So you want your bed back? It’s perfectly normal. Your bed was once a place where you could get a full night’s rest without fear of being kicked in the face by a toddler or having your pillow and blanket stolen by the same. Co-sleeping is a joy, don’t get the wrong idea, but there comes a time where every child must make the move to their own bed, especially before they are old enough to vote.
Now, you probably have every intention of doing it soon, but it can be so daunting to start that it is just easier to put it off longer and longer. Don’t worry! We can help you get inspired with some ideas for where to start and what to do. Just be ready. It is more of a marathon than a sprint! With some good planning and a little patience and luck, you will soon have your bed back and your little one will be sleeping happily and peacefully in their own bed.
Include Your Child In The Process Of Getting Their Room Ready
We can so easily get caught up in doing certain tasks that asking for help can often take longer than just doing the task itself. Don’t get too task focused in getting your child’s room ready for when they are going to be sleeping there on their own. Include them in each step along the way. The more you include your child, the more invested they will be in the outcome of having them sleep in their own bed. Hey, it will also be fun for them (and you) so it is really a win win.
Have Them Pick Out Their Own Bed
When the time comes, and if it’s not possible, that is ok, have your toddler help you in picking out the bed that they will be sleeping in. If they can see it and touch it and try laying down on it, then it won’t be so “new” and “scary.” This will also help in the long run with their commitment to the plan. They will be more invested from the start.
The same goes for their sheets and blankets etc. They will have a fun time picking these items out and will appreciate the opportunity for a little control and self expression.
Start With Nap Times
One way to get your child used to sleeping in their new bed without the culture shock of forcing them into it right away, is to have them get used to sleeping in their new sleep space and bed for their naps. Try putting your child to sleep in your normal routine for nap time and then carefully place them in their new bed. After a few weeks of consistently napping them in their new digs, then they will become more trusting and comfortable there. Hopefully enough to stay there the whole night!
Stay With Them The First Week Or So As The Fall Asleep (Or Longer)
The first night you finally decide to have them sleep in their new bed, you may have to sleep in there with them. With you and possibly your spouse in the room with them, it will seem less spooky and more familiar. You may be able to sneak out once they are deep asleep, but it may be good to spend at least one full night in there with them in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Once the first few nights are over, then you can slowly transition out. Start by putting your child down in their new bed and staying directly next to them either in the bed if there is room or on a chair closeby. They will like having you there as they fall into a deep sleep and if they happen to wake up, then you will be right there. Each night, move farther and farther away from their bed until you are out of the room completely. This may take up to two weeks, depending on your child, so don’t get frustrated if it takes that long or longer! Slow is fast and fast is slow when it comes to getting everybody used to the new sleeping arrangements.