When the time comes to move your toddler to his or her own room, it’s normal for the whole family to feel a little unsettled. To make things easier for both your toddler and yourself, try the following tips to make your child’s room transition easier:
Create an air of excitement about the new room
It’s important to make the room change sound exciting rather than scary, to minimize any fears your toddler has. Move some of your toddler’s favorite toys and other possessions into his or her new room, creating a fun new play space that he or she will want to spend time in. You might even like to buy them a new toy or two for the occasion and tell them it’s to be used especially in the new room, which will be an incentive to spend time there. You can also praise the new room – try telling your child how much space they’ll have to play in when they have a whole room to themselves.
Keep your regular routine
A room change can be quite a disruption to a child’s life, so make it as easy on him or her as possible by keeping everything else in their life as normal as possible. Make sure he or she understands that they’ll soon feel comfortable in their new room and reassure them that nothing else will be changing.
Move in gradually
Start by spending a few hours a week in your toddler’s new room, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend there as the move-in date approaches. A few nights before the move, try doing your usual bedtime routine in the new room without having your child sleep there – you might read him or her their bedtime story and then take them to their regular bed. The next night, let them stay in their new room. If your child is having trouble adjusting from a crib to a bed, you can still move them into their own room – just move them along with the crib, and when they’ve fully adjusted, you can think about giving them their own bed.
Let your child help you decorate
You don’t have to let your toddler run wild with his or her paint and crayons – but giving them a chance to help you decorate their new room will give them a sense of control and ownership over their new environment. Why not let them pick out a new piece of furniture, or have them choose the color that their room will be painted?
Reward good behavior
Once your toddler has moved into their new room, consider buying or making a few little treats for your toddler, to be given out when they’ve behaved well in their new environment. Always treat them kindly and encourage them, even if they are resistant to the changes – but each night that they haven’t awoken you or made a fuss when you put them to bed, greet them enthusiastically in the morning and make sure they know how well they’ve done to spend the night on their own. You can decrease this behavior as they settle into their new environment, but it’ll help things run smoothly in the beginning.
A room transition is an important part of early childhood, but it’s always a big change for a child to start sleeping in their own room. It’s normal for parents to feel both relieved and a little sad at the prospect of their little munchkin gaining more independence – but try to savor the freedom that the room change will allow the whole family!
about the author…Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who loves writing articles about home, family, travel, and lifestyle. Find more of her work here.