You know there is no evidence of any side effects of sleeping with your children at least there is no science-backed proof yet. But many other things matter which can make you consider bringing co-sleeping to an end. These could be:
- Your child has grown and it has become uncomfortable to accommodate her.
- She gets disturbed when others move about at night.
- You or the child is not getting enough sleep.
- You feel it is compromising your marital intimacy to have her in your bedroom.
Now the big question is how to get a kid in habit of sleeping in their bed? There is no definite answer as it is a process and happens slowly. While patience and empathy with the child are the keys there are some tips from experts that can help you both ease into this new routine better and faster.
Before you break the news of ending co-sleeping to your child prepare them mentally. Tell them its a grown-up thing to sleep in own bed and make them visit some cousins or friends room who sleep separately. They may find it attractive to have a separate room and a bed to themselves.
MAKE THEIR PERSONAL SPACE SPECIAL
While you set up their room or a separate bed individualize it with stuff like initials of their name, a certain favorite color or character. Make sure to keep the child involved and let them select bedspreads,pillows, cushions, and duvet covers. Move your kid’s belongings clothes, books, and toys to their room. Make it as fun and welcoming as possible. Special night lights, fun wallpaper, and a chyme can all do the trick.
Expect the patter of tiny feet at night. They may resist the change at first and it may take as much as 2 weeks or more till they settle. While you may have to allow them to sleep with you sometimes or when they are not feeling well do not make it a custom. Walk them to their bed spend some time with them and come back.
TAKE IT SLOW
Independent sleeping neither comes easily nor quickly. You may get downtrodden by clingy behavior of little ones but staying determined is necessary. Slowly advance allowing your kid to spend time in their room alone during the day, have them invite friends to their new room, plan a sleepover or two with them in their bed before you finally leave them alone to sleep independently at night.
There will be ups and downs, nobody said it will be a piece of cake but consistency is key my friend. Just as for overcoming any other ordeal in life this too will demand perseverance, patience, and a consistent approach. All those teary eyes, frowning foreheads, and sad faces are far too adorable and heart-melting to ignore but you have got to do this anyway.
Once our kid starts sleeping independently don’t forget to celebrate and have a little party, a fun tea time, or picnic in a nearby park. All kids need is your appreciation, attention, and love.
Disclaimer: The author is proficient in medicine and a mother of 3 children aged 2, 4 and 6 years.