The life of a child is measured in milestones of growth, and graduating to one’s own bed is one of the big ones. Getting a child to adjust from sleeping with her parents or in her crib to the point where she can sleep in her own bed can be a major hurdle to overcome. Adding to the problem is that parents will often opt for the path of least resistance, which more often than not means accommodating the child rather than dealing with the issue. It takes time and patience to make this transition, neither of which is in abundant supply for either party come bedtime. Fortunately, there’s help for weary parents and skittish children alike. The five books listed below can help everyone sleep tight and alone at last.
- Good Night – by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, Dr. Robert Pressman, and Rebecca Jackson – Divided into four parts, the book lays out a step-by-step routine for parents to follow in order to navigate through the process of teaching kids to sleep alone successfully. The authors explain the psychology of parent-child separation and how to achieve it in a healthy, natural way. Written in a concise, no-nonsense style that takes parents through each night of the process, Good Night delivers exactly what the title promises, in short order.
- Big Enough for a Bed – by Apple Jordan – In this Sesame Street book, Elmo has outgrown his crib and is ready to move up to his very own grown-up bed. Children can follow along with Elmo as he carries his favorite blanket and teddy bear and settles in comfortably and securely to his brand new bed. After reading this story, parents are able to discuss the fears and struggles that Elmo faces with their kids, and work through them together.
- I Sleep in My Own Bed – by Glenn Wright – Another helpful sleep-time aid for kids to discuss transitioning to sleeping in their own bed with parents, I Sleep In My Own Bed deals with all the reasons kids have ever had for not wanting to sleep alone. Inspired by his own son’s struggle with the issue, Wright shares a hopeful story for kids everywhere, and maintains a light and thoughtful tone throughout the book.
- Matilda & Maxwell Good Night – by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman – This bedtime story by Donaldson-Pressman is based on the precepts laid out in her co-authored book Good Night. It’s about a girl named Matilda who shares with her friend Maxwell her fear of sleeping alone. Maxwell, it turns out, once had the same problem, and helps Matilda get past her fears.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers – by Elizabeth Pantley – As the title suggests, this book addresses the problem of toddlers and preschoolers who can’t – or won’t – stay in bed after being tucked in for the night. Providing positive reinforcement suggestions on how to get your child to sleep soundly through the night, Pantley gives hope to parents of kids from ages one through five.
Learning to sleep alone at night is a big obstacle for many kids to overcome, but with the aid of these books it doesn’t have to be an impossible one. As frustrating of a task as it can be for tired parents, remember to maintain patience with your child as they try to work through this transition period. Soon enough, everyone will be getting a good night’s sleep.