How to Get Your Kid to Sleep in Their Own Bed

by: Courtney Key
Try these tips to get your children to go to sleep in their own bed.
Children sleeping through the night

Remember what is was like to go to bed before having kids? Knowing that you wouldn't be awake until you decided it was time to get out of bed -- a true luxury. Did you realize how lucky you were at the time -- I sure didn't. I have a simple yet wonderful memory as a newlywed that consisted of champagne, Doritos and Netflix in bed. Figuring out how to get your kid to sleep is important for any new parent.

Four years later I'm often woken up with dramatic screams from my three-year-old who had a bad dream. I'll often think about those early married days in the middle of the night, dreaming I could go back, for just a few days.

Sleep, or lack therof can be a brutal beast, and just when you think you know how to get your kid to sleep, something changes. My son was the newborn who never slept, and I was the mom who was repeatedly told that he would eventually sleep. To say we've struggled with sleep over the past three years would be an understatement, but we've made progress, and I'm here to share some tips to help keep your child in their own bed.

1. Create a cozy sleep space

My husband makes fun of me because I always say how much I love a freshly made bed. I like things a certain way, and so does my son. We let my son pick out several stuffed animals and toys that stay in his bed. This way when he wakes up he can snuggle his favorite Teddy, and that helps him go back to sleep. My personal recommendations include multiple lovies and a supersoft blanket. We also have wall decals above his bed - Paw Patrol is currently his top pick.

children sleeping through the night

Photo Credit: Pixaby

2. Make Bedtime Predictable

Children like to know what's next and bedtime isn't a time for surprises. Routine really is paramount because your child will know what to expect. When we stray from our routine it usually results in middle of the night wake-ups and/or a meltdown before falling asleep. What works for us is a bath followed by about a half an hour of playtime. Then we read 3 books and tell an imaginary story. Then my son knows it's time to sleep.

children sleeping through the night

Photo Credit: Pixaby

3. Reassure, then leave

If my son elevates his crying and needs one of us to go into his room, we will. We usually wait it out for a few minutes because sometimes he will put himself back to sleep. There are nights when he needs one us to calm him down and we're okay doing that. We rub his back, offer him some water and tell him it's still nightime. Sometimes we have to reassure repeatedly, but we make sure to always do the same thing. This way he knows what to expect.

children sleeping through the night

Photo Credit: Pixaby

4. Reward Good Sleeps

We all feel amazing after a good night's rest, and that's something to be rewarded. You can have fun and create a reward system to motivate your child to continue those good sleeps. Offer this praise system for naps as well. They will have fun adding stickers to their sleep chart each day -- seeing them proud of their accomplishment is oh so satisfying. Another fun idea is a sleep treat where they get to pick a treat from a bag to reward good sleeping.

children sleeping through the night

Photo Credit: Pixaby

5. Stay Calm

Kids feed off emotion, whether it's good or bad. Give your child a quick hug or kiss and then tell them it's time to go back to bed. Children are so intuitive and will quickly learn that mom or dad has to return to their room. You may have to repeat this over and over, but it will work. In tough moments take a step back and have your partner step in. This will give you the chance to press the reset button.

children sleeping through the night

Photo Credit: Pixaby

6. Do What Works for You

Having been told what to do and what not to do by many people, you learn how important it is to make your own decisions. No two children are the same, and there aren't cookie cutter answers that are guaranteed. Have I slept on my son's floor before? Yes. Have I brought him in bed? Yes. You do what you need to survive. Sleep can be complicated, and figuring out how to get your kid to sleep is not for the weak. I wish you luck.

Let's Work Together!

Are you a writer, expert, or influencer? Get in touch!

GoGo

For more parenting tips and tricks, find us on Pinterest: