How to Persuade Children to Sleep Alone

Few parents can resist the temptation to let their little ones snuggle in bed with them, but persuading them to sleep alone at a later date can be a challenge.  With patience and persistence, though, it can be done, so here’s how to reclaim your own bed.

  1. Choose a settled time to start your new regime, rather than just before a vacation or a house move.
  2. Set a specific date, mark it on a calendar and then get the child to cross off the days leading up to it.
  3. Talk about the day with enthusiasm so that your child becomes excited about what is happening.  Use positive language like “You’re getting so big that you’re going to need the whole of that new bed to yourself!”
  4. Talk about your own experience of moving into your own bed, so that your youngster understands that this is something we all have to go through.
  5. Let your child pick out a new cuddly toy that will be reserved for nighttimes and only when he or she sleeps alone.
  6. On the big day itself, put your child to bed, read a bedtime story, give a good-night kiss and then retreat from the room.  Leave a nightlight on or the door ajar as necessary.

If the child gets up, put him or her gently back into bed without any fuss or attention and keep doing this as often as necessary.