15 Things You can Do to Teach Your Kids to Sleep Alone
Guest post by Kiya
A new addition to the family is without a doubt a joyous occasion. However, with the new addition to the family comes a new addition to your bed. Parents often regret allowing the baby to sleep in the bed with them. This is a hard habit to break once the child becomes older. Are you living with this regret? Are you searching for a way to get your child to sleep alone in his own bed? The following are 15 things you can do to get your kids to sleep alone.
- Take a stand. Realize that to make the change, you must take a stand and make a commitment that the child can no longer be in your bed. Once you make this commitment, you can begin making progress.
- Talk with your child about the situation. If your child is around age 4 or 5 and is still sleeping in the bed with you, he is old enough to understand why there needs to be a change. Tell him that he is getting too big and needs to sleep in his own space.
- Make a pallet (comfortable bed mat) on the floor the first couple of nights. If the child refuses to go into his own bed, begin by making a pallet on the floor. This will help him feel safe and be a good start to the transition into his own room.
- Give them an article of your clothing to help them feel secure. If you child expresses fear, give him something to sleep with that reminds him of you. A night gown or shirt is two good examples.
- Leave the bedroom door open when you do make the transition. If he is afraid, don’t shut his bedroom door. Leave it open and reassure him that he is okay.
- Put siblings in the same room. Does he have a sibling he can share a room with? Choose to put him in the room with his brother or sister until he isn’t afraid to be on his own.
- A night light can be helpful. Make sure that room is lighted enough so that your child can see. This will make him feel safer.
- Let your child know that you will be checking on him throughout the night. Reassure your child that he is safe by checking on him throughout the night.
- Stay with you child until he is asleep. During the first couple of nights on his own, it may be helpful to stay with your child until he is asleep. Don’t make this a habit though, or you will be spending each and every night in HIS bed.
- If your child comes in your room, send him back to bed. You can expect him to come into your room the first couple of nights. When this happens, simply send him back to his bed.
- Give your child an incentive. Explain to your child that big boys and girls sleep in their own bed. Most kids want to be classified as “big.” This may help with the change.
- Reward successful nights! On the nights that he does stay in his bed, give him a reward. Put a sticker on a chart each morning to show his success.
- Get him a new stuffed animal to sleep with. A new stuffed animal may also help him make the change.
- Realize that it may take some time to kick the habit. While some children will make the transition easily, others will take some time. Be patient with your child.
- Stick to your decision. When it gets tough, don’t give in. You must stick to your decision regardless of how tough it gets. If you change your mind, it will be even more difficult the next time you decide to make the transition. If you decide to make the move and get your child sleeping alone, stick to your decision at all costs.
Breaking the habit and teaching kids to sleep alone will be no easy task. Use the tips listed above to help you and your child make the transition.