You put your child to sleep and hope this is the night you’re all going to get an uninterrupted night of much-needed rest.
Then 3 a.m. rolls around and you’re nightly visitor shows up, right on cue. It’s your child and they’re climbing into your bed. It’s another night of elbows in the rib and hanging onto the bed like you’re on the edge of a cliff.
If so, you’re not alone. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their child stay in their bed all night long. There are plenty of kids who still take a stroll into their parents’ room in the middle of the night…every night.
While you love your child, you also want them to sleep in their own bed all night.
How can you make it happen? Check out these tips.
Make sure they fall asleep in their bed.
Don’t make the mistake of letting them fall asleep and then transferring them to their bed. Put them to bed, kiss them goodnight and leave the room. Letting your child fall asleep on their own will help when they wake in the middle of the night. They’ll have a better chance of getting themselves back to sleep rather than go in your room for comfort.
Set the perfect sleeping conditions with them.
Some kids may wander into their parents’ room because they say it’s too cold or too dark or too noisy, etc.
Whatever the case may be, they’ll find an excuse to come in. Try asking them how to make their room perfect for sleep. This may mean adding a night light, extra blanket, or maybe even a sound machine. Making them part of the process can also help in your efforts.
Walk them back to their bed.
As much as you want to roll over and go back to sleep, get up and walk your child back to their bed. Hopefully, after a few nights, they’ll get the message and you’ll get some rest. But, you have to be consistent with this one. If you’re not, it’s not going to work.
Give them a lovey…or ten!
Some kids just like someone or something to cuddle with when they sleep. If they don’t have a lovey or special stuffed animal, get them one and see if it helps. Maybe even two!
Rewards never hurt.
Rewarding your child with a treat if they can sleep in their own bed may be incentive enough for them to stay in their room.
Some kids may not take the bait, but others will keep their eye on the prize and not on your bed.
Stay positive and don’t yell.
As much as you may want to scream at the top of your lungs, stay calm and positive. Yelling isn’t going to get your child to sleep in their bed all night. Try selling all of the pluses of staying in their own bed (they’re a big girl/boy, more room, etc.). If your child starts crying and says they can’t do it, reassure them that they can and hopefully it will begin to sink in.
Remember, kids do things at their own pace. As frustrating as it is for you, sometimes it’s just a case of letting them grow out of it. Eventually, they will!