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Trip, Trip, Trip... Here Is Your Night Visitor Again!
Night Visits From Your Child
In the middle of the night you hear, trip, trip, trip and your bedroom door opens. It's not hard to imagine who it is and when you feel your little one climbing into your bed, you are sure.
Rest assured, this behavior is both common and healthy. Your toddler or preschooler is searching for comfort and security and you are the one in his or her mind that provides for it. Plus, nature has a built in mechanism that, almost automatically, causes you to provide for that need.
When you and or your toddler are really losing a lot of sleep because of these night visits, it's a different story. Using one of five proven methods to encourage your toddler to stay in his bed throughout the night. Find the one that works best for you by experimentation.
However, before I explain these methods, it's important to remember this: Don't send mixed messages to your toddler. Learn from the following example about a woman who very gently and responsibly taught her child to stay in his own bed all night.
Although she wanted her little one to sleep in his own bed, she also enjoyed the closeness with her child. What happened? She couldn't sleep and in the middle of the second night she got in the little ones bed! So, back to square one. Before you decide on a plan of action, get in touch with your own feelings about the matter. If there is one thing that children are very good at picking up, it is your uncertainty.
Have you ever told your child, No when he or she wanted a cookie? If you really meant no way, chances are that your child realized that No was the end of it, but if you thought, Oh well, one cookie.., then all was lost. Your child easily picked up your emotions through your hesitation. Children are experts in picking up your emotions! Therefore it is very important not to sent mixed messages. Know what you want and stick to it. If I got a dime for every time one of my childs started to "negotiate with me" (and often won), I would now have a nice sum in the bank.
Lets say you and your partner agree that it's okay that baby stays in his own bed. So, how do you proceed?
These methods are by no means the Holy Grail. Try those that suit you best and you will definitely notice a huge improvement.
Always remember to be patient. In teaching little children, things often take longer than they do with adults. Whatever you do, be firm but loving. Don't leave your child out in the cold. Let your child know that his or her well-being is your main concern.
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