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Our six-year-old and two-year-old have both made our bed their regular resting spot. And while we enjoy the many benefits of the "family bed," we'd like to get the kids to sleep in their own room. What's the best way to accomplish this?
Bed-sharing, or nighttime parenting, is especially valuable for parents who have little time with their infants during the day. It allows you and your children to reconnect at night, compensating for touch time you miss during the day.
It's important, however, to find a sleeping arrangement that's comfortable for the whole family. We found that bedsharing works best if there's only one child in our bed. Otherwise, the kids tend to take over, and the adults feel squeezed.
One way to deal with overcrowding in the family bed is to put a futon or mattress on the floor in your room. Encourage your six-year-old to sleep in this "special bed", allowing him the security of feeling close to you at night but getting him used to sleeping alone.
Later, move your two-year-old into a special bed next to her brother. And then, when they're both comfortable with this arrangement move the special beds into their own room. Since they've already been sleeping in the same bed, it should be easy to ease them into a shared sleeping arrangement in another room.