How to Encourage Your Child to Sleep Alone
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How to Encourage Your Child to Sleep Alone

Having your child sleep with you generates a bond of comfort, tenderness, acceptance and security. When you first try to encourage your child to sleep in their own bed, they will probably experience "separation anxiety". The longer your child has slept with you, the more dependent they become on your presence. This is a very delicate age to the development of their character, confidence and self-esteem. Stay in tune with your child's emotions through this process. Try to see the world through their eyes, understand what they feel is difficult for them to put into words. Compassion is a must. This process usually won't work overnight. Patience is valuable to your child's development.

  1. Prepare their room for comfort.; soft colors, small stuffed animals, comfortable bed with blankets that are "just right" for them, children's books with lots of pictures ( topics you've seen them showing interest in ), etc.
  2. Spend time with them in their room; let them help choose how to decorate and what animals belong with other animals, ask them to name the animals and play with them. If they choose that one animal has a bad character, help your child decide what to do with him, especially at night. Make them feel they are the king or princess of their domain. They will begin to feel an ownership in their space.
  3. Compliment them on their choices; confirmation of their own choices will help them develop self-confidence.
  4. The last two hours of the evening, allow them to quench their thirst in limited quantities (less chance they will need to use the restroom ).
  5. Bedtime stories and intimate conversation will help them feel calm and secure. Don't forget the hugs...
  6. Sleep with them in their room ( at least, the first night ) and let them awake with you so they don't feel abandoned.
  7. When the time is right, allow them to sleep in your "robe or magic shirt that will protect them and keep them warm". ( it may be helpful to have your scent on it ). You can buy a new one and they will grow out of needing it soon.
  8. Wake them in the morning with a hug and let them know you are proud of them ( allow them to help with breakfast, if possible ).
  9. Listen to their concerns and find positive ways to eliminate them; encourage them with " how big they are getting, how brave they are, how fast they are growing up"
  10. It may be helpful to say that you are so much bigger than them that you're afraid you might roll over on them and crush them, followed by, "I never want to hurt you".

NOTE: If your child has mythical fears such as the "boogy man" and you can't convince them they aren't there; Try looking for him and eventually go into the closet , make some noise on the walls, mess your hair just a little and proclaim," he'll never come back again!"

I was present when this was done and my nephew never had a problem with the boogey man again.

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