From the time they are babies, children prefer to sleep with their parents. They feel secure when they sleep near their parents, and it is natural for them to want to continue this past infancy.
In many families, children continue to share the family bed well into childhood. However, co-sleeping can cause poor sleep for the parents and the child as they grow older. At some point, it becomes inevitable to move the child to a bed of their own.
If your child is past the age of five and still co-sleeps with you, it may not be easy to move him to them to their bed. They will be unhappy about the transition and will most likely resist it.
Use these tips to make this move as gentle and easy as possible.
Discuss the Transition in Advance
Before you begin the transition, prepare your child for it by discussing it with them. Choose a day when they have to move into their own bed together so that they are just as aware of it as you are.
Talk often about how they are a big kid and should sleep in their own bed. The more you tell them this, the better the idea will sink in.
Help Them Feel Comfortable and Excited About the Move
Let your child pick out new sheets and choose a toy to keep and sleep with at bedtime. Make their bed welcoming by placing his bedtime story books near it.
If they are worried about sleeping alone in the new room, stay with them at bedtime for a few days till they get used to it; however, remember to lessen your presence as the nights go on so that you don’t get stuck into a habit of staying with them yet again.
Alleviate Their Anxiety
It is only normal for your child to be anxious about this change and react to it. Create a bedtime routine to reduce their anxiety. Read them a story or play relaxing music. However, be firm about the decision and the transition will be easier.
Be Consistent About Not Allowing Them Back Into Your Bed
Curb the temptation to invite them into your bed under any circumstance.
Once they have moved to their bed, don’t let them into yours even if they come to you in the middle of the night. Instead, provide an option like a sleeping bag next to your bed, if necessary.
When you refrain from letting them co-sleep with you, you reinforce the idea that they have to use their bed, and this will help to break the pattern.