Nighttime can be stressful for parents of toddlers. Some toddlers may be afraid to sleep in their own rooms. Even children who fall asleep in their own beds often wake in the night, wandering into their parents' room.
The National Sleep Foundation polled parents about their children's sleep problems and the impact those problems have on parents.
According to the poll, two-thirds of children experience sleep problems on a regular basis. Two in ten women report being awakened in the night by a child.
An article on HoustonNanny offers some helpful tips. It may not always be easy to teach kids to sleep in their own beds, but it's worth the effort to provide parents with a good night's sleep.
Some kids get out of bed because they are afraid or monsters. Others are awakened by noises and can't fall back to sleep by themselves.
Finding the cause of your child's awakening is a start in the right direction. Ask your child what woke him up when he comes into your room.
Some parents allow their children to lie in a sleeping bag beside the parents' bed for a few minutes to calm down from a bad dream or to spend a few minutes in the parents' bed before returning to their own bed.
Parents may find that a new bedtime routine may help kids who are waking up because of fears. Checking under the bed and in closets before bedtime can assure kids that there are no monsters in the room.
Reading a children's book about monsters or the dark can help kids address their own fears. Goodnight Moon has been a favorite in many families since it was published in 1947.
What a Bed Dream by Mercer Meyer can help kids with bad dreams. As kids hear how Little Critter faces his fears, they may be more able to face their own.
If your child can only fall asleep with a parent in the bed, it may be more difficult to get the child to remain in his own bed at nighttime.
Teaching your child to fall asleep alone will help him learn to self-soothe when he awakens in the night from a dream. Use positive language when talking about your child staying in bed.
Letting your child choose which stuffed animal to sleep with involves him in the process of sleep. Kids who sleep with a favorite blanket or stuffed animal may find it easier to self-comfort in the night.
Threats don't work well when dealing with sleep issues. Instead, congratulate your child when he's successful at remaining in his own bed all night.
A sticker chart can help kids remain in their own beds. Kids will look forward to adding a new sticker to the chart each morning after remaining in their own bed all night.
Work with your child and know that it's a gradual process. You may not see results overnight, but stay focused on the goal.
Parents whose children have just transitioned to a toddler bed may have more difficulty keeping kids in their own beds than those whose children sleep in a crib.
In addition, parents may experience difficulty getting kids to stay in bed when transitioning from co-sleeping. By starting early and taking small steps, parents can train their children to stay in their own beds all night.