If you didn’t know this already, I am an unequivocally average parent. I have a messy home, the pickiest eaters, and kids who like to sleep near me.

My messy house–Well, that’s not changing anytime soon. Working on my picky-eaters’ diet is on my to-do list this summer, for now I’m relying on a healthy use of multivitamins to fill in the gaps and help keep them from withering away. And as for getting my kids to sleep on their own… It’s recently become more of a priority.

My son does well for the most part, though occasionally he wakes up and cries just wanting to be cuddled. And I oblige. My daughter, somewhere between her 4th and 5th birthday decided the pretty pink and grey bedroom we designed for her was terrifying to sleep in. Somewhere between bedtime and morning she’d wind up on the recliner in our room.

getting kids to sleep in their own room

It took longer and longer to go through her bedtime routine. Extra stories, songs, prayers, and a last-minute request for her gummy vitamin. I tried convincing her to go back to sleep in her room time and time again but if I didn’t stay until she fell asleep, she’d come out crying just as I left.

Staying in her room until she fell asleep meant cutting hours into my work time. And after a couple months of tiring of the long bedtime routine, we allowed her to just fall asleep in our room.

A few nights of this turned into a few months of this, and before I knew it, she was scared to be alone in a room, ever. She said once she turned 5 she’d sleep in her room again, but alas, after her birthday that wasn’t the case.

I turned to Facebook to get ideas for getting kids to sleep in their own bed and got a lot of responses and decided to try the loot.

Here are some of the answers to help others trying to get their kids to sleep in their own rooms.

Some of them are creative, and others are downright funny:

1. Tell them there’s a monster under your bed.
2. Monster spray worked for us for a little while.
3. So then we left the bathroom light on for a little while. What eventually worked was this.
4. Every night they don’t come out of their rooms after all the books, prayers, hugs, and kisses, they get a sticker on their chart. Every 5 sticker = a trip to Dairy Queen. It’s worked like a charm.
5. Get to the root of her issues. Figure it out and find a solution from there. Walkie-talkies, monster spray, whatever. If she keeps coming in, maybe sleep with her in her room for a few nights to get her used to the setting, then maybe just stay until she falls asleep, then let her do it all by herself eventually. Or just keep walking her back until she realizes that her own room is the only option.
6. Make it a special occasion, go to the store pick out bedding, everything make her a part of it. Get her a char toy that goes with it and tell her that she needs someone to sleep with. If she gets up at night calmly walk her back to her bed. Keep repeating and she will start staying in her room. It will take time but stick to it.
7. Wish I had some tips. My 4 year old points out that I don’t have to sleep alone so why should she have to? Her reasoning is always on point.
8. I have a friend that lets one of their kids sleep in her room once a week. So, one week it’s one kid, the next week it’s the next kid. So they can “Wait their turn” and sleep in their own room until then.
9. Buying this bed for my 5 year old daughter that slept with me every single night, was the only thing that got her to sleep in her own bed. “Santa” brought it this past year. She slept in it the night she got it, no questions asked!! LOL
10. We gave our 4 year old night lights. She also sleeps with our family dog and several stuffed animals. If she comes out, she gets things taken away. This has worked for us. Some nights we have to take all of her night time things away, but she usually stays in bed and can earn them back.
11. Give it time. Also, a makeover of their choosing helps.
12. Few things that help my kids sleep in their own rooms are 1. a fan, 2. classical music, and 3. dream lights.
13. I try to remind myself they won’t want to do this for long but mommas gotta work so mommas gotta sleep.
14. I bought a small play tent and put it on top of my son’s bed and made it a fun “camping out” experience.
15. It’s simple: first make sure there are no underlying reasons for them being scared to sleep in their room (noises, nightmares, ghosts – you know the usual – LOL). Then pretty lamps, tents and music. And don’t ALLOW her to sleep with you. She’ll figure it out. You have to be consistent or it won’t mean anything.
16. I started with a sticker chart and after so many stickers she got to pick a prize out of the prize jar. When that stopped working I resorted to money. YES, I pay for 4 year old .50 a night to stay in her bed until morning. And since I’m being honest, it’s the best .50 I spend every day!!!
17. You just have to take a deep breath and tell them that is their bed and keep putting them back. Ignore the crying, fussing and protests. After a week – they’ll stay. It was a challenge but worked for me.
18. My friend wrote a letter to her son “from the school principal” that said kids aren’t allowed to sleep with their parents once they were in third grade. (That’s how long it took her to get her son in his own room! The letter worked!
19. Make a tent over their bed with a blanket.
20. Our three year old would often come into our bed in the middle of the night. Once he fell asleep one of us would carry him up to his bed. It’s rare for him to come in our bed now. He also liked stuffed animals tucked tightly around him.
21. I used to line up 5 coins right outside my daughter’s bedroom door at night. Every time she came out of her room before it was morning, I took away a coin. She got to keep whatever was left in the morning. Only took about a week of this before she just stayed in her room.
22. Praise them every time they are in their own bed. And every time you’re all in their room together, let them see how excited you are about their cool room and cool bed.
23. I have a queen sized bed, so I’ve never allowed kids in the bed. If one of them does come in, they bring their own pillow and blanket and sleep on the floor. That’s not nearly as tempting so it’s rare.
24. We tried EVERYTHING!!! We finally tried putting doTerra oil on his feet and holy nachos!!! He has slept and STAYED in his bed for the last 4 months!
25. TV with tons of DVDs, glow in the dark stars or night lights, a giant bear huge they will feel safe, sleeping with a sibling helps, if all else fails money or candy lol good luck.
26. Make monster spray- just water with cute label.
27. Put dream catcher over her bed find story to teach her that it catches all bad dreams.
28. Find a cool night light that plays music or white noise.
29. She’ll move back to her room when she is ready. For now enjoy it. They don’t stay little for long.
30. We started reading books about sleeping… seemed to help… still occasionally times when I have to go in and lay with her in the middle of the night.

sleeping with snoop

A HUGE thanks to everyone who offered their tips on my Facebook page.

