Authored by Kristian Keefer in Parenting
Published on 01-30-2009
The steps you take to get your child to sleep on their own will depend on their age and their reasons for not sleeping in their own rooms. If your child is still an infant, you will have an easier task of getting your little one to sleep in their own room. As your child grows older and more accustomed to sleeping with mommy, it will be a little harder to get them to sleep on their own.
You need to teach you child to sleep on their own from the time they are a baby. It might be tempting to co-sleep with your baby, but it really is best to put your baby to sleep in their crib as often as possible. There are controversies as to whether or not it is safe to allow a baby to sleep with you, which is another reason you should teach your little one to sleep in their own crib or bassinette.
If you have a baby who does not want to go to sleep on their own, there are some steps you can take to teach them from the start sleep on their own. Always put your baby in their crib for naps and for bedtime. If they cry and you know that they are healthy, safe and do not need changed or fed, try soothing your baby without picking them up. Pat their back and sing a song or talk to your little one as they drift back to sleep. Of course, if they cry uncontrollably, you will need to calm your baby. Put your baby back in their crib once they are relaxed.
Do not give in when trying to move your child from your room to their own. It might take some time to get your baby to sleep on their own so be patient. You will lose some sleep in the process. But it is essential that you stand your ground and not be tempted to let the baby sleep with you.
You must have a comforting bed routine for babies, toddlers and small children. This will help to relax your child as they prepare for bed. You might want to feed your child supper, give them a bath, read them and play with them before as their bedtime routine. Provide your child with the love and security they need to feel safe in their own bed.
If your young child comes to your room when they are awake, take them back to their bed. Comfort them in their own room rather than allowing them to get in the habit of coming to your room in the middle of the night. Never start allowing your child to sleep with you after they have successfully slept on their own.
Ask an older child why they are afraid to sleep on their own. If your child is old enough to communicate their feelings with you, find out why they don’t want to sleep on their own. More often than not a child is just afraid to sleep in their own room. Provide your child with a nightlight and even a mini flashlight to use when they are afraid. Encourage your child to select a soft toy or blanket that they will use as extra comfort and security when they are scared.
Show your children that you are only a few feet away in another room if they need you. Provide your child with the loving and stable home life they need to sleep with confidence on their own.