Q—My daughter is 4 and still sleeps in our bed at night. I love the cuddles but it is starting to get old. We have tried everything short of putting her in her dark room and shutting the door and being mean about it. She tosses and turns and wakes us up at night plus it interferes with my husband and I. I would love some ideas on how to “encourage” her on her own to start sleeping in her room! Thanks!
A– Hey there, This is an age old questions that many Moms face, so you are not alone! Studies show that co-sleeping into later years causes children today to be less self-reliant. No one wants a child who is not reliant, especially in the world we live in today! As a parent, you are absolutely right to want to get them back in their bed! Here are some tips that you might try that would “encourage” your daughter to do it on your own! Let us know how it works out and good luck Mom!
Tip #1- Reward Chart- It works in other areas, right? Why not try here! Use stickers or magnets. Whatever method you like and offer daily, weekly, and monthly rewards. Set backs are okay. You just want progress.
Tip #2- Monitor- We used to use it to watch them when they were a baby now let them use it to watch us. Many kids are just scared and by setting up a monitor and letting them be able to see or hear you at night when they wake up might just be the push they need to get them sleeping in their room all night. Soon they probably won’t even reach for it.
Tip #3- Banish the Bad- Since kids are usually afraid of the monsters in their closet or things under their bed, have a daily, weekly or whatever Banish party and make it fun. Rearrange the furniture so no “bad” things can be there anymore and soon they will start to really believe it and be more inclined to sleep in their room!
Tip # 4- Make it fun- Whatever your techniques, make them fun and include your child. This will help especially at dreaded bedtime when it is time for you child to actually implement what they have learned. Sings songs about it or play games!
Tip #5- Encourage Encourage Encourage- This is key. Help them feel “big.” “You are a big girl now.” “All your friends sleep in their rooms all night long.” “It’s fun, you should try it.” “I am so proud of you.” Are all examples of ways you can encourage and sometimes that is all some kids need.