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Expert Advice

6 ways to help your child sleep in their own bed

It's time for EVERYONE to get some rest!

By Rebel Wylie
While snuggling together can feel nice for a while, getting a full night's sleep with a little one in the bed is not always the most restful experience ... for anyone.
Sleep Consultant, Cheryl Fingleson says: "It's crucial that parents establish a routine that will put a stop to the late-night migration and the spare-bedroom-musical-bed-palaver that so many households face."
Cheryl has shared six easy tips to help your child sleep in their own bed below ...
1. Talk it through before hand
Explain to your child (in age appropriate language) what will happen when they wake and come into your bed in the middle of the night. Let them know, clearly and gently, that they will be taken back to their own room.
Repeat and emphasise this information several times during the day so that it's not a massive shock at night-time.
2. Play it out
Try role playing the scenario with your little one. Choose a calm, daytime moment to "pretend" that its night-time and show them how to pull the donna or blanket up in their big boy or girl bed. Emphasise that this is what is going to happen from now on, regardless of the time of day.
3. Consistency is key
Routine is very important for young children, and a new one is likely to fail if you start something but don't carry it through.
Like most big changes, things take time. Allow a week or two for the change to take hold and do not stray from your resolve. If your son or daughter throws a tantrum and ends up back in your bed after the second night, they'll know you don't mean business.
Cheryl 'The Sleep Coach' Fingleson is a mum-of-two who understands the feelings of agony and desperation when you have a child that struggles to settle and sleep. Supplied
4. Let them play in their room during the day
A child's bedroom often becomes a night-time only venue if all they do there is sleep. This can lead to them associating it with being alone or being in the dark.
By allowing them to spend an hour or so in there a day, they'll begin to relax and associate it with positive things. Make sure you spend daylight quality time in there together, and consult your child on some aspects of the room like the choice of wall colour or the purchase of a new night light.
"Soothing nightlights can be a big help for anxious children who are scared of the dark and come though to escape it," Cheryl Fingleson says.
WATCH: Super mum gets four babies ready for bed. Continues after video ...
5. Listen to your child
Listen to what your child says when you put them to bed. They will tell you why they are coming to your room. Try not to have any negative talks. Always have happy chats or read a happy book before bedtime.
If your child says it is too dark, get a night light. If they prefer the door open that is OK.
Solve these problems to help your youngster feel secure and at ease.
6. Their bed and your bed
Explain to your child that their special big bed belongs to them and mum and dad are not allowed to sleep in their bed. Mum and dad have their own bed .and they CANNOT sleep in their bed
Don't be tempted to let them sleep in your bed in the early morning (even for a cuddle), young children can not tell the time and they will start coming to your bed earlier and earlier.

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