Monday, October 26, 2015

How Do I Get My 3 Year Old Out of My Bed?

Oct. 26, 2015

Dear Cathy:

Our 3 year old sleeps in our bed every night so there is no way my wife and I can be intimate.  I have told my wife we need to get her out of the bed, but she refuses to make her sleep in her own bed.  What can I do to speed this process along? Need My Bed Back, Arizona

Dear Need My Bed Back:

Whether you are a single parent or two parent household, you should never get use to your kids sleeping in your bed.  
If you don’t get your child in her own bed now, you will really find yourself in a bind when she gets much older. 

Like the old saying go, “Once You Start Something, It’s Hard to Stop It.”  What you have is called a family bed and many couples have this.  This is a common practice of many couples, especially when they have only one child. 

Start putting your child in her own bed but make sure it’s right next door to yours so she can get use to being close but not in the same room and especially not in the same bed.

Let her sleep with a night light on if she needs to because many kids are afraid of the dark.  But she will eventually grow out of this habit too.

Make sure she doesn’t take too many naps in the daytime so she will sleep well at night.  Start talking about bedtime expectations in the afternoon so she will know what to expect when the lights go out at night.  Say something like “Mommies and daddies sleep in their beds, and kids sleep in their own beds.”

You can even make a homemade “sleepytime book”—nothing fancy, just stapled-together paper illustrated with stick-figure pictures.  A picture book can help young children understand their sleeping situation in a very concrete way.

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