Teaching Children to Sleep on Their Own

While a ‘family bed’ is considered quite normal around the world, a better option might be to teach your children to get used to sleeping in their own beds from an early age. If you find this a challenge, here are a few tips:

Once you enforce the ‘sleep in your own bed’ rule, do not give in when tantrums are thrown. Instead, stand your ground. They will get used to it sooner or later.

Try to find out the reason why your child is reluctant to sleep in his own bed. At an early age, simply asking the child for reasons might not prove to be fruitful or give you any clear insight.

Use your child’s action figures or dolls in order to find out why he/she is showing such reluctance. Play out a story with his toys representing members of the family, enacting normal, everyday family stuff such as meals, driving and other such situations. Approach the situation of bedtime casually, and hopefully, your child will speak up. If not, you could speak for the characters which might motivate your child to speak as well.

Let your child draw or paint while talking to you about bedtime issues. Give your child lots of time and space, and remember to be very casual about it. Do not let an ounce of negativity into the conversation. Just let them speak when they are ready.

The most common reason among children is that they have night-related fears, which might involve being afraid of the dark, monsters or even jealousy of other brothers and sisters. Ensure that you take time to address these problems sensitively.

If your child is afraid of the dark, help him overcome it. Give him a little nightlight in his room, or even a bottle of ‘monster spray’ to kill any monsters that might be lurking around in the dark.

When moving your child to his own bed, do it in stages. Spend the first few nights with him in the room, then add in the night light, or even their favorite stuffed animal and play his favorite songs before he goes to sleep.