Moms Expertise

Tips to get child to sleep in own bed

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If family bed sharing is not your thing or if the adults sharing the bed aren't getting quality sleep, you'll have to change things up. It won't be fast, pretty or easy but it'll be worth it in the long run so everyone will be better rested in the future. Following the path of least resistance is tempting when exhausted, however, the longer you put it off or give in, the harder it'll be.

Night training should not begin during a transition such as potty training, going on vacation, or when a new sibling is expected. Give lots of warning ahead of time, during the day, and tell them what's going to happen at bedtime. Consider making a simple bedtime book with illustrations showing where everyone sleeps. Follow the bedtime routine as usual but make sure not to start the child out in the parents' bed.

At bedtime, the child may fuss or even cry. It's to be expected. Hold firm. Bring a pillow and comforter into the child's bedroom and sleep on their floor the first night. This helps them adjust to sleeping in their bed. After a couple nights of doing this, sit quietly in a corner. With each subsequent night, gradually move farther and farther out of the room. Keep quiet during these times, do not engage in conversation. If they start fussing, leave the room. Return when they settle down. After a week or so, the child should be able to sleep in their own bed the whole night through.

On the other hand, if you prefer going with a shorter transition and are willing to endure some crying, you may want to put up a safety gate in their doorway so they can't escape.

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