Parents love to be close to their children, but when it comes to bedtime, most would prefer to get a good night’s sleep in their own bed. But many children insist on sleeping with their parents, and the result is often restlessness and exhaustion. If you’re experiencing the problems of having to share a family bed, these tips might help you reclaim your bed and get the rest you need.
One way to get your child to sleep in his own room is to start early. Toddlers (ideally) will be unable to get out of their cribs and try joining you in bed, so this will get them used to the concept of sleeping alone. This can also teach your child ways to help herself get to sleep, so she won’t necessarily need to be comforted by co-sleeping.
Another trick is to use positive encouragement. Instead of telling your child he isn’t allowed to sleep in your bed, stress how cool and grown-up it will be for him to have his own bedroom. This will help your child view sleeping in his own bed as a positive experience, rather than something he “has” to do.
It’s also important to remember that this process will take time. Try making the separation more gradual. You may consider setting time limits for how long the child can stay in your bed before she has to go back to her own room. Or you may want to put sleeping bags or air mattresses in your bedroom. This way, the child gets to be close to you without disturbing your sleep.
Always remember to be consistent. You may not feel like getting up at all hours of the night to take your child back to his room, but you need to establish a pattern. The sleepless nights may be difficult, but they will pay off.
Consider offering rewards to your kids. You could promise them a new toy or a fun trip if they sleep in their own bed for a certain length of time. Little incentives will show your child that this is really worth doing.
Hopefully some of these tips will be useful to you in reclaiming the bed. Your child will gain a sense of independence, and you will enjoy rest and relaxation.