Parenting is a really involving job, to say the least. ‘Me’ time becomes a foreign concept and you begin wondering how someone even invented it. You also understand why they invented it because that is the one thing you crave for but can rarely have. Nothing is personal since your children prefer to have you showering with the door open and would like to stand with you as you answer a call of nature. It is also continued when they easily just walk into your room in the evening and sleep on your bed.
You could have put your toddler into their own bed but a few hours later you are woken up by someone poking your face and asking to come to bed with you. After a whole day’s parenting and house chores and probably another formal job (yes, parenting is a full time job in itself) you are most likely not going to spend much time convincing your toddler to get back to their own bed.
You will probably try taking them back the first and second time it happens but at some point you will get tired of going back and forth and just let them in. Sharing a bed with a toddler is no fun because all the kicking and random positions don’t reallyallow for that good night’s sleep that you desperately need. Your consolation may be that you at least get some amount of sleep. Moving your toddler permanently is the best solution but this takes a little time and careful planning.
Time it right
Children experience stress just like adults and things like moving house, potty training or the birth of a new baby could be triggers. You should wait until you can have a more regular routine because routine makes children feel safe.
Once the coast is clear start your new routine by explaining it to your toddler. Prepare the baby early on in the day by telling him that he is going to have his own bed and how he will enjoy sleeping in it. Take it slow but be sure to convey the message so that it is not a surprise to the child. The element of surprise may cause a little anxiety and lead to him staying longer in your bed.
Maintain a routine
If you don’t already have a bedtime routine you should create one. It should be something that makes them realize it is bed time. You can give them a warm bath, change them into pajamas and probably read a story. Continue the routine even in the new bed and it will grow on them slowly.
You will have to contend with nights when your child asks if you really love them, tantrums and flailing legs as you carry your toddler to their own bed will also be common. Sometimes you might have to sleep in your toddler’s room (not their bed) just to reassure them that you will be there when they wake up. Gradually they will stop being worried about being alone and they will be able to sleep the whole night alone. But before then, enjoy the slumber party in baby’s room!
There are those days when you will get tempted to allow your toddler into your bed because they had a long day (or you had along day)and you lie to yourself that it will only be for five minutes, only to wake up next to your little champ next morning. Resist such temptations. As much as it is important for your child to become independent (and for you to get real sleep), patience pays