A humorous story about a little girl who wholeheartedly agrees that three is too many for the bed. Her solution? Daddy must sleep somewhere else! Perhaps a cot next to the big bed would work. She is a skilled negotiator and presents many valid reasons for her solution. For every parent living through this struggle, The Big Bed will resonate with you and your toddlers.
Snuggling up with your little children for a peaceful night of slumber sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! One night can quickly turn into a habit that is hard to break. Young children who sleep with their parents quickly develop a sense of security that disappears when attempting to sleep alone. "Just one time" becomes an every night event that exhausted parents don't have the energy to fight.
Pretty soon children sleeping in their own beds becomes a thing of the past. It's really important to address this behavior early on so that it does not affect other aspects of social development and wellbeing. Kids who sleep with their parents may develop more pervasive anxiety around being separated from them at night. For example, invitations by friends to spend the night are not accepted. Reading kids' books about sleepovers and slumber parties will help children get over their fear of sleeping away from home.
Here are the best children's books about sleeping alone that may just help you return to healthier bedtime routines. Helping a little one overcome fear of staying in bed at night will benefit the entire family.
Children's Books for Transitioning into Big Beds (and staying there!)
Some kids make the switch from a crib to a big kid bed without any hiccups. Others need a little bit of a push. A crib offers a sense of security for parents and babies alike. But when the time comes to move to a regular bed, reading children's books about sleeping alone in a big bid can help. Here are some of the best books that provide just the encouragement kids need for this new milestone.
Princess Polly is thrilled with her brand new big girl bed. She is a little sad to see baby bed go, but this feeling is replaced with happiness at picking out new sheets and blankets. Toddlers will love pushing the little sound button to produce a cheerful noise with every turn of the page. This book will help you celebrate a new beginning in a child's life- learning to sleep alone in their own bed!
The big day has finally arrived! A dinosaur is moving out of a crib in his parents' room to his own big boy bed. His feelings of excitement turn to trepidation when it's time to go to sleep. This cute tot comes up with every possible excuse to delay bedtime. Finally, he learns how to be brave and settle into a night of restful sleep. Read this book to your children before they manage to make their way into your bed!
A little girl learns that she can go on the most amazing adventures when she falls asleep in her big girl bed. This magical book takes a unique approach by focusing on the bed as a way to escape into a wonderland of dream-filled bliss. And when the child awakes from her nightime journey, she finds her mom and dad close enough to keep her safe. Gorgeously illustrated book captures all the excitement and security a girl feels in her big bed.
This little boy's enthusiasm for his big new bed is contagious. There plenty of room for his favorite toys and stuffed animals. He also has a bundle of fun crawling underneath and scaring his cat. This big boy bed also offers a new sense of freedom (and responsibility) now that he can climb out whenever he chooses. A fun book to read to your child who is ready to sleep in big bed of his own!
(Kids and Parents Beating Nightime Fears Together)
This is a picture book and guide for parents all in one. Written by a cognitive behavior expert, this is the story of Benny. a lion cub who experiences anxiety every night when it is time to go to bed. Benny is afraid of the dark, hears scary sounds, and has constant nightmares. Following some very specific guidelines, Benny (with the help of his parents) finally puts his fears aside and sleeps alone. This helpful book reminds parents that there are no quick fixes. Also, there will be many setbacks along the way. But with persistence and consistency, your goal of converting your child into an indepedent sleeper is within reach.
The words "time for bed" can trigger all kinds of antics in children who do not want to sleep alone. This cute book changes the framework for how children view going to bed. Readers are taken on a journey to jungles, mountaintops, and other exciting places....all within the comfort of their secure, cozy, comfortable beds. An important message is reinforced throughout- how lucky you are to have a bed to call your own!
Ed is having some problems adjusting to his big boy bed. Everything else about his bedtime routine is the same- he brushes his teeth, takes a warm bath, and reads stories with mom and dad- but the crib is gone. Each night after he is tucked in, Ed quietly slips out of bed and climbs in between his parents. This isn't going to work, so his parents come up with a plan to help Ed with his nighttime jitters.
A very short but oh so sweet story about Elmo's transition from a crib to a bed. This snuggly red Sesame character isn't sure he is ready. But with his comfy blanket and favorite stuffed animal, he has the confidence he needs to sleep through the night.
An adorable, rhyming story about a little girl, Suzy, who seems to do everything right at bedtime, but she still can't fall asleep! Kids who come up with every imaginable excuse to get out of bed will appreciate the humor in this bedtime story. Although Suzy's problem is a different one to solve (a bunch of farm animals are crowding her bed), the end game is the same. Settle in comfortably and go to sleep!
Sometimes a funny book is just what kids need to finally realize the importance of sleeping in their own beds. This story is about a bunch of barn animals who all seem to have settled into wrong places for a night of slumber. It starts with a pig who is upset to find a cow in his bed. So he wakes the cow who retreats to his own bed, only to find a hen snoozing away there. And so the story continues until every single animal is in its rightful bed.
