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How To Get A Toddler To Sleep In His Own Bed

It is important for toddlers to learn how to be independent. One way to practice that is by encouraging your toddler to sleep in his own bed. Here are some tips on how to get a toddler to sleep on his own.

Create A Safe and Comfortable Bedroom

Make your toddler’s bedroom feel secure and inviting. Have him choose his own bedding and pillows to make him feel connected to his bed. Give him a “lovie” (e.g. stuffed toy, pillow, special blanket, etc.) he can sleep with. Hang blankets on bed posts to create a tent so he feels like he is camping. Play soft music to help soothe him while he sleeps. Install a nightlight in your toddler’s room so he will not feel scared when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Establish A Bedtime Routine

Give your little one a warm bath, put on pajamas, give him a glass of warm milk, read a bedtime story, take one last trip to the bathroom, tuck him to bed, give him a kiss goodnight and then lights out. Make sure you do the routine consistently. A bedtime routine helps your little one transition to sleep and makes your toddler feel calm and relaxed, making him more secure about going to bed.

Take It Slow

It is not a good idea to pressure your toddler to sleep in his own bed when he is accustomed to sleeping with mommy and daddy. Take small steps. Place a folding bed or air mattress beside your bed in case you little one visits at night. This way, your toddler gets to be close to you without interrupting your sleep and it is not so comfortable that he will decide to sleep in his own bed for good. You may also let him stay in your bed for 15 minutes and then bring him back to his bedroom.

Minimize Your Presence

When you have said your goodnight, do not linger in your toddler’s room as this will only make him dependent on your presence. If you need to stay in his room for awhile, do not talk to your toddler or lie in his bed. Once you have attended to his needs, leave the room at once.

Offer Rewards

Create a reward system. Toddlers need motivation and this technique is proven to be very effective. Hang a calendar on the refrigerator or his bedroom wall. For each night he sleeps in his own bed, let him draw a star or put a smiley sticker. Once he has collected 10 stars or smiley’s, give him a small reward such as a trip to the candy store or to the zoo, cooking his favorite food, buying him a small toy or extra 5 minutes of playtime or TV time.

Do Not Give In

Be firm. Do not give in to your toddler’s pleas or allow him to sleep in your bed because he is sick or has difficulty sleeping after watching a scary movie. You can offer comfort to your toddler without inviting him to your bed.

With some time, effort, patience and ingenuity, you can teach your toddler to sleep independently so the two of you can get a good night’s sleep.

Posted in Health, Toddler SleepComments (1)

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November 2017
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