Ideas to Help 3Yo Transition to Her Own Bed....

Updated on February 20, 2009
S.P. asks from Flint, MI
9 answers

My daughter was never a good sleeper since the day we brought her home, she's now 3 years old & I've made a bad habit of letting her sleep w/my husband and I so that we can sleep through the night too. I actually still enjoy it, but it's really cutting into our adult relationship...

So, here I am & here are the facts of our home... we would like to to sleep in her own bed, which will still be in the same room, just not in our bed. We have an older Cape Cod house, w/a huge bedroom upstairs, her toddler bed is up there & will remain up there b/c we don't feel safe w/her on another level incase of a fire or something.

My question is this... how can I get her to feel comfortable w/this transition. Should I let her pick out a stuffed animal to sleep w/and she ONLY gets to sleep w/it when she's in her own bed? Should I let her pick out new bedding to excite her?

Your imput would really help! I feel like I know how to transition her, by having a bedtime routine similar to the one we have & still expect her to crawl in bed w/us at times, etc.

But is there a trick that worked for any of you ladies? :) Thanks!

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answers from Detroit on

I don't think that you did anything wrong with letting your daughter sleep with you.
A friend of mine cosleeps and she puts a crib matress on the floor next to her bed to help them trnsition to thier own beds. Her almost 5 year old just moved to his own room a couple of months ago and her almost 3 year old is now on the mattress and the infant is the bed with them!
The most important thing that we do as parents is meeting out childs needs and if our child needs to be close to us at night there is nothing wrong with that!
Blessings, K.



answers from Saginaw on

I would have her help pick out the sheets for the bed. My daughter slept with us until she was ready to move her bed out. Now I put her to sleep in her bed and then sometime in the night she comes into our bed to cuddle. I know she will grow out of it (what 15 year old cuddles with their parents?).



answers from Jackson on

S. - what helped my daughter was we let her smell my bottles of perfume and pick out the one that she said smelled "most like mommy" and sprayed a little on her pillowcase, and she started sleeping all night in her big girl bed. I made the mistake of letting both my girls sleep in bed with me when they were small. The youngest is now 10, and her bed is still in the same room as mine.



answers from Grand Rapids on

My daughter will be 3 in May, and we had a similar problem (although she doesn't share our room). She was so consumed about being a "Princess", that I bought a $5 crown from Meijer and let her try it on. Then we put it on her dresser & told her when she slept the whole night in her own bed, she could wear the crown the next day. It took about 2 months, but we would let her hold & inspect her crown, but not wear it. One night it just happened...she has been in her own bed every night, all night for over 2 weeks's like a 2nd honeymoon!!!!!!!!!!



answers from Detroit on

We transitioned our daughter to her own queen bed in her own room after two years of co-sleeping in our bed. First off, you shouldn't have to apologize for the 'bad habit'--as you know, there are many of us who choose the family bed and I sometimes cannot imagine not having the closeness and the sweetness of waking up to your baby and toddler right there with you. There is nothing like it! But anyways, for us, the transition took place over several months but she is such a wonderful sleeper now and loves her bed and room greatly--it has been well worth all the effort. What really helped us was that we had a queen size bed in the guest room and with our daughters help, we redocorated the room based off of some bedding that she liked. The room is so bright and cheerful and the large bed was so helpful as reading together in her room was such an important part of bedtime--it still is. Literally, we could all crawl into her bed for books and cuddles, before a few songs, a drink of water, more cuddles.. etc. I do remember many a nights either me or my husband stayed with her till she fell asleep or one of us would fall asleep and stay with her--i was pregnant at the time so i recall going to bed about the same time as her! By the time the baby arrived, she was totally into her own bed and really never asked to come back in our bed, except some early mornings she'll crawl in for another hour of sleep. So let me think of what my actual advice is... if you have the space for even a twin, i would think about that. Those toddler beds are cute but i do think they pose a bit of a challenge for things like book reading, cuddling, and nighttime closeness before the actual goodnight. Involve her in creating her own little space up in your room. Try to spend time in her space to create warm feelings surrounding bedtime. Stuffed animals seemed more appealing to our daughter once she was in her own bed, so that is also a good idea. Be patient with her because i know some kids have a hard time with such a transition. And lastly, just hang in there. My daughter changed all of my prior opinions about infant sleep and co-sleeping, etc...i never thought i would see the day when i could tuck her in, give her a kiss and know she would sleep a peaceful, restful night... but we made it! of course, we still have a one year old in our bed now... best of luck!



answers from Detroit on

my 17 month is with me and will be til 3 too
when my 16 yeor old transistioned at three I bought him the same bedding as mine (down comfortor in particluar :)) Seemed to do the trick!



answers from Detroit on

My 2 1/2 year old son is still in bed with us. We're going to try to transition him to his own bed by using a trundle bed, since I'm expecting in April!

Anyways, I think a mattress or toddler bed next to your bed would be the best way to start. Doing fun sheets might help but if she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to cuddle, it won't matter how cool the sheets are!

I'm expecting that the transition to independent sleeping will be a long process at my house and probably at your's too. I'm just going to go with the flow and give my son plenty of time. Hopefully he'll be in his own bed by middle school! :)



answers from Detroit on

From your post I assume that your bed and her bed is in the same room?
How about moving her bed right next to yours. Yeah, a bit tricky for getting in and out, but then you could slowly move it inch by inch until its where you want it...
Then she can sit up and see you (or at least the lumps under the covers) if she wants to.
And yes, bedding is always a temptation. The hard part will be on those nights she does want to climb in between you, you will at some point have to start putting her back and reaffirming that you are right there if she needs you.

We instituted family night sleep with our kids. Once a week we all pile into the same room and "camp". Usually the youngest was in bed with us just so we could make sure he was warm enough, but he now wants to sleep on the mattress on the floor with the older 2 kids... But sometimes one of them will end up in the blissful warmth that is mommy and daddys bed... (5 people in a queen sized bed makes for a bad nights sleep for the book ends aka mommy and daddy...)

And I agree with the whole kids on different floors.... ESPECIALLY once they hit about 12. lol



answers from Detroit on

My youngest son will be 5 in April and we too had the bad habit of him being in our bed with us. I actually loved him snuggling up with me but he became too dependent that I would even have to lay with him to get him to sleep. Of course this doesn't help the romance with my hubby and we are expecting a new baby in June and I don't want my son to feel like we are pushing him out of bed because of the new baby. I told my son that his Dr. told me that it's time to start sleeping in your own bed. No more Mommy and Daddy's bed, I told him that it's not good for any of us because we are all not getting enough sleep. I for warned him that if he got up in the night I would be walking him back to bed and giving him a kiss and he would have to stay in his own bed. We went and picked out new sheets for his bed and got him a led light that he has on his head board that you just push to turn on. I also purchased a sound machine, it plays 6 different noises... summer night, rain, heartbeat, ect... The first 5 days were rough, like having a new born. He was up starting at 12:30 am and would get up every hour after that, I would just stay consistant. Walked him back, tucked him in, rubbed his back for 15 sec. and gave him a kiss and told him he was doing really good. Night 3 at one point he came in and said, "I don't want to do this anymore, this is dumb." I just stayed consitant and said that this is what the Dr. said and we have to. We are almost to 2 weeks now and he is doing great, if he wakes up he will just yell down the hall and ask me to turn on the hall light, I do and he goes right back to sleep til morning! It was a long first week, but was well worth the pay off. I am getting more sound sleep and so is he.. oh yeah and hubby is too. :) It's a win, win situation. Good luck, stay consistent and the transition with be over soon! God Bless.

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