Kids Sleeping in Own Beds: Your Questions Answered

For many parents, every night is a struggle to get their kids to sleep in their own beds.

Experts call it co-sleeping -- when young children prefer to sleep in their parents' bed.

"GMA" special correspondent Cameron Mathison tackled the issue with his own family on Tuesday's show, and hundreds of viewers wrote in with questons for parenting guru Elizabeth Pantley, the author of "The No-Cry Sleep Solution."

Click here to read "Good Morning America's" full report.

VIDEO: New research suggests that kids sleep better in their own beds.
Bedtime: Getting Your Kids to Sleep

Read below for Pantley's answers to some of the most common questions and click here to visit her Web site.:

The Napping Question: Vida from Longmont, Calif.:
My 4-year-old has *almost* given up napping. When he gets a nap, he's happy and well-behaved all evening, but then he doesn't settle down and get to sleep until 10 p.m. When he doesn't nap, he's cranky after dinner but goes down easily at 7:30. My question is, should I be encouraging him to nap or not at this point?

Pantley's Answer: Nearly every child can benefit from a daily nap, and your son is a perfect example of that! That long span from morning until bedtime puts stress on a child's biological and emotion systems. However, too long of a nap, or a nap that's too late in the day, can interfere with bedtime. Try ending his nap after an hour or so -- he'll get all the benefits without compromising bedtime. You can also try moving your son's nap an hour or two earlier in the day to allow a longer span to bedtime, or waking him up an hour earlier in the morning. In addition, make sure your little guy gets about 11 hours of night sleep.

Breaking the Co-Sleeping Habit: Bridgette from Canton, Mississippi:
My 6-year-old daughter sleeps on a mattress in our room. We tried to move the mattress last night and she ended up in the bed and I slept upstairs. We have tried everything. She is relentless. What to do?

Nicky from Hartland, Wisconsin:
My daughter is 8 years old and she does not like sleeping in her own bed. She tells me that she doesn't like to be alone at night. What can I do to get her to sleep in her own bed all night?

Pantley's Answer: Children are very much "creatures of habit." If your daughters have always happily slept in your rooms it's unlikely they'll quietly accept a change.

The good news is that at this age both girls can be partners in the process. Explain that you'd like your daughter to sleep in her own room and brainstorm how to make it work for her. Perhaps add an array of stuffed animals to cuddle with, a small nightlight, put a bedtime pet (like a turtle) on her nightstand, give her a CD player with a children's audio book or soft music for her to listen to at bedtime.

A chart where she can place a sticker for every independent night or a small prize after a week of sleeping on her own can also be motivating. Positive encouragement and compliments will also go a long way!

Language Acquisition and Sleep: Amber, from Ottawa, Canada:
At 16 months my son started learning upwards of 4-5 new words a day. The last two weeks he has been sleeping horribly. He pushes his sleep at least an hour and a half past when he should be going down. Does the language explosion have anything to do with his resistance to sleep?

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