How Do You Help Kids Sleep on Their Own--All night.


A close friend of mine has two girls under the age of three-and-a-half who share a room—both protest bedtime and seem to have combined forces to create one exponential-sleep-resistant-superpower.

The 18 month old, according to my friend, has unparalleled baby strength—(“no really,” she insists, “she’s a beast.”) The toddler figured out early on how to hop the crib like a mini gymnast and break the safety gate to the bedroom.

My first suggestion to her was the crib tent. “No way. She’ll break it,” she said.  My friend tried for three days straight to stand outside the door and put her daughter back in the crib repeatedly, but she just giggled and liked the attention.  So mom threw in the towel and let her run around the top level of the house. Eventually she got bored and fell asleep on the floor.

The topic of today’s Science of Kids article is how to help your child sleep in their own bed. For parents of post-crib kids, tucking in can get notoriously drawn-out and late night visitors are common. So what do you do to help your little ones feel comfortable on their own…all night?

As you’ll read in the article, parents are known to get crafty when it comes to bedtime.

For example, my friend’s four-year-old was afraid to fall asleep by himself. So every night after books mom would leave and call to him from the living room, then the kitchen…she made a round through the house letting him know she was there, and he would call back to her. It broke the pattern of him crying when she left the room. Then, dad would write “magic monkey notes” and leave them by the bedside so that the child could see them in the morning–incentive to stay in bed.

Creative, right?  Read more ideas about helping little ones sleep–the best advice is to pick a plan (you’ll see how different they can be) and stick to it.  Slumber will usually follow.

Image: Babble