How To Help Your Child Transition to Sleeping Alone
In most South Asian households, we find children sleeping with in their parents for a number of years before they’re shifted to their own space. So the transition to sleeping alone can be tough since the child is not used to it.
Even though this change can be a little complex, it’s not impossible and if done right, the transition should be smooth with a minimal amount of hiccups.
Talk about the change
In order to ease your child into it, you must explain what’s happening and why. Make it sound like a fun and cool thing that’s about to happen. It’s best to say something along the lines of “You’re a big girl now and that means you get to sleep on your own just like adults. Isn’t that exciting?!”
Make the bed room cute and fun
It’s important to make your child’s bed room a place she wants to be. You can put up her drawings, and have bed sheets with cartoon characters on them. If you have a budget, purchase cute children’s furniture that she likes.
Start a bed-time routine
Preparing your child for bed time will help her get ready to sleep. And a fun routine will help ease her anxiety about going to bed. Showering, brushing teeth, and get into PJs. Once you’ve tucked her into bed, you can either read her a bed time story or talk to her about her day.
After this, give her a kiss and say good night. Be firm about this even if she asks you to stay.
Ease their fears
It’s normal for children to be scared when left alone at night. Make it a point to address and ease your child’s fears if any. Is she scared of the dark? Invest in a night light.
If she’s scared of being alone, you can give her a stuffed toy to keep her company. Or even a small fish bowl will help! Just give these place holders names and some sort of conscious presence and your child will feel like she isn’t completely alone. You can check under the bed or in the closet for any monsters your child might be concerned about.
If this doesn’t work, you can also get a baby monitor to help your child stay in contact with you from the other room.
If your child crawls into your bed in the middle of the night, it’s important to ask why she did, ease her anxiety, and accompany her back to her room.
It’s also important to know when to draw the line with resisting your child’s need to sleep with you. If she ends up crying too much, and is insisting she wants to sleep with you, it’s okay to not force her that night. But make her promise that she will sleep in her own bed the next day and do not make this a regular occurrence.
If you keep this up, it shouldn’t take very long to have your child sleeping in her own room. Although it is important to remember that you must not expect your kid to start sleeping alone immediately. Feel free to indulge in trial runs and then having her sleep alone on alternate nights. After this she should be ready to sleep alone every day.