Has your toddler recently moved into a bed from the confines of their cot and having given them a reasonable amount of time to settle into this new concept, your patience is wearing a bit thin when they persist in waking you in the middle of the night by leaving their room and jumping into bed with you? All children take time to settle into the concept of sleeping in a bed in their own room, but have you thought about how the layout or decor in their room may be contributing to their lack of ability to settle?
This issue is best highlighted through a case study which was recently explained to me by one of our partner’s Sarah Hodgkins of Charlotte Designs.
She was asked to visit a family who were suffering badly through lack of sleep as their 5 year old child had never slept for one whole night in her own room. Instead, she was visiting her parents’ room at 4am to wake them and join them in their bed. They had tried everything to try to coax her to stay in her own room through reward and encouragement, but to no avail and they were really starting to suffer through such a prolonged period of disturbed nights.
Sarah spent some time with the child in her room asking her about what she liked about it and what she didn’t. She did not appear to be attached to the room as her own space. The room felt very big and open, not cosy. It arose that she had her cuddly toys and dolls all stored on open shelving on one bedroom wall and she was waking in the middle of the night to see the toys ‘looking at her’ which was causing her distress. This was making her wish to sleep with the landing light on and the door open, so her room was quite light for restful sleep to be achieved. When asked where she would like to sleep if she had a choice, she said in the clouds with the stars.
A bedroom swap was then negotiated with her brother so she could have a smaller, cosier room with her bed under the sloping ceiling. Being a talented mural artist, Sarah painted the night sky on the sloping ceiling with clouds and stars that glow in the dark. The child’s toys were stored in new cupboards with doors and a pretty flower night-light was installed on the wall at the end of her bed. The child then moved with great excitement into her new bedroom. Feedback indicates that from the very first night onwards, she slept the whole night in her own bed without disturbing her parents.
If you are experiencing the same issue, perhaps you might spend some time considering what may be causing similar behaviour in your child by asking them how they feel about their bedroom and then try addressing the room furnishing and dÃ©cor accordingly if any issues arise.
For advice on the interior design of your child’s bedroom contact Charlotte Designs