Farewell To The Family Bed: How Children Learn To Sleep Alone

There are a thousand good reasons for the family bed and a thousand reasons against it. Don’t feel guilty just because your child still sleeps in the family bed. You don’t have to justify yourself. Find out for yourself what is the best solution for you.

Family Bed: Is It Selfish?

Opinions are divided. Both opponents and supporters of the family bed accuse mothers of selfishness. On the one hand, mothers who wean their child quickly are selfish because they would rather have their peace and quiet, and on the other hand, closeness is more important than your child’s independence.

Family bed: advantages and disadvantages

Do you have to have a guilty conscience just because your child prefers to sleep in the parents’ bed rather than your own? Does this really hinder independent development? Parents are unsure. But you can be relaxed about the topic of the family bed, since children want to sleep alone after a certain age anyway. At the latest when the child starts school, it usually moves into its own bed.

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Advantages of the family bed

  • Easier breastfeeding
  • Babies wake up less often, go back to sleep faster and cry less
  • Strengthening the relationship between parents and child
  • Parents can react faster to their child

Disadvantages of the family bed

  • No more togetherness in your own bed
  • Parents sleep more restlessly because the children move around a lot
  • Children wake up due to movements and noises of parents
  • The child may find it difficult to sleep with other people

Saying goodbye to the family bed: weaning slowly

When you decide it’s time to move your child out, take the weaning process slowly. For example, start by letting him spend naptime alone first. It may also help your child if you stay until he or she falls asleep and make it clear that you will always be in close proximity.

Create a substitute

Get your child used to a bedtime ritual. Sit on the edge of the bed and read a story, or sing a few lullabies. Be consistent and don’t give in too quickly.
There will certainly be one night or another when your child needs more physical closeness again. But sleeping in the parents’ bed should be an exception. Leave the door open if your child feels safer that way. The option of the baby monitor still exists.

Falling Asleep Alone

From around the age of two, children recognize that things continue to exist, even if they are not currently in their field of vision. Test out whether your child is already able to fall asleep on his or her own. For example, after the good-night story, tell your child that you will make a quick cup of tea and be back in three minutes.
Maybe your child will be asleep by then.

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Be Gentle

Tell your child that he or she is already grown up and that there is not enough room in the parents’ bed. Explain to him how nice it can be to have his own bed and that you also need your peace and quiet to sleep.
Design his bedroom together with your child. Maybe buy a nice bedside lamp, or hang a mobile over the bed. Even a piece of clothing that smells like you can help them fall asleep.

The Exception Proves The Rule

Saying goodbye to the family bed, does not have to be a rigid decision. Especially when your child is sick, you can allow him to sleep in the family bed again for that time.
These are simply phases in which your child needs extra attention.

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A diaper bag offers you a lot of storage space, so that you have everything you need for your baby on the go - from the changing pad to the bottle.


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Extra bed

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