Getting a toddler to stay in bed?

Laura - posted on 05/06/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My son is 22 months old and we switched him to a toddler bed about 2 months ago. At first he was fine, we'd read him a story and he'd go right to sleep. However these last few weeks he's been getting up and coming to his door. I have to tuck him in between 5-10 times before he will actually go to sleep. How do I get him to understand that I mean business without resorting to spanking him every time he gets up? I don't want him to associate bedtime with negativity.

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Erica - posted on 06/30/2011

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We're going through this with my daughter. She was the best sleeper until we moved her to a big bed at 2 1/2. Worst decision! I wish every night we would have waited until she was 3 (SuperNanny suggests this). We're going on 2 months now of my daughter getting out of bed. We keep putting her back in bed w/out saying anything (no attention). Last night she came out 7 times and twice in the middle of the night. Ah!! Help!!! She's so tired that she also wakes up too early. She's tired and cranky all day (so are we b/c we're getting woken up and can't fall back asleep). Then she's tired, and the process starts all over again!

Sharon - posted on 05/08/2011

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I think moving them out of the crib before 2 years old is crazy. When my son was climbing out at 17 months we got a crib tent BEST 75. EVER SPENT! He is almost 2 and still sleeps 11-12 hours at night and naps 2-3 hours during the day. I need to look into the twin bed tent.

Dale - posted on 05/07/2011

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my little one went through a phase where she did the same thing, and the me tucking her back in turned into a game for her, so i just left her and she'd fall asleep on the floor at her door and i went in once she was asleep and moved her into her bed and this lasted for a week and she kept doing it so, and i know this sounds mean, but i left her on the floor, it was summer here and so she wasn't going to get cold or anything, she woke up during the night and put herself back into bed and it was the last time it happened, after her bedtime stories and her lullaby she stayed in bed from then on.... i hope this has been helpful

Mazy - posted on 05/15/2011

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My son (23 months now) moved to a toddler bed on his first birthday. He had no issues. If he fell out, we just kissed him & put him back. Now he will have nights where he wont go to sleep right away & cry at the door. We just ignore him & he usually puts himself back down within ten mins. I found that going in & dealing with himol over & over just made a game out of it for him. When we shut the light off, he knows that he wont see us again until morning.

Jane - posted on 05/06/2011

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Quite frankly, you do need to keep tucking him in until he finally realizes you are not going to let him get back up. That is the most positive way to get him to realize that bedtime is bedtime. Don't spank him, just keep putting him back to bed until he gives up.

If you don't want to do that, you might look into a Nickle Bed Tent ( http://www.myreadysetbloom.com/ ). Someone on another forum mentioned it and it apparently works to keep the child in bed.

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Sharon - posted on 07/01/2011

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So now my son is 25 months old and we moved him to his new room at 2 years old. I did the super nanny thing exactly like she does the first 3 days where great the next 3 days SO HARD! but I stuck to it, I even had to do the thing where you sit with your back to him in the door way...And it has worked. He knows if he comes out of his room the door will be "closed" (he can't get it open) He has been doing GREAT for a few weeks now. I think it is important that he learned in his crib If you wake-up no one is going to come to you, you need to put yourself back to sleep. And the exact same routine teeth, books, song, Also same time.. naps for 2-3 hours during the day and 11-12 hours at night. That is just what his body knows and needs.

Mazy - posted on 07/01/2011

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Erica W: If you still have the crib, why don't you just put her back into the crib if she isn't adjusting well? Maybe if you have the space you can have her nap in a regular bed during the day, but still get her night's rest in the crib until she's ready. Also, you can try the doorknob covers on the inside doorknob of her room. That way when you close the door, she can't open it again. We did this with my son because he kept coming out at nap time. Sure, he'd get mad & cry, but with in 15 mins he just found something to play with or went back to bed on his own.

Also, I trick my son when he's giving me a tough time about going down for either bed or nap. I have him "help" me set the timer on the stove. We set it for something like 30 mins or so, even though he doesn't really have a perception of time yet. Then I say, "Okay, Ander. When you hear it go BEEP BEEP, then you can wake up & come out!" He always thinks this is fairs & stays in his bed without a peep. Of course, he never hears the beep & sleeps well beyond the 30 mins.

