Helping a 5 year-old sleep alone can be a daunting task for any parent. Bedtime has become a battle zone as your child refuses to sleep in his own bed. As a result, the family doesn’t sleep peacefully and he ends up cranky during the day. Patience, a consistent bedtime routine and a few tricks will soon have him sleeping independently and ensure a good night’s sleep for you and the family.
Prepare the household atmosphere for sleep. Switch off televisions, dim the lights and shut down computers, video games and noisy toys. Quiet surroundings are more conducive to sleep. Children feel left out when they see or hear family members laughing, talking and watching TV as they prepare for bed. The child may might want to stay back to participate, therefore it's important that the entire family slows down as his bedtime approaches.
Create a bedtime routine. To get your child to sleep alone, you need to make him feel secure. Having a routine does this and eases his transition to sleep. Include steps like a bath, story time and choosing a toy to take to bed. Whatever the routine, be consistent.
Leave the light on in his room and the door open if darkness frightens him. If he still refuses to sleep alone, assure him that you will check on him every 10 minutes until he is asleep. Keep your promise. Praise him during these visits for remaining calm and making the effort to sleep alone.
Avoid giving in just because your child is begging to sleep in your bed. Once you've set the rules, follow them consistently. If you give in, even for one night, he then believes that you will fold if he is persistent long enough.