How do you get your child to sleep in a bed alone?
The move from a crib to a toddler or “big kid” bed is huge. It’s a day of independence for both parent and child. Because now, your little one is free to come and go from their bed as they choose. No more standing at the railing and hollering for mom or dad to come get him. He can get out all by himself.
This of course presents a challenge too. Now that the little one can get out of bed on his own, he's likely to test the waters. If your child is particularly independent or stubborn, you’re in for a fun time! Here’s how to help your toddler sleep and stay in his own bed.
For example, can he get out of bed before six in the morning? No? Okay. How will they know when he can get out of bed? What about going to the bathroom? Clearly explain the rules so your child knows what to expect.
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#3 Don’t get in the bed with her. This sets a precedent and tells your child that you’re willing to sleep with her. Unless you want to do this every night all night long, don’t start the pattern.
#4 Stick to your guns. This is incredibly important. If bedtime is eight o’clock and little Susie pokes her head out at nine o’clock, don’t let her come downstairs and watch television with you. Usher her back to her bed. When she pokes her head out at nine thirty, repeat the procedure.
For most children, this need to usher them back to bed several times a night only happens for a few nights - as long as you’re consistent each and every time. Don’t have any emotional reaction to their behavior, even though you may be exhausted, frustrated and angry. Simply escort them back to bed.
Some children are a bit more of a challenge and you may have to repeat this for weeks until they get the picture - until they realize that mom or dad isn’t going to bend on this rule. Just say, "Get in bed, stay in bed, I love you, goodnight."
Children are naturally going to test the limits. This is particularly true when they receive a new freedom. Establish rules, explain them clearly and then stick to them. Your beautiful child will be sleeping in, and staying in, their own bed in no time.
You thought those late-night and early-morning trips to your child's room were over when he or she began sleeping through the night. When you find yourself making similar trips again at the toddler stage, discover how to help your toddler sleep in his or her own bed and reclaim your uninterrupted sleep.