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Photo courtesy of iStock/perkmeup[/caption] Back to school always means the
start of new routines
. And a great routine for this time of year is getting your children sleeping in their own bed.
is the sleep doula, a professional caregiver who helps parents get their kids—ranging from babies to 10-year-olds—back into their own rooms. Ruiz explains that in some instances, even teens can get into the habit of sleeping with their parents, especially in the summer, when the extended holiday gets them out of routine. But, fear not! Ruiz shares five tips to help your child sleep soundly in their own bed.
1. Don't worry – It
’s normal behaviour
It's important to know that your child sleeping in your bed is normal. "
Everybody loves to cuddle
," Ruiz says. The problem is that piling into one bed doesn't let everyone get a good night's sleep, especially parents who get tiny feet jabbed into their ribs.
2. Establish a routine
The first step is to tell your children the plan for the night, so they know what's going to happen. Bath, pajamas, books, kiss and then bed. Ruiz says if kids ask for just one more cuddle, set a timer, so your child knows that when it rings, cuddle time is over and it's bedtime.
3. Give them options
Inevitably, kids will find some
reason not to go to sleep
-- they want the light on, they want you to stay in the hall, etc. Ruiz says at this point you can offer them some options. If they want you to stay in the hallway, then they can either have you in the hallway with their door only opened a sliver or their door opened but you aren't in the hallway. Ruiz says the important thing is that the parent is in control, so you set the options, not your child.
4. Show them it's nighttime
To help your child understand that it's time to sleep, Ruiz says you need to "bring in signs that it's nighttime." She suggests you buy a behaviour modification device like the
Good Nite Light
, so your child knows it's time for bed. You set the device with a bedtime and a wake-up time. When it's bedtime it lights up like a moon, telling your child it's nighttime. And when it's time to wakeup, it turns into a sun. Another tip from Ruiz is to remove toys from your child's bedroom. Putting toys away or into another room tells your child it's no longer playtime.
5. Don't feel guilty "We shouldn't have guilt when we're just setting limits with our children," Ruiz says. Even though there may be a few tears, you are trying to make sure your child gets the best rest possible. So don't feel guilty and instead, enjoy your entire family going to bed at a reasonable time and getting a kick-free sleep.
Do your children still sleep in the same bed as you?