When is the right time? Whenever you are ready. I would imagine that Dad would love to return to his spot in his bed. It would be great to try both kids together in a bed of their own; they might go for this if done together. Our children were used to sleeping in our bed at this age, but they eventually learned. Sometimes it took incentives, we started by making a “star-chart”. For every night she fell asleep by herself she would get a star, and after three stars she would get a prize. Some nights she would say, “I don’t think I want a star for tonight”, and that was okay – she was always welcome in our bed. Soon, she was easily falling asleep by herself, but most mornings I would awaken to find her snuggling between my wife and I. Again, this was not a problem for us (I love snuggling my kids). So, the next step was to make a star chart for staying in her bed ALL NIGHT. She earned a really nice prize for that accomplishment.
I like this approach for several reasons:
- Children develop a positive attitude about sleep.
- They are not forced into anything that they aren’t ready for – they get to choose between two nice things.
- Everybody stays happy – there are no nighttime struggles, which help keep lost sleep to a minimum.
Kids are now older, sleeping great.