If your toddler has started to sleep in your bed on a regular basis, then you need to break the habit – for the wellbeing of you and your little one. With lots of encouragement, a firm routine and a few tears and tantrums, your toddler will soon get used to sleeping alone, allowing you to get the rest you need.
Here are just some of the tips I gained when Katie was going through a phase of wanting to sleep in my bed as a toddler.
Change your mindset
If you have a little visitor at your bedside in the early hours every night, looking to climb in, then it’s understandable that you might feel a little sorry for them (or so exhausted that you give in just to get some rest). The problem is that, eventually, your bed will start to seem very small (toddlers have a habit of kicking while they sleep). As a parent, it’s important that you are in control of your child’s sleeping routine – not the other way around.
Prepare your toddler to sleep on their own
During the day, talk to your little one about where everybody in the house sleeps – gently reminding your toddler that their bed is their special place to sleep. To encourage them to feel happy about sleeping in their own room, let them play on their bed for a bit, so that they start to build up good associations with it. Explain that they will be sleeping in there on their own that night, so that they know what to expect when it comes to their bedtime.
Be patient but persistent
Your toddler will inevitably keep coming into your room while you are weaning them from their bed-sharing habit, so just be patient with them. Calmly pick them up and take them back to their bed, without saying anything, and repeat this for as many times as it takes. It is likely that a few tantrums will result from this, but just be persistent. Eventually, they will get used to sleeping on their own – meaning a good night’s sleep all round!
If you have a toddler who tends to wander during the night, then a sleeping bag with feet is ideal for stopping them tripping as they toddle. Before bed, you can dress them in the bag with their feet out, then tuck them away at bedtime. If your little one wakes during the night and wants to get out of bed, then they can simply pop their feet through again.