A ‘family bed’ may be fine for some parents, but for others, the prospect of being elbowed in the face and kicked in the head all night is enough to keep them awake. Allowing your children to sleep in your bed might have a negative impact on your relationship with your spouse.
Once your child has been accustomed to sleeping in your bed, it can be difficult to get him to sleep in his own. With children, it doesn’t matter whether they don’t go asleep in their own bed or if they wind up crawling into your bed at night.
Many options exist for getting your own space back if you’ve had it with sharing your bed. Here are seven strategies for getting your kid to sleep in his or her own bed at night..
Make Your Child’s Room Sleep-Friendly
Make sure your child’s room is conducive to sleep before enforcing a night-time curfew. Nighttime anxiety can be eased and sleep improved by providing a peaceful and relaxing environment.
However, each child’s concept of a peaceful atmosphere is unique. A stuffed animal, total darkness, and full silence may appeal to one child while white noise and a night light may not.
Try out a few different items to see which one best relaxes your kid. Getting your child to sleep on his or her own may depend on your ability to allay his or her concerns at night.
Create Clear Expectations
Prepare your youngster for the upcoming shift in their sleep schedule by talking to him or her in advance. The last two weeks, you’ve been sleeping in my bed every night.” “You’ll be sleeping in your own bed again tonight.”
Emphasize the feelings of your child. As opposed to just telling a child, “Don’t be afraid,” parents could add, “I know you feel worried and I am sure you are strong enough to stay in your own bed even when it feels terrifying.”
Your child’s protests should be taken into consideration. Say, “I know it’s scary to sleep alone when you’re not used to it, but I’m certain that you can.” Then, be explicit about your expectations for your child’s bedtime routine.
Take It One Step at a Time
The move to a new bed might be difficult for a youngster who has been sleeping in your bed for a long time—perhaps even his entire life. You may assist your youngster become more self-sufficient by creating a step-by-step plan2.
Telling your child he can only sleep on his floor mattress in your room is an example of this. To ease him into the new situation, you may sleep in his room with him until he becomes more comfortable. After that, gradually introduce him to the concept of sleeping alone in his own bed.
Establish a Healthy Bedtime Routine
Your child will benefit from a regular bedtime routine that helps them wind down and prepare for sleep. 1 Getting your child ready for his own bed might be as simple as giving him a warm bath, reading him a book, and cuddling with him.
At bedtime, leave the room and turn off the lights so he can become used to falling asleep on his own.
When a youngster slips into a parent’s room in the middle of the night, many parents want to return him to his own bed, but they are often too exhausted or frustrated to be consistent. However, if you want your child to cease sleeping in your bed, you must give a clear and consistent message each and every night..
If your child sees that his objections and insistence are effective, he will learn that he can control you by misbehaving. Do not create excuses for your child because he is weary or because you have had a bad day to let him sleep in your bed. Sending conflicting messages can only make the situation worse.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Reward your child for going to sleep in his own bed. For toddlers and preschoolers, 2 sticker charts are a great option. An incentive for older children to observe rules is provided by token economies.
“Two tokens for remaining in his bed all night,” or “the chance to stay up an extra 15 minutes tomorrow night if he stays in his bed,” are examples of rewards you can give your child for staying in his bed. Make it evident that you are delighted with your child’s achievement by combining prizes with praise.
Problem Solve Proactively
When it comes to training your child to sleep in his or her own bed, you may run across a few issues. 1 Maybe he enters your room so stealthily that you don’t notice him (in which case hanging a bell on your door might help wake you).
It’s possible that your child is sleeping in your room because he is a little jealous of his new sibling’s arrival, or because you are expecting a second child. To help him get the positive attention he needs, you may want to give him more one-on-one time during the day.
You should take a step back if your child seems to be regressing or if you are having difficulties getting him to sleep in his own bed. Investigate the possible causes and come up with a solution to the situation.
Make a plan during the day, and stick with it at night
Make a strategy and stick to it, even if you’re exhausted, once you’ve decided to reclaim your bedroom.
This is something you shouldn’t consider when you’re drained and unable to handle any more crying, according to Mattke. Let’s get together and figure out what’s best for you and your family.” Your child is out of bed and out of your life when you apply this method. The phrase “Oh, for five minutes” or “They had a rough day” is not acceptable.
Two categories of children exist: those who begin the night in their own bed before waking up and those who are always in the arms of a parent when they need them.
For those who start out in their bed:
Moorjani advised parents to walk their children back to their rooms, kiss them, and then get into bed as soon as they entered theirs. And, no matter how worn out you are, be ready to repeat this process as many times as necessary.
To describe it, we refer to it as “the “100 walks.”” Moorjani commented. As soon as you finish tucking your child down for the night, he or she follows suit.” Even if it can happen multiple times, the youngster will soon grasp that “well, mom’s isn’t here to play with me.”
When parents are walking their children back from an outing, she advised them to remain neutral and exhibit no emotion. When you’re fatigued, keep your calm and don’t get irritated, Mattke said.
