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Having a child who refuses to sleep in their own bed can be frustrating. When my kids were little, Michael and I accidentally started co-sleeping with our kids and it felt like forever before we could finally break the habit. We went through months of long nights sleeping with the kids. Our kids would roll, hog the bed, and eventually, Michael would end up sleeping on the couch. It wasn’t good for any of us, that’s why we finally had to make the kids stop sleeping in our bed.
Breaking your child from sleeping in your bed is not an easy feat. It’s going to take time and most of all, it’s going to take patience. If you’re finally ready for your child to start sleeping in their bed, these tips are for you!
Why You Need to Break the Habit of Your Kids Sleeping In Your Bed
One of the main reasons to break the habit of your child sleeping in your bed is the fact that no one, but your child, is actually sleeping well at night. Most children toss and turn at night, so when you’re sleeping and suddenly get kicked by a little foot, you’re going to wake up. If this happens multiple times per night, this can really hurt your sleep schedule and make you a walking mombie (or dad-bie).
Besides the lack of sleep, there’s a bigger picture here. You and your spouse aren’t getting alone time together. This is something that can really hurt a relationship. In order to grow as a couple, you need intimacy. Whenever your child is always in bed with you, you’re not getting it.
It’s important that your child doesn’t sleep with you every night because things can really go wrong in both family life and romantic life.
How Your Child Sleeping in Their Own Bed is Actually Good for Them
I’m not going to lie, you’re probably going to experience some major #MomGuilt trying to get your kids to sleep in their own bed. This is completely normal and will go away with time.
Helping your children to learn to like sleeping in their bed is actually something that is good for your child. Whenever your child sleeps in their own bed, they are less likely to fall off your “big” bed and get hurt and more likely to stay safe at nighttime. Not only is your bed probably too high for your child to be sleeping in (especially if they are rollers), but children’s beds are made to be safer for your child. In the chance they roll, most child beds have barriers to keep them from falling and are only a few inches off the ground.
Besides the rolling factor, if you are a sound sleeper, you can easily roll onto your child at night and crush them. There are a ton of safety reasons for why it’s actually better for your children to sleep in their own bed and you may want to consider them.
How Do I Get My Child to Sleep in Their Bed When They Absolutely Refuse To Try It?
There is nothing quite as stubborn as a toddler, or child who doesn’t want to try something new. That’s why I’m going to be honest here, getting your child to sleep in their own bed is going to be a LOT of work. You’re probably going to have nights where you child still comes over and crawls into your bed at night. But the whole goal here is to get your child use to their bed and ready to sleep in it.
Go Shopping for New Sheets & Blankets
When my boys were little, we bought them the coolest beds thinking they would start to sleep in them. We spent a ton of money on cool beds, but in the end, we just wasted our money. Our kids would not sleep in them. So before you go out and spend a ton of money on those really cool kid beds just to get your kids to sleep in their own bed, don’t. It probably won’t do anything. Your child will look at it as a jungle gym, but will not sleep in it.
The only thing kids actually care about is the bedding on the bed. That’s why I suggest going shopping for new bed sheets and blankets before doing any of these other tips. Sometimes this will work on its own, other times, you will have to keep trying.
If your child loves Spiderman, opt for Spiderman bedding. If they are too scared to sleep in their bed, you can say, Spiderman will keep you safe tonight. Most of the time, kids will believe this and feel a sense of security sleeping in their own bed. It may not be perfect, but breaking the habit of them in your bed requires creativity.
Use a Reward Chart
My daughter is in pre-k this year and whenever she is good at school she brings a small “reward” home. Usually, it’s a silly toy or sticker, but to her, it’s the equivalent of a million bucks. Kids love to be rewarded and will do practically anything just to get a reward. That’s why a reward chart is a great way to get your child sleeping in their own bed.
You can make your child’s reward chart fun for them by adding simple things like new toys, new pj’s, or something more fun like a trip to the zoo. Whatever you use, your child will be eager to earn it.
Buy a Nightlight
Many children (and grownups) are afraid of the dark. And of the biggest reasons kids don’t want to sleep in their own bed in their rooms is because they are scared of the dark. Adding a nightlight to your child’s room can be instrumental in helping them sleep in their room at night.
Nowadays, there some really awesome nightlights on the market that will make bedtime fun. One of my favorite nightlights, this one, projects my child’s favorite characters on the ceiling – it’s really awesome.
Get Your Child a Teddy Bear
One of the reasons kids love sleeping with mom and dad is that sense of security they feel with you. Since you will no longer be sleeping with them in their bed, this sense of security can be gone. You can add it back with a cute teddy bear or doll for your child to sleep with and hold at night.
Try Moving Them to Their Bed After They Fall Asleep
This method is a bit more extreme but can work. If your child absolutely won’t sleep in their bed at night, let them fall asleep (wait till they are fully asleep) and move them to their own beds. If they end up sleeping there all night, you can mention that they slept in their room all night and they were safe.
Sometimes kids will realize they like sleeping in their own beds, but other times, kids may wake up and end up in your bed still.
Whenever you are trying to get your child out of your bed, you have to be consistent. You can’t try to get them to sleep in their bed and then let it go the next night. The only way you can really get your kid out of your bed is to be persistent and consistent.
These tips aren’t guaranteed to get your child out of your bed, but by implementing these tips into your bedtime routine, they may just help your child feel more comfortable sleeping in their bed. Remember it won’t happen overnight. For more parenting tips click on my Mom Tips section in the menu above.