For my first “Daily Adventures” post, I will be discussing betime. I chose this topic because anyone with kids (especially toddlers) knows bedtime can be one of (if the not the most), challenging parts of the day. Let me give you a little bit of a background, for context. Our son Avery (now 3 yeares old), has never been too keen on sleeping – even as a baby he would fight sleep a lot, and did not want to take decent naps most of the time. Over the past year, he developed a habit of sleeping on the floor in his room, rather than sleeping in his bed. We could not figure out why he kept doing this, because he handled the transition to his own bed (when he around 1 1/2) surprisingly well – sleeping in his bed all night, rarely waking up, etc. We figured the floor-sleeping was just a phase, and that he would start sleeping in his bed again within a few months, but he insisted on sleeping on the floor, right next to the door. At one point towards he end of my second pregnancy, it got to the point of him sleeping in our room again. We knew this wasn’t good because he was going backwards, so we knew we had to do something to get him to sleep in his bed again, even if it was only a portion of the night.
(We also have a camera in his room, so we can monitor him at any time).
So, when Violet was born (late January of this year), we knew it was going to be nearly impossible for any of us to get any sleep if both kids were sleeping in our room (Violet’s crib is in our room). At this point we put Avery back in his room. My husband and I knew we had to start trying different things to get him to sleep in his bed – sitting in his room or laying with him until he fell asleep was pointless, since he would wake up and go to the floor as soon as we would leave. We decided to start leaving his door open until he fell asleep, to see if this would help. It seemed like he was sleeping next to the door because he liked being able to see/hear us, so maybe leaving the door open (at least until he’s asleep), would have the same effect.
Thankfully, this strategy has helped A LOT with getting Avery to sleep in his bed. Of course there are ups and downs still, but overall we have seen a big improvement in his willingness to sleep in his bed again. We’ve also noticed that, even if his door is closed before he falls asleep, and he goes to the floor, he listens when we tell him to go back to his bed (we can talk to him via the camera). It has even improved to the point, that he will go back to his bed on his own. Some nights (and during nap time), we have to tell him several times to go back to his bed, but we know it is a process – the fact that he is sleeping in his bed AT ALL again, and not putting up a fight just to lay in his bed, is a huge improvement, as well as a big relief for my husband and I.
Here are some other things we think have helped:
- Be consistent
- Implementing, and sticking to, a bedtime routine (including a specific bed TIME)
- Designating a different area of the house for time-out instead of his bedroom
- Having a somewhat similar routine for nap time
- Even if he does not take a nap, we usually let him play in his room (while watching him on the camera) – I consider this to be a sort of “quiet/calm time”, that encourges him to be fond of his room, as opposed to feeling like it is a place he goes to as a form of punishment
So, if you are having a hard time getting your little one to sleep in their own bed, just know that there are countless other parents out there who are going through the same thing. While this strategy has seemed to help us, and our son so far. other parents may need to try multiple strategies to encourage their kids to sleep in their own bed. Just remember, every child is different, and has different needs. Don’t give up on trying new things, until you find something that works for you, and your child. Also, keep in mind that it is a process – don’t expect significant changes to happen overnight – try your best to be patient and understanding with your child.
YOU GOT THIS!
What different things have you done/tried to get your little one to sleep in their own bed? Share your thoughts and experiences below!
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