Thursday, January 27, 2011

Transitioning from Mom and Dad’s Bed: A Drama

Okay, so you coslept with your sweet angel when he was a wee babe, but now he’s a kicker. Or a cover stealer. Or a- dare we say it- snorer. I kid, but whatever the reason, you’re ready for him to be in his own bed. BUT- you dread the transition and you know it will be filled with drama. Here are a few tips for preparing your little one (and you) for the big move.

1. Pack your patience- because this may well be a long move. Once kids are in a routine, it’s tough to get them out of it. So mentally prepare yourself for this and know that it won’t be a few nights, a week, or even a month before she’s sweetly sleeping independently.

2. Introduce the IDEA first- and leave it at that. Introducing the idea of such a big change AND expecting your child to be 1.Totally okay with it, 2.Hop on board, and 3.Sleep peacefully in bed alone the first night is somewhat (okay completely) unrealistic. Try just mildly suggesting the idea of sleeping in his own bed. Try something like:

“I was thinking about whether you’d ever want to sleep in the bed in your room and I sleep in the bed in my room. Maybe you can think about it, too.”

3. Try a slow transition- If your child is sleeping in your bed, try transitioning to a bed or cot next to your bed for a while before making the big move to your child’s own room.

4. Enact a bedtime routine- My favorite is 1.Bath 2.Book 3.Bed. Help your child snuggle into her own bed with a few favorite books so that she gets comfortable in the bed. Do this every night so that your child knows she can expect it and looks forward to it.

5. If your child is adamantly against the whole process- to the point of meltdowns, screaming, bedtime tantrums, just stop. Just like with many other things (potty training, for example) in my opinion it’s best to wait until children are ready.


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