What can be a comforting cuddle in your bed in the morning before you get up can easily escalate into years of co-sharing your bed with your child. In fact for babies and young children who grow used to sharing a bed with their parents, it can be extremely hard to break the habit.
The good news is that with patience and consistency you can teach your child to learn how to get a good night’s sleep in their own bed. If you are determined to have a night’s sleep without your toddler prodding his little toes in your back then you may find these following tips on getting your child to sleep alone useful.
Establish a bedtime routine
Young children thrive on routine and to help make your little one feel more secure about going to bed it is important to establish a good bedroom routine. The routine should include a bath, brush teeth and a story in their own bed.
Leave the room before your child falls asleep
Many children can’t fall asleep without their mum or dad being present. Try to gradually eliminate your presence from your toddler’s room and refrain from lying on the bed with them or being there until they fall asleep. It may be difficult in the short-term but in the long-term it will help to teach your child sleep in their own room.
Give your child a comfort aid
Try to make your child feel more secure about going to bed and sleeping by giving her a toy to keep in bed with her or a comfort blanket. Reiterate to your child that her new teddy or blanket will help look after her during the night.
Don’t give in
When your child slips into your bed at three in the morning the ‘easy’ option is to let her and then roll over and go back to sleep. Although if you are serious about teaching your child to sleep alone then consistency is the key and if she does sneak into your bed at night simply take her back into her own room, tuck her up in bed and give her another goodnight kiss!
Give praise and rewards
Reward your child if she had a good night be giving her lots of praise and a treat such as being able to choose her own breakfast, wear her favourite dress that day or have a story before she gets out of bed.