When should my child sleep alone?


Dear Grandma Maggie,

At what age should a child stop sleeping with their parents? My son wants to sleep in our bed, and he’s turning two next week. Is this appropriate? Or should we start him getting used to his own bed?

Sincerely,
A friend.

Dear Friend,

I have a hard time with that one, because we did not have a family bed, yet I know some people who have been very successful with it and they said the kids stopped themselves at around 4 or 5 when they wanted to sleep in their own rooms.

You are the adults and you are in charge, so if you want to stop I think you can tell them that at a certain day you will all be sleeping in your own beds, but assure them they will still be taken care of if they need you. Use a calendar to remind them of the day and how long you still have until that day.

If they come into your room to sleep, you must take them back to their own beds each time because you must be consistent with showing them what you want. If you can do that for a week every time, then that should do it, but if you cave even once, you must begin all over again, and each time it gets harder.

Kindest regards,
Grandma Maggie


Old woman smiling

Peggy Moss, AKA “Grandma Maggie,” was was an owner/partner in BabyNames.com after she retired as an early childhood educator. Her Q&A column “Ask Grandma Maggie” is now republished with the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice. She has written many eBooks about parenting issues, available at Amazon.com.

Peggy, who passed in 2014, was mother to Sue, Kate, Jennifer, and Mallory Moss, and grandmother to Ike, Peter, Miranda, and Veronica.

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