Children of any age get used to sleeping with their parents pretty quickly. Toddlers who have been sleeping with them in the same bed since birth can then be very difficult to shift to a night's sleep in a baby bed. How to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents? We will tell you more about this in our article.
Optimal age for independent sleep
Of course, the most important thing in the life of a newborn child is that the mother is always there. Therefore, parents, in order to provide the most comfortable psychological conditions for the crumbs, put him to sleep next to him. But as the little man grows up, they are puzzled by the question: "How to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents?"
Psychologists say that the most suitable age for shifting a baby to its own crib is 2 years. But this statement does not apply to all children. Parents need to carefully monitor their child. This will help you seewhen he's ready to move into his bed.
How do you know if a child can sleep alone?
So, in order to determine whether a child is ready to sleep on his own in his crib, parents should pay attention to the following points:
- Breastfeeding completed successfully.
- The baby sleeps for several hours in a row (5-6) and does not wake up.
- A child can spend time alone in the room (20 minutes) and not call an adult.
- When he wakes up and does not see his mother next to him, he reacts to this normally (does not cry).
- The baby does not often ask to be held by his mother.
- The child has formed a concept of his own property (“mine”).
If the parents can answer yes to all of the above questions, then it is safe to say that the child is ready to move into his bed.
When should I wait?
The question of how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents on their own should be taken very responsibly. Extreme measures and coercive actions can cause psychological trauma to the child, as a result of which he will develop various phobias and fears. Therefore, in the following cases, you should postpone the "resettlement":
- Baby is irritable, whiny, sometimes hysterical.
- He has a birth injury or serious pathology.
- The child is sick.
- Baby teething.
- Change of climate, time zones,familiar environment.
- Child is adapting to kindergarten.
- Mom is pregnant (in this case, it was worth shifting the baby to the crib long before the important event).
All these cases are a serious reason to postpone the decision on how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents.
Independent sleep of children at 1 year old
Without a mother, children who have slept next to her from birth usually refuse to sleep. Of course, for a mother after pregnancy and childbirth, co-sleeping with a baby is a very good option. Therefore, most often adults begin to think about how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents, at 1 year old.
Before this time, babies often wake up due to activity or the need for motion sickness, as well as to eat. Adults should know the important conditions that must be observed in order to solve the problem of how to teach a child to fall asleep separately from their parents:
- It's best to put your baby to bed at the same time.
- Don't skip naps because your baby will sleep better in the evening. In the mode of children under one year old, it must be present.
- Keep a feeding schedule so that the baby does not wake up hungry after falling asleep.
How to teach a 1 year old to sleep on his own?
One-year-old children should be taught to sleep independently in stages. It is better to start doing this with daytime sleep. When the mother puts the child in the crib, you must be with himsit, pat on the head or give him a hand. You can offer your baby a new "friend" - a toy.
Now there are a lot of hug toys, which are very convenient to take with you to the crib. Children with them usually fall asleep more peacefully. Mom does not need to leave the room at first, you can, for example, read or knit, sitting not far from the crib. Gradually, when the child gets used to it, it will be possible to leave him to fall asleep alone.
This technique is designed for children 1-2 years old. In foreign countries, it is considered the most common. This is an effective method that will help solve the problem of how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents.
In 3 years, this method will not work. Children over three years old are already quite violently protesting against the will of their parents, so resorting to this method can cause great harm to the child, causing severe emotional shock.
What is the essence of the Esteville technique? The author says that parents should leave immediately after they put the child in a separate bed. If the baby stood up in it, cries or screams, then the mother does not need to immediately approach him. It is necessary to wait a minute for the first time, and only then enter, put the child in the crib and leave again. And so gradually increase the intervals of returning to the room. Sooner or later the baby will fall asleep.
When the mother returns to the bedroom, she makes it clear to the baby that he is not alone, that he has not been abandoned. The key to success will be the calmness and perseverance of the parents. MethodEsteville can only be used if the child does not have any psychological or neurological pathologies.
Independent sleep of children 2 years old
How to teach a child to sleep separately from parents at 2 years old? With such children it is already possible to negotiate and explain the situation. It is necessary to explain to the baby that each family member should have his own bed. It is necessary to tell the child that he is already an adult and can sleep in his bed.
Usually, children of this age imitate adults, so the likelihood that a son or daughter will agree to go to bed during the day is quite high. Gradually, the baby will get used to the new bed and stay there for the night.
It is better to put the crib next to the parent at first, as it is important for the child to know that they are nearby. Psychologists do not recommend that adults euthanize a child next to them, and then transfer it to their crib. This method only works the first couple of times, and then the baby becomes capricious and restless: he will be afraid to wake up alone at night.
