Toddlers are difficult little human beings. Dealing with their tantrums, meltdowns, sleep routines, and eating habits is not easy. Sleep is one of the most important factors that plays a huge role in your toddler’s health.
Many parents wonder, What age should a child sleep in his own bed! Well, this depends on your family. Some parents think your 3 years old should sleep in his own bed and some co-sleep with their 5 years old too. So this is your decision to make.
But according to experts, you should sleep train your 3 years old to sleep in his own bed. That means before he starts school. This will be good for his sleep time routine after school starts. He will learn to sleep on his own without any help.
What are toddler sleep associations?
Talking about toddler sleeping habits, we cannot ignore toddler sleep associations. A sleep association is anything that your child likes to have before sleeping. They can be:
- A bear
- A blanket
- A sippy cup
- Favorite toy
- Parent hugging
- Lullaby or any noise
Or maybe anything else!
Sleep associations are formed in early childhood. It makes them feel safe. Some of these associations are healthy but most of them are not. So before you allow your kid to connect to something, make sure you are okay with that. If he likes a star blanket, let him take it. But if he likes a sippy cup, take it away. Because it may promote damaging cavities and teeth.
Cons of co-sleeping
Although many parents prefer to sleep with their kids this is not healthy. It affects your sleep as well as your toddler’s!
Well, this is again a matter of choice. If you are co-sleeping in a safe environment and you are fine with your toddler sleeping with you, then this post is not for you. This is for parents who are looking for a way out of co-sleeping. If your 3-year-old keeps getting out of bed at bedtime, then you should consider making him sleep in his own bed.
Another reason why co-sleeping isn’t healthy for your toddler is adults need lesser sleep than kids. If he is sleeping and getting up with you, then he is not getting a healthy amount of sleep.
Why you should make your toddler sleep in his own room?
- No intimacy with your partner
- Sleep problems of your toddler
- Building boundaries
- Instilling good habits
- Teaching them independence
How to get a toddler to sleep in their own bed after co-sleeping!
First thing, remove the sleep associations that your toddler has. A blanket is fine, but a sippy cup isn’t! So remove all the things. Make a plan and stay consistent.
Have a bedtime routine. Your 3 years old is still very young so you can make a bedtime routine for him so that he learns it and understands that now he has to sleep.
He will fight it most probably, but if you stay consistent, you will fix this. Here is an example of a bedtime routine for your toddler:
- A bath time
- Make your toddler wear his favorite set of pajamas
- Read a story
- Hug your toddler for sometime
- Dim all the lights and keep the voices low
- Give your toddler his favorite toy
- Leave him when he is drowsy but not asleep.
Giving him options to pick a storybook or pajamas, so that he feels like he is in control.
Now let’s get to the point, that is, how to get your toddler to sleep in his own bed all night!
Here are the practical tips for you if you are struggling with your toddler. Be firm when you start applying the tips. There are going to be tantrums and meltdowns but you have to be consistent.
Make your toddler’s room inviting
If your kid’s room isn’t colorful and isn’t inviting, why would he agree to sleep there? Pick the furniture with him, take him to buy the décor, the bed, the toys, and arrange him according to him. Give your toddler a choice to set his room. He should love his room to sleep in it.
Communicate with your toddler
During the first days after you shift your little one to his own room and bed, he will need assurance and promise from you. If he cries and says he is afraid, assure him that you are right outside the room. And you are easily accessible. Talk to your child that he is safe and nothing will happen to him.
Explain why sleeping in his own bed is important. Tell him some benefits and cute reasons why he should sleep in his bed. Don’t raise your voice, don’t yell or get angry with your kid. He will not understand that.
You may have to go back and re-assure again and this may go on for a few days but eventually, it will stop. Just stay consistent.
Don’t lose your calm
If your child refuses to go to bed alone, you have to stay calm. Some nights he will follow you out of his room and will not wait. He will cry and throw a tantrum too. All you need to do is stay calm.
Put him back to bed and give him his favorite blanket again. Tell him again that you are right outside the door. Promise him some treats and rewards and insist that he has to stay in his bed.
Whenever you teach something new to your kids, it takes time and a lot of patience. They will test you and push you to your limits but being a bigger person, you have to stay calm.
How to deal with non-stop crying
Some kids cry a lot when their parents move them to their own beds and some don’t. so if your kid is crying a lot and you don’t know what to do, just be sure that this is normal. All kids cry when their parents try to instill a new habit.
But the thing is, it’s your responsibility to help your toddler come out of this situation. Assure them, console them, hug them, and tell them you are here with them. If your child has been co-sleeping with you, breaking this habit is not easy but with the right strategies and patience, you can do it.
Reinforce the same routine every night and keep repeating this for a week. See the results.
Final words on sleep training your toddler
Teaching toddlers isn’t easy. But if you stay consistent, follow a routine and stay calm, your toddlers listen to you. Give your kid a lot of daytime hugs and don’t let him feel you don’t love him. I remember my kids used to say I don’t love them anymore as I don’t wanna sleep with them. That was funny but some times it made me cry.
I overcame that and kept the routine and now they sleep in their beds. You can do that too. 😊
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