Slow down, kid.
No, that’s really not an option in raising children. One day, they can’t even sit straight in a high chair to eat and the next day, they’re getting scratches and scrapes from bouncing all over the place. Children grow up too fast. And soon enough, they don’t need you to sing them lullabies to put them to sleep. They don’t even want you there anymore.
Okay, before you get too emotional, you have got to come to terms with your kids growing up. As much as it is part of their journey to puberty and then adulthood, it is also part of the parenting cycle. One day, your children are going to need to sleep in their own bedroom. In the Philippines, having a separate kid’s bedroom isn’t always common so kids sleep in their parents’ bedrooms until they are “old enough.” You can blame it on the culture of strong family ties or issues of space and practicality, but in here, a shared bedroom for all the kids is already common. It is a good thing that condo living in the city gives homeowners more options with multiple bedroom units.
There are many reasons to have a separate bedroom from your child. Kids with their own bedrooms can take control. If he gets to pick the color of his wall, where to put his toys, and which sheets to use, he gets to exercise control, giving him a higher sense of self-esteem in the process. Parents can also teach their kids responsibility such as keeping the room tidy and protecting their belongings. The peace and quiet will also benefit an introverted child. Children, too, need get away sometimes. At the same time, the child can host play dates in his room, which allows him to build friendships and teaches him about courtesy, generosity, and graciousness.
Is your child ready for a bedroom of his own? Can he handle it? Can you? Here are nine signs that it is time to let your child sleep in their own bedroom.
Pulling off a crib jailbreak
You’ll get a hint that it’s about time you start contemplating on giving your child his own little space when he can effortlessly climb out of his crib and manage a jailbreak. The crib now is a dangerous place for him. He can fall or trip.
This could be a sign that he wants to upsize his sleeping space. He finds the crib too small for all his toys and too tight for him to be rowdy. You can convert the crib to a small bed so that a sense of familiarity is still there even if he moves out of your room. A little too much transformation can shock him so let him balance the old with the new on his own terms. There are many ways to create a fantastic nursery, then convert it into a room that your child will love to call his own.
When he’s already potty training
If a toddler is already toilet training and starting to go to the bathroom on his own, it is safe to say that the crib is a barrier. If he is sleeping with you on the bed, you can also say that you are a barrier.
When a toddler is starting to potty train, you know he is growing up. If he can handle to pull his pants down, go for the toilet, and flush, he just demonstrated that he can follow instructions and take some responsibility.
Non-stop tossing and turning
It is difficult and a bit painful to accept that your child is beginning to get uncomfortable sleeping by your side. This makes dealing with kids rather problematic—they want you and they don’t. When they toss and turn non-stop as if they don’t already take up half of the bed, it is probably time for him to start sleeping in his own bedroom.
From toddler to preschooler
When a child starts going to play school or preschool, he starts to realize that there is a bigger world out there for him. Roll with the changes by planning a kid’s bedroom. Now they have more stuff and need more space to do school work. They also feel that they are already big girls and boys once they start school. They feel wiser and more responsible.
The kid goes “bed shopping”
“I want that pink bedroom.” “That superhero bed is cool.”
Have you heard your little boys and girls declare that when you go to a showroom or happen to open a catalogue? This is when you know your toddler is looking forward to a space of his own. When a child beams with excitement at the prospect of having his own bedroom, you’ll know that you are bound to experience that stage in parenting when you learn how to let go.
Your child makes up his “corner”
Do you often find your child in a specific corner of your house setting up a tent, gathering all his toys, and playing or sleeping in his make-shift space? This could be a sign that he wants out. If you see him constantly making a room for himself, go ahead and make the transition. Talk to him about it and see what he thinks.
Need to manage clutter
If you are dealing with kids at home, you would have to deal with clutter too. You probably can’t eliminate the clutter all at once but you need to manage it or you will lose your home and your sanity. Teach them about responsibility and ownership by giving them their own bedroom. Seek their help when arranging all their stuff so they will know where each one belongs. A separate kid’s bedroom will teach your children about being in charge of their own space and their belongings.
Gearing up for a new arrival
Are you about to have baby number two? Before the new bundle of joy arrives, you need to get your toddler comfortable in his own room. This is exactly the time to let your child sleep in his own bedroom because you would need more bed space for another baby. This also helps your toddler realize that he or she is now a big brother or sister to your little one. Having your own bedroom is a responsibility, so does being the older sibling.
You need to sleep, too
Do you feel like you have not slept four years? It’s probably because you haven’t. It’s time to begin the transition from coddling your toddler to letting him sleep in his own room. There will be challenges such as waking up in the middle of the night to check on your kid, but sooner or later he will learn how to be comfortable in his bed and put himself back to sleep. Meanwhile, you can start paying your sleep debt.
There is no right age to move your child to his own room. You just have to see the signs and stop being in a state of denial. Your kids are growing up and they can manage to sleep in a bed of their own. You have got to trust your kids on this because they are about to show you just how well you’ve raised them.