For some parents co-sleeping was their preference in the early stages and for others it was their survival tool. For some parents the co-sleeping meant to have an end, but somehow it just kept going. Your intentions were to have them sleep in their own beds but your kids either came sneaking back into your bed in the middle of the night or they weren’t able to fall asleep alone. The trouble is you want your bed back and don’t know how to make that happen. Habits are formed and they are sticking like super glue. Your kids won’t budge and you feel guilty making changes, as you know you let them into your bed in the first place.
Argh! Parenting can be so tough!
The way to get your bed back is to FIRST choose a plan/method that best suits your families needs, values and comfort level. There a many methods and can be tailored based on each child’s needs, age and level of development. Methods range from gentle and assisted to less assisted giving your kids more time to sort it out on their own. Typically the longer you wait the harder it is, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your kids alone for hours on end to cry it out. There are gentle ways for you to work with your kids as a support system. In a way that comforts, but still teaches. There is a way to get your bed back, so start now gearing up to begin the transition. Don’t waste another sleepless night. It’s not healthy for you or your kids. We ALL NEED sleep.
When picking a plan that is right for you, the key is to pick the plan that you feel most comfortable with. This will help ensure you STICK TO THE PLAN, which is the SECOND step! It’s crucial that once you begin the process you follow through. If you waiver from the plan or start and stop intermittently, your kids will become very confused. They won’t know what your expectations are and they won’t know how to please you. At this point the behaviors you’re trying to fix will escalate and not diminish. Often the behaviors or habits become worse than before you began. This sounds harsh I know, but it’s the cold-hearted truth. FOLLOW THROUGH IS THE BIG KAHUNA FOR ALL THINGS PARENTING! Once you begin stick to the plan and you will see light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.
Something to keep in mind is that our kids learn from us. We are their role models and they follow our lead. Kids are wired to continue to do any behavior that works for them. When I say works for them, I mean if they cry and cry for a candy and you say “no, no, no, yes” they will learn to cry harder and longer because they know the behaviour works for them. The same thing goes when you are teaching your kids new sleep habits. If you waiver from the plan and allow them back in your bed because they cry, beg or relentlessly keep coming into your bed, then they will continue the relentless behavior the next night. It won’t go away, it will just get worse!
The THIRD piece to this puzzle is to remain calm, unemotional and positive throughout the process. I know how hard this can be, especially if you haven’t had a solid nights rest in months, maybe years! It’s important to remember that if you get frazzled, your kids will begin to feel badly about themselves and feel that you are disappointed in them. The key is to calmly remind them why it’s important for them to sleep in their own bed. Help them understand that you are doing this to help them grow and be independent. For younger kids you can get children’s’ books from the library on learning to sleep in a big girl or big boy bed. Remember change takes time and often it feels like you take 1-step forward and 2 steps back. This is where parenting gets tough and you must continue to follow through.
Remain strong, you’re not alone. Find support through family and friends and remember you are doing the right thing! BOOK NOW for a personalized and tailored sleep plan. Work direct with Tia to help keep your kids from sneaking back in, strategies to learn to fall asleep alone, and tools to create a successful nights sleep.