Two is a company three is a crowd! If your bed is being invaded every night, I feel for you. I can't even count how many times I've been elbowed and kicked, at some point this was happening on a daily basis! Oh the joys of parenthood, she said with eyes rolled and a deep exhale. Don't get me wrong I love my kids and I got my boys beautiful comfy beds with superman sheets and everything. The only problem is, They Don't Use It!
So is there a silver lining in all of this ? NO! But.... you can encourage your kid to sleep in their own beds and here's how.
A Sleep-Friendly Room
A soothing environment calms nighttime fears and promotes sleep.
Each child’s idea of what a relaxing environment looks like is different,. While one child may enjoy some white noise and a night light, another may want a stuffed animal, complete darkness, and utter silence. My little man had a full wall painted with super man flying over the city. He loved his wall and it made his room special to him. After that painting m husband and I got a break in the bedroom, no more invasions.
Have a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine includes all of the things that you do with your child before and up to the time that you put him to be. This can include: taking a bath, the last diaper change, putting on pj's, cuddling, reading bedtime stories etc.
The goal of a good bedtime routine is for your child to fall asleep on his own, without being rocked, watching TV, or with you lying down next to him. This way, if he does wake up later, he should be able to comfort himself to fall back asleep.
For my "older" little man saying a little prayer was part of our bed time routine. It simply helped sooth him to bed. Every night we would sit at the edge of the bed, give thanks for what we have, and pray for the world. This routine helped put an end to his day and I for one started to enjoy the process as well.
There's really no right way of doing this, it's really up to you and your child to figure out what works best. So there will be some trial and error here but the important part in making this work is consistency. If you found a good routine you both like, stick to it, don't deviate and go through all the steps.
Reward systems work in magical ways. Tell your child he can earn two tokens for staying in his own bed all night, or that he can earn the right to stay up an extra 15 minutes tomorrow night, if he stays in his bed. Combine rewards with praise and make it clear that you’re pleased with your child’s progress. Its old news that when you reward your kids with something they care about all of a sudden they will do whatever you ask of them. So try this out, it just might work.