When we talk about children’s sleep, there are as many options as there are families, and none is better than another as long as it is acted with respect, love and for the rest of the whole family.
In this sense, there are parents who choose to sleep with their children while they are babies, but after a certain age or under certain circumstances, they decide to move them to their own room.
If you find yourself in this situation right now, we will give you the keys so that your child’s transition to his own bed and bedroom is easy and respectful .
When it’s time to end the co-sleeping
When we parents decide to co-share with our children, we do so convinced that it is the best for them and for us. And it is that co-sleeping has great benefits for everyone , in addition to promoting breastfeeding and rest for mother and child. Check out more at our Prince Blog.
Since there is no age limit for sleeping with children, many parents decide to wait for the children themselves to put an end to this stage. But there are also times when it is the parents who make this decision.
There can be many reasons that lead us to consider the end of co-sleeping ; from the arrival of a new baby, to sleep problems of one of the family members, circumstances that prevent the child from resting properly due to sleeping in our room… or simply because we decide so.
The passage of our son to his own bed and bedroom should be a gradual and respectful process, in which we take into account his emotional needs and the implications that this change may have.
Here are some tips that could help you make this transition easy and tear-free :
Explain to your child the change you are going to make
First of all, we recommend explaining this change to the child , always adapting our words to their age and understanding. When doing this, it is important not to use labels ( “because you are older, you should sleep in your own room” ), or compare him with other children ( “all your friends already sleep in his bed” ).
We can explain the real reasons for the change ( “Mom and Dad’s alarm clock makes you wake up too early every day, and getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health “ ), or talk about the benefits of having your own room.
In any case, we must always emphasize that even if we are sleeping in separate rooms we will be by your side whenever you need us.
It is impossible to go from sleeping together to being apart from one day to the next, not only because our son will cry and refuse to change -of course-, but also because we probably also have a hard time and feel that we are not doing the right thing.
That is why we must start marking distances very gradually.
For example, if our son sleeps in the same bed as us, we can first move him to a single bed next to us and gradually increase the distance between the two until he jumps into his own room.
When this time comes, the idea of sleeping in his own bed only on weekends or naps can be floated until the day he decides to sleep through the night in his own bedroom.
Avoid transition in vulnerable stages
If we want this transition to be respectful , it is very important to avoid change in especially sensitive or vulnerable stages.
Thus, for example, it is recommended not to take the child out of our room if he is in the middle of a phase of separation anxiety, if we observe any evolutionary setback if he is leaving the diaper and needs to go to the bathroom at night, if he is convalescing from an illness , if you are experiencing nightmares or night terrors , or if there is a change in your life that is especially affecting you.
Involve him in the decoration of his new room
Involving the child in the decoration of what will be his room is usually an asset that never fails. The little ones like to feel that they contribute with their decisions and ideas , but also, adding their own touch to their bedroom is essential to make it comfortable and at ease.
You can suggest that she choose the curtains and quilt, decide where to place the bed, the color of the walls or how the rest of the furniture will be distributed. You can also decorate the walls with vinyl that they like, with their own drawings or with funny photographs.
Spend time together in her new room
It is advisable to spend time together in the new room so that the child gradually becomes familiar with its environment , its colors and its distribution.
For example, you can do your homework in this room, play games, read stories, lie on the bed to chat…
Your accompaniment is essential
Although the purpose is for our son to sleep in his own room, he should know that we will always be by his side when he needs us , and that in no case will he make this transition without our accompaniment.
In this sense, there may be children (especially if they are older) for whom it is enough to know that their parents are close and willingly accept the change, going on to sleep even better than before.
But it can also happen that our son is more reluctant to be left alone and asks us to read him a story over and over again , to give him water, to lie down next to him until he falls asleep , to come to his bed if he feels wake up at night…
Displays a relaxed and understanding attitude
In line with the above, it is important to be patient with our child , and keep in mind that the transition to his own bed may not be easy and fast. Show him your unconditional support and patience, and always respect his needs.
A step back can be a big step forward
It is more than likely that throughout this process your child will want to go back to sleep in your bed at some point . This situation must be handled by each family as it considers best, as long as it is done in a respectful manner.
Thus, there will be parents who do not mind that their child sleeps with them occasionally when they need it , while others prefer to accompany the child in their own room during the transition process.
Whatever we do, it is important to remember that our child needs to feel supported and backed up to gain autonomy and independence , and sometimes what seems like a “step back” to us is nothing more than the push they need to move forward.
Establish sleep routines that favor your rest
To promote the child’s rest, it is essential to carry out a series of routines and habits that will contribute to acquiring proper sleep hygiene :
- Make sure your child goes to bed at the same time every day.
- Make sure you sleep the number of hours that corresponds to your age
- Seek a serene environment that favors rest (lights off, adequate temperature in the room, gradually lowering the level of physical activity…)
- Encourage routines that favor the child’s relaxation (bath, massage, breathing exercises, relaxing music, bedtime story, having their favorite stuffed animal at hand …)
Help yourself with technology
Although technology and gadgets should never replace the company of mom and dad and their hugs , there are certain items that at any given time can help the child relax and go back to sleep without difficulty, such as lights or night lights or intercoms.