Strategies to help you make bedtime happier for everyone.
This is a very common situation because children love the companionship of their parents. When co-sleeping has been a long-term practice, this is what your child has come to expect as normal. They don’t understand the reasoning behind wanting to turf them out of the sleep space that satisfies all of their emotional needs, they love, and they feel completely safe in.
Attempting to dissuade your toddler or preschooler from the family bed is sure to evoke significant anxiety, confusion and a range of undesirable behaviours from screaming, tantrums, and simply flat-out refusal, to 101 reasons why they need to sleep in your bed.
On the flip side of this comes toddlers and older kids that sleep in their own room but suddenly decide mummy’s or daddy’s bed is better.
Certainly, either of these situations is stressful…you know you’re going to have a bad night’s sleep and usually, the surrounding angst with trying to get your toddler to sleep in their own bed is stressful for both you and them.
The fact is you need to change a behaviour pattern and the least amount of stress involved will yield the best result….sleep for everyone!
Consider 3 things…
Choose a strategy and STICK to it!
Depending on age, your older child, I mean 4, and over may cope really well with a designated night to ‘Sleepover’ in the parent bed. Be sure to make it a night when a little sleep deprivation on your part won’t be detrimental to your next days’ plans.
Younger children need a lot of emotional support to develop sleep confidence and the ability to stay in their own bed and often mixed strategies that help you stick to a plan and make them feel emotionally secure.
This is one of the most difficult things to achieve.
The usual scenario is you spend hours supporting them, taking them back to their own bed and when this goes on for a few hours and your exhaustion catches up with you…you crumble and relent and next thing they are back in your bed. We find that the combination of consistency with routine and same sleep space plus keeping the bedtime mood a positive and calm experience essential to making the transitioning from the parent bed easier.
Make bedtime Fun!
If you can add a sense of fun and calmness to bedtime your toddler or preschooler will be calmer.
I know you’re thinking FUN? Aren’t we trying to keep them asleep?
The way to create fun and a really positive approach to bedtime is to set the mood. We do this really well with the aid of our bedtime resources that are used as play therapy for bedtime. Children learn through play which is why our Sleepy Head TED gives parents an opportunity to play with their children and reinforce bedtime themes. This interaction also keeps parent and child stay calmer and avoid frustration that triggers stress hormones that lead to prolonged settling, sleep deprivation and broken sleep patterns.
When you fall asleep feeling happier and less anxious you sleep faster, deeper and longer and good sleep makes your day so much better! Check out the shop for our Nigh Nigh sleep pack and our best bedtime sleep buddy.
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