So what’s been working for us? A little bit of everything. Lil’ J didn’t have an issue sleeping in  our bed, just into our room to sleep near us, on the recliner or floor. I didn’t mind her coming into our room in the middle of the night as much as her falling asleep in our room with us. So I sucked it up and got back into our nighttime routine.

It’s become very specific and she appreciates every little detail. Three books of her choosing, prayer (we alternate who says it each night), a night light (that’s always on), a princess vitamin that she picks out, and now Snoop accompanied with a dog treat to give him. I also have been staying in her room until she falls asleep, which I’ve begun to enjoy because it gives me a chance to slow down and enjoy a book (I finally started the Harry Potter series).

She comes into our room around 2am (I’m usually still awake working and notice), which I don’t mind, but she knows she’ll get a reward once she stays in her room all night.

I’m not a perfect parent. I have a lot to work on, but trying to be better must mean I’m headed in the right direction.

Do you have any tips for getting your kids to sleep in their own room?


Speaking of better routines, here are some interesting facts about kids and summer eating habits. I remember my parents giving me a Flintstones vitamin on the daily, then later in life I took calcium since I don’t drink milk. And since realizing the wonders of prenatals (my nails are rockin!) I kept on top of those too. Like I mentioned, Lil’ J enjoys one at bedtime, though she knows it’s not candy.

FINAL_Vitamins_Infographic_7.2015Here’s more helpful information about dietary supplements and how they should be used. A big thanks to Know Your OTCs for sponsoring this story.


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It is the most celebrated milestone of parenting… getting kids to sleep in their own bed. There’s a few ideas on your list I did not think to employ. My kids are fortunately all in their own beds now – W00-HOOIE!
But I will share this on twitter for all my baby sign language mamas to take some ideas from your great list.
Joann Woolley recently posted..Visiting Our Little Free LibraryMy Profile

I didn’t have any problems with the kids wanting to sleep in my room, but my youngest daughter would crawl up in the bed with my oldest daughter during the night. Eventually she quit doing that.

Joanne says:

Some of those are are cute, like the monster spray. Our kids were older when we adopted them so we didn’t have any issues with them sleeping in their own beds.
Joanne recently posted..8 Yummy Summer TreatsMy Profile

Helene Cohen Bludman says:

I am soooo thankful my kids were good sleepers! I know how lucky we were.

Censie says:

Great tips. We are finally feeling like we are getting real sleep in our house now. Both kids sleep through the night in their own beds. We made Monster Spray with Lavender oil They love it!
Censie recently posted..Create A Mac and Cheese BarMy Profile

Debra says:

I’ve been lucky – my kids like to sleep in their own beds and rooms. But we do have cuddle time in our room in the morning – because they get up at the crack of dawn!
Debra recently posted..How Do You Handle Stress? #IHeartTiramisuMy Profile

Chastity says:

Great tips! My son will sleep in his bed, but needs us to lay next to him to fall asleep. Ugh, so ready for him to be able to/want to do it all on his own!
Chastity recently posted..A Splashing Good TimeMy Profile

sacha says:

This was brilliant how you twisted it around. There is a monster in your bed, so they will be safe in their bed instead. LOL
sacha recently posted..Success, Happiness or bothMy Profile

Baby Making Mama says:

I loved that one too! I have the most brilliant readers 🙂

Roxanne says:

My daughter was a great sleeper until about 2 years old when all the sudden she wouldn’t fall asleep without one of us in her room and she would wake up multiple times in the night and take upwards of a hour or so to fall back asleep, cosleeping was never an option because anytime I brought her to bed with us she would start sitting up and talking, we tried virtually everything, finally we asked her pediatrician and she suggested music we tried it that night and it worked like a charm we found a cheap stereo and CD that played only music and left it playing on repeat all night she is now almost 6 years old and still falls asleep with music playing each and every night and we haven’t had a problem with her going to sleep since then.

Leah Sannar says:

My little has always slept in his own bed, this has not been an issue for us yet. But I will say that I don’t think that makes you an imperfect parent… Your ability to roll with it and let Lil J have her own needs and personality without being too rigid or strict is what makes you a PERFECT PARENT!! 🙂
Leah Sannar recently posted..Making Foil Boats With Your PreschoolerMy Profile

We have a 2 year old who slept in her bed in her room. At the bigginig we used to hide small toys and other goodies under sleeping her pillows. It worked like a dream. Within few a week, she was in the habit of staying in bed, and the prizes weren’t even a big issue.

Kaitlyn says:

These are all great tips! The monster spray is such a cute idea. It’s great you set up a routine for her and get some quiet time, too!

Em says:

Santa doesn’t come if they don’t sleep in their own beds (if around the holidays!)

Mia says:

Santa doesn’t come unless they are in they’re own beds!
If thy go to bed before whatever time, they get something special the next morning, maybe a sticker on the chart per say!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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