With my niece turning 3 years old this year, life has definitely felt like it's been moving fast. From potty training to riding her own tricycle, I feel like she's doing something new every time I come home to visit. Since she's growing up so quickly, my sister has started testing out letting my niece sleep in her own bed at night. When she told me this, the first question I asked was: should toddlers sleep by themselves?
Though The Huffington Post noted that the age in which your child should start sleeping by themselves depends on each person's parental style, Daily Mail revealed that letting your child sleep alone before the age of 3 makes it harder for them to bond with the mother and causes damage to the development of the brain. So how do you get a child that's 3 or older to get used to sleeping on their own? According to Parents, one way to do so is to eliminate the distractions that may be in their room. Televisions, games, and computers should be taken out to help create an environment that is conducive to sleeping.
But what happens when your toddler suffers from nightmares or has a scary imagination? Baby Sense noted that you should be sympathetic towards how they feel and give them lots of love before putting them back in their own bed for the night. According to WebMD, asking your child to suddenly sleep in their own bed may be a lot to ask, so putting a sleeping bag or air mattress on the floor near your bed could be a good option to slowly get them used to not co-sleeping.
Although every parent has their own preference of when they want their child to start sleeping on their own, whenever you do decide, be sure to stick to your guns and encourage them to get comfortable with sleeping on their own.