cot bed to single bed age Cot bed to single bed age

Or moving out of the family bed? All of you are totally excited? Except instead of rolling over and falling asleep, now she comes out every two minutes to find you? Welcome to the Toddler bed.

Kids love the new-found freedom.

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  • And being all by herself with no sides can feel very scary. So how can you get her to form the new habit of falling asleep in her new big-girl bed without you losing your mind?

    Be aware, going into this transition, that this is a big move for your child. Naturally, it makes her insecure.

    She needs your support to learn how to go to sleep in her big-girl bed. Sure, it comes naturally to you. But you've been doing it for many years. To her, this is a new skill, and she needs your help to get used to it. So cultivate a sense of humor. Tell yourself this is a test to show what a patient parent you are.

    Before you make the big transition, be sure your child has a regular bedtime routine. Then follow that exact routine when he moves to his new bed. Get him excited before you get the new bed. Reading books is also a terrific way to introduce the idea; there are links at the end of this article to some good books to check out. You want your toddler to be happy in his new bed before he sees an interloper in his crib. If your kids will share the room, move the crib to a new place in the room if you can.

    cot bed to single bed age Cot bed to single bed age

    If at all possible, let your child pick the bed. When the bed is delivered, let your child help unpack and assemble it. If you're using a regular twin bed, start off with the mattress on the floor You can add the bed frame in a couple of years.

    Make his new bed cozy, like a little den. Most kids love being surrounded by stuffed animals. Be sure to use guardrails; in addition to being more safe, they help kids feel more secure, so he's less likely to keep getting out of bed.

    If your bedtime routine does not include audio, consider adding it. Many toddlers fall asleep more easily while listening to familiar, calming music.

    Over time, as soon as they hear the music, it will become a cue for their body to begin settling into sleepiness. Depending on the age of your child, there are also wonderful bedtime story and relaxation audios, but you'll need to read reviews and listen in advance to be sure they're age appropriate.

    The great thing about a story, even one that's repeated every night, is that it keeps your child's attention so he doesn't get worried and keep coming to find you.

    Before the big night, act out the scenario with stuffed animals. Your toddler will watch avidly as the little elephant kisses mama or daddy goodnight and snuggles under the covers in his own bed.

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  • Have the parent sing the little elephant the same good night songs you sing to your little one. This will help him understand what's going to happen. On the big night, initiate bedtime an hour earlier than usual. Explain to your child that she is going to sleep in the big bed tonight. Go through the normal bedtime routine. What you do next depends on your child.

    cot bed to single bed age Cot bed to single bed age

    Some kids can handle it if you sit in the doorway of the room, reading with a book light, while they fall asleep. But most kids need us to sit right next to them, on the bed.

    More difficult for child to continually get out of bed or accidently fall out in their sleep. Eventually, a cot bed mattress will become too small for your child.

    That way she feels your presence acutely, which will give her great reassurance. Of course, if you need to cuddle her so she feels safe enough to fall asleep, by all means do so.

    Be boring and consistent. If he starts to get out of bed, say "It's bedtime, you need to stay in bed. Stay as close to the bed as you need to, to start. This eases the transition and lets your child learn to fall asleep in the new bed. Are you developing a bad habit? No, this is a transition, and you will be able to ease out of it, once your child is comfortable in the bed.

    If your child cries, comfort him. Some children are very frightened of their parent leaving, and will cling to you. In that case, remind yourself that this fear needs expression, and don't leave your child alone to cry. Instead, when she begins crying, stay with her and let her cry as much as she needs to. As she begins to stop, let her know that now you'll be leaving.

    In other words, you don't actually ever leave her crying. You simply remind her that you'll be leaving, and then help her with the anxiety that surfaces. Stay as close as you need to, to comfort her -- and move only as far away as you need to so that her fear comes up.

    After she "shows you" her fear, it will evaporate. Yes, that may take a few days, but sooner or later she will no longer be frightened when you say you need to leave.

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    Is this sleep training? It would be more accurate to say that your child was having a hard time separating from you to fall asleep, so you helped her surface and dissolve the fears that were causing her separation anxiety. Notice that you never left her alone to cry.

    Instead, you announced your plan to leave and then helped your child through her fearful reaction. Give lots of positive acknowledgment when he does fall asleep in his own bed without trying to get out, and even for progress in the right direction. You must be so proud of yourself. Soon you will feel so good in your new bed that you'll be able to snuggle right down and go to sleep all by yourself! Then, stop holding his hand. This could take you a month, but it might just be a week.

    Toddlers have to pump themselves full of cortisol and adrenaline to stay up later than usual, and that makes it harder to fall asleep.

    Oddly enough, an earlier bedtime usually solves the problem when the child is just too wound-up to relax. Another helpful thing to try: Not right before bed, because it winds the child up, but earlier, before dinner or before bath. Laughter reduces the stress hormones circulating in the body and helps the child relax at bedtime. Within a few days of your sitting in the doorway, your child will be falling asleep without trying to get out of bed, and you can begin leaving for a few minutes, and then for longer periods of time.

    Just say you'll be right back, and keep checking back. It helps to leave the chair in place, like a sentinel, to reassure your child if she looks for you.

    If you have a nightlight, or enough light from the hall, she can "read" herself to sleep. Lots of adults need to read a bit before they fall asleep. It isn't such a bad habit for her to develop, as long as she actually falls asleep.

    Just be sure the light is very dim, so it doesn't keep her up. Recommended Resources Lawrence Shapiro's book is specifically for kids who have been sharing the family bed and are moving to their own bed.

    Comment

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