Some families choose to have a “family bed” situation and that works for them. Others end up with a “family bed” by default, and even though it is not working for them, they don’t know how to get their child to sleep in their own bed again. Truly, in the middle of the night when you are tired and groggy is not the best time to have to stick to resolutions or deal with crying kids. It’s often easier to just let your crying child crawl into the bed with you. Here are some tips on how to get your kid to sleep in her own bed.
- Make a Plan: Make a plan and be prepared to stick to it even in the dead of the night when your precious one is screaming her head off. The most difficult thing about getting a child who is used to sleeping with her parents to sleep alone is that it more than likely will get worse before it gets better. Whatever your plan is make sure you have the will to be consistent and stick to it all through the night.
- Talk it up: After you make the plan, talk it up to your child during the day. Don’t wait until bedtime to break the news. Start discussing the plan during the day light hours every single day. Be positive and upbeat by making it sound like the best thing ever to sleep in your own room in your own bed. This is the time to also go over any rewards or treats you may have put in place to encourage sleeping in her own bed.
- Camp Out in her Room: You may need to make a pallet on the floor beside your child’s bed and camp out in her room for a couple of nights. Do NOT sleep in the bed with the child. In that case, you have the same problem, just a different location. Stay there all night. If sleeping alone causes anxiety or feelings of being scared, waking up in the middle of the night to find you gone when you were there when she went to sleep can cause problems. It may be inconvenient for a while, but it will be worth it in the end.
- Slowly Move Back to your Room: After a couple of nights on the floor, sit in a chair by the bed until she falls asleep telling her you will come back in the morning to get her. Every night move the chair closer to the door until you slowly move back to your own room.
- Prepare for Tears: Finally, you should prepare for tears, both yours and your child’s. There will probably be lots of crying and cajoling. Depending on the dramatic nature of the child, this could possibly become pretty intense. Stick with the plan! If you give in you are teaching the child that they just have to cry longer and scream louder to get what they want.
These tips on how to get your kid to sleep in her own bed can have you getting a good night’s sleep again within a few weeks. It won’t be easy, but the end game is worth it!