How to Get Your Toddler to Sleep in THEIR OWN Bed

How to Get Your Toddler to Sleep in THEIR OWN Bed

Anxiety, insecurity, distractions -- these can all send your little one straight from her bed into yours. Luckily, you can break this bedtime habit. Here's how to encourage your child to sleep independently.


1. Transition With a Tent.  Set up a kid's tent at the foot of our bed and let her "camp" out each night. After your child starts to get used to it, move the tent out of your room and into theirs. Let your child continue to sleep there for a few weeks, but everyday I move their pillows, stuffed animals and blankets into back into their bed. Eventually, after moving them back into the tent each night until the day they'll realize what a pain it is and stay in bed.

2. Eliminate Distractions. Remove televisions, computers, and other electronic devices from your tot's room to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. The stimulation associated with watching TV or playing video games and the light from computer and TV screens both make it much more difficult to fall asleep.

3. Banish the Monsters. Some kids don't want to sleep in their room because they're scared; so find out what it is they're afraid of! Sometimes it's as simple as spraying the room with "monster spray" (a spray bottle of water works or some calming linen spray). 

4. Establish a Sense of Security. Your absence or the thought of a monster lurking under the bed can leave your babe wide-eyed at bedtime. Ease the transition from sleep to wake -- and calm her fears -- with comforting objects such as stuffed animals, blankets, or even a nearby goldfish tank.

5. Establish a Bedtime Routine. Take a warm bath, put on PJs, brush teeth, and read good-night stories -- getting into a regular habit helps youngsters feel more secure about going to bed. This predictability prepares kids psychologically and reduces their nighttime anxiety. It lowers stress levels and creates a series of steps the child anticipates and knows will lead to bedtime.

6. Put Them Back in Bed. This is a tough one. Each time they get out of bed, carry them back and calmly place them in their bed. The key word here is calmly. Don't yell. Don't nag. In fact, don't say a WORD. Realizing they aren't getting your attention -- even negative attention -- can really cut down on night-time wandering.

7. Minimize Your Presence. Leave the room before your child falls asleep so they aren't dependent on parental presence.  If you do stay in her room, don't lie in her bed or interact with them. Move farther away from her bed each night while they're is falling asleep to gradually reduce their dependence upon you.

8. Reward Good Behavior. And ignore undesirable behavior such as crying. After a good night, let your little one choose her favorite cereal or pick out her outfit the next morning. 

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