How do I get my toddler to stay in her room when it is time for bed?! She refuses to sleep!!

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Maggie - posted on 10/09/2009

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Try laying with her until she falls asleep. I do this with my 3 year old son and we'll whisper back and forth for about 10 minutes or so until I tell him it's time for sleep. At that point he snuggles down and goes right to sleep. I think the comfort of having me there with him helps him settle more easily. Once she's asleep you can leave. This is much easier and takes a lot less time than putting her back into bed a million times. It's less stressful for the child than letting her CRY and feel abandoned until she passes out. If you're already spending a lot of time putting her to sleep then why not have it be quality time that she'll appreciate rather than making her upset.

Another thought is that she might be overtired. Try having her take at least a short nap in the early afternoon to see if that helps.

Shannon - posted on 10/09/2009

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I have the same problem, so I feel for you! I know exactly what you are going through. My daughter is 26 months old and we have had the same bedtime routine for over a year. We conitnually put her back in her bed. It could go on for over an hour and the whole time she is crying because she wants to be in there with me. I tried sitting in her room and inching my way out, but that seemed worse. She would constantly get up and come to me and it was hard to just put her back in bed when she wanted to hold on to me. That way seemed painful for her and for me. I started putting up a baby gate and sometimes she gets up and cries, but I let her cry. She usually gives up after about ten minutes and starts playing. She falls alseep on her floor or huge stuft animals and then I move her to her bed. This is the only thing that has worked for us. She still gets up around 4am and wants in my bed and we have to start the gate thing all over again at 4 in the morning. Good Luck! I think that toddlers are too excited about life to sleep! :)

Krissy - posted on 10/09/2009

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uhm, try shutting the door. unless the child can open the door handles, i had to do that with my son,and now he goes to bed on his own. :) or, try putting some childrens music on so they have something to listen too, and then shut the door..

Julie - posted on 10/08/2009

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I give my 2yo the option of me sitting n her room while she goes to sleep. The rule is that her head must stay on the pillow. If it does not I go into the hall and close the door. In her room I read at nap time and then at night I do not look at her or say anything. She will get up and try the door, which I hold closed. It has been about 2 weeks and though she cries when I leave it only takes about 10 minutes for her to get back in her bed and be asleep.
The other thing would be to look at how much sleep she is getting. Kids are like us. They do not make up sleep lost and will sleep less when they are not getting enough, not more.
Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 10/08/2009

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I put a gate up at my daughters door...She is 26months...not sure how old your toddler is...not sure if this will help or not...Have a great day/night

Dhane' - posted on 10/08/2009

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I have learned that Tv does not work at all..Try redoing your daily schedule I have to get my daughter up at 8am eat breakfast then from 930 to 1030 we do work arts and crafts read books write all type of things you can find printouts on the internet to keep her busy from 1030 to 1115 we are outside or doing something that requires her to constantly move around she does not watch tv between 8 and 12 then 1130 to 1230 lunch time after that she gets to rest and have free play she can go outside color watch tv whatever she want then at around 2 or so she takes her an hour nap aftr that we get up run errands play jut keeping her active and at 930 she is in bed I give her a coloring book to take in her room and keep her crayons in there she also has toys that she can play with in her room before going to bed but she is in there by herself. I went and brought some glow in the dark stickers a while ago and placed them on her ceiling so I use to sit in the room with her every night before slep time and lay there and cunt the stickers i also tried light music like jazz or rain forest sounds she loved to b in her room and fall asleep doing various activities it takes time but keep her active during the day so that her body will tell her when its time to go to bed...Good Luck... She slao thinks that if she goes to sleep and gets good rest Hannah Montana goes to sleep at the same time so she ca b on TV the nxt day lol

Alicia - posted on 10/08/2009

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thanks! all these ideas were wonderful!! The sad thing is we've tried MOST of them! Haha. I just have a very stubborn three year old. She doesn't really nap during the day..just quiet time. Then we do have a routine for the most part....milk, brush teeth, night night prayers or book...then bedtime. But as soon as my husband and I inch away to the door...she FREAKS. We do have a night light...and sometimes we even put on Baby TV for her at night (it plays lullabys and soothing music at night). Shes just having a hard time adjusting...most times we do end up finding her on the floor or half way on the bed.....its cute...but that's usually at midnight when she gives up the battle...and she's in bed by 830...oye! :)

Tesha - posted on 10/08/2009

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I learned this on the Nanny 911 show... go in the room with her.. sit on the floor (make sure it is quiet).. if your baby gets up and tries to come to you.. pick them up and put them back in bed (or if in a crib.. just sit on the floor and dont move).. keep inching yourself towards the door a little at a time... sometimes it may take a while at the beginning but after a day or two... they will understand that your still there even though its bedtime. Its a seperation thing that they are going through. Just have some patience and it will be over soon.. phases always phase out. Good luck!

Louise - posted on 10/08/2009

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Make sure you have the same bedtime routine every night, so she is prepared. Try a night light, and let her have a book or toy in bed while the light is on, then tell her when the light is off, she has to stay in bed. Then you just keep putting her back into bed with no talking, no eye contact and no fuss.
If she is genuinely not tired at bedtime, consider stopping or reducing day-sleeps and get her outside in the fresh air in the afternoons to tire her out.
Our routine with the 2yr old and 4 yr old goes like this:
Dinner at 5.30
Tidy-up time at 6pm
PJs on at 6.30
Go round and say goodnight then have a drink of milk and brush teeth
Into bed for about 7pm with a story, then the light is on til 7.30
7.30 lights out, lullaby and kiss goodnight

Older one get up for the toilet occasionally, and the little one was getting up a lot until we started putting her back in her cot if she got up more than once. That soon stopped!

[deleted account]

Are you using a baby gate across the door? At least that should keep her in the room. Unless she climbs over it.... My son used to get out of the bed during naptime everyday. He'd fall asleep on the floor, at the gate/door, after which I would pick him up and put him back into his bed. Another issue may be that bedtime is too early/late. Is she ready for bed, not yet tired enough, or perhaps too tired (my son gets HYPER when he's over-tired, which presents its own challenges for bedtime)? Sometimes adjusting the timing of bedtime can help. Do you use a nightlight? Maybe it's too dark for her in the bedroom (my son plays in his bed for a while at night, and at least with the nightlight he can see to do that). My last thought would be that she may be trying to get you to come back to the room multiple times (for any number of possible reasons). If she wouldn't panic, could you just go back once, then leave her until she falls sleep (even if it does have to be on the floor, like my son did, and then you can move her back to her bed)? Good luck -- you're in a tough situation!

Yvette - posted on 10/08/2009

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just keep putting her in the bed. There's not much else you can do. Unless you haven't developed a routine. That helped with my daughter. it's all about the routine and in the end battle of the wits. Don't give up putting her back to bed again, and again and again. Oh and one more thing, maybe she's taking a late nap or something. so she's extra charged at night.. Hope it works out!

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