moving. You might get kicked or pushed. You might even have less space to sleep than you would like. This all causes disturbances in sleep for you and your children. Without enough sleep, you are going to begin your day moody, sleepy, exhausted, and frustrated. Your child might act out and have a few tantrums.
When your children wake up in the middle of the night, the first thing you do is probably soothe them by rocking, patting, or hushing. These are all very bad actions that your children will depend on when they can’t sleep.
Your children will always need you. They need to learn a very important skill, self-soothing. They need to learn how to calm themselves down and go to sleep on their own. By teaching them to calm themselves down on their own, not only would their sleep be better but they will learn how to overcome feelings of anxiety and fear.
You might want your child to depend on you especially when they are young. But this will affect them in the future. Independence is necessary because you will not always be there for them. Without independence, they will face obstacles at home and in school.
Many of my friends who have recently become parents have asked me when do children get easier. Having children is hard, but not as hard as you think. You just need to follow a routine, set rules and be consistent and trust me that usually does the trick.
Creating a routine usually helps calm a child and get them ready for what is expected of them. A bedtime routine will not just easily transition your child from playtime to bedtime, but it will help ease them into a new routine like sleeping in their own beds. A good bedtime routine usually consists of brushing teeth, reading a book, and kisses and hugs. I personally follow the moms on call routine.
Get them ready for this big transition. You must tell them exactly what you want from them. For example, tell them today you are going to sleep in your own bed. You are a big boy/big girl and from now on you will always sleep in your own bed. Your bed is special for you. No one else will sleep in it except you.
They might ask you questions. That is totally normal. Just keep in mind to make sure to keep insisting the fact they will sleep in their own bed. Do not show fear or hesitance.
Many children will find it difficult to transition from cosleeping to their own beds. After their bedtime routine and telling them what is expected of them, turn off the lights and leave. If they cry, you can go back and stay in their room until they calm down or fall asleep. Do not get into their bed. If you want to stay in the room, it is fine just don’t soothe them by patting or sleeping next to them. They need to soothe themselves.
After the first few days, decrease the time you are staying with them. After a week, kiss them good night and leave. You can keep the door open to help them feel safe. Taking it slow is fine, just stay consistent and never take a step back. If you do, they will realize this and it will get much harder for you.
Do not forget to praise your child. Tell them how good they are doing. If they slept in their own bed throughout the night, praise them in the morning. Make sure they know you are proud of them. You can also reward them. Every time they sleep in their bed, you can give them a sticker. After 7 stickers, they get a toy. There are so many positive reinforcements. You can choose any.
Transitioning your children into their own beds could be very easy; just create a routine, tell them what you want them to do and praise them.
Halimeh Salem is the founder of Crying Toddlers Blog. She loves helping moms overcome the obstacles they may face during the journey of pregnancy and motherhood. During her free time, she loves playing with her two children, Sama and Basem.