Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting Your Child to Sleep…Alone

Earlier this week on ABC, “Good Morning America” offered advice for parents whose children don’t like to sleep alone.

GMA correspondent Cameron Mathison went on a special assignment to tackle the issue. The location? His own house.

He and his wife Vanessa had been struggling to keep their two kids from sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed. These co-sleeping parents would prefer to be sleeping solo. So family sleep therapist Jennifer Waldburger from
Sleepy Planet came to the rescue.

She said that the whole family benefits when children learn to sleep well. Children who get enough sleep are smarter and happier, and they behave better.

“The benefits are huge,” Waldburger said. “As much as you love your kids now, you’re gonna’ love them even more when they are sleeping.”

She offered a variety of strategies to help parents who have this common problem. These included using morning rewards and having a “sleep party” in the children’s rooms.

After giving it a try, Cameron reports that they have had success for five days in a row.

“It worked!” he told GMA host George Stephanopoulos. “The point is they’re getting the sleep that they needed.”

Hundreds of viewers wrote the show with their own questions. Parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley
answered some of these questions online.

Last month the Sleep Education Blog
reported that “Living Well with Leisa” host Leisa Naples found a creative way to get her girls to wind down at night. She calls it “Family Spa Night.”

What about you? How have you taught your children to sleep in their own beds?

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