Sleeping: When is my child ready to move to her own bed?

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Q:Sleeping: When is my child ready to move to her own bed?

If your child refuses to sleep in her own bed and you feel it's time for her to do so, here are some suggestions on how to make this transition:

  • Reassure your child. He needs to know that nothing bad will happen when sleeping on his own and that you're close by.

  • Put a nightlight in the room.

  • Stay in your child's bedroom until she falls asleep.

  • If your child wakes up in the night and comes to your bed, get up and take him back to his bed and wait until he falls asleep before leaving.

  • After your child becomes accustomed to this, you can take one step further, staying by her bed for only five minutes and then leaving even if she is awake.

Take these steps very gradually. Remember, that while you're trying these suggestions with your child, consistency is the key. Try this routine for a few weeks without straying from it, and chances are the problem will be mostly resolved.

However, at times when your child is feeling sick or is going through an especially tough time, the new sleeping routine may break down for a while - and that's okay. Once your child is on track, you can start the routine going again - but don't delay.

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