What are the benefits of having children sleep by themselves from a young age – as practiced in America and France?

2018.07.09

Most parents in Japan sleep in the same bed as their little ones. However, in most Western countries, parents have their children sleep in separate rooms from an early age. In some families, babies are placed in their own room from the very beginning.

Why do Western families have their babies/little ones sleep alone from such a young age? In this article, we will cover the benefits of having your little one alone and tips for encouraging your little one to stay in his/her own room.

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3 Benefits of Having Your Little One Sleep Alone

Many people have seen parents in Western movies say “good night” to their children and let them go to their room alone or turn off the lights in their child’s room. What are the benefits of having your child sleep alone?

Sleeping alone improves children’s sense of independence
In Western families, parents place importance on developing a sense of independence. The foundation of this theory is that even babies and young children should be respected as individuals. Co-sleeping is often considered “sleep discipline” and is a passive action for children. In comparison, sleeping on one’s own requires children to actively try to fall asleep on their own. Children who sleep on their own are more likely to be proactive in various situations and try to gain their own independence.

Some children gain self-confidence by sleeping alone
Sleeping alone is a big challenge for young children. If sleeping alone helps them gain self-confidence, this will be valuable to their development. Attending mommy and me classes and socializing with friends are often helpful in shifting children’s attitudes. Exposing children to a variety of experiences is a great way to help them gain self-confidence. Once they have self-confidence it will be easier for them to sleep alone.

When children sleep alone, parents have more time to themselves
Many parents have the experience of falling asleep next to their child and staying there until morning because they are so exhausted from the day. However, sleeping separately from your child has many benefits for parents. An important benefit is that parents can enjoy their evening alone once their child falls asleep. Having some refresh time away from your child will help parents handle their daily tasks more easily.

How to encourage your child to sleep alone

There are many benefits children gain from sleeping alone. However, it is not a good idea to force a child who has been sleeping with his/her parents all along to suddenly sleep alone. Some children are successful sleeping alone right away. But many children who have always slept with mom or dad will not like sleeping alone at first. For these children, it is important to take the transition more slowly.

There are benefits for the whole family when children learn to sleep on their own. Please keep your child’s feelings in mind and work with them to make it happen.

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