Our beds are our sanctuaries. At the beginning of a long day of work, there's nothing more any of us wants than just five more minutes asleep. When out of town, we can only dream about being snug and cozy back home. Our beds welcome us with open arms, ready to embrace our tired bodies and send us off to dreamland. You may not remember a time when you didn't appreciate your bed, but any parent can tell you that kids don't exactly see hitting the hay like we do.
Even with one of the world's best bedzzz to call their own, sometimes children just refuse to sleep by themselves. As adults, it can be hard to relate--that said, it doesn't matter how great a mattress is when you've got a monster infestation underneath. Sometimes, after a long day, it's easier to cave to your kids' pleas to sleep with you. According to Mary Bowerman, though, it's important to stand your ground and be firm with kids. Writing in USA Today, Bowerman stresses the importance of sleeping independently for a child's development. From fear of the dark to separation anxiety, here are some of the catch-all starting points she recommends to help your child grow to love their own bed just as much you love yours!
The 100 Walks structure is aptly named, as it requires dedication, repetition and consistency. Each time your child gets out of their bed and comes to you, calmly get up and lead them back to their own bed. This may happen multiple times throughout the night. It is important that you stay calm, do not get angry, and do not give in.
The Phase Out process begins college roommate-style. Create a space for yourself to sleep in the same room with your child, though on another surface adjacent to them. This step maintains the security of having you close at hand while beginning the slow divergence of your sleeping habits. After establishing this pattern, transition from that arrangement to a visitor-style approach. Make time to sit with your child until they go to sleep, then return to your own room. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to find you, refer to the 100 Walks. With gradual changes and a little understanding, you can slowly phase yourself out of the process your child recognizes as essential for their sleep.
Somewhat more martial in style, this system establishes a family "pass" for a child to leave bed after dark. This pass is good for one late night trip for water or the bathroom, to say goodnight, to check for monsters, or anything else your child feels they need. It's up to parents to enforce the pass system, and to make sure children don't overdraw their "bedtime pass" limit.
When things go bump in the night, it may just help your child to feel like they can bump back. Fill a spray bottle with water, air freshener or another harmless solution and spray around the bedroom. Spray closets, under beds, in corners, around the window, at the door and around the bathroom. Assert that the monster spray is powerful enough to keep their worst fears away. Ideally, your children will be comfortable enough in their own spaces by the time they realize it was only a placebo!
To all the parents out there, we wish you the best of luck (and lots of sleep) in the process of making your kids as comfortable as possible. To give your family the best chance, check out our selection of the worlds best bedzzz right here on our website! Just look for the Kidzzz Choice icon to know it's a perfect pick for your child.
Source: Bowerman, Mary. "Reclaim Your Bedroom: How to Get Your Kids to Sleep in Their Bed." USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 Mar. 2017, USA Today.
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