Sharing a bed with your spouse and children can really make space feel cramped. You never feel rested and you daydream of a full night's sleep every chance you get. Find out how to reclaim your domain and move your baby out of your bedroom and into their own cot!
You’ve made the mistake of letting your toddler climb into bed with you each night or have reasoned with your spouse that they simply can’t sleep in their own cot (for whatever reason). But now the time has come that you want (and need) to take back your bed. The problem, though, is how?
Making the transition
So the mission is to reclaim your domain and be able to sprawl out all over your bed when going to sleep like you're royalty. Here are 6 ways to make the transition smoother:
- Start slow. Don’t just announce the change and expect them to make it. Toddlers don’t work like that.
- Establish a routine. Make sure they get dressed and get ready for bed in their own room. Read bedtime stories to them in their cot to make them feel comfortable.
- Make going to sleep in their own cot a pleasant event. Allow your toddler to choose (to a reasonable extent) their bedding and make sure their room is cozy and not too stimulating. Also, allow them to sleep with a favourite blanket and/or stuffed animal.
- Night lights aren’t a bad thing if your toddler will sleep better (and stay put) with one on. You might also consider a small aquarium that sits out of reach but within sight. The soft light and calming effect of the fish are often helpful.
- If your toddler cries, let them cry for a reasonable amount of time before entering their room. A reasonable amount of time is 5 minutes. I know, it seems like an eternity, but it’s not. If they are still crying after the allotted time, go in, reassure them they are fine and leave.
- Be gentle but firm. If your toddler comes to your room, take them back to their room and gently but firmly tell them this is where they are to stay. Neither of you may get much sleep for a night or so, but your persistence will pay off.
Why it's important
Switching your toddler from your bed to their own cot is essential for a good night’s rest for everyone. Having a toddler wedged in between you and your hubby or glued to your back or neck is not restful. You need your sleep in order to function the way you want and need to. Putting your toddler in their own cot to sleep each night teaches them to be independent and self-reliant You may not find these highly desirable traits in a toddler, but trust me, they can be.
And finally, it’s just not emotionally healthy for your toddler to share a bed with you and your husband. A toddler needs to know there are boundaries in your relationship -- and the bedroom should be one of them. It's all part of growing up.
Tell us how you got your child to stop sharing a bed with you. We'd love to hear from you!
For more on training your child to sleep in their cot, watch this video: