Getting kids to sleep in their own beds is rarely an easy task, and will no doubt have most parents tearing their hair out from time to time. Unfortunately, there is no universal way that will work for every child in every situation. Luckily, there are techniques that have been tried, tested and proven to be effective.
We took to the internet to find some mum bloggers who were willing to share their two cents on what worked for them and their children to get them sleeping happily in their own beds.
Establishing a routine
Helen Gandy from AllTheBeautifulThings.co.uk shares her pearls of wisdom:
‘My best advice would be to take your time. With my little boy, I would let him nap in his cot during the day to get used to it and then from 7-11pm I would put him in his cot for this period of sleep and then do a ‘dream feed’ before bringing him back into our room, we then gradually left him in his cot when he started to sleep for longer stretches.
This worked well for us and he was sleeping in his own room and well from around 12 weeks!’
Tools of the trade
Alex Gladwin from BumpToBaby.com advised introducing a light up, musical mobile that hangs above the cot:
‘We already owned Fisher Price’s starlight mobile and since that very first night that we put it back in E’s room – he has slept in his own bed! But this starlight mobile has been an actual god send – personally, I think it’s the lights and the music play for 20 minutes. (It means we don’t have to keep going in there to turn it back on!). It automatically shuts off (both lights and music) after x amount of time.
I think he watches the lights go on and off and listens to the calming music and finds comfort in it. Even now, if he starts to cry when we put him in the cot, he stops the moment it comes on and we leave the room. And then a few minutes after that he’s asleep!’
Karen Landridge from ReallyMissingSleep.com says ‘we have night lights to make sure they have a little comforting light to reassure them. Soft toys help too, as they enjoy giving them a cuddle of a night and self settle’.
Helen Gandy also commented on her tools of the trade: ‘I cannot also emphasise the importance of black out blinds!! These were a life saver when we made the transition into his own room, I really do think that these helped’.
Michaela Britton from AdventuresOfAYorkshireMum.co.uk shares her ideas: ‘Be consistent. Take them to bed, read a bedtime story and then give a kiss before saying goodnight and leaving the room. If they come downstairs or shout, pop back up, give them a kiss and tuck them in again, then leave without much talking.
‘Eventually, children realise that they are not getting their own way and that you won’t give in and will go to sleep.’
Top three tips for new parents
In the second episode of the Sleep Matters Podcast, Dr Pixie McKenna talks to Dave Berry, breakfast radio presenter and Maryanne Taylor, a qualified sleep consultant about how to help your child sleep better. These are their top three tips for new parents:
Have you got any tips of your own that you’d like to share with our readers? Drop us a comment below!