How To Get Your Toddler Out of Your Bed
Heads up. As you may have guessed from the title, this article is intended for people who are looking for tips on how to get their child out of their bed.
If you don’t want your child out of your bed, I totally support you in that decision, and wish you the best of luck. It’s a personal choice and as long as you and your baby are getting the sleep you need, I say that whatever method you’re using is the right one.
For those of you who are looking to reclaim your bed from your little one and move him to his own room, read on.
So if you’re still with me, either your little one has reached an age where you think it’s time that he slept in his own room, or you’re not getting quality sleep with your baby in your bed. If you fall into the latter category, I can sympathize.
When I was pregnant with my first, I was so excited about the nighttime cuddles I was going to get. Baby would sleep directly between my husband and I, I’d wake when he woke, he’d feed for a bit, and then we would both drift back off to sleep. It was going to be a scene straight out of a French indie film.
But, as always, reality had other plans for my little fantasy. I hadn’t taken into account the fact that my child would wriggle and cry and grab at my face while I was trying to sleep. It’s cute for a few minutes, but significantly less cute after two or three hours of it.
But anyways, back to the solution.
- Pick your moment
The first thing to consider is whether or not this is a good time to make the change. Don’t make the decision after a particularly bad night without thinking about your schedule. Is your little one sick, teething or potty training? Are you going on vacation in a couple of weeks? If so, just wait until things are a bit more predictable before you start the process.
- Prepare Yourself and Your Baby
One thing you can count on, when you’re evicting your little one from your bed, they’re not going to be pleased about it. You can expect a lot of push-back to the transition. This is a big change for your baby and they probably don’t understand what motivated it. Explain that they haven’t done anything wrong and that this is just part of becoming a big kid. That probably won’t put an end to the protests, but it does help to put a positive spin on the process.If things do go smoothly, that’s great. I mean really great. Not a lot of kids I know have given up sleeping in their parents’ bed without a few days of fuss, so if yours accepts the move without a challenge, count yourself among the lucky few.
- Don’t Make Exceptions
For those of you who don’t meet with such wonderful luck, remember, stay consistent. Don’t let them fall asleep in your bed and try to move them while they’re sleeping, don’t make an exception if they’ve had a bad dream, and don’t give in if they pitch a fit. If they show up in your room in the middle of the night, walk them back to their room. The only time I’d suggest letting them into your bed is in the morning.
- Make it Worth Their While
If they need some incentive, offer a reward system. For kids around five years or older, put up a calendar and offer stickers for full nights without leaving their room. A week’s worth of stickers earns them a day at the waterslides, a toy they’ve been asking for, or whatever special reward you feel will get them motivated. If your little one is younger than five years, you’ll be better off with a more immediate reward. Give them something first thing in the morning to celebrate a night well done.
- Reinforce Good Behavior
When things do go smoothly, and they will sooner or later, provided you stay consistent, feel free to really heap on the praise. A lot of positive reinforcement will work wonders in encouraging your child to stay in their room through the night. The more they feel that this new setup is pleasing you, the more likely they are to adapt to it.It may not seem like it sometimes, but kids really do like to make their parents happy, so lots of talk about how big they’re getting and how proud you are of them will help speed up the process.