How to Deal with Children Not Wanting to Sleep in Their Own Rooms
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We all need a good night's sleep.

Sleepless nights are something you were probably expecting when you first brought home your tiny bundle of joy, but if you are still being awoken by a toddler or preschooler who doesn't want to sleep in his own room, your patience might be starting to run thin -- not to mention your energy levels. Help your little one become a "big boy" or "big girl" with some measures that can make staying in the bedroom seem like a more attractive option.


  1. 1
    Use a rewards chart to provide your toddler or preschooler with a sense of achievement when she sleeps in her own room. A chart listing the days of the week allows her to earn stickers for each day that her target is reached. To start, the target may be that she goes back to bed willingly after getting up during the night, and this can later develop into staying in her room all night. She'll be proud when you say, "Well done, big girl. You can put a sticker on your chart this morning for sleeping in your own room last night."
  2. 2
    Give your little one lots of verbal praise, in front of other people if possible, for sleeping in his own room. In his presence, tell friends or family members, "Tommy is such a big boy! He slept in his own room last night." Tell him how proud you are of him and back it up with lots of cuddles and kisses in the morning.
  3. 3
    Avoid giving attention -- good or bad -- for the behavior you are trying to stop. If you take your child back to bed with minimum fuss each time and don't let her sleep with you, she'll have less reason to get up during the night. Try not to let her hear you telling other people that she gets out of bed and don't dwell on it too much the next day. Say something like, "Too bad you didn't manage to stay in your room last night. Let's try again tonight." If you move on from the subject quickly, she'll soon notice she is getting more attention when she stays in her room than when she doesn't.
  4. 4
    Turn your child's bedroom into a more appealing place to be. You don't necessary have to have go on a decorating spree; just use posters of his favorite characters or animals or wall stickers to give it a more personal feel. If you are considering buying new bedding or curtains, let your little one help choose the colors so he feels a real sense of ownership.
  5. 5
    Use glow-in-the-dark items to help your child settle down if she wakes up in the night. Dim night-lights, glow stars for the ceiling and glowing toys give her something to look at in the darkness. Teach her how to use these by suggesting, "If you wake up, try lying still and looking at your special light and you'll soon go back to dreamland again."
  6. 6
    Invest in some small personalized items for your child, such as a wall plaque or picture frame. These touches can also help make the room feel more like his own special space. Use positive reinforcement to remind him it is his room by saying things like, "Aren't you a lucky boy having this great space all to yourself?"

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Categories: Education and Communications

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