HOW TO MAKE A TODDLER SLEEP IN HIS/HER OWN BED
So, your baby has graduated to full-blown toddler status. He has come complete with temper tantrums and no longer wants to sleep in his own bed. Now, what? How do you get him to sleep in his own room, in his own bed without a nightly breakdown? Well, there are several methods out there to get him used to his own room. Grandma always suggested letting them cry it out. That is simply not the best choice any longer. This can lead to trust issues, and ultimately cause them to spend more time in your bed, instead of their own. Today there are many professionals that encourage a different, more sympathetic approach.
Some experts suggest making their bed a fun place to be. We often consider this when setting up their room, but do not take a lot of time in concentrating on the actual bed. Let them play there, let them pick out fun toddler bedding to get comfy, even include a few of his favorite stuffed animals to cuddle with after the lights go out. The idea is to focus on creating a good feeling while in their bed. There will still be some discomfort, for everyone, but this will help. The animals will help them to feel safe, and their new fun bedding will help them be calm and happy.
Professionals also encourage a nightly routine and a set bedtime. Using the same routine each night will help them to know what will be happening. If there no surprises in what will be happening each night, there will be less argument. They simply have a routine to complete. I am not a professional routine follower, but I am trying. The articles that I have read say simplicity is best. Bath time, reading time, tuck-in time and “good-night” time, and the routine is most effective when done at the same time each evening.
You can use sticker charts or rewards for completing their routine nicely and without argument. The process is very simple. For each evening that they complete the routine, without a hassle, they receive a sticker. Once they receive 7 stickers, it may take a while at first, they receive some type of prize. Make sure and do not overdo the prizes. They do not need a new bike as a reward for sleeping in their bed. A box full of small prizes works pretty well. The idea is to help them understand that when they choose to act nicely and sleep in their room, they will be rewarded. Eventually, you simply fade out the prizes and you are left with a child that is falling asleep on their own.
Whether you choose to buy fun toddler bedding, enforce a routine, making them comfortable or using rewards, you must find which method will work for your child. Your family may even choose to do all of the suggested methods. Set a day, buy the fun toddler bedding and have a kick-off for the routine and sticker chart. Good luck, and sweet dreams to you and your family!