Getting your toddler to sleep in his or her room can be challenging if they keep crying or are in the habit of climbing into your bed in the middle of the night. Here are some ways you can make their own bedroom more appealing to them.
Choose the perfect bed for your toddler
If you choose a bed that your toddler will love, this can help make their bedroom more appealing to them. Toddler beds are designed to be lower to the ground, making them less daunting for toddlers, and are created in fun designs. So, if you find one your toddler loves, you can use this to encourage them to stay in their own bed.
Read to them at bedtime
Reading fun and light-hearted stories to your toddler at bedtime can give them something positive to think about. If they get scared alone at night, this can help them forget their fears. If your child can associate bedtime with a fun story, it might make the process easier.
It also lets them learn some of the words, if they have a favourite book and you encourage them to read it with you.
Stay with your toddler until they fall asleep
If your toddler is still anxious about being left alone in their bedroom, agree to stay with them until they fall asleep. As time goes on, reduce how long you stay with them, until they can be left alone as soon as you’ve finished reading to them.
Rewarding your child for sleeping in their own bed might help. This doesn’t have to be for every night they spend in their bed, as that could become costly. Instead, you could have a chart that you add stars to, and reaching a certain number of stars means they get a reward.
If your toddler is crying, it is tempting to console them. Beyond initially checking everything is okay, it’s important to tell them they need to stay in their own bed. The same applies if they keep climbing into your bed. If they make too much of a fuss and you don’t want to risk waking your other children, wait until your toddler falls asleep, then take them back to their bed. If they keep waking up in their own bed, they will eventually learn that they can’t sleep in your bed.
Have a routine
Have a bedtime routine for your toddler, and stick to it. This could be having a light supper, followed by a bath, then letting them pick out their favourite pyjamas, before reading a story. If the build-up to bedtime involves something they enjoy, your toddler might find it less of an ordeal and eventually start to enjoy the routine. It also prepares them more than just telling them it’s bedtime with no warning.
Your toddler’s bedtime doesn’t have to be an ordeal for them or a nightmare for you. It may take some time, but you can encourage them to go to and stay in their own bed.