A lot of children are afraid to sleep alone. You can check under the bed for monsters as many times as you like and give them a million goodnight hugs, but they’ll still end up in your bed! Whilst this isn’t a huge problem if it’s not happening often, if your little one is coming to you night after night it might be time to do something about it. Luckily, if your child won’t sleep in their own bed because they’re anxious, there are plenty of things you can do to help them.
Make Their Bed a Safe Place
A lot of the time, an anxious child comes to your bed because they feel safer. So, if you want them to sleep in their own bed, you first have to make it feel safe and comfortable - somewhere they really want to be. You can do this by decorating their bed space with them, including choosing nice, fluffy pillows and making sure all of their favourite toys are there to protect them. Nightlights often help little ones feel safer, too, as can playing lullaby music as they sleep. You should also try out a snoozzzy weighted blanket, which gives kids a comforting sense of deep touch and calms them.
Try the Fading Technique
If you’re wondering ‘how do I encourage my anxious child to sleep in their own bed?’, a technique known as fading could be the answer. This is when you slowly get your child used to sleeping in their own bed, on their own, by gradually decreasing your presence. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by sitting in a chair next to your little one’s bed as they fall asleep.
- Slowly move the chair away, heading towards the door, until you are eventually outside the room with the door open.
- If they get up to come to your bed, take them straight back - it may be hard, but it’ll teach them that they have to sleep in their bed.
Discourage Fears and Worries
If you have a child who’s anxious, getting them to sleep in their own bed means helping to stop their worries - which definitely isn’t always an easy challenge! But, trust us, it’ll be worth it for both of you. To do this, sit down and talk with your little one about what’s bothering them. Listen, empathise, and comfort first, before moving on to help with solutions to the problem. If they know you’re helping, chances are they’re going to feel safer in their bed.
Encouraging My Anxious Child to Sleep in Their Own Bed
Encouragement is a key to a full night’s sleep in their own bed, and you can help your child by setting up a reward system and praising them when they improve. Be sure to give plenty of hugs and kisses after a full night's sleep! You can set up a sticker chart and, if they have a whole week in their bed, reward them with a fun trip out or small present.
Teaching an anxious child to sleep in their own bed is rarely a simple task, so if you need more help then ask our team at snoozzzy today. We can also tell you more about our amazing weighted blankets to give your child a soundless, safe sleep.