At one time or another, we’ve all had our child slip into bed with us the middle of the night. Either because of a bad dream, stormy weather or they just wanted to. The problem with that is your child won’t sleep in their own bed because he or she thinks they can bunk with you at any time.
I think most of us will agree most of us parents cave in and let our kids sleep with us rather than lose sleep while trying to convince them to get back in their own bed. Hey, at three in the morning, I would cave every time!
But after several sleepless nights – maybe even more – there does come a point when we will need to do something about it so that everyone can finally get some sleep.
Changing up a child’s routine can be challenging, especially if your child has been sleeping with you since he or she was a toddler.
But it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here is a list of suggestions to help you if your child won’t sleep in their bed.
5 Things To Try If Your Child Won’t Sleep In Their Own Bed
Take It One Night At A Time
First, don’t make your child quit cold turkey. You can’t expect your child to sleep in their own bed overnight.
Instead, take it one night at a time. If your child has a setback, you can let him or her sleep on an air mattress or sleeping bag in your room. Or you can sit with them in their room until they fall asleep or a number of minutes. It all depends on your parenting style so there’s no wrong answer for that.
Create a Fun Bedtime Routine
Create a fun bedtime routine that includes music, dancing, and bedtime stories.
Make him or her feel safe by doing a ‘monster check’ at bedtime. Let you child check under the bed and in the closet with you so they can see for themselves that there are no monsters in the room.
A nightlight can also make your child feel safe.
Use a Reward System
I wish I would have thought about this when my kids were little!
Everyone responds to instant gratification – even the littles. So instead of promising a new toy at the end of the week,
Create a sticker chart and give them a sticker they can add every time they sleep in their own beds. Make it more fun by buy stickers in their favorite characters.
You can also reward your child with extra playtime, pass out tickets they can collect and later exchange for a new toy or a real special treat like an ice cream cone.
You’ve heard of the term “counting sheep” to help kids (and some adults) fall asleep. Well, this is something like that.
Encourage your child to close their eyes and think about an upcoming event like a family trip or a special day like their birthday.
Set the scene for them. Tell them to think about the things they want to do on their trip or what kind of birthday party they would like to have.
Put a Positive Spin on the Reinforcements
Use encouraging language such as “You’re a big boy (girl) now. You get to sleep in your big boy (girl) bed.”
By being encouraging, your child will be more willing to sleep in their own bed.
If these suggestions don’t work, you can always place an air mattress or sleeping bag and sleep in your child’s room. Or put it in your room so they’ll be next to you but not in your bed.
Over To You
I hope these suggestions help you and your child. The one key thing in all of these suggestions is to be consistent with whatever method you try. If you practice the methods you’re using every night, the quicker your child will get used to sleeping in their own bed.
Are you struggling to get your child to sleep in his or her own bed? What do you do if your child won’t sleep in their own bed? Tell me about some of the methods you’ve tried in the comments below.