Do you need to get your kids out of your bed? Sassy Plum can help!
It took a while for my 7 year-old daughter to accept the idea of sleeping on her own. Every night between the hours of 12am-4am, she expertly and quietly maneuvered her way into our bedroom. This thief-in-the-night mastered the art of opening the door without our knowledge, closing it, shimmying onto the floor and climbing into my husband’s side of the bed. I found myself waking up to a “family bed” every morning! How was this happening? I recall the night I finally caught her in the act. While I slept and my husband studied quietly in the next room, my daughter began her escape. As usual, she opened the door without making a peep and entered the bedroom. Now normally, this silent ninja expertly canvassed the room while I slept peacefully. But, tonight she made two critical mistakes that blew the entire operation open!
First, she clumsily bumped the bed. Assuming I was alone, I jolted out of my sleep and I called her name. No response. I thought to myself, “I know I’m not crazy! Someone is in here because I can feel their presence!” I felt around an empty bed. Then, she made the second critical error. She attempted to muffle a sneeze, but I heard it! Feeling victorious that I finally caught the perpetrator, I called her name with conviction. She replied, “Yes, Mommy?” I looked down and found her hiding on the floor! Because I was so tickled and exhausted, I let her climb into bed with me. Boy, did I love this little girl to death! However, I desperately wanted my space back! After countless nights of hoping she grew out of this cycle on her own, we ended these shenanigans once and for all!
Here are some tips you can follow for an easy transition:
- Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that’s it’s not just the child who really needs to be broken from the codependency, but it’s also you! As parents, we want to hold them as long as we can, even if that means letting them stay in bed with us a little longer. In my case it was 4-6 years too long!
- Set the eviction date! Stay firm! I strongly suggest choosing a day you don’t have to go to work the following day(s). You’ll need that extra sleep you’re going to lose from the struggle!
- Talk to your child. Tell them you’re giving them an eviction notice and everyone is going to stick to it. Get all parties on board…including your spouse or S/O.
- Evaluate their room. Is there anything that frightens them or that can be changed around to bring comfort? If so, do it! We initially put one of my husband’s t-shirts around my daughter’s pillows so she could smell him. This gave her the familiarity of the “family bed.”
- Establish a nightly routine. Map out an evening plan. Read to them in their bed, say prayers together, give them 100 kisses, or whatever you choose. BUT, stick to it every night to be consistent.
- Celebrate! When the eviction date arrives make it fun! Celebrate your upcoming liberty and theirs too! It’s their christening into Big Girl/Big Boy status. All kids want that!
- Stay strong! Meaning, lock your door if you have to. Because they will come back! They’ll forget all about the earlier Big Girl/Big Boy nonsense and force you to make a critical decision.
- Stick with your decision to not let them in. The protest may seem to last forever, but eventually they will tire themselves out. At this point, you can help them back into their own beds.
- Keep the momentum. Whatever you do, don’t regress or go backwards! When it gets hard and you want to give up, refer back to steps 7 & 8. You must weather the storm for this to be successful.
- Enjoy the victory! Re-learn what it was like to sleep in your bed without a child hogging all the room. Be careful though, you may end up with another little one from all the freedom and excitement of space again!
Stick to this plan and a “change is gon’ come!”
For more bedtime tips, please click here.
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