How to Get Your Kids to Sleep in Their Own Bed
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How to Get Your Kids to Sleep in Their Own Bed

Many parents think they are helping their children get to sleep by allowing little ones to sleep in the bed with them. This is fine for rainy nights or middle-of-the-night nightmares, or even when one of the parents is in the hospital or traveling. But it should not be allowed on a nightly basis. Children need to develop a sense of independence at an early age. Of course, you need to speak directly with your children and see what they fear most about sleeping alone. They should not be made to feel as if they are in silly, they should be encouraged to determine the issue and find a solution with your help. The following tips will help your kids enjoy sleeping in their own beds.

If you have a girl:

Try using cafe curtain rods, cup hooks, and pink sheet curtains to create a princess canopy over her bed. Help her cut out a construction paper crown and decorate it with glitter and/or markers. Make a sign that says Princess (your child's name here) and place it over the head of the bed on the wall. Explain to her that only princesses can sleep in this special bed, and SHE is that princess!

If you have a boy:

Set up his room like a baseball diamond or football stadium by making "bases" from green construction paper and writing or gluing the numbers 1, 2, 3, and Home Plate on them. Tape one on each corner of the room. Place a circle that says "pitcher's mound" on the wall above his headboard. For football, make a goal post from the cores of wrapping paper and use tempera paint to paint his team's colors on one end and make the other one silver. Let him know that his room is only for star pitchers or quarterbacks, etc. He won't be able to get to his room fast enough.

You can also find pre-cut, laminated wall cutouts at places such as www.Orientaltrading.com and www.ustoys.com. Some cities have a US Toys located nearby and you can look at even more ideas to decorate your child's room to make it less scary at night.

Afraid of the dark?

Afraid of Monsters in the Closet?

  • Tell your children that keeping the night light on and the closet door open means that the Monster has no place to hide so he will not come to their room! It sounds simple but it works.
  • Take some of your old clothing that is wildly colored and make your own Monster to live in the closet so that there is no room for other Monsters. Kids will see that "their" Monster is guarding their room all night.

Just plain scared to be alone at night?

  • Many children can be weaned off sleeping with mom and dad by sleeping with a doll or favorite stuffed animal (if they are over 2).
  • Let them keep a walkie-talkie or baby monitor in their room and yours and show them how to use it. Make a rule that they can call you if they get scared, but reward them in the morning the first night they make it without calling for you. It can be special pancakes or chocolate milk...you decide the reward and remember; the first few nights they might call you six times. Each time ask them what is wrong and try to talk them in to staying in their room. Within one week, they should be at ease sleeping alone.

Different kids have different needs in order to sleep alone. The earlier you start helping them to become independent in this way, the sooner they will be able to handle the more difficult decisions they will face growing up.

 

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Comments (2)
Marcia

i need some help on how to get my nine year old to sleep in his own room

Sarah

I need help on getting my 7 year old daughter to sleep in her own bed. I think part of the problem was is that she had to sleep in our room on her own bed for years. We got our own place and she now has her own room. she did fine for the first few weeks then all of a sudden she had to sleep with me and everytime I move she wakes up and whines for me to come back. I've tried everything. reward systems, etc. Im at my wits end. Help!!

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