How to Get My Child to Sleep Alone?

Teaching their children to sleep alone is one of the most daunting tasks for parents. Usually, a child won't warm up to the idea immediately. He or she might throw a fit or have trouble sleeping.

A child with autism exhibits more attachment to his or her parents. Feelings of separation, even when brief, easily stir emotional distress. That's why sleeping alone is a routine that's very hard to do.

Nonetheless, it's not impossible to teach a child under the spectrum to sleep alone, although it will take patience. Read this article that will show the most effective techniques.

Why Do Children Sleep Easily With Parents?

Parents provide the touch inputs that help children fall asleep easily. Their presence stimulates relaxation and shuts out any unnecessary inputs that disrupt sleep.

Children with autism usually suffer from sensory issues. They are either overly sensitive - easily get distracted by light or sound - or under sensitive - need more sensory stimulation than normal.

For overly sensitive children, the presence of parents can reduce attention to noise, lights, images, and other information that disrupts the mood to sleep.

On the other hand, children that are under-sensitive easily sleep with their parents since they feel more secure, safe, and relaxed.

Techniques For Teaching A Child Under The Spectrum To Sleep Alone

Make The Room Smaller and Don't Forget To Put Teddy Bears On The Bed

A child, who is under-sensitive to touch inputs, can easily feel empty, alone, or scared when left to sleep on his or her own. These can get in the way of sleeping. In this case, making the room smaller and putting teddy bears on the bed are a solution.

Making the room smaller will make the child less anxious about the surroundings. On the other hand, teddy bears supplement the touch inputs needed for a good sleep.

Snuff Out Lights Or Noise

Faint noises, subtle movements, and weak sources of light can easily disrupt the sleep of a child who is overly sensitive to touch inputs.

Snuffing out lights or noise can make sleeping easier. To do this, parents can clear the child's room free of toys and blinking sources of light during the nighttime.

Also, donning the windows of the bedroom with dark-colored curtains prevents light from street lamps and outdoor lighting from getting inside.

To reduce noise that enters the child's room, parents can install thick wall blankets, place bookshelves in the room, and cover the room's flooring with a carpet to mask footsteps.

Bed Time Stories

Stories don't only make bedtime more exciting for a child. They also serve as power sleep cues that aid in sleeping alone.

Bedtime stories strengthen the bond between the child and his or her parents. During storytelling sessions, a child with autism can openly talk about his experiences thereby fostering emotional security. In addition, bed stories can also help the child forget about distractions that cause sleeping difficulties.

Giving Rewards

Giving rewards is a scientifically proven practice that's very useful for training. With a bit of craftiness, parents can use it to teach their children to sleep alone.

Ideals rewards are gold stars, stickers, sweet treats, clothes, garments, or toys. Parents can give these the day after the child sleeps alone or attempts to sleep alone.

Camping Out

Camping out is one of the most common methods in teaching a child under the spectrum to sleep alone. It is done by making the child feel comfortable about sleeping and once the child is asleep, parents then go to their bedroom.

This method requires patience on the parents' end. Sometimes, the child can wake up right after his or her parents left. And so, the parents will have to do the process again.

Nonetheless, camping out is ideal in teaching a child to sleep alone because it doesn't inflict any emotional or psychological harm. If it doesn't work, the parent can just proceed to sleep with the child and try again the next night.

Ending Words: What Parents Should Avoid Doing?

Teaching children with autism to sleep alone takes time. Parents shouldn't expect positive results to emerge within 1 week or 2 weeks. The tips in this article serve as the easiest and most efficient methods. Try each tip but if you don’t see the progress we can advise looking for professional help.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

x