You finally put your preschooler to bed, kiss her goodnight, shut off the light and gently close the door. You then settle in for a nice quiet evening, only to look up and find your little princess standing in the room telling you she does not want to sleep in her own bed. While a preschooler might require 10 to 12 hours of sleep, your sneaky child will likely find any excuse not to sleep in her own bed. She might want to sleep with you, participate in an activity or simply dislike new big girl bed.
Stand Your Ground
Suit up with your best mommy armor and get ready for a fight. Stand your ground about your preschooler sleeping in his own bed. Tell him he must sleep in his own bed and guide him back to his bedroom. You might encounter night after night of putting your toddler back to bed, but consistency will help him realize you mean business.
Create a relaxing and peaceful environment in your preschooler’s bedroom. According to Dr.Sears.com, rubbing your child’s back or cuddling allows him to relax and settle down for the night. Play soothing music without words to ensure your little Justin Bieber will not be tempted to sing along. This soothing environment increases the chances he will fall asleep faster, and a sleeping child is unable to escape his bed in the first place.
Big Kid Bed
Provide your prince or princess with a bed fit for royalty. Make your toddler feel like the transition to a bed is something only a special big kid gets to do. While you might not throw a party the first night your toddler is set to sleep in his own bed, do make the occasion special by talking about it in the days leading up to his first night’s sleep in his new digs. Take him along when you buy the new big kid bed and allow your toddler to choose his favorite style. Feeling ownership and pride in the bed also makes him more willing to sleep in it once the furniture store delivers your new purchase.
Keep your child’s sleep times consistent and ensure she knows that it is not acceptable to get out of bed until a certain time the next morning, unless there is an emergency or she needs to use the toilet. Because your young toddler likely has not masted reading a clock, use a timer that is set to sound at her desired wake up time. Tell her that when she finally does hear the timer go off, she is then allowed to get up and join you in morning activities.