Lacking sleep because your bed has been taken over by kids? I used this trick to get my kids to WANT to sleep in their own beds.
Try this little trick to get kids to sleep in their own beds!
I have a king sized bed that seemed humongous… Until I had two toddlers trying to sleep in it with me. My husband has given up and resorted to the couch because of his work schedule. At all hours of the night, I am being kicked in the head and back or else someone is lying on my hair. EVERYONE is trying to occupy the same two foot space on a bed that is six feet wide.
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We have two perfectly lovely cribs that turn into toddler beds taking up space that we desperately need to fill with toys (did you read sarcasm there? Good). I wasn’t interested in paying $100-200 on the toddler rail that was made for the beds so I found these awesome ones by DexBaby on Amazon. I love this model because it actually attaches to the back rail. It provides added security and keeps the mattress well fitted inside the crib (to prevent gaps).
Always follow manufacturer instructions on any sleep product. For information on safe sleep, here is a link to the American Academy of Pediatrics: LINK
So I attach the toddler rails and suddenly these previously useless cribs were the coolest thing in the house. I fancied them up using their favorite character sheets and added a few light up toys for fun. It seemed like any toddler would be lucky to sleep in these beds. There is the secret…
I wouldn’t let them sleep in the beds that night. When they asked (and the three year old did), I simply said “not tonight, maybe in a few days we can try them out”. She had an “awe” sigh but didn’t fight it. The next day, toddler rails were still all the rage. Again when bedtime came, I dismissed the idea of sleeping in the beds with a “maybe tomorrow”. The more they couldn’t sleep in the beds, the more they wanted to sleep in the beds. I started this on a hunch (and honestly an overtired first night where I didn’t feel like being woken up twenty five times to help them back to bed) but it seemed to work so I went with it. By the third night I thought I would give in and try it. They were so excited (and apparently exhausted) that they actually slept in their beds.
The next morning I gave them some positive reinforcement for sleeping in their big kid beds but I tried not to make too big of a deal about it. After all, it is a normal thing for people to sleep in their beds, right? That night they wanted to sleep in their beds again. I asked “Oh, I don’t know. Are you sure?” They were sure. 😉
From then on it was just normal. It wasn’t a question or an argument. Everyone went to their own beds to go to sleep. I was a bit surprised at how well it worked but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth (as the saying goes!). After all, getting kids to sleep in their own beds feels like milestone in parenting. We have to celebrate the small wins! If you are fighting this battle in your house, I hope you are able to try my little trick with the same success! I’m thinking I might have to try this method to get them to eat thier broccoli…