Tips to get the tots into their own bed

How to help your little one feel comfortable sleeping alone in their own bedroom

Bed feet

One of the trickiest things to cope with in your child's early years is getting them comfortable sleeping alone in their bedroom. Most parents will at some stage have to cope with their child climbing into bed with them, which is not great long-term for either of you. Sleepy People have put together a number of helpful tips for you to try smooth the transition of your little one from your bed to making them feel comfortable in theirs.

Turn bedtime into a sleepover

This method is all about getting creative. It's about making you child excited about going to bed by making it an event. You'll need a futon or camp bed, so you can sleep independently from your child, but still be in the same room (this is an important first step in getting them to sleep on their own).

You'll need to create a number of bedtime activities to do in your child's room, such as reading a bedtime story or some bedtime songs. This will hopefully make them more comfortable in their surroundings.

Give them responsibility

If your child particularly enjoys responsibility or takes pride in their toys and belongings, this may well work for you. Letting them decide on their own bedding or bedroom furnishings can change the way they view their bedroom, and in turn, sleeping in it.

Allowing them to choose the most personal things like a comforter, blanket or duvet can be the most successful, especially at a young age. As they get older and become interested in a character or theme, then buying bedding covered in their favoured cartoon can also make them more comfortable in their surroundings come bedtime.

Try indoor camping

Not dissimilar to the sleepover idea, but in reverse. Essentially this involves pitching a children's tent in your bedroom. When the inevitable happens and your young one wanders in during the early hours, make it clear that the only way they can stay in your room is if they sleep in the tent.

Filling the tent with all the bedding from their bed will make it comfortable, while giving them the assurance and safety that you are in the same room. Over time try moving the tent back to their room, and then progress to point where they are happy to get back into their own bed. This can be a lengthy process but well worth it for you and your child.

Hope and pray

If nothing else works you can try one of the most straightforward ideas which is to simply get into your child's bed with them. Comforting them and lying with them should hopefully see them drop off. It's then a case of seeing how light you are on your feet as you try and sneak out once your little one has slipped off - that's if you don't fall asleep too!

Consider sleep treats

This is one for the morning or day after. If you have a successful evening with any of the above tips, or another that has worked with your little ones sleeping pattern, reward them for it. Children love treats, so making sure they know why they are getting it will further reinforce your evening plan, and hopefully help it along the way.

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