For many children, especially babies and toddlers, co-sleeping or family sleeping becomes a normal occurrence and may last for extended periods of time. For some families, if done correctly and appropriately, co-sleeping can be a positive experience for the parents and the children. However, for most families, co-sleeping needs to end at some point in order to create sleep independence for the child and for the parents to have their own sleeping space. This transition phase can be the most difficult. To overcome this phase and successfully have your child sleep in their bed independently, 5 Little Monkeys suggests the following tips.
Teaching My Child to Sleep Independently
Some children develop sleep associations quite early in life. A sleep association can be anything from a blanket or a bottle to a movement like rocking, nursing, or snuggling. For many children, sleeping with a parent or another sibling is a strong sleep association. Most parenting experts and pediatricians recommend that children should sleep in their own bed independently by age 2-3. To do this successfully, parents can take several steps to make their child comfortable. The 5 Little Monkeys sleep team recommends an excellent sleep system for kids and the following nighttime routines:
- Eliminate Distractions: Ensure your child does not have any strong distractions in their room like a TV, computer, or tablet. Screen stimulation can often make it more difficult for a child to fall asleep in their own bed.
- Establish a Bedtime Routine: Form a bedtime routine for your child. This should normally consist of bathtime, pajamas, brushing teeth, and good-night stories. Parents should practice the bedtime routine consistently so that the child knows its bedtime and knows what to expect.
- Leave the Room: Parents should leave the room prior to their child falling asleep. This will create less dependency on the parent around bedtime.
- Sleep Associations: As previously mentioned, some sleep associations are perfectly fine. If your child needs a blanket or a special stuffed animal to fall asleep, that association can become a part of the bedtime routine.
- Be Consistent: As a parent, you should be consistent with your actions, especially around bedtime. Children like consistency and it will help them get used to a bedtime routine and become sleep independent.
Order A New Children’s Mattress For Your Child!
If your child is having difficulty sleeping in their own bed, you may want to think about getting a new sleep system for your kids. Your child may be uncomfortable in their current bed. Contact the 5 Little Monkeys sleep team for questions or concerns about mattresses for kids and the best mattress for your individual child. We look forward to helping your child get a good night’s sleep!