Getting kids, especially those who have been sleeping with parents for more than a year, to sleep in their own beds is not easy.
We can say that it’s sort of like ripping off a band-aid… The kid will cry, there’ll be tantrums and a whole lot of havoc. However, you’ve to decide whether you’ll transition quickly or will take your own sweet time.
Many parents typically opt to have their kids sleep on separate beds by the kid’s will and desire. However, this can be confining for the parents, as the kid will keep growing dependent on the parents to get a night of peaceful sleep.
The key to establishing a workable bedtime routine is to set firm expectations and then maintain consistency. Before moving ahead with the decision, you should feel strongly enough for the mission of moving the kid to his own bed. Ambivalence over your decision will not help.
To make things easier for you, our SOS Moms are giving out a few suggestions–
“Make his best soft toy his best friend and sleep mate. Let him sleep with the toy and tell him that his friend (the soft toy) will be alone and cry if he doesn’t sleep with him”, recommends Swati Thakur, mom of a 1 year old.
Swati also says, “One more thing you can try is, when he’s fast asleep just put a pillow over him at your place, so that he gets a feeling that it’s you and not the pillow. Maybe that can help as it does help me and my son is only 1 year old.”
Next, we have Neha Kapur, who says, “Put your T-shirt on a pillow and place it next to him… Sometimes, it’s your smell that comforts them.”
We also have Ranjani Anoop and Saheti Krishna Kasam, who have tested the methods suggested by Swati Thakur. They double up with Swati to say that the pillow method really works.
One useful tip from our end – think of the things that will offer some comfort to the kid during the transition. Play a CD of soothing lullabies, light a brighter nightlight or an LED projector lamp that’ll create an effect of a starry night sky onto the walls and ceiling of his room.
So, be prepared for a bumpy ride while getting your kiddo to sleep in his own bed, but keep your eyes on the prize: an independent kid who sleeps all by himself and one less elbow in your back at night!