Home parenting How do you end the family bed and teach your child to sleep alone?

How do you end the family bed and teach your child to sleep alone?

by ines.wurbs@icloud.com

The family bed can be a wonderful thing for many families. On the one hand, it is practical because the parents don’t have to get up, and on the other hand, it offers the security that our children need for better sleep. But at some point, the family bed no longer fits for parents or children.

It’s usually quick if the children don’t want to do it themselves. It takes a certain amount of time to get started if the parents want to end it. You can choose between the two methods:

  1. Take turns or
  2. be strict

When should you end the family bed?

It’s hard to say how long a child should sleep in their parent’s bed in general. There are no guidelines. Many pediatricians say that children should not sleep in the family bed.

From a developmental psychological perspective, children are not mature enough to learn until around six months of age. They are usually more flexible than newborn babies and can turn their heads and turn themselves. They can go for several hours without food. (Although this is not always the case in practice, of course). However, from that point forward, it is usually the case that our children do not need to eat or drink every 2-3 hours.

Most babies become quite active by the age of 8 months and can crawl or at least scoot around. This may make it hard to sleep. Both parents and children have a harder time sleeping at some point because they are woken by movements or noises. It is therefore time to change the situation.

Being tired and overly tired is dangerous in the long term and causes attention and concentration problems, as well as reduced frustration tolerance and stress. This should be avoided. It’s a good time to end the family bed.

In my opinion, we should encourage our children to move out of the family bed and into their own room at the latest when they are in pre-school or at the beginning of school.

Why should you finish the family bed?

As I mentioned earlier, it can interfere with parents and children’s sleep eventually. Our children need independence and autonomy to be successful. Giving our children their own room gives them the freedom they need and a first break away from us parents.

They learn to face their fears and regulate their emotions accordingly. Our children need this skill in plenty of situations. That doesn’t mean we should leave our kids alone. It is possible for this path to be mastered with us, so all the necessary skills can be learned.

How do I teach my child to sleep alone?


You could start by trying to get your child to sleep in their own room. You can let it sleep with you if it comes to you at night. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have your child sleep in your bed and then move them to their own bed.

I recommend setting a time frame for yourself, as well as setting rules for your child to come to bed with you. It should be several hours before he/she slips into your bed, or he/she will miss the point.

Be strict

You can also continue with your project and be strict. This will probably make your child get used to sleeping alone more quickly.

It is likely that your child will continue to come to you at night. Then, I suggest putting it back in its bed. If your child doesn’t go back to sleep right away, you can stay with them for a while. I strongly advise you to avoid getting involved. There’s a good chance you’ll fall asleep yourself, which would also miss the point.

If your child calls you instead of coming to you, you can sing a short lullaby or something similar to soothe them and check on them. Strict rules mean your child should stay in their bed but don’t let them cry.

Show your child that you are there for him/her and provide him/her with security. Help it to get back to sleep quickly by calming it down. 
Here are a few things you can do to help your child sleep alone:

Stay in the room

If you sit still in the room, many children will calm down. Some children do well when you sit directly beside them, while others need more space to calm down.

But you should be very still or sing a lullaby, and just put your child back down gently when they try to get up and play or want to scurry into the parent’s bed.

Initially, it can be until our children have fallen asleep. You should gradually start leaving the room when your child is not yet asleep, or at least not completely asleep. This is how he/she learns to calm down and fall asleep.

Find the right time

Getting your child used to their own bed is a big challenge. It’s a step toward learning or improving some new skills, like self-regulation.

It is advisable to choose a time when there are no major challenges or upheavals. It is likely to make things much more difficult for you and your child if you move him/her out of the family bed during or before kindergarten starts.

It is also not advisable during periods of illness or stress. It is best to establish a schedule with a view to upcoming obstacles, steps, or sections, and try to stick to it. If you have to change the time, change it right away.


When your child makes an effort to sleep in his/her bed, praise him/her for his efforts. When he/she lies down to sleep in his/her bed, praise him/her as well.

Introduce rituals

Small rituals help our children to get used to new situations more quickly and give them the security they need to calm down.

Even if your child is still sleeping in the family bed, start rituals early. It is much easier to switch to your own bed with this.

Make the room and bed comfortable and cozy

It’s important that the room and especially the bed be designed nicely for your child. It should be a retreat, and it should be comfortable.

It is more comfortable for children if their sleeping space is not too big. Limit your children sleeping area. For example, with a small bed tunnel, fall protection, or other partitions.

Take away fears from children

The dark is frightening to many children. Talk to your child about the noises they hear at night, where they come from and what makes them happen. It is possible to make your child feel safe by setting up guards together.

Listen to your child and take them seriously. I have put together a few tips for dealing with your children’s fears.

Leave the good-night light or the door ajar

It is the darkness that causes fear in many children. A good night light or a door ajar can help children fall asleep. It makes sense to give the children as much security as possible since they are used to sleeping in the family bed.

Other reference objects as sleep companions

It is good for your child to have another companion for sleep who will give him/her security if he/she is to sleep alone. Anything from a beloved teddy bear to a favorite book or snuggle blanket can serve this purpose. Everything your child loves.

Children around the age of 4 attribute magical properties to objects. That’s why toys help to replace us and give our children the security they need to sleep.

Make up cuddle time

If your child begins sleeping in their own bed, it is even more important to take time to cuddle them, even in everyday life, which can often be stressful. Love and security are conveyed by physical proximity.

It is important to be able to develop well. Especially in the morning or evening, it is a good idea to catch up on or build up this closeness without stress and pressure. This also makes it easier for our children to sleep alone since this need for closeness is still well met.


Break up the family bed can be done at the right time. Everyone should be included. We also need to consider our needs. It is more important for our children to have a well-rested mom and a well-rested dad than it is for them to maintain the family bed.

Your child will get used to the new situation. If you are consistent with the implementation, it will go quicker. All of the above tips will help your child get used to their own bed.

If you’re already thinking about it, my advice is to just go for it. What could happen? If things get bad, you might have to spend a few nights without sleep again because you’ll have to go to your sweetheart’s room to calm him/her down.

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