Do you need to get your little one to sleep in their own bed through the night? Maybe it’s time for the big transition to their own bed, or perhaps you want to stop them sneaking into your bed during the night. You might be desperate to get your own bed back, and trying to get your child to stay put can be frustrating. But before you get too stressed out about it all, there are plenty of steps you could try to successfully get everyone in the right beds. It might take some time or, if you’re lucky, you could find it’s a quicker process than you think.
When it’s time to get your little one to fall asleep in their own bed (and stay there all night), try some of these tips to help make everything a little easier.
Set Up a Reward System
Positive reinforcement can often be a good way to get children to change their behavior. If you want to encourage your child to stay in their own bed, you could consider offering something desirable to encourage them. This could be the tried-and-tested sticker option, where they can collect stickers for each night they sleep in their bed and get a reward after collecting a certain number. There are other ways to provide rewards too, whether it’s getting to choose what’s for breakfast the next morning or earning a treat at the end of the month. Of course, you might want to set a limit on how long any rewards will last.
Create a Sleep-friendly Environment
Before you start encouraging your little one to sleep in their own bed and their own room, you should make sure you create an environment that’s conducive to sleep. You don’t want there to be too many distractions or too much stimulation, which could prevent your child from falling asleep. Think about things like making sure the room is at the right temperature, that the lighting level is correct, and that the room is clean and tidy. You might experiment to find what your child likes, whether it’s white noise, an open door, complete darkness, or anything else.
Offer Comforting Items
Many a child has taken comfort in having something to cuddle in bed. This can be especially important if they’re used to snuggling up with you and are now expected to sleep alone. A soft toy can be the perfect comfort item to help your little one fall asleep. You can find some cute options from Jellycat or other popular plushie brands. They come in all kinds of designs and sizes. Some children might find comfort in things like blankets, or more unusual items, like a favorite shirt with a silky label. Nightlights can also offer comfort in the dark.
Take It Slowly If Needed
If your child is used to sleeping in your bed, making the transition to their own bed can be tricky. You can’t necessarily expect that they will immediately be ready to move to their own bed every night. It can be helpful to take things step by step and set up a slightly slower transition. Perhaps for the first couple of nights, your child can sleep in your room but not in your bed. The next couple of nights, you might sit with them as they fall asleep in their own bed. Eventually, you can reach the point of your little one sleeping in their own bed every night.
Set Up a Good Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine is good for everyone in the family. It helps your child to wind down at the end of the day and get ready for bed. It can also be a chance to spend some quiet time together and helps to set expectations. A bedtime routine could include bathtime, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, reading a story, and having a cuddle before it’s time to go to sleep. When it’s time to go to sleep, leaving the room can allow your child to practice falling asleep alone.
It’s not always easy to be consistent, even when trying to achieve a goal. If your child tries to get into your bed in the middle of the night, you might be tired and simply want to go back to sleep. But taking the time to put them back in their own bed helps you to stay consistent and establish expectations.
It might take some time to get your child to sleep in their own bed, but it’s worth it to create healthy habits and get your own bed back.