Have you ever tried this before?
Perhaps you know all too the pitter patter of little feet at 2am!
Maybe you are so used to a packed bed with a squishy toddler wriggling and planking on you?
This can so often result in the good old bags under our eyes the next day, oh happy days!
Have no fear, Nanny Maryanne is here!
Whether you are just starting out or maybe you have been co-sleeping with your little one since birth it’s never too late to begin teaching your little one to sleep in their own bed!
Giving a child their own bed can be a big change, but it is a wonderful new step of independence and is ultimately something children will need.
Different types of sleeping arrangements
When a parent and child sleep in close and physical contact with each other. This has many emotional and mental benefits to both and can re-enforce your lovely bond with each other.
- Room sharing
When a family room shares with their child, they do not sleep in the same bed. The child will sleep in a cot or bed in the same room, but separate from the parent’s bed.
- Bed sharing
Children and their parents may like to bed share which means they would all sleep in the same bed. Although please note this can be very dangerous and has a higher cause in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
There are many things you can do to let your child feel safe sleeping on their own and there are lots of reasons why your child may be resisting!
I have my top tricks and tips which actually WORK and I’m really excited to share them with you!
1-What age should my child be sleeping in their own bed?
Thankfully, there is absolutely no age which you must have your child sleep on their own. It is all entirely what’s best for your child and how your family wants to sleep.
You can let your child sleep on their own from birth, although make sure they are still very close to you in your room on a firm surface, as this prevents SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Always trust your gut.
You will know when is the right time to transition your child to their own bed and don’t listen to anyone who tells’s you must start this at a certain age/time.
If you and your child are happy with your current situation and you don’t feel the need for change at the minute, don’t!
If you are feeling for whatever reason you would like to start, go for it!
You may want to transition your child into their own bed because…
- You want more time with your partner.
This is absolutely acceptable! We all need a little alone time and you may feel like you both need this time.
- Sleeping with a restless, kicking toddler.
Many toddlers get to a stage where their dreams and sleep are becoming more and more vivid. Great for them, but to have a little wriggly worm in your bed might not be the best sleep for you!
As little beans grow and grow it’s no doubt that you both may need some more space! Having your child sleep in their own bed is a great way to regain some extra leg room.
- All reasons apply!
Whichever your reason to begin this process always trust that you are doing the right thing for your family and other families will do thing’s differently!
Many articles and blogs are out there will tell you that getting your little one to sleep in their own bed will take a certain amount of time. Trust me, if you follow my strategies it will happen! However, it will happen in the amount of time which is truly natural for your child and your family.
It’s like this for any stage of your child’s life. Speech, walking and even developmental milestones. There are many many things we can do to enhance and stimulate a child’s progress. But, no one can tell you exactly when they should be progressing.
As a parent, you will get this very strong feeling in your stomach that what your doing is right and trust that, you will know best what’s best!
3- There is no quick fix!
Sorry guys, I hate to break it to you but if anyone makes this sound like it’s easy and it will happen after one night, this is absolutely false!
Like anything worthwhile perusing, it takes time!
There are far too many articles out there that will romanticise the whole idea for you. They have parents believe it will happen over-night and sadly give you the wrong information!
If you really want to have your child sleeping on their own, it is going to be hard work. But, the more work you put in now, the easier life will be in the future.
You can absolutely do this!
4- Phase out Method
For young children who have already been sleeping in their parent’s bed, gradually phasing out your presence around their little one can work a treat.
Some parents start this process in their own bedroom. This can be a slightly more gentle approach instead of going cold turkey. Instead of having your child sleep in your bed have them near you in perhaps an extended bit of your bed or have their cot/bed in your room.
Saying things like “Mummy will check on your once you are asleep” Let’s your child know you are going to present.
During this strategy, you are gradually decreasing your presence around your little one and yet building her confidence to sleep solo.
For older children, be consistent and use a positive re-enforcement approach. Establish a healthy bedtime routine and make sure they like their room.
You might like to use night lights and often fans and white noise ap’s work for all ages.
Children are always happier when they know what is going to happen and are rewarded!
Rewards work so well as they are a part of positive re-enforcement and can encourage sleeping in their own bed, good behaviour, potty training and milestones.
If you need a little bit of inspiration, I have added some lovely idea’s to reward your child with!
