Transition your foster child into their own bed at night can be a difficult task. This is made even more difficult if your child is used to sleeping in a bedroom with someone else. Thankfully, there are certain things that you can do to help encourage your toddler not only to fall asleep in their bed, but also stay in their bed for the entire night. Here are some great tips.
Create a Solid Bedtime Routine
One of the best ways to start the night off right with your foster child is to create a solid bedtime routine with them. The key with any bedtime routine is consistency. Most kids thrive off of structure and this is the perfect place to incorporate it. While each bedtime routine is going to look a bit different, things like bathing, putting on pajamas, and brushing teeth are generally staples.
You can then tuck them in, read them a story, pray with them, sing to them, apply essential oils, or whatever helps your child to feel safe and relaxed before they go to sleep. If they feel this way, they are much more likely to fall asleep without a fight or without fear. It may take a couple nights of you staying in the room with them until they fall asleep, but they will most likely transition into going to sleep on their own fairly quickly.
Help Them Feel Safe
It is so important that your foster child feels safe when they are in their own bed. Their room, and their bed specifically, should be somewhere that they feel comfortable and protected, rather than scared and nervous. One way to make them feel safe is to add a removable railing to the front side of the bed. This helps them to feel more like they are protected and can greatly reduce the risk of them falling out of their bed.
You can also allow them to snuggle their favorite stuffed animal and/or blanket as they are falling asleep. These objects are often incredibly comforting to children and have a huge positive impact on their emotions. Saying comforting words, such as “I am right across the hall” or “I am here if you need me” can help reaffirm to them that they are not alone and that you will make sure they are safe and cared for throughout the night.
Purchase a Night-Light
Something very simple, but also very impactful, that you can do is purchase a night-light for your foster child’s room. It can be a basic LED night-light, or you could make it more fun and get a character-themed night-light, a night-light of the night sky, a colored light, etc.
This little bit of light within their room can help to dispel a lot of their fears of monsters or whatever they happen to imagine may be hiding in the dark. A night sky night-light is also great because your child can look at the stars and moon on their ceiling as they are trying to fall asleep.
Learn More About Getting Your Foster Child to Sleep in Their Own Bed at Night
It is a huge stepping stone when your foster child begins to sleep in their own bed at night and it is important to make this transition a successful one. By creating a solid bedtime routine, helping them feel safe, and purchasing a night-light to bring them comfort and dispel the darkness, you can help to give them everything they need to sleep in their own bed.
To learn more about getting your foster child to feel safe and comfortable in their own bed, or fostering in general, visit us at Texas Family Initiative.