Getting Your Toddler to Sleep in Their Own Bed
While I am not debating the subject of co-sleeping, getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed can be a challenge. We have always had little ones in our bed. Co-Sleeping was just more comfortable, especially with nursing babies. I will say that now that our youngest is a teenager, none of our children still sleep with us and they all moved to their own rooms by the age of four..on their own!
While there are both advocates for and opponents against co-sleeping, each family will have to make that decision for themselves. The trick can be in getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping. The following ideas may make the transition a little smoother.
If you feel it is time for the little one to move to their own bed, start by talking over your current sleeping arrangements with your partner. Are they ready to move the little one to their own bed already or are they content to leave things as they are for the moment? In many situations where a toddler is still sleeping with you, your partner may be feeling left out. They want to have your attention, and more, rather than having to share you with a wee one.
Once you and your partner have made the decision to move your toddler to their own bed, begin talking it up to your toddler. This should start a week or so before the actual move. Talk about how much they’re growing up and how they’ll soon be a “big boy/girl” once they sleep in their own bed and their own room. Make it an adventure and something to look forward to rather than something to dread. Call Grandma and Grandpa to talk about how big the child is getting. Let them make a big deal out of the move, too.
If they are sharing a room with an older sibling, the move will be easier. And if you already have a bed for your toddler, that’s great. Let them start taking naps on their bed so they’ll begin getting used to it. If you haven’t gotten a bed yet, enlist your child’s help in picking one out. You may want to choose a twin-size bed rather than a toddler bed since they’ve already been used to sleeping in a larger bed. A larger bed also will allow you to snuggle with them in their bed when needed.
Let them help select their bedding for the bed if it hasn’t already been done. Does your child have a favorite television character? Chances are you’ll be able to find bedding with them on it. If they’re excited about their bed, there should be less resistance to moving into it.
Follow the same bedtime routine you’ve already been using. Bathing, brushing their teeth, changing into their pajamas and having story time will let your child know bedtime is approaching. Go to your child’s bed and snuggle with them while you read a bedtime story. As they begin nodding off they’ll already be in their bed and ready to sleep.
Stay with them until they fall asleep. This is much easier to do if their bed is a twin size. Sneak out after they’ve drifted off. Use a monitor if that would make you more comfortable. If they get out of bed and climb into yours during the middle of the night, try again the next night and the next.
Follow their lead on when you can move from lying down with them to sitting with them on their bed, then sitting in a chair and finally to their going to sleep on their own. Be prepared for occasional visits from your toddler, but they will soon be sleeping in their own bed regularly. It may take time, but it is possible to get your toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping with you.
What tips have you found and used to move your toddler to their own room?