I just want my bed back! Sound familiar? I’m sure this sounds very familiar to the parents that co-sleep with their child. Getting a toddler to sleep in her own bed can be rough if you co-sleep with your child. I don’t think co-sleeping is bad, but it may make it a little hard for you to get your child out of your bed and maybe even out of your room period. Our 1 year old has been sleeping in our room since she was a newborn. Call it lazy, call it crazy, call it what you may, but it was just EASY for me. I was one tired mama and if she started to cry she was literally right there. I said I’d figure out how to get my baby to sleep in her own bed later.
When later came, we tried to put her in the crib in her own room by starting with naps first. It worked for naps, but she didn’t really stay in there through the night. She would just cry and cry until we came and got her. My husband and I both had to get up early for work and we just couldn’t be consistent at first with keeping her in her crib. We slacked big time and always broke down and let her come back to our bed. Finally we said enough is enough this child has got to go…out of our bed that is. We were desperate to figure out a solution on how to get our toddler to sleep in her own bed because we wanted our bed back! This is what worked for us.
As I’m tucking my daughter in bed, I tell her that she’s going to be a big girl and sleep in her own bed tonight. She is told to stay in her bed and not to get up. I keep reiterating how much of a big girl she will be if she stays in her bed. She loves to hear that she is a big girl. Joia is really proud of herself when she does things on her own and she loves when we are proud of her too. Make sure that your child understands that sleeping in his or her own bed is a good thing.
Use a Nightlight
Sleeping in her own room is a totally new thing. The room can seem super big and scary because she’s in it by herself. A nightlight will help the room seem less scary. Choose a nightlight that your child will like. We chose Minnie Mouse to match her decor. Make sure to turn the nightlight on every night before your child gets into the bed.
Find Something to Comfort Her
One word: Barney. That’s what worked for us. Barney is like my daughter’s pacifier. Her pacifier really worked to keep her calm, but we weaned her of that and didn’t want to get her hooked on it again. One day as I was browsing Netflix I came across the show I used to watch as a kid, Barney. I played Barney for her and the rest was history. She instantly fell in love with the big purple dinosaur. She loves singing and dancing so I’m guessing that’s why he was such a big hit. We bought her a Barney stuffed animal. Barney sings the “I Love You” song which she absolutely loves and it makes her so happy and calm. Find something that your child loves that puts them at ease that he can bring to bed with him. Another thing that comforts her is the fact that her mattress vibrates. Get you one! It’s awesome and helps her go to sleep quicker.
Get Her Used to Being in Her Room Alone
Barney again! Barney was the major key in getting her to stay in her room. At first she didn’t like to be in her room alone, but if we turn Barney on the TV she will stay in her room all by herself. Barney is for her room only. If we are downstairs and she wants to watch Barney, she has to go to her room to watch him and she’s okay with that now. This helped her to enjoy being in her room by herself. Having Barney only in her room is a special treat.
Some parents do not like to have a TV in their child’s room and that’s fine. Joia doesn’t watch Barney 24/7, but she does enjoy watching him and I think it’s a pretty educational show. If you don’t like the occasional TV show idea…give your child another reason to be in their room. Play with them in their room with their favorite toys. Make a routine of playing together in the room and then picking out a bedtime story to read together right before bed. Or just give Barney a try (or any other character) it worked like a charm for us! We are at the point now where she doesn’t even need to watch Barney before bed. She simply enjoys being a big girl in her own big girl bed. Sometimes you simply just have to use the tricks you have up your sleeves!
This is hard y’all…I’m not going to lie, but you have to do it! Make a routine and stick with it. Every single time your child gets out of the bed and comes into your room you MUST take her back in her room and get her back in the bed. I don’t care if your child gets out of the bed 100 times…every…single…time you MUST take the child back in her room. Go back to tip 1 and communicate with your child. Let her know that everything is okay and you are right in the next room.
It’s definitely okay for your child to sleep in your bed every now and then if you want because our six year old does here and there, but in the beginning stages this is a big no no. Your child may cry her head off. She may crawl into your bed in the middle of the night. You may get the puppy dog eyes begging to stay, but you must be strong! It’s okay, but when she does any of this…take her right back in her room! There are no ifs ands or buts about it. Your child has to learn to stay in her own bed and the only way that’s going to happen is if you are consistent. Don’t break mommy, you got this!
Reward with a Sticker Chart
Now on to the fun! Kids love when they do something good and get rewarded for it. Joia gets so happy when she does a good job at something. Always make sure to let her know she’s doing a good job and a sticker chart will help her visually see how good she is doing with sleeping in her own bed. Your child will also have fun picking out her own sticker to put on the chart each time she sleeps in her room for the entire night.
Figuring out how to get a toddler to sleep in her own bed can be tough! I hope these 6 tips on how to get your toddler to sleep in her own bed is helpful for you. Let me know if it works!
Do you have a toddler that sleeps in his or her own room? How did you get your child to do so? Share more tips in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!