Kids need to get enough sleep and so do we. When kids encounter problems falling asleep and staying asleep then both the kids and their parents suffer. According to WebMD, sleep is as important to your child’s health as food, drink, and safety.
A child sleep chart can be used to solve sleep issues.
Free Printable Kids Sleep Chart
I personally have a lot more patience with my kids when I know that from 8 PM I will have some “me time”. At 8 PM I need my kids to stay in bed so that I can get the house organized, relax and do what I have to do. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting them to go to sleep so that I can enjoy some time to myself but since I know that they really need their sleep and it is for their own good I am confident that it is in their best interest to go to sleep on time.
There is also nothing worse than being in the middle of a deep sleep and hearing your child call you or jump into bed with you. It usually happens when you have to get up early or have an important meeting the next day! Have you noticed how kids sleep when they are in your bed? They kick you out of your bed slowly until you have a tiny bit of space at the end of the bed and they take up the rest of the bed. Now it doesn’t matter how big your bed is. I didn’t know this and bought a huge king-sized bed. After a few hours, I still found myself sleeping on the very edge of the bed hoping that the next kick won’t have me on the floor. My kid slept really well and would have loved to join us every night.
After two or three nights like this, I made my son a sticker chart. That night he stayed in his own bed and every night since then. The first few nights he decided to stay in his own bed in order to get a sticker. By the time he had completed his sticker chart sleeping in his own bed had become a habit. My son has never come to our bed since.
How to Get Kids to Stay in Their Beds
Here are some strategies you can try to help get kids to stay in their beds at night:
- Create a bedtime routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your child that it’s time for sleep. This could include activities such as reading a book, taking a bath, and saying goodnight. See bedtime routine charts
- Set clear expectations: Communicate with your child about what behavior is expected at bedtime. Let them know that they are expected to stay in their bed throughout the night.
- Provide comfort: Make sure your child’s bed is comfortable and cozy, with pillows and blankets that they love. You could also consider using a night light or a white noise machine to help them feel more secure.
- Encourage independence: Teach your child to self-soothe and put themselves back to sleep if they wake up during the night. This could involve giving them a special stuffed animal or blanket to hold, or encouraging them to practice deep breathing or visualization techniques.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to getting kids to stay in their beds at night. Stick to the same bedtime routine and expectations every night, even on weekends.
- Offer rewards: Consider offering rewards or incentives for staying in bed all night, such as a special treat or activity the next day. The sticker charts above will help you keep track of their progress in order to award them. For some kids, receiving a sticker on their chart will be enough but others will need a bigger reward to motivate them.
- Address any underlying issues: If your child is consistently having trouble staying in bed at night, it’s possible that there may be an underlying issue such as anxiety or sleep apnea. Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you have concerns.