Take Back Your Bed: Tips for Getting Your Child to Sleep Alone
For parents, one of the toughest challenges with little ones is setting up a smooth and consistent bedtime routine that allows everyone to get a good night’s sleep. Often kids end up sleeping in their parent’s bed in order to help them fall asleep, but after doing that for a week or two parents soon find out that it has become a habit. Before you know it, what started off as a quick-fix is now the permanent solution and your bed is being monopolized by your child.
So, what can you do to get your child out of your bed, back to their own bed, and have everyone sleeping comfortably once again? Here are some tips that can help with the process.
Understand You Will Need to Be Strong and Consistent
Before you even start the process, you will want to get in the right frame of mind mentally. It is best to go in expecting there may be resistance, crying, and even a bit of drama. Your job will be to stay as cool as a cucumber, stay strong, . All it takes is for you to give in once and then any progress you’ve made will be erased.
Create a New Bedtime Routine that Everyone Is Made Aware Of
Next, it’s time to create a brand–new bedtime routine and discuss it as a family. Everyone needs to be on the same page and the routine needs to be clear. You may even want to add a few new elements to the routine just to ensure it feels fresh, and even a little bit fun and exciting for your child to follow.
Often, an effective bedtime routine involves some sort of wind down period about 30-60 minutes before bedtime. This is a great time for a bath, story time, picking out pj’s, having a small snack (make sure it doesn’t contain ingredients that will keep them up), bathroom chores (using the potty, washing their face, brushing their teeth, etc.), and then off to bed.
Let Them Know that Good Bedtime Behavior Will be Rewarded
There’s also nothing wrong with a little incentive, especially in those first few nights/weeks. If they stay in their bed all night, , and that reward can be anything you see fit. You could even give little treats each night, and then something bigger for milestones like a one–week milestone, a two–week milestone, and so forth.
Another great tip is to give their bedroom a bit of a makeover. You could splurge on new bedding and put the emphasis on it being “big girl” or “big boy” bedding, but they need to be in their room to enjoy it. Just bedding has a huge selection of options for kids, such as the girls doona cover. Let them know this is their treat for sleeping in their own bed and being so independent.
You can also take the makeover further and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, add new décor and accessories, and really make it a space that they want to be in.
You Will Get Your Bed Back
By following these tips, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, and you will indeed get your bed back. And by doing so, everyone in the family will be able to have a much more restful sleep and enjoy their own space once again.