When I was pregnant for the first time, I had visions of my husband, my baby, and I all sleeping peacefully in the same bed. All three of us, together and safe, as a family, straight through the night.
That lasted about a week before I realized that my baby didn’t know basic bed etiquette, like not kicking people in the face while they’re lying next to you, and not pulling mommy’s hair while she’s having a wonderful dream.
But once you’ve brought your baby into your bed, it can be extremely difficult to get them out. We’re creatures of habit when it comes to sleep, and change is never welcomed gracefully.
So today, I have a few tips to help you if you’ve decided to reclaim your bed and get your little one sleeping in their own room. It’s not going to be easy, I’ll warn you, but with some determination and a little knowledge, it should be over in a couple of nights.Rather read than watch? Click here.
I find that there’s a lot of parents who are sleeping with their children, not because this is a choice they made. A lotta people go into it making a clear and conscious decision that that is what they’re gonna do, that’s part of their parenting philosophy, and they do it.
Most parents though fall into sleeping together because it’s the only way anybody gets any sleep. And you just gave into it at some point in your life with this child, and now you kinda feel stuck there. If you’re being honest, you feel stuck, and you would prefer your child not sleep with you. I get it.
Now, the problem though is how do you break it once it’s started? And that’s the hardest part around sleep, in general, is that we’re all so habitual and routine with our sleep. You have this routine before bed, you get into the same side of the bed every night, you have to have your water on the bedside table, your earplugs on standby. Whatever it is, these are the little scenarios or I call them your sleep strategies. They’re the things that you’ve collected over the years that help you make falling asleep easier and staying asleep.
Those are your habits. And we know that habits die hard. We know this. But they really die hard when it comes to sleep because we’re just so protective of our sleep environment. We do not like change around sleep. Because any kinda change around sleep causes some mild anxiety. If you don’t have your earplugs, you can’t tell me you don’t feel a bit anxious about that. So, keep that in mind going forward.
If you wanna change this behavior with your child, you would like your child to sleep in their own bed, that there’s going to be some hard nights because change is hard. That’s a fact. I can do nothing about that piece, especially around our sleep habits. So how do you do it as gently as possible to teach your child that she can fall asleep on her own, that she has the ability to fall asleep on her own, that her own bed is a lovely place to be? You do it as gently as you can.
Now I have a strategy in The Sleep Sense Program that is perfect for this particular scenario, to get out of the bed-sharing scenario. It’s gonna do it as gently as we possibly can in little increments so that your child can get comfortable in a gradual way learning to fall asleep. However, I’m not gonna sugar coat it. There will be protest. There will be. It’s not humanly possible to change somebody’s sleep habits without a little bit of protest.
If I came into your room tonight and said, you know what, for the sake of better quality sleep, I want you to sleep on the floor with no blanket and we’re gonna leave the light on, those are all terrible ideas, but let’s say I said them. You would have anxiety around that. You would probably try to negotiate with me that you don’t wanna do this. When you went to sleep that first night, you’d have a terrible night’s sleep. But as the days, sorry, as the nights go on, you would eventually get used to and probably end up preferring sleeping on the floor with the lights on and no pillow.
So we can teach ourselves all kinds of things, and that’s important when you’re trying to teach a child to sleep well, that you need to be patient. You need to understand that they’re going through some change and that’s a little bit uncomfortable for them. But the good news is, if you hang in there long enough, they will eventually realize that they can do this. They have the power to fall asleep on their own. They have the power to sleep all night long. They’ll grow to love their own space, and you will get your bed back.
Thanks so much for watching today, sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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