How to Transition 2 Yr Old to Sleep in Her Own Room?

Updated on November 22, 2009
E.P. asks from Glendale, CA
4 answers

My daughter went from co-sleeping to sleeping in her own toddler bed and we would like to now transition her to sleep in her own room by herself. Baby is now co-sleeping with us(we are putting him in a co-sleeper crib next week) and I would like her to feel really excited about being in her own room without feeling bad or left out. What things have any Moms done to get their child excited about being in their own room? What things have you told your child that really made them feel secure and proud of themselves for this big step? Thank you for your help.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Honolulu on

If you keep in mind... that 2 years old is an age of MANY developmental changes, including still having "separation anxiety"... and at this age, they can start to develop "night time" fears and night-mares (which is normal & developmental based)... then you can assist her and comfort her accordingly.

At this age, their sleep patterns/habits also changes many times. This is an age of lots of "growing pains" and changes in them and cognitively as well. So keep that in mind too.

With those things in mind... the important thing, is that parental "expectations" of having a child sleep on their own/by themselves is a big change.... what will make it a nice transition or not, is the "expectations" upon the child's "ability" to transition to a separate room/bed--
ie: if the parent "expects" the child to sleep ALL night in their bed/room, by themselves "without" being "allowed" to adjust IN TIME... then it will be harder. BUT, if a parent "allows" for glitches/regression/the child still waking up during the night/the child still getting up and coming into the Parent's bed etc., then it will be more palatable for BOTH child and Parent.

The key: is that you "allow" the child to adjust... not creating "consequences" or punishment if they have a hard time transitioning to their own room/bed. Just encourage... in a comforting way.

Each child will adjust differently. Some adjust right away, some don't. Even if you get them "special" things for their room that THEY choose... you may still have moments where the child will "miss" you and want you to stay with them in their room... until they fall asleep, or they may resist sleeping, or taking longer to settle down, or may want to come in your room. Which, per the Parent... is "acceptable" or not, or 'allowed' or not. And this will then either "encourage" the child or it will make bedtime a struggle and something the child will not look forward too.

All that being said, most parents along with their child, picks out and buys special things/bedding/decorations for their room, AND a night-light or flashlight they can keep IN bed with them. ALONG with "loveys" and in my daughter's/son's case... LOTS of stuffed animals IN bed WITH them. We let our kids keep whatever they want to cuddle with in their beds. My daughter' calls it her "nest."
And... like many Moms, we told our kids they are a "big girl/boy" and this is their own special room & talked with them about it, asked their opinion, etc.
BUT... like any young toddler, they STILL can get "lonely" in their rooms by themselves and 'scared.' Its NORMAL... because at this age, they do this. Its developmental.
So you comfort them... AND have a regular ROUTINE pre-bed and at bedtime... to help them transition to sleep.

In the case of my kids, even though they have special things in their room and bedding... well, they still will have moments of wanting to be with us in our room. For us, we don't mind. We let them. We have a floor-futon in Our bedroom, where the kids can sleep with us if they need to, or are sick, etc. We are FLEXIBLE about it. So, our kids do NOT resist bedtime and they sleep very well without struggle... whether it be in their beds or not. We don't "force" it and them HAVING TO BE IN THEIR BEDS ALL night.
As a child myself, I would wake during the night too... and creep down the hallway to my parents room and squeeze in between them. I simply got "scared" at night... and my parents let me. Its NO biggie. A child grows out of it.

Each Parent has a different philosophy about it... and different styles about it all... and different "expectations" upon the child. But the whole attitude & "rules" towards it AND towards the child, AND how you expect your child to "stay" in their room/bed or not... will determine how your child transitions to it all. Each child being different. But yes, it takes time. Many weeks or months even. Depending on the child.

All the best,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hi E., it is going to take time and patience, because you created a habit for this child that she had no control over and now your doing the same thing to the new baby. You have to understand, that anything you do consistantly for two years will become a habit. J.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,

What worked for us was to let our daughter pick out a few things to decorate her new room with like a new lamp shade, sheets and blankets, a poster or two for her walls. She got a kick out of it and felt like a big girl. I let her help my wash everything and she got to tell us where she wanted to put the decorations. My husband and I made a big fuss and even took pictures that she could send to her Grandma.

Good luck.



answers from Honolulu on

What we did when we moved the baby into her older sister's room was to redecorate the room. We asked older sis how she'd like it decorated and did our best to make her vision a reality and then moved both of them in and made it a really big deal. Maybe you can get new bedding, curtains, a few pictures and a border or slap a coat of paint on the walls to make it her very own. It worked great for us!

Oh, and by the way, if you want her to be excited about it, make sure that you ask her so that she gives you an answer that will actually work for you. If you don't want red walls, then you might want to give her a choice of pink or lavender, ya know what I mean?? :>

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