Independent sleep of children of three years
Children of this age are big dreamers, so parents will have to be not only patient, but also smart. Magic bedtime stories, amazing stories will help adults solve the problem of how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents.
At the age of 3, a baby can be told that at night he will be transported to a magical land or a fairy tale, where any desires will come true. Also, with children of two or three years old, the “training” method works well: the child needs helpchoose a comfortable sleeping position. Sometimes kids just can't get comfortable. If the baby wants to take a toy with him to the crib, he must be sure to allow it.
How to teach a child to sleep on his own at 4-5 years old?
As a rule, children 4-5 years old refuse to sleep in a separate room or in their own bed for certain reasons:
- fear of the dark;
- fear of an unknown creature or monster;
- scary fantasy;
- fear of death.
How to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents? At 4 years and older, children may fall asleep better if a night light is lit in the room. Also, parents with a child should definitely talk about his fears and experiences and try to convince him that he is absolutely not in danger at home.
The baby must understand that mom or dad is nearby in the next room and, if necessary, they will come to the rescue.
Why do children sleep poorly at 6-7 years old?
There are some children who cannot sleep apart from their parents even at the senior preschool age. Usually the reason for this is various phobias and fears, like five-year-olds.
Children who have gone to school may worry about grades, lessons, or fear of teacher disapproval. How to teach a child to sleep separately from parents at 6 years old (7 years old)? The gradual habituation method will help here, but it can be shortened.
Of course, parents need to talk with the child as much as possible, find out the reason for his fear. children in anyage, they should feel the help and support of their parents, feel that they are not alone, that in case of danger they will definitely be helped.
If parents cannot cope with the problem of how to teach a child to sleep separately from their parents at the age of 7, on their own, a child psychologist should be involved.
A good method to solve the problem of how to teach a child to sleep separately from parents at 5 years and older is the gradual removal method. Mom should tell the baby that every day she will move further away from the crib and stay there until he falls asleep. It will look something like this:
- In the first 2-3 days, you can sit next to the child on the bed.
- Then, for two days, the mother sits next to the bed until the baby falls asleep.
- In the next couple of days, mom does not wait until the baby falls asleep. After sitting near the crib for a short time, she leaves, but remains in the field of view of the child.
- In the following days, the mother goes out the door, but first you need to sit with the child a little near the bed.
The door to the room should be closed only when the baby will fall asleep quietly alone.
In order for the child to fall asleep sooner, it is necessary to perform the same actions every day. This is an evening swim, watching a cartoon, reading a fairy tale, talking with mom or dad about the past day, about impressions, and so on.
Such daily rituals contribute to the development ofa certain habit: to go to bed immediately, as soon as the baby put on his pajamas, brushed his teeth. Many children fall asleep faster when they are waiting for something good and interesting. For example, on weekends, parents promised to take their child to the zoo, to a cafe or to a movie - you can even close your eyes and dream about this event.
Some babies fall asleep quickly when mom just lays around for a bit. If a child asks mom to stay with him all night, you can resort to a little trick: say that there is a toy nearby while mom is washing, brushing her teeth, and she will come in about twenty minutes. In such cases, the baby usually falls asleep on its own.
Another trick (for children 1-3 years old) - you can hang your mother's thing on the back of the crib, for example, a bathrobe. The baby will feel the presence of his mother and fall asleep peacefully.
What else do you need to remember?
Baby getting used to independent sleep should not become difficult for him. Adults will need patience and time in such a difficult task as teaching a child to sleep separately from their parents. Psychological advice:
- About an hour before bedtime, the child should not play outdoor games, talk loudly, watch entertainment programs.
- Observe daily evening rituals.
- For a baby to sleep, you need to create comfortable conditions: a comfortable mattress and pillow, soft pajamas and bed linen. It is better to ventilate the room before going to bed.
- At the request of the baby, leave a night light or lamp on in the room.
- Talk to the child, if something worries him, trycalm down.
- Parents must be persistent and consistent in their actions and demands.
- You need to talk to the child in a calm and even voice, without an orderly tone.
- Parents themselves should set an example for their children, not stay up late, but go to bed at a certain time.
The main thing is not to be nervous and worry too much. Each child has their own growth rate and developmental characteristics. Some babies sleep peacefully in their crib as early as six months of age, while others only learn to do so at the age of five.
Parents can use the experience of friends, other families, psychologists, and can develop their own method of teaching the baby to fall asleep on his own in his crib.