Rebecca - posted on 06/18/2011

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My 2yr just got moved into a bed and i'm having the same issues as everyone else but when she cries her dad always wants to give in to her and put her in our bed. I think it's harder to train him then the kids.

Lorna - posted on 05/20/2011

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i have a 23mth old baby boy who loves it when i read him a story then cuddle and lights out , he used to get out is bed cott which we use as a bed now but i sat on top of stairs by his room, and when he came to the door i used to say "no back to bed " and he would go back but i had to tuck him in . this last a week and a half then he just lay their so i would hum whilst running my bath, so he would know i was there and he stopped coming to the door and stayed in bed and touch wood he still does .... i hope this helps if so thank super nanny , thats where i got the idea from.

Deena - posted on 05/19/2011

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My daughter will be 2 next month and has been in a toddler bed since January, she didnt great for the 1st few months and then decided she wanted to practically chase me out of the room when Iwould leave. As mean as it sounds I put a blanky and pillow on the bed and continued out the door closing it behind me, I would go back in once and tell her mommy loves her and I will see her in the morning. She got up for about 2 weeks and cryed underneath the door, eventually she would give up and either fall asleep on the floor behind the door or she would go to bed. We have a few hiccups everyonce in whilebut for the most part she sleeps all night in her own big girl bed and now tells me night night as I walk out.

Donna - posted on 05/19/2011

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My daughter is just a bit older and i have started doing the trasitioning myself. I have started with day time sleeps in bed and night time sleeps in cot still. It has taken about a week to get the daytime sleeps down where she doesnt feel the need to come to the door and for the nighttime sleep i am leaving that to her when she is ready at this stage. I figure she will tell us when she wants bed over cot. What i did is have a gate on her door and shut it and jut kept reinforcing the go back to bed routine and a couple of cuddles in between but never taking her out of the room and the reafirmation that it is sleep time. I guess what i am trying to say is i am trying to work with her rather than against her.

Laura - posted on 05/18/2011

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His routine is the same everynight except for the bath because he has eczema and i'm only supposed to give him a bath every other day. He is begining to understand bedtime he only gets out of bed one time now and then he will go to sleep after we put him back in second time. I think he's just very stubborn and it might take just a bit longer before he doesn't get up anymore ut at least it's under control now. Thank you all so much for the feedback!

Sara - posted on 05/18/2011

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Watch supper nanny it helps a lot i had the same problem with my son when he was that age. i would read him a book give him a kiss and tell him goodnight but he would sit get up so i sat next to him till he went to sleep but some time i would fall asleep next to his bed so i was determind to get him to sleep in his bed as long as the same thing happens every night at the same time he should get use to it

Leah - posted on 05/18/2011

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We switched my son 3 weeks ago at 22mo. The first night we just kept going in and putting him back in bed without saying anything. After he realized that we weren't budging, he gave in. He has fallen out once or twice (rails did not work on the bed) and we had pillows on the floor, we just went in gave him a kiss and out him back to bed. No problems. We have never let him sleep with us, and stick to a routine of bath time then bed at a consistent time during the week. He is well rested and very happy!

Mazy - posted on 05/18/2011

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How will you get him to sleep in his own bed or without the sound of the television when he is school aged?

Natisha - posted on 05/17/2011

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let him go to sleep in your bed and then move him to his bed,after he is sleep for a couple mins, thats what i do with my son since he turned a year old, and he will sleep in his bed all nite, i just leave his tv on in case he wake up, but he dont so when he get up in the morning, he will turn his tv off and come in my room

Chenequa - posted on 05/16/2011

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My little one had that problem a few weeks ago. I just gave her a night time toy that sang to her until she would fall asleep and on a bad night I would lay next to her while she hugged me until she fell asleep. Now all I have to say is Bedtime and she says Night Night!!!!

