Kicked to the Curb: Getting Your Toddler Out of Your Bed

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

I was a co-sleeper by choice.

Judge if you must, but it’s what worked for us.

It was easier to nurse.  It was easier so soothe my colicky baby.  It was easier because we lived in a tiny townhouse with at least one of those newborns and no way was I walking down two flights of stairs to get a baby in the dead of night. 

The co-sleeping part wasn’t the hard part.

I loved that part of having my babies.  It felt good. I got sleep.  My babies got sleep.  My husband mostly got out of waking up at nights.  No complaints from any of the concerned parties.

It was the bed weaning part that made me a little punchy.

At least the first time around (first babies are always so hard, right?!).

The kid got used to snuggling up next to me, face to food source, nice and cozy with my beating heart to lull him to sleep each night, and he never wanted to let go.  I can see how that would be hard to give up, but by the time he turned two I found it hard to care.  Especially since that formerly cuddly infant had unceremoniously turned into a kidney kicking maniac who had to sleep with his feet wedged under my torso and his head jammed into his father’s.

Zero fun.

Sadly, every time I tried to convince him that his own bed was what’s up, he did the whole spread eagle, claws in the wall thing.

Negative 15 fun.

He’s 11 now and he totally sleeps in his own bed every night of life.  Here’s how he got there…

Image via Flickr/who_da_fly

 Don’t co-sleep.  I know, I’m a hypocrite.  But seriously, if you never want to go through the weaning process, don’t create the problem.  Sleeping with mom and dad feels good.  No way are they gonna easily give up that cozy safety for the cold, lonely, scary situation you set up for them across the hall.   They won’t go down without a fight.  And no car shaped bed or singing night light is going to convince them otherwise. 


Image via Flickr/juhansonin

Be prepared to stand your ground.  Consistency is the key to success.  If they wander into your room, all sweet-like with their footy jammies and their baby doll, turn them right back around and put them away in their own bed.  Every time.  It’s the only way. 

Image via Flickr/SMercury98

Check for monsters.  I know you won’t find any.  You know you won’t find any.  But, your kid may not be so sure.  It takes two seconds to make them feel safe and it may prevent 2 hours of crying.

Image via Flickr/BigTallGuy

Get a routine.  Bath, read, cuddle, kiss, tuck.  That’s ours.  Same thing every night for the past 10 years.  He knows what it means.

Image via Flickr/therapycatguardian

Turn off the TV.  And all other equally stimulating devices and activities.  People’s brains need time to settle before going to sleep.  While you may be able to conk out with the TV on, a dog licking your face, a bear your husband snoring to raise the dead, and a human dancing in your womb, it may not be so easy for your kid.  Give them quiet, relaxing before-bed activities to help get them in the mood.  They could probably survive with less TV anyway!

Good luck!


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Kicked to the Curb: Getting Your Toddler Out of Your Bed

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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  1. LIZ says:

    when she wants she can sleep with us, i love to hug her

  2. Phammom says:

    We won’t be co sleeping. They will be in their own bed till at least I only have to get up only once at night. Their bedroom is upstairs and I will not walk upstairs more then once a night.


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