Here are some useful tips to teach your children to sleep alone, knowing that in the other room there are always mom and dad
By now you are used to having a bedtime routine for your baby. In the late afternoon bath, then pajamas, dinner and teeth cleaning. The last step is to choose a good book to read before sleeping in your bed. Oh sure, don’t forget a glass of water on your bedside table too, because it could make you thirsty during the night. After a few pages, the baby is finally asleep, turn on the night light and relax yourself for a moment, before going to bed. Then there he is, in the night, which promptly shows up in the Latvian in the company of his favorite stuffed animal. Why can’t he just sleep a whole night in his own bed?
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Sleeping alone: how to do it
Many parents allow their children to sleep in the bed (co-sleeping) partly out of tiredness, partly out of habit, perhaps in the first year of the child’s life. However, when children grow up, detachment from the parents’ bed, and consequently from mom and dad, is more difficult. Children grow up, the space they occupy is getting bigger and normally they move around a lot during the night. This way they make parents’ sleep complicated (and their own too).
Sleep is one of the most important things for any age, so the right way to rest is important for the whole family. It takes time and above all patience to take matters into your own hands. Here are some useful tips for teaching your baby to sleep alone.
- Don’t wait for the baby to be too tired. Better to always go to bed at the same time. Routine is a good habit to teach them to sleep alone.
- Send him to sleep with his favorite stuffed animal or doll. This way he will feel a presence at his side and feel safe.
- Leave a light on. On the market there are night lights especially for children. Some even have different shapes like moon, cloud or favorite animal
- Read stories and fairy tales. In this way you will accompany the baby until the moment of sleep
- After 3 years, if the baby is still awake after the cuddles, the story and the lullaby, try to move away and reassure him by saying that you will be in the next room
- If you usually sit on the bed or lie down next to your child, learn to sit in a chair next to the bed
- From time to time, take bathroom breaks, so that the baby begins to get used to short absences, and may even fall asleep waiting for your return.
- Give your baby confidence and confidence by letting him know that he can sleep even without mum and dad next to him. His bed is cozy, it’s all his and sleeping there is an important step in growth and autonomy
- If, during the night, he moves in bed, you must make him understand that you understand his difficulties. Try to accompany him calmly in his bed, without scolding him, taking some time to stay close to him, reassure him and support him.
- Praise him when he can sleep in his bed all night
Don’t give up your place in the bed
Often, given that the child often moves and sleeps poorly, one of the two parents has to give up their place in the marital bed. This would be a big mistake for the balance of the couple.
According to Dr. Oliviero Bruni, child neuropsychiatrist, expert in sleep disorders in children, poor sleep quality can lead to various disorders that many do not attribute to sleep disturbance:
- reduced school performance and learning problems: 28% of children with insufficient amount of sleep fall asleep at school once a week; 22% doing homework; 32% are too tired to play sports.
- drowsiness, inattention, reduced working memory, poor impulse control and behavioral dysregulation risk of accidental trauma;
- obesity, metabolic disorders, predisposition to diabetes; increased risk of developing ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and depressive disorders;
- in adolescence abuse of alcohol, cannabis and other drugs, depression, suicidal intentions
- Last but not least, it should be considered that the child’s sleep problem can have repercussions on the whole family environment, resulting in poor physical and mental health of the parents, favoring the development of maternal depression and considerable family stress.
Article sources: Italian Pediatric Society