Kym - posted on 05/15/2011

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my sons been in a toddler bed since he was 16 months (he's 23 months now). He goes through phases when he gets out and come to the door. Usually coincides with a less than strict adherence to his routine. If we follow the usual routine he's happy to go to bed and stay.

Karin - posted on 05/14/2011

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My first one was very tall for his age and was able to climb out of the crib around 14 months. He had been sleeping in his own room since he was about 3 months old, and there was no way I could have had a restful night myself knowing he could get out of the crib, and a toddler bed was simply not an option at 14 months. We got the crib tent rather reluctantly and really for lack of better options, but ended up loving it. We moved him into a regular twin size bed at 2 years 9 months and he asked for a bed tent, so we got him a Thomas one (it covers about half the bed and I guess gives him a feeling of protection?). We never had any problems with him staying in bed. We are now using the same crib tent with our younger one who would be climbing out of the crib otherwise. I don't think he's ready to have the option to get out of bed at any time of the night, if he likes. We have stairs and other places that are not 100% child proof and I just would not sleep well knowing he could basically go anywhere... I find keeping them safe at night is the highest priority and would recommend the crib tent to anyone who is worried about their toddler getting out of bed at night.

Yoli - posted on 05/13/2011

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What about a gate at the door? You still can hear him but he can't come out. He may cry at the gate but will finally give in. You'll have to ignore the crying. Good luck. I am close to being there too!

Tash - posted on 05/11/2011

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just keep putting your child back into bed, dont say anything to your child, it may take awhile but the child will learn. if u want you can always sit on the floor in your childs room and keep putting them back in as soon as they get out of bed. but always make sure you never say anthing to them even if they are screaming.

Laura - posted on 05/10/2011

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If you are concerned about them falling on the floor you can get a bed rail that easily attaches to the bed to prevent them from falling. I'm glad they are doing well and I hope it continues.

Kerrie - posted on 05/10/2011

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We just switched mine to toddler beds also, it's been 3 weeks now. They have fallen onto the floor but for the most part they are doing great. I thought it would be much worse.

Laura - posted on 05/09/2011

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I don't think it's crazy to have you child in a toddler bed before they're 2 either. In my opinion I'd rather have him climb out of his toddler bed onto the floor where it's nice and low rather than climb out of a crib and fall and get hurt as for the bed tents and crib tents i think i'll pass. I will try putting him back to bed wihtout talking, or maybe the letting him fall asleep on the floor Thanks for all of your help ladies!

Jennifer - posted on 05/09/2011

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I don't think it is crazy to put your child in a toddler bed before they are 2. My son started climbing out of his crib around 19 months and right away we changed his crib into his toddler bed. He would get out of it like 50 times every night! We would just go into his room, put him in his bed and not say anything. This only lasted about 4 or 5 nights. He is now almost 23 months and stays in his bed and actually goes into his room and climbs into his bed at bedtime.

Narelle - posted on 05/08/2011

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At 10 months old my both of my sons were able to climb out of their cots with ease and many other places around the house. So keeping a child in a cot is not always a choice. I found this hard as well but the best advice I can give you is to be consistant. Things like this take a little bit of time until the child understands that this is something that is expected. When you put your child back to bed don't talk lots with them or play just take them back and tuck them in. I found my first 2 were the hardest and the others just followed their example. Good luck!

Celeste - posted on 05/08/2011

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My friend was successful with her daughter by making the room very special. She has a lamp projecting stars on the ceiling and they put on soft music. So the environment is a warm, special place to be. That's not the trick, but it's an idea that may aid the process! Also, the routine of reading a book or lying down with your child helps set the expectation that it's night time.

Sophie - posted on 05/07/2011

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Had a similar problem with my little one when I switched her over at 18 months. Took forever to do bed time for a couple months, then I just gave in and I lay down with her for 10-15 minutes on a good night while she falls asleep and I'm done. I also have now been able to make her have a slightly earlier bed time than before. I just recently upgraded her from her "crib" toddler bed as I am expecting to a child's bed which she helped pick out along with the blankets and now when I mention that it is getting close to bed time, she simply drops her toys and runs like a crazy person to go lay down in her "big blue bed".

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