Bare in mind rewards do not need to break the bank or be super complicated! Often base it around something your child really loves doing!
- Pick a movie for a movie night.
- Choose what’s for dinner.
- Walk in the park.
- An extra 15 minutes up before bedtime.
- Alone activity with mum/dad/both/friend.
- Sweets. Enough said!
- Make your chairs and blankets into a fort and read stories.
- Hot chocolate/ warm milk.
- Reward charts.
- Build an obstacle course.
- Bake together.
- Choose music and have a dance party! (My nanny Kid’s favourite!)
- Donate old toys. This is totally a reward and will be seen in a positive light.
- Art session
- Treasure hunt.
- Praise and cuddles!
6- Teach your little one to sleep by themselves
Ultimately, this is the end goal, right?
You will be helping your child become more independent and love feeling like this. Make sure to take some time during the day to talk to her about it.
Some toddlers are surprised they accomplish things they never thought they would in the beginning. Make sure to pick up on even the smallest of steps and tell her how proud you are of her. Take some time during the day to talk about it (even if your little one’s speech hasn’t developed yet, they will understand!)
Remark your child’s progress and offer unending love!
7- Establish a special routine
In order for any routine to work, it needs to be special and memorable. Make bedtime a time where your child will look forward to. Personally, there is no need to upset your child as they will only associate this time with tears and unhappy feelings.
Everything before bedtime should be soft and gentle.
You can’t expect your child to sleep properly if they haven’t wound down after a busy day full of learning.
Make sure you don’t wait too long to put your child to bed at night. It’s important to note when they are tired and don’t wait until they are overtired. Children who aren’t put down when they need it, become wired, emotional and a bit all over the place!
Establish a routine which works for you and them. The classic bath, story and bedtime cuddles are always winners. But, you might have your own routine that works for you!
Whichever way to slowly put your little one down, make sure the whole environment and sleep have a special feeling around it which children know is for them!
8- Don’t give in Method
This can be a controversial Method for many parents and if it’s not for you then that’s all good!
I wouldn’t try this method until your little one around 3 and up as they will be a little more emotionally mature by now.
However, with that said, this seriously does work!
Basically after doing your bedtime routine and if your child gets up during the night, you say “It’s bedtime darling” and put them back to bed. You do this as many times as it takes and each night it will get less and fewer times.
You can find this method on Super Nanny, although as I said it is not for everyone as, of course, children will get a little upset so it depends on your personal preference!
9- Stay and listen
Having a whole room to themselves during the night is a big change! It’s only natural your child will express fears and emotions. Tell her you are right here with her and you would never let anything bad happen to her. You don’t need to say much to her and keep conversations to a limit as this will only wake her back up again.
I believe for all children you can never give them too much love and life is too short to have them sit and cry. Alway’s comfort your child and explain what’s going on right now. Tell her it is okay to feel upset and everything will always be okay.
I remember in my home town you would always hear little babies cry and I would hear their Mother’s scream “SHUT IT” and horrible thing’s like that.
Hey, I’m not here to judge, we all lose our cool from time to time, but this sort of stuff just made me so sad for the children!
Maybe this is why I am so passionate about loving and snuggling children now.
Alway’s try your best to approach your child gently but firm (when they need it) during bed time’s and they will always feel secure.
10- Exercise during the day
I see so many children suddenly perking up during or near to bedtime when they should be feeling opposite.
When children have had enough exercise and energy pushed out during the day, they will always get to bedtime actually wanting to sleep.
If children lay around the house all day watching t.v, trust me, bedtime will be 10 times harder if not impossible.
Check out how you can exercise with your child below!
- Walk the dog
- Youtube exercise class together.
- Invite their friends
- Be in nature
- Cosmic kids Yoga
- Teach them to lift weights. Check out this guide here
- Exercise for a cause! I used to walk with my Mother for Breast Cancer
- Dance together
- Mediaitate- Mental health too!
- Obstacle course
- Visit Soft play area’s
And boom! I can guarantee you that your little one will be much more ready for a good sleep come night time if you stick to a good routine to get all their energy out during the day!
Try to keep a healthy routine, say 3 times a week and keep your activities fun!
Happy sleeping, babes!
As always my friends thank you so much for taking some time today to read my post! I really hope you enjoyed it and I invite you to pop below and let me know what you thought of my post!
Have an awesome day all!
Nanny M x