Mother and Baby

Toddler Sleep: Getting Her To Sleep In Her Own Bed (Not Yours!)

It’s time for her to have her own room and bed – so you can reclaim your sleep, personal space and sex life

Your toddler has been sleeping with you and your partner for a couple of years. You know it isn’t ideal and it's really time for her to stay the night in her own bed. This can be tricky but there are lots of methods you can try to make this as easy as possible.

The transition

You may find your toddler needs an interim step of you sleeping on a mattress in her room while she adapts. ‘Also, spend time each day playing with her on her bed to encourage a positive association,’ says Child Sleep Work’s founder Maryanne Taylor.

It’s a good idea to introduce your toddler’s bed with a party. ‘Have some games, snacks and even balloons,’ Maryanne advises. ‘Build it up to be an exciting new adventure.’

Make sure bed remains a safe haven and not a place your toddler is sent if she’s naughty.

Quality time

Your child is more likely to play up at bedtime if she feels she hasn’t had some one-on-one quality time, so read a bedtime story or play a calm game together before you put her to bed.

Read a bedtime story or play a calm game together before you put your toddler to bed

Treats and rewards

Incentive schemes often work well, especially for older toddlers.

‘Keep a sticker chart and add a new one when your child has stayed in their bed all night,’ Maryanne says.  ‘If your toddler is younger, you can simply put a sticker on her pyjamas in the morning when you wake her up to show her just how good she’s been.’

A magic light

A low-wattage light that comes on at a certain time is often useful and signals when your toddler is allowed to get up.

‘This can be called a “magic” or a “morning” light,’ says Maryanne. ‘If your toddler comes to you before it turns on in the morning, just say, “your magic light isn’t on yet so you should still be asleep.’

The odd white lie does work a treat in parenting…

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