Sep 29, 2010
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Tips for Smoothly Transitioning Tots from Cribs to Beds



Parents especially feel it is apt time to begin moving their tot from their room to his/her own bed when prepping for the arrival of another baby. It is particularly pertinent when one plans to welcome the newly born into one’s bed for enjoying co-sleep. In case one’s tot is yet in the bedroom when his/her younger sibling arrives then it is only natural that the toddler too would like crawling into bed with the parents on spotting them nuzzling with the new infant. Majority of the kids would be transitioning out of cribs amid eighteen months to thirty months. At that time it becomes more of an issue about cribs becoming dicey places for leaving a kid unwatched than it is the issue of a kid yearning for moving to a tot bed.

Here are several tips to assist parents in making this transitional phase as friction-free as possible.

Selling the thought
  • Organizing a special kin outing to various stores catering exclusively for big boys. Similar to selecting a potty chair to toilet-train the little one, children would most possibly use their beds when they are part of the selection process. Moreover, allow the kid select his/her own bed clothing.
  • Setting the bed at your abode however avoid pressurizing the kid into sleeping in it. Allow the child to place his soft toys to sleep in his bed and do story-telling there and even nap there.
  • Helping the child get accustomed to the novel bed as a comfortable, secure place to be in. In case the parent is sensing that the kid is showing resistance to the thought of lolling around there then backing off and re-attempting in 1-2 weeks. Forcing the matter is no resolution.
  • Try explaining to the tot in an optimistic and constructive manner about what’s in the bed time agenda and focussing on what the kid could gain – his independent, personal place to snooze instead of where he would not be sleeping any further.
Continuing One’s Normal Bed time schedule for sometime
  • Merely since your tot has a new-fangled place for sleeping does not necessarily translate to him gladly dozing off by himself. A parent would have to be seated close to the tot’s bed and try reading bed time stories till he/she goes to sleep.
  • In case your tot is yet having some separation anxiety during nights then parents might have to be present next to him/her till totally asleep or also sleeping in the kid’s room next to his/her bed for a couple of nights.
Trying the Fading-away Approach
  • No sooner has the kid familiarized to sleeping on his/her own bed along with the parent then working on assisting the tot fall asleep independently. It is also dubbed the ‘Fading-away Strategy’ and could be implemented as swiftly or as gradually as the parent feels in appropriate for the kid.
Snuggling to Slumber
  • Lying in bed with the tot as he/she dozes off. In case crib mattresses are being used then being seated on the ground and leaning over the child for snuggling with him/her. Avoid leaving the kid till he/she is in sound sleep.
  • When parents try sneaking out sooner and the kid awakens, he/she would understand that the parent is not in fact going off to sleep with him/her & this novel set-up might turn out to be more stress-causing to the kid.
  • When seated on the bedside with the kid, slowly start dimming the lighting. One could also be seated there while reading your novel under dim flashlights or mini lamps. No sooner has the kid accustomed to snoozing off with the parent seated or lying close by then slowly move oneself at augmenting distance every night and eventually out of the room. To fade off from the kid’s dependence on you being physically present is a slow process similar to when one tries to wean a baby from the breasts. The length of time taken would be based on the separation sensitiveness of the kid.
Moving In-&-Out
  • In case the tot does not want the parent leaving the room then telling him/her that some tasks have to be checked out like laundering, getting the story books or some excuses that could be cooked up for exiting the room.
  • Try stepping out for 10 seconds and then coming again and being seated for some time. With passage of time, eventually prolonging the time one is stepping out of the kid’s room.
  • Using catchwords like ‘In a minute’, ‘Coming back’. In case the kid is getting nervous in that time one is out then humming some tunes which could be audible to him/her when one is out of the room. Leaving the room door opened during this time. Gradually one would uncover that one is spending more time away from the kid’s room as compared to within it.
  • Do periodic checks on the kid by peering through the door. The kid would sooner or later snooze off sans parental presence.

Irrespective of what sleep approaches one employs, always ensure allaying the kid’s night time nervousness by assisting the tot in developing a healthful outlook regarding sleep – a pleasurable phase to slip into and a secure one for remaining in.

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