Do not engage in any good or negative contacts with them because either they will feed off of it or they require consistency this is what we do,” Mattke added.
She recommends discussing the new plan with your child during the day so that they are prepared and you can psychologically prepare for the implementation of the new plan.
In order to help a youngster achieve early on, Moorjani recommends using sticker charts and setting goals with minimal expectations at initially.
Sticker charts, according to Moorjani, are “extremely concrete” for children since they show them what they are accomplishing. You get a star if you manage to sleep through the night in your own bed. In order to provide the child with positive reinforcement, the family can devise any system they like.
In time, the youngster will learn that entering their parent’s room is only for a short period of time and not for a night of sleep in their parent’s bed.
“The new regulations will stick eventually,” she added, “and they will stay in their bed. Remind them that they can shout out if they need anything or are unwell, but that if they are fine, mom and dad will put them back, kiss them, and leave.
The phase out method:
The phase-out strategy may provide reassurance to children who have been sleeping in their parents’ beds.
To begin, parents will place their children in their beds and sleep on the floor next to them for the first few evenings. Rather than staying in the child’s room until they’re asleep, the parent will move from sleeping on the floor to sitting in a chair till they doze off, and then closing the door when the youngster nods off.
When a child is able to fall asleep on their own, they will be able to inform the child, “I will check on you once you are sleeping,” which can strengthen the child’s confidence that their parents will do the same.
There are a number of different ways that parents can begin the transition process, according to Mattke.
She advised that the parents’ room be off limits for the duration of the process.
“This is your bed where you sleep,” she remarked. “It shouldn’t be your bed where you snooze and their bedroom when you go to bed.
The bedtime pass system:
According to Moorjani, the bedtime pass system may be a good option for older children who are in preschool or grade school.
Parents give their child one pass to exit their room every night. It doesn’t matter if they need a drink of water, a hug, or a chance to tell their parents something before they go to sleep; they only get one opportunity to leave their room each night.
As she said, “It’s a physical approach for kids to grasp the rules and restrictions,” she stated. In spite of the fact that they know they should go to bed, “I can come out one more time,” they have some measure of control.
Be constant, no matter what you’re dealing with, and it will pay off. Eventually, the child will realize they must sleep in their own room.
Teach your child how to fall asleep solo
Do you stay in your child’s room and watch her drift off to sleep, or do you embrace her? It’s possible that it’s preventing your child from sleeping through the night on his or her own. When they wake up later, they could come looking for you because they believe they’ll fall asleep again if you’re around. Start your child’s night off on the right foot with the “chair method,” a sleep-training approach that can also work for older children. Sit in a chair next to the bed for the first few days; after that, move to the middle of the room; after that, to the doorway; and finally, out of the room.
A paediatric sleep expert in Hammonds Plains, Newfoundland and Labrador adds, “You’re steadily eliminating the parental presence.” Repetition is critical for a successful nighttime awakening. Go back to the centre of the room if you were sitting in the chair when they fell asleep.
Teach them what to do when they wake up in the middle of the night
“We are making assumptions that the child knows how to do it,” Borst says of lying down, getting comfortable, and closing one’s eyes. As a parent, you might give your children a phrase or mantra to repeat, such as “I close my eyes and stay in bed when it’s time to go to sleep.” Teach your children how to communicate with their bodies so they can learn how to do things on their own. When it’s time for me to rest and sleep, I inform my body.”
Address anxiety issues
Some kids are afraid of being alone and seek your presence to alleviate their anxiety. Conquer those anxieties with your child’s help! “Buy a cool night light if they’re terrified of the dark,” Amin advises. It’s also possible that they’re afraid of monsters, so spray their room with “anti-monster spray” before going to sleep.
Instead of letting your child to sleep in your bed when they wake up in the middle of the night, consider sleeping in their room. There is a lot less work involved in getting oneself out of their room than it is in getting them to quit coming into yours.) Borst notes, “Some parents camp out in the child’s room the entire night and gradually remove their presence from the room.
Put a digital clock with the minutes covered in duct tape in your child’s room if he or she wakes you up an hour or two early. Educate them to, for example, stay in their own beds until the clock reads seven. Alternatively, invest in an alarm clock for toddlers that flashes when it’s time to wake up; they may benefit from a visual reminder. When it’s time to get up, some children’s clocks change color.” In certain cases, a dim light is activated at sleep and extinguished when it is time to get out of bed.” Using a reward system like a sticker chart or little gifts can also assist motivate children to wait in their own bed.
Talk up the bedroom
When mentioning their room, be enthusiastic. Relaxing hobbies like reading might help make the room feel more pleasant during the day. Renovating your home may also be beneficial. Lu surprised her train-obsessed son with new train-themed bedding about a month after he started creeping into her room. That interrupts his sleep and he won’t have the stamina to play in the morning if he comes into our room.” Now that his room is filled with the things he enjoys, he won’t wake up terrified or alone,” Lu explains. It’s been a while since he’s been in our room.