How I Got My 5 Year Old to Sleep in His Own Room: Gentle Parenting Tips
How to get your toddler / Preschooler to go to sleep in his / her own room
Taking the step to move your little one into his or her own room is a big one. It is milestone so the thought should also bring you happiness, joy and pride and not only stress and anxiety. In fact, It doesn't need to bring you anxiety at all if you follow the tips below.
I recently moved my 5 year old son to his own room.
He is now comfortably settled into his own room. I am extremely proud of him as the transition has been relatively drama-free.
The tips below worked well for my son and you may find a few of them helpful with your child too.
1. Prepare your child to move to his or her own room
I would tell my son of the event regularly over a series of months. In fact, from the year before the move I had already started preparing him. I made comments such as " oh my gosh its so exciting that after Christmas or your birthday you'll be moving to your own room. " This reference helped a lot because my son didn't really have a concept of time. The more he heard about it and saw that it was meant to be exciting by the way I portrayed the move, the more he began to view it in that light and build excitement towards the event.
2. Get your child excited to sleep in his/her own room
Add to the excitement which you are trying to create as much as possible.
Here are a few ways I got my son excited:
- Room decor:
Make sure to have your child's room made up. It doesn't have to be a million dollar makeover but it does need to look exciting and inviting to your little one.
I got my son a brand new cars bed-set as well as a cute Paw Patrol 3D pillow. My son Loved it and it made him want to go to be in his own room even more.
- Little favorites
Customizing your child's room doesn't need to be expensive. Watch YouTube videos for ideas on how to make DIY forts, tents, beanbags etc and have fun with your child's room
- Think out of the box
I promised my son that when he moved to his own room I would get the two of us Walki Talkis (2-way Radio's) so that he could radio me in whenever he needed me. This was literally the best idea ever! Not only was this a very exciting thought for my son but it also added towards reassuring him that I was still there for him if he needed me and he wouldn't be abandoned. Furthermore, it allowed me to communicate with him without him having to come to my room all the time or me having to go to his room multiple times a night.
3. Routine is important when it comes to bedtime
Make sure that you stick to a routine as much as possible. This will assist in avoiding bedtime meltdowns or tantrums.
Part of my bedtime routine is reminding my son that bedtime is approaching.This somehow helps a lot more then suddenly springing on him that its time to drop everything and go to bed.
4. Reassure your child that he / she will be okay in their own room
Your child needs to know that you are right there if they need you.
The Walki Talkis helped with this. It also gave my son comfort and reassurance that he could reach me whenever he wanted to and was also an element of fun and excitement for him as a typical little boy.
Words of reassurance are also important. Telling your child that you're right across the hall or just a few steps away could make the world of difference.
5. Positive reinforcement and praise go a long way
When your child does successfully sleep in his or her room or even when they show interest in doing so, make sure that you show / tell them how proud you are that they are being such a big girl or boy.
You could also reward his/her good behavior by getting something that they really want.
My 5 year old asleep in his own bed
At what age do you think a child should move to their own room?
6. Compromise a little if you can
I am a big fan of Supper Nanny Jo Frost and follow many of her practices and suggestions.
She has however suggested that when putting the child to bed you follow a strict structure. See the video below.
This may work for you as all kids are different but in my opinion though, It is not something I would follow and it would not work for my son.
I feel that you should compromise when it comes to bedtime. Obviously if it will course more harm then good to stick around in your child's bedroom while they fall asleep then it's probably best you follow Jo's idea of exiting as soon as possible. You should know what would work best for your child.
Here are a few ways that I compromise at bedtime:
I cuddle with my son.We have a bedtime story and Prayers and then I lie on the bed with him while he falls asleep. This usually doesn't take more then 15 minutes depending on how tired he is. He is able to go to sleep on his own in the middle of the night when returning from the toilet for example and I don't need to lie with him then.
I appreciate this time with with my son as bonding time and it hasn't led to any problems for us. I know that he will get to an age where he won't want me hovering, reading bedtime stories or tucking him in and so I will cherish each moment while it lasts.
I also play some soothing music for him while he falls asleep . Linked here is the EXACT melody I use for my son.
I don't turn out all the lights - I dim the light slightly so that his room is dimly lit.
Make Bedtime A Pleasure for You and Your Child
I hope that you have found this article helpful and that it helps in making the transition to bedtime in a different room a bit easier. Good luck!
You May also want to read:
- Why I Choose NOT to Spank My Son: Why Spanking Is a Bad Idea
Should I spank my toddler as a discipline method? What are the cons and downsides of spanking? Is it abuse? Let's take a closer look at these important questions.
- Alternatives to Spanking for toddlers and Pre-scholars: Gentle Parenting | Love, Life and Relationsh
Why should I avoid spanking or corporal punishment? How can I get my child / children to listen or obey without spanking them? What are some gentle parenting discipline ideas that work?
© 2019 Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal