Many new mothers are choosing to bring their babies to bed with them after they’re born. While there are both advocates for and opponents of co-sleeping, each family will want to make that decision for themselves. The trick is getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping. The following ideas may make the transition a little smoother.
Talk about your current sleeping arrangements with your partner. Are they ready to move the little tyke to their own bed already or are they content to leave things as they are for the moment? In many situations where a toddler is still sleeping with you, your partner may be feeling left out. They want to have your attention, and more, rather than having to share you with a wee one. Even though it may be difficult for everyone involved, the aim is for your toddler to be able to sleep in their own bed instead of remaining in yours.
Once you and your partner have made the decision to move your toddler to their own bed, begin talking it up to your toddler. This should start a week or so before the actual move. Talk about how much they’re growing up and how they’ll soon be a “big boy/girl” once they sleep in their own bed and their own room. Make it an adventure and something to look forward to rather than something to dread. Call Grandma and Grandpa to talk about how big the child is getting. Let them make a big deal out of the move, too.
If you already have a bed for your toddler, that’s great. You can have them start taking naps on their bed so they’ll begin getting used to it. If you haven’t gotten a bed yet, enlist your child’s help in picking one out. You may want to choose a twin-size bed rather than a toddler bed since they’ve already been used to sleeping in a bigger bed.
Let them choose bedding for the bed if it hasn’t already been done. Does your child have a favorite television character? Chances are you’ll be able to find bedding with them on it. If they’re excited about their bed, there should be less resistance to moving into it.
Follow the same bedtime routine you’ve already been using. Bathing, brushing their teeth, changing into their pajamas and having story time will let your child know bedtime is approaching. Go to your child’s bed and snuggle with them while you read a bedtime story. As they begin nodding off they’ll already be in their bed and ready to sleep.
Stay with them until they fall asleep. This is much easier to do if their bed is a twin size. Sneak out after they’ve drifted off. Use a monitor if that would make you more comfortable. If they get out of bed and climb into yours during the middle of the night, try again the next night.
Follow their lead-in when you can move from lying down with them to sitting, then sitting in a chair and finally to their going to sleep on their own. Be prepared for occasional visits from your toddler, but they will soon be sleeping in their own bed regularly. It may take time, but it is possible to get your toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping with you.
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