Moms share advice on getting your child to sleep on their own

Toddler sleeping
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Is your child at the right age to start sleeping on their own, but you don’t know how to go about training them? A few moms share their tips with us.

At age two most children are ready to sleep on their own. This is the age when rocking them to sleep doesn’t always work. Some of them at this age understand instructions and can even reason with you.

Although they may be old enough to sleep in their own bedroom, sleeping on their own might make them feel frightened at first as they want mommy to offer comfort and protection during the night. However, with a little comfort and assurance, your little one might even come to a place of loving and appreciating their own space.

We asked parents how they trained their child to sleep on their own.

Fun Time
For Phemelo Letebele it’s all about making it fun.

“Make it fun. Put pictures in the room, buy teddy bears that they can cuddle with during the night. My husband also loves to read stories to our daughter Osiame (4). But sometimes when she wakes up, she still comes to our room, so it’s a process.”

Don’t Give Up
“I slept with my daughter in her own room for three weeks or about a month, then after she had fallen asleep, I’d leave her and go to my own room. She used to wake up in the middle of the night and come to my room, but I’d take her back to her room, sleep with her again and then leave. She eventually got used to it,” says Eunice Mabote.

“With the second born, Rethabile, it was easier, because he and his sister Tshegofatso are close. So he would enjoy sleeping with his sister,” she adds.

Create Special Spaces
Portia Molokomme, a mother of two boys, believes it’s all about making them want their own space.

“My boys slept with our nanny until age 4-5, then they started sleeping on their own. At that age they understood instructions and I made their room nice. When they did sleep with me though I realised that my reading with the lights on, making calls etc. would annoy them and they’d go back to their room. I never adjusted my night-time routine to accommodate them. They knew it’s my room and I do what I want,” she says.

Take Small Steps
For Gabaiphiwe Khosa, the training should start with naps.

“You start them off by making them take naps in their own room, and when they sleep at night you take them to their room. Even after they wake up you must take them back to their own room.”

Taking Ownership
Elsie Mojapelo, a mother of two, says the secret is to make them feel they own the room.

“Make them love their room. Buy single beds and take them along to the shops and make them pick their favourite bedding. Make them own their room. Tell them ‘this is your room and this is your bed’. Obviously, that will make them happy and excited. Then when bedtime comes, you can tell them to go to their room. If you see that they look scared, sleep with them in their room for a few minutes until they fall fast asleep.”

Do you have any other of how to train a toddler to sleep on their own? Share with us in the comments section below.