Helping Your Children Transition to Their Own Bedrooms
Many parents find themselves with children crawling into bed with them every night. If it's time to get your child sleeping all night in his own room and loving it, here are a few helpful tips for making that so.
Make It Special
Your child's room should look and feel very special to him or her. Allow your child to be involved picking out paint colors, bedding, and other things that make the room unique to him. Always aim for comfort and fun with a child's room, avoid anything in the room that might frighten your child.
Get a Bigger Mattress
Instead of getting a small bed for your toddler, opt for a double mattress placed either on the floor or on a low frame. This size offers a bit more room than a twin or toddler sized bed and allows you to easily lay down on the bed with your child in her room when needed. As your child transitions to sleep in his own room, plan on sleeping with him at least until he drifts to sleep every night for a couple weeks. You may even stay the entire night in the room for a few nights, but do try to limit your time sleeping in there as much as you possibly can in order to allow the transition to occur.
Give Some Lighting Options
Consider some low light warm LED string lights in the child's room to offer a little light at night to help the child drift to sleep without fear of the dark. Find string lights that can be set to a timer so that they remain on while your child drifts to sleep but then turn off automatically for the remainder of the night to promote a healthy circadian rhythm in your child. Having a child's lantern or flashlight next to your child's bed can also be a comfort to your little one.
Prepare Your Child
It is important to prepare your child mentally and emotionally for the transition to her own room. Don't make it a struggle and be careful not to make it feel like a punishment for your child. The truth is that your child needs love and affection, so be sure to up your cuddles, hugs, kisses and general warmth and affection during the day. Never be too busy to give your child a hug. Be there for your child during the day on an emotional level and ensure they are receiving the affection and parental bonding they need. The more they feel secure in your love and affection, the better they will transition to their own independent sleeping arrangement.
Nail Your Bedtime Routine
The more you perfect your child's bedtime routine, the safer and more secure he will feel, and the habits you and your child form should help you both ease into the new sleeping situation. Stick to a regular bedtime as much as possible. Storytime is another great way to bond and bring comfort at bedtime. Take some time to read together before bed in your child's new bedroom so that she will make as many positive associations with her new room as possible. Positive touch such as a back rub or foot rub before bed is also a great way to fill your child's reservoir for affection.
You can give your child all the things in the world, but at the end of the day, they probably just want your affection more than anything else. When your child is transitioning to his own room, focus on creating an emotionally healthy bond with your child and everything else should follow from there.