When you have children, after a certain age you’ll want them to sleep in their own bedrooms and in their own beds. You’ll get a better night’s sleep and so will they, and that means less irritability and more productivity. Yet some children – and parents – have a lot of trouble with this, and getting kids to stay in their own room all night (or even start off there) can feel like a never ending battle.
This can become a bad habit that leads to lack of sleep for everyone, and no one gets any time or space to themselves, which can be detrimental to mental health. Therefore, here are some ways to help children sleep in their own beds.
Make The Room Sleep-Friendly
If they are old enough, ask your child what would make their room better and help them sleep there. If they don’t know or they’re too young to answer, there are some things you can try that might help. The bed is a good starting point. It has to be something the child is happy with, so it’s often a good idea to go shopping somewhere like the Children’s Bed Shop and have them help you pick. Not only will they like the bed, but they’ll feel a sense of ownership over it, and that will help them want to be in it more.
The rest of the room is important too. How much light is there and how much is needed (some children need a nightlightwhile others prefer complete darkness)? What is the décor like? Is it too noisy or too quiet? You could even try sleeping in there yourself to get an idea of what it’s like and what you could change.
Have Clear Expectations
It’s crucial that you give your child clear expectations about when they should be sleeping in their own bed. Don’t just spring the change on them as a surprise, as this can make things more difficult. Instead, let them know before bedtime that you want them to sleep in their own bed that night.
If they say they are scared or worried, the best thing to do is not to dismiss that fear or anxiety, but acknowledge it. Tell them you know it’s a bit scary, but that you are confident they can do it, or something similar.
Take It A Step At A Time
Even if your child has only been sleeping in your bed for a short time – perhaps they were sick and needed some comfort but now they are well – but especially if they have been sleeping with you for months, years, or their entire life, it will be a hard adjustment to make when it comes to them sleeping in their own bed. This is why it’s best to take things slowly.
Make a plan that helps your child feel more at ease with the idea of sleeping in their own bed and build on each step over time. You might want them to just sleep in their room right away, but if you can gradually build up to it, they are more likely to stick with the new way of doing things and not revert back to wanting to sleep with you.
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