If you and your partner do not have problems sharing the bed with your child, they think that they can still sleep with you without causing any inconvenience to any of you, you do not have to consider it just because other parents do. Each family and each child make their own changes at their own pace, it is a family lifestyle decision.
It all starts if for any reason you want or have to get your child used to sleep in their own bed. Perhaps because you are pregnant with your second (or third) child, because you work late, or other reasons. But how are you going to do that? Think carefully about this beforehand. Maybe you really prefer him to sleep in your bed, no matter what you do, at some point, you’ll want to make a change. But rest assured that EVERYONE must agree with the decision.
Implement a strategic routine
It is best to talk about the new plan with your child during the day so that he knows what to expect, and you can mentally prepare him to implement the plan.
When starting with this change, it is positive to have a strategy and not despair since the children could wake up during the night and want to see what mom and dad are doing, or they could be anxious because their parents were in the room when they fell asleep and Now they are not. Regardless of the reason, it is important to implement a strategy that breaks the child’s dream association with his parents. Parents have to try to work to develop a bedtime routine for their children.
A quiet sleeping routine, so you know what to expect each night. Whether turning off any type of screen, movies, video games, and reading on your own or with a family member, when bathing, brush your teeth.
As soon as your child enters your room, take his hand and take him to his bedroom, kiss him, talk to him and return to your bed, no matter how tired they are.
Try not to make him feel that it is a punishment
It is important that this change is as pleasant as possible and that the child does not feel that it is a punishment and feels forced to do so, but that he feels that it is a positive change, that he can sleep in his own room and that he knows that his parents will be nearby if you need something, feel bad or anxious because you can’t sleep.
It may take a few nights, or even a few months, for this to happen, but soon the child will understand that walking into his parents’ room is a quick walk back to his room, not a night in his parents’ bed. Eventually, the new rules will stick, and they’ll stay in his bed.
Use positive language
Being positive can make your child eager to make the change. Tell her that at her age and the kids can sleep in her room, and explain how cool she can be. Doing in this way the positive twist, for example when they are leaving the diapers tell them, it is good that they can already wear underwear, instead of “You should not wear diapers”.
Tell him that his toys are with him, you can decorate the room together, and you can buy a lamp that he likes. Give him the security he needs and above all tell him that you are right next door, a few steps away from what he requires.
Methods for moving your kid to their own room
It may not be reasonable to require that a child who used to sleep in your bed suddenly stay in his own room all night. So trying to make the separation more gradual may be the best idea. There are different types of methods to make this change, for example, some parents have made their children sleep next to their bed in a sleeping bag. Or they decide that they can spend 15 minutes in their bed and then come back. The point is to search for different ideas for your own method. The progressive elimination method can give you some ideas.
The progressive elimination method:
For the first few nights, you will put the child in his bed and you will sleep on the floor next to him. You will gradually decrease your presence in your child’s room, going from sleeping on the floor to sitting in a chair until he falls asleep, and finally, you can stay by the door until the child is sleepy and then leave…
This method can be positive because it will build confidence in the child’s ability to fall asleep on his own, and it will tell the child that you will supervise and be around if he needs anything.
Some parents begin the process in his bedroom, placing the child on the floor next to the bed and slowly carrying him into his room. You can assess which way suits you best.
Not everything has to be perfect
Does your child already sleep in his room but show up from time to time at midnight in his room? Don’t despair, many toddlers, preschoolers, and even school-aged children sleep with their parents at least part of the time, walking into the parents’ bedroom looking to stay there.
Changing a nightly routine can be difficult for many reasons, and one of them is because biology is not on your side. Experts in infant sleep tell us that it is not uncommon for children to look for their parents at night. Sleep is a flexible behavior. In prehistoric times, people needed to be able to wake up when there were predators and the night was dangerous. And children who wake up looking for their parents do so by a natural reflex. This will decrease as they grow.
It can be difficult to walk your son to her room at 3 a.m. when you have to work in the morning but try to be consistent with his decision every night. Try to think long term, some nights will be rough, but soon, everyone will be sleeping through the night.
When your child is sick or can’t fall asleep after watching a suspenseful movie, it can be a good idea to comfort him without always inviting him into your bed. You can, for example, go to sleep in his room on a mattress to give him the support and company that he needs at that specific moment.
All the information that we give you in this article is indicative since each child and each family are different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
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