Sunday, August 23, 2015

Five Ways to Get Young Kids to Sleep in Their Own Bed

by Lisa Treadwell

I recently asked friends on my personal Facebook page the following question:

"Any ideas on how to get our 5 year-old to sleep through the night....and in her own bed? The struggle is real at this point. Mama needs sleep or it could get ugly over here.."

I received a bunch of great responses and thought I'd share some of the ideas (and examples) here in this space as a resource for other parents with the same problem. And, of course, some of these examples can be used as tool for other Indianapolis parents in need of "behavioral-modification" techniques for their munchkins.

Violet: (Read her a) Bedtime story, and talk about her sleeping in her own bed ALL night. Take her back to her bed each and every time she crawls into your bed, be consistent and DO NOT GIVE IN!

Jamar: Sticker chart. This helped end bed-wetting and crying when going from one parent to the other. I made a sheet and put five spaces on it. Every night she didn't wet, she got a sticker. Once she hit five, she got a small prize. 

That was 10 months ago and she hasn't wet once since. The same principle could work for the number of nights your daughter stays in her own bed!

Jamar's Sticker Chart

Lori: Books and a flashlight...make it fun! If she has a favorite doll or stuffed animal, have her "read" her story to them using the flashlight. P.S. Buy lots of batteries! After a few nights, she will be sleeping and you will be turning off the flashlight! It's her "big-girl" moment, so post these accomplishments on your refrigerator for the family to celebrate with her. Plus, offer lots of hugs and reassuring.

Erica: Let her know that it's time that she sleeps in her own bed all night. Someone else said consistency, and I say AMEN to that! Remember, you are the boss! She is not! If she gets up at night and plays in her room, you might have to remove the toys. If there's noting to play with, she'll get bored and go back to bed. Most importantly, be the BOSS!

Andy: Duct stops all sort of things from moving that need to be still. 

The Solution

I decided to avoid Andy's suggestion concerning duct tape and instead went with Jamar's proven example concerning a chart and stickers. 

And, yes, it's working already! When she receives 10 stickers, she gets a PRIZE! Two days down and so far, so good.

Thanks Jamar!

Jamar: Wow! How cool! And she already has stickers. Congrats!

Mike: My little girl had a wooden train set. When she got stickers she got to paint another part of it.

Lisa: Thanks to all of you for your comments and ideas!


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