How To Get Your Child To Sleep In Their Own Bed
We love our kids, and we want the best thing for them. One of those things is to get a good night’s sleep! You can only do that by establishing healthy sleeping habits–such as starting to sleep in their own room. Sleeping on their own can help kids with separation anxiety, and can prepare them for social settings when they get older. If this is something you and your child are currently struggling with, read on for some helpful tips:
- Start Off Early: The sooner you establish a separate sleeping arrangement, the easier it will be. When you first bring home your baby, there is a time where you need to have them next to you, especially for moms who are breastfeeding. Even here, use a bassinet or something that the child sleeps in outside of the bed. Then, once the child is old enough, introduce them to their crib for naps and nighttime sleep.
- Create A Nighttime Routine: Make their room a place that they enjoy being. Occasionally play in the room to form a positive relationship with that space. They will feel familiar when they are in the room alone during the night. As they become toddlers, add in things that they like and have made to make the space feel at home. Bring favorite toys in the room and hang drawings that they have made to decorate.
As you get ready for bed, spend time together with your little one. Create a normal nightly routine like a bath, reading a book, singing a song, and then putting on a noise machine to lull them to sleep. It’ll make them feel comforted with your love and attention, and it’ll prepare their mind for sleep.
- Positive Reinforcement: As your child sleeps through the night, praise them in the morning for doing a great job. Have a chart of stickers with a calendar to put a happy sticker on each day that they sleep well in their room.
If your child is struggling:
- Start off sleeping in their bed with them. It’ll be comforting for them to know that you are there next to them. If they wake up during the night, they’ll look for you to make sure you’re still there. You can do this for 3-4 days.
- Move to a chair next to the bed for a few nights. They can still see you if they wake up during the night. If they fuss, don’t run over to the bed. Stay quiet for a little while, and if they don’t calm down, then go out of the room for a little while. You don’t want to let them know that you’ll get in bed with them every time they fuss.
- Gradually move the chair further away from the bed each night. Give your child positive reinforcement each night. Move into the hallways, and then eventually back into your own bed.
Remember to always form good nighttime habits with your children to make sleeping easier on everyone. Teach them not to have too much to drink before bedtime or watch TV right before bed, and keep the room dimly lit and cool. You’ll be back to sleeping better, and so will your child.