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Q&A

Sleep: Helping A Child Sleep In His Own Bed

Question:

We've been trying to encourage our toddler to sleep in his own bed, but he refuses to fall asleep unless I'm next to him. How can we get him to sleep on his own?


It helps to establish a consistent bed-time routine, free of any physical play that could stimulate him, at roughly the same time every night. For example, this could include brushing teeth, taking a bath, getting into pajamas, getting tucked in bed with you reading to him by his side.

Then when it's sleep time and the lights are turned out, sit at the edge of the bed, instead of lying down with him.

As time goes on, slowly retreat from the bed bit by bit until you're outside the door. If he cries, offer reassurances from afar by talking or singing to him; if he wants physical contact, give him a quick hug or a kiss, then go back to where you were.

It may take a while, but the idea is to show him that you can pay attention without actually being next to him.

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