8 simple rules to get junior to sleep alone

Help your cherub make a fuss-free transition to sleeping in their own rooms with these simple rules.

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Supporters of the “co-sleeping” or “family bed” arrangements will tell you that sharing a bed with your peewee offers many benefits to you and your munchkin.

After all, sharing your bed with bubs can help your body produce more oxytocin — commonly known as the “love” hormone — which boosts your motherly instincts. Sharing a room with your tyke makes them feel safer and more secure, allowing them to sleep better.

However, at some point, sleeping with your mini-me can present issues, especially since you and your spouse will have less space for yourselves as your child grows. Besides, you’ll need to find space for their changing needs and growing list of things, such as toys to books.

The loss of privacy cam also dampen your plans for alone time with your hubby. So, moving your child to their own room becomes more and more appealing.

Make sure any movable furniture is secured to the walls or to the ground to prevent your mini-me from climbing and falling from it.

Zoe Chu, a sleep specialist at SG Supernanny, notes that moving your little one to their own rooms when they are between 4 and 10 months isn’t too challenging, since your child is still quite adaptable. So, changing the room they sleep in shouldn’t be an issue as long as the cot is the same.

However, don’t get antsy if junior is already well past that age, since Chu stresses that the decision to move your child to their own room should be based on personal preference. If you think that it’s time to let them sleep in their own room, follow these rules…

1) Do a safety check Your little one’s safety should be your top priority, so make sure you childproof the room before you move your child in there. Check that the room is free from any potentially dangerous items like sharp or fragile objects. Make sure any movable furniture is secured to prevent your mini-me from climbing on and falling off it. It’s optional but Chu shares installing a video baby monitor can help you keep tabs on their movement throughout the night.

2) Get them used to their beds By 3 to 4 years of age you should already begin transferring your child from their cots to a proper bed, so as to prevent your mini-me from climbing into your bed in the middle of the night. They may be feeling insecure or unsure about sleeping alone at first. With their newfound freedom, they may even get out or bed and wander around at night. dangerous

If your kewpie is still too young, pick out an age-appropriate cot. Also make sure that their beds have safety features such as a bed/drop-side rail, so that they won’t climb out in the middle of the night.

3) Tell them about the change early Chu advises it’s best to give your tyke a heads up if you plan to move them to their own rooms. Explain to your offspring that moving to their own rooms is what all independent big boys and girls do. To make the room more inviting, paint he room in their favourite colour.

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4) Spend more time in the room Make sure to spend more time gradually in the room every da, so that your munchkin gets used to being in there. Do simple activities there in there, like reading a story or playing with toys before you let them take naps in the room during the day.

5) Start a bedtime routine if you haven’t already done so Remember, your sweetie thrives on structure and routine as knowing what to expect next puts them at ease. Chu stresses that it’s important to stick to a fixed pattern of activities before bedtime. This gives your mini-me a sense of security, so that they are more prepared for bed.

6) Let them sleep with a comfort object It can be your sweetie’s favourite blankie or a stuffed toy, which doubles as their friend. Chu says the comfort object has to be present, no matter how much your child’s sleep environment changes. “If you were to go on a holiday, you may [want to] bring their sleeping buddy along, so that your child will feel more secure.”

Remember, your sweetie thrives on structure and routine as knowing what to expect next puts them at ease.

7) When junior’s going through a major change, don’t change rooms Avoid moving your child when they are experiencing changes such as potty training, starting preschool, moving to a new house or even getting a new sibling. Proceeding with the change may backfire on you as they will be extra clingy, grouchier and crankier.

8) Be firm and stay the course Once you have made the decision to move your tot to their own room, it is important to stay firm. Going cold turkey and implementing the change immediately will the best course of action, Chu advises. The sooner you implement the changes, the sooner your mini-me will learn to cope. Having a change of heart and deciding to take a break during the transition will only prolong the agony ― for both parties. Chu warns, “Your child may keep protesting for [as long as they want, hoping that] you will give in to their demands.”

Your tyke will also try to worm his way back into your bed by giving various reasons. Just bring them back to their own rooms immediately. Chu stresses that being consistent is key — no matter how tired you are, you need to bring them back to their room. Otherwise, your mini-me will keep doing it as long as you allow them to.

Based on her experiences, Chu says that most of her clients report that it takes their tots less than a week to get used to their new sleeping environment.

Photos: iStock

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