Children naturally want to stay close to their parents at all times but they also have to learn how to be independent, so they need a good night’s sleep in their own bed.
There are no hard and fast rules concerning whether it’s OK to let your children sleep in your bed and each parent will have their own preferences. Experts advise that for the first six months of a baby’s life it is better that they sleep on their own. After that the choice is yours.
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KEEP THEM CLOSE
If the mother is breastfeeding, or if the child is a difficult sleeper, you can always place their cot close to your bed. This means that parents can check on their children throughout the night and also allows little ones to feel close to their parents.
BUILD THEIR OWN SPACE
All children need security. If you create a perfect bedroom for your child, they will soon realise that it’s more fun to stay put, rather than wander into their parent’s room.
The Children’s Health Network states that:
“Bed sharing is never a long-term solution to sleeping problems. Your child will not learn to sleep well in your bed and then decide on his own to start sleeping in his own bed.”
Essentially, this means that you need to encourage your child to sleep on their own as allowing them to stay in your bed repeatedly will make this their normal routine.
A good way to make children more receptive to the idea of sleeping in their own room is to get them involved in the design process. Let them choose the colour scheme, style of bed or bedding and you may find they feel more comfortable in the room when alone.
If you want your child to be confident and well rested, it’s far better that they sleep on their own. Sleeping with your child might sound like an appealing idea, but it doesn’t always help your child’s emotional development.
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Playing and storytelling is a wonderful way of making your child feel secure and loved in their own space so implement a clear night-time routine in which you get them ready for bed and read them a bedtime story each night. You can also use night-lights and soft music to help them drift off to sleep by making their empty, quiet room appear less daunting when you leave.