Getting a toddler excited about sleeping in a big, new bed can turn into a chore. This board book by Leslie Patricelli is pure silliness with more than a touch of reality. Her signature bald baby enjoys playing, bouncing, and doing everything else on the bed- except sleeping! When it's time to turn out the lights, this funny tot finally transitions into a peaceful slumber. A favorite book that reinforces all the comfort a child's own bed offers!
This award-winning book is about a Sleep Fairy who visits children who are having difficulty sleeping through the night. Much like the Tooth Fairy, she slips small gifts under their pillows, but only if they stay in their beds for the entire night. This story is lengthy so it's better suited for older kids who are still working to improve their nighttime sleep habits.
The antics of this cute little toddler may seem a little too familiar! When it is time for bed, she comes up with a million excuses to procrastinate going to sleep. After a lot of patience and encouragement, she finally finds a strategy to settle herself into sleep all by herself. Kids will recognize themselves in this little girl and will hopefully learn something from her as well.
A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems With Sleep
This award-winning guide has been praised by parents who have successfully worked through bedtime issues by following the author's advice. By applying cognitive behavioral techniques, parents and children can work with anxiety related to sleeping alone at night. Lots of issues are covered, from overactive minds to overdepenedence on parents, which prevent kids from settling into a peaceful sleep alone in their own beds. This self-help book provides the empowerment and motivation kids need to kick their sleep problems once and for all.
Lola is a night owl. Unfortunately for her brother Charlie, she goes to great lengths to avoid going to sleep. Not sure why mom and dad have made it Charlie's responsibility (maybe they are on to something?), but he is running short on patience in this humorous bedtime story. A great way to lighten the mood and have a few chuckles, especially if your own child is a little bit like stubborn Lola.
(How to Transition and Keep Your Toddler in Their Bed)
Louie is a big elephant with a big fear of sleeping in his new bed alone. He knows he should be excited about graduating from his crib, but Louie has his doubts about the big bed his father is putting together for him. With a little courage and a lot of imagination, he finally realizes all the fun things he can do in his bed.
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Picture Books for Children About Big Kid Beds
Reading these books about characters who sleep alone in their big beds can be just what you child needs. Learning how the tots in these books cope with their fear of the dark will give your own kid a boost of confidence when the lights go out. For kids who continue to struggle, consider reading children's books about anxiety and worry which provide coping strategies for kids overwhelmed by fear at night.
Readers will learn that they are not alone in feeling a little fear or anxiety sleeping alone. But they will also be reassured that their beds are a safe and comfortable place to sleep until morning. For more reading to help make bedtime easier, check out the best children's books about fear of the dark.
Tips for Parents to Help Kids Sleep Alone
There are different reasons why parents co-sleep with their children. For some, it's an intentional part of their parenting style. They believe that children will grow up to feel more secure and loved by nestling between their parents every night.
Other sleeping situations come to be as a result of temporary circumstances- like an illness- that turned into a habit. A parent may want to sleep with a sick child to offer comfort, monitor a fever, or otherwise keep vigil until the worst has passed. And next thing you know, the child has assumed a permanent position in the parents' bed.
Some of the more challenging circumstances arise for children who develop anxiety sleeping alone, which is based on fear of the dark or a sense of feeling unsafe. Regardless of the reason, the day will come when it is finally time for a children to return to their own beds. If your transition is not a smooth one, here are some tips that will help.
- Consistent Bedtime Routines are often necessary to prepare a child both physically and mentally for a night of sound slumber. Taking a warm bath is not only essential for hygiene, but it's helpful in settling down an active toddler after a long day.
- Build Plenty of Time into your schedule for setting your toddler into bed. After a long, busy day working, running errands, taking care of the other kids, and cleaning up the house, sometimes parents run out of energy and patience. But remember that taking a little extra time with your toddler at bedtime can go a long way. All of the little things you do, like singing a song, saying a prayer, or reading some stories, will provide the necessary comfort your child needs to fall asleep.
- Avoid Sugary Desserts close to bedtime as they will interfere with your child's ability to setting in bed for the night. Chocolate contains caffeine which will also cause your child to be jittery and unable to fall asleep.
Tools to Help Your Child Sleep Independently
Getting children to go to sleep...and stay asleep....is a challenge that many parents face. So it's no surprise that there are some pretty neat products geared toward toddlers that are designed to help. Here are some of our favorite gadgets that families have found beneficial on their journey toward uninterrupted nights of sleep.
This adorable sleep training clock has many features to help toddlers manage their sleep schedule. There are multiple settings for parents to control bedtime, wake time, and nap time. This helpful gadget also serves as a sound machine and nightlight.
Do you have a little toddler who pops up from bed a little too early? Perhaps your child even gets up in the middle of the night, mistakenly thinking it's time to start the day (or just hoping to hop into bed with mom and dad). Parents can program the stop light so that red is lit during sleep time and green is lit when it's time to wake up. There is also a sound alarm that can be set.
This darling pastel, rainbow elephant has a built-in timer to turn off after fifteen minutes. The soft plush toy softly plays several songs like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and Mary Had a Little Lamb. For kids who need a little extra comfort before falling asleep, this elephant may do the trick.
Available in a variety of weights and colors, this soft blanket helps children fall to sleep more easily. The heaviness gives young kiddos a sense of security and keeps them comfortably warm all night long.