As parents, we know how much we love our children and how far we will go to make them happy. But do we really need them to sleep in our bed??
Kids have a lot of growth spurts and sleep regressions that they go through, and those can be tough for us to deal with. It may be nice for the extra snuggles here and there, but having our kids sleep in our beds night after night can be exhausting for us.
So today, we want to discuss how to get kids out of our beds and into their own rooms so the entire household can get back to sleeping soundly and feeling rested.
We will start by explaining why it’s important for kids to sleep in their own beds (so don’t feel guilty about kicking them out!). Then, we’ll give you some tips to get kids into their own rooms and keep them there. Finally, we will give you a few tips and tricks for bedtime routines that can help you get them tired and sleepy so that there isn’t much of a fight at bedtime.
Why Kids Need Their Own Bed To Sleep In
Kids need their own beds for a number of reasons. The first reason is generally for space. While we know that some families do prefer the idea of a shared bed with everyone, many parents find it hard to sleep or get comfortable with a thrashing kiddo in their space.
A second reason is to help children begin to self-soothe. We do this when our children are young, usually infant age, so they can help themselves fall asleep at night.
As our kiddos get older, they can learn independence and self-reliance by learning how to go to sleep at night and stay asleep in their own space. We may not love how fast they’re growing up, but arming them with these life skills will set them up for success as they reach adulthood.
How To Get Kids in Their Own Bed
Getting kids into their own beds can be a challenge once they’ve gotten used to sleeping in our beds. Luckily, there are many little steps and adjustments to our schedules that we can make to help them along the way.
These ideas can help you get kids interested in their own rooms and own beds and hopefully get everyone on a better schedule fast.
Make Their Room Kid-Friendly
Their rooms should be a reflection of their personalities. While it may drive us crazy to constantly change out the decor to match their new likes, it can help them stay interested in their rooms.
By keeping their rooms interesting, they are more likely to spend more time in their rooms playing and relaxing. The more time they spend in their room, the more likely they are to want to sleep in their rooms at nighttime.
It might take some practice and encouragement, but play with them in their space and find ways to get them comfortable in their own room so that they identify their room as their safe space.
Some kids just need an open and honest line of communication. We just need to establish the expectations with their rooms and what we hope to accomplish with our new routines. Set realistic expectations. If they’ve never slept in their own room, it’s probably not going to happen overnight.
Create a calendar and timeline for your kiddos getting into their own bed — work backward from the final day. That way, they can also have a hand in deciding when and how they transition to their own space.
Take One Step at a Time
Patience and progression are key for transitioning kids to their own rooms. It’s going to take some time (probably a lot of time). So, don’t get discouraged if you’re a week in and your child doesn’t feel comfortable in their room yet.
With the expectations, make allotments for transitioning and kids' well-being. Try a schedule where you sleep in their room for a while or a mattress in your room but on the floor before their own bed. Try nap time or quiet time during the day in their room so that they start to feel comfortable, safe, and snuggly in their space.
Create a Healthy Routine
Find a good routine of playtime, nap or rest time, and alone time for kids in their rooms and keep it consistent. Creating a pattern is healthy for a child regardless of where they sleep, and establishing a good day-to-day routine as well as a standard for bedtime will help children fall into their expectations.
Keep the Sleep Schedule Consistent
Once you establish a routine, don’t change it. Finding a routine may take a little trial and error, but once you find the right recipe for your family, stick with it. There’s nothing worse than finding a good and solid schedule and then falling off and having to start over.
Kids need consistency to establish practices and behaviors, so create a schedule and keep it going no matter what.
Use Positive Reinforcement
For your sanity as well as the betterment of your kids, use all the positive reinforcement you can find to keep kids encouraged to sleep in their own beds. It can be hard establishing a routine, hard on kids and hard on us as parents.
Find the positives in every situation: It’ll keep you feeling good (as well as the kiddos). Everyone will be encouraged to continue trying to get the new routine in place.
Work on Positive Problem-Solving
Keeping it positive is important, even in trying moments. It can be difficult to remain positive when you reach roadblocks in the new routine but keep the problem-solving positive. It also helps to keep kids involved in problem-solving.
They will learn positive skills for solving issues and gain the foundation for solving problems, which will be a big help as they get older and take on more responsibilities.
Tricks for Bedtime Success
Kids can learn to sleep in their own rooms, and with time everyone will be so happy that we made the transition. But it can be hard for little ones to see the bigger picture, and they might be resistant to change at first.
These little tricks can help us get the kiddos on the right track and give them a little helping hand toward establishing this new norm. Not all of these can be used together, but try out different options to see what works for your children and your specific family routine and schedule.
Aromatherapy is an excellent tool for any child and can be used in conjunction with any other nighttime hacks you want to try. This is the act of inhaling scents and aromas of varying essential oils to help trigger different responses from your brain.
For going to bed, a specific blend of essential oils can help the brain trigger the release of melatonin, which is the natural chemical our bodies create to help us fall asleep at night. It can be tricky finding the perfect blend that will get you the Zzzs you need, but thankfully we’ve done the hard work for you.
Our SleepyPatch is the perfect nighttime accessory for any kid’s cute pajamas. They’ll stick to clothes and release a bedtime formula of all-natural essential oils for up to eight hours. This means kids can get to sleep fast and stay that way all night.
Podcasts are a fantastic option for tech-savvy children, tweens, and teens(or parents). They will hear new-age bedtime stories with various voices. You can find podcast episodes that are different lengths.
The great thing about different lengths is if they’re a little extra excited tonight, you can hear a longer story versus a night where they’re wiped, and a short, quick tale will suffice.
Kids that come to bed with just a little extra restlessness might need a quick dance party to empty out those energy reserves before bed. You can create a quick playlist where you start with an upbeat jam to get them moving and slowly transition into slower, relaxing sounds and songs that can lull them to sleep.
There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned bedtime story to get those kids to sleep. We used to love books before bed with our parents: Carrying on the tradition could be just what our little ones need.
It’s great as you will be spending time in their room and in their bed before it’s time to sleep, so they’ll be able to get comfy, cozy, and feel secure in their space. It will help decrease the chances of them sneaking out of their bed and into yours throughout the evening.
Reclaim Your Bed
It’s time to get those kids in their rooms and get your beds back. Kids will love their own space and the independence of going to bed in their room, but it will take some time, practice, patience, and a lot of persistence to keep those kiddos on the right track.