How do you keep a 18 month old in a toddler bed?

Lorie - posted on 01/29/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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So my son is 18 months and we are trying to put him in a toddler bed but he will stay in it for all of two sec then get out. We will tell him to go back to bed and once again he will for two sec.

Does anyone have any sugguestions on how to get him to stay in bed??

We have tried putting a gate up,yelling,talking and taking him back ourseleves. I don't know what else to try.

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Amber - posted on 01/30/2010

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put him in bed and sit in the middle of the floor with your head down and DO NOT SPEAK to him in any way. make it so he can only see your face from the side. if he gets out of bed get up and do not talk to him and put him back in bed. do this till he is asleep. the next night do the same thing but sit little farther away from his bed, if he gets out of bed keep putting him back without talking.. do this every night until eventually you are sitting outside the room. eventually he will get used to knowing you are there but not seeing you and over a week or two he will just lay down and go to sleep. also make sure that before bed you give him 30-45 minutes of wind down timem read a book, or snuggle for a little while to get him relaxed enough for bed. hope this helps. it sounds like a hassle but it really does work.

Christi - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hey Lorie, I was in your shoes at one time. I finally asked my kids' dr what to do. My dr who was also my husband's dr when he was a kid, told me to lock him in his room. Make sure that there isn't anything that could harm him, and then do it. Let me tell you, it was HARD to listen to him cry and beat on the door, but eventually it worked! It was a rough first week and then after that, we would tell him as long as he stayed in his room that we wouldn't lock the door. Tough love works too. I know it seems crazy to do this, but he will eventually catch on. There were many nights that my son would fall asleep at the door. He finally figured out that he had to stay in his bed. Hope this helps...

Ashley - posted on 02/02/2010

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ok to "training" our children.. my daughter has been in a toddler bed since 14 months .. she sleeps in this bed ok she has a few problems but she knows thats her bed!.. she would not stay in her crib at all hated it .. and as for training them by keeping them in a stroller how is that training them to walk with you nicely? my daughter has alway been walking with me short distances to the store and back since last summer so she would have been 20 months old.. anyways thats my vent .. you have to let child learn by doing this stuff not keep them locked up

Cassidy - posted on 12/02/2012

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Having similar problem. At 18 months my son started climbing out of his crib. I am due with our second in less than 2 months so we thought now is the time to "train" him to sleep in a toddler bed. He wakes up at least 2 times at night. Sometimes we can just walk him back to his bed, but usually the second time he wakes up he is just up (around 4am) and won't go back to bed. We put up a baby gate, had to put it about 6 inches off the floor so he doesn't climb over that too! He just stands there and screams & cries. We tried putting him in his old pac n play but he climbs out of that too. He is now 20 months and still not sleeping through the night since the transfer. As a baby he started sleeping through the night in his crib at 5 months so this is killing us! Do children this young get nightmares? When he wakes up his cry is usually a very tearful almost hyperventilating cry! He seems VERY upset.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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Its just what worked for our family. I don't have the heart to let my child cry for two and a half hours because I kept going in her room. Not going in there the crying subsided after 25 minutes and stopped completely after 2-3 days.

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Carmela - posted on 09/05/2012

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I am going through the same exact thing with my 17 month old. i had to take him out of the crib at 15 months because he would climb out. now he is in the junior bed. at first i was sitting on the bed with my back toward him until he fell asleep. i realized this was not the answer. i now put him in bed and put up a baby gate. like you, he may fall asleep but waked up several times in the middle of the nite. just last nite i was up from 1:30am until 3am. i tried ignoring his cries but then he screams and spits up. when i do go in, sometimes the minute he sees me he turns around and climbs back in. i think it is just that he wants to see me and know i am around. he sometimes comes to the gate with his empty bottle as well. at first, i am calm but then i feel badly because i sometimes get so frustrated i raise my voice. i am going to take the advice here and put him in bed and when he gets out, take him back in with just 'it is nap time". no more conversation or yelling.

Fallon - posted on 08/30/2011

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I read all of the posts and I am going through it with my last child 17 months( cause she climbs in and out of her crib) Anyway, I just wanted to say I think all of your ideas are great! I have just about done them all I think at one point or another.It's hard sometimes being a mom, and having to figure out the best thing for your child, and what will work for your family. As for my family I have been putting her back to bed over and over again. I also like to rub her back and head, with a little pat on the bum. But I only do this when she is getting really tired. Good luck to all you amazing moms, who do the best that they can

Allison - posted on 04/02/2010

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Oh man.. I have not been reading anything (mommy advice for a bit) things have been so great and our Lil D is soooo amazing. And yes she is a MONKEY. 2 weeks ago she climbed out of her crib 2 nights in a row so Hubby pulled out the convertable piece to change the front of her crib. The first night she was very excited and loved hanging in it all day..SWEET..(so we thought) I even bragged about it on Facebook. So a week and one half later she is still challenging me. I have been doing the Super Nanny method that seems like what you all have been doing, plus a gate. One night, I swear it was almost 2 hours and a round robin of emotions from her. (I tried everything in the world not to have any emotions. But .. i am human and when she cried and screamed .. i would get so frustrated that I am doing something wrong. And when she laughs (because she thought it was a game) I could not help but giggle too. I will say that the nights following the 2 hour "stand off" have not been quite as bad. Some nights it would take me just standing in the doorway and she would stay in bed and other nights (like tonight) We are both exausted from a trying day and she will not give up! So this evening..I finally got her to stay in long enough to halfway close her door and jump over the gate..when I heard her get out of bed and walk around her room, pretended like i was gone and she cried for just a few seconds and finally fell asleep at the door (this has happened more then once when I do not continue to put her back in bed) So I go back in an pick her up and put her back in to her bed. She has been sleeping through most nights and unless it is a "911" yell I listen to her wimper for a bit and she has gone back to bed or has fallen asleep on her Boppy that is on a blanket on the ground in her room......I think we are on the right track.. I am going to try to be more persistant with putting her back in bed.... All of these beautiful little ones are soo different..If anyone would like to give me a few words of advice (encouragement) I would not mind..I hope all of you get some sleep..(especially the mama that is going through this ans is expecting her 3rd....You are a saint!
Cheers mamas!

Kristyn - posted on 02/02/2010

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The first night my son was in a toddler bed I had to put him back in about 10 times. Each time he got out I immediately returned him to bed. Eventually, he gave up. For the first week I did wait until he was REALLY tired before putting him to bed. Also, I let him walk to the bed (I held his hand) and climb in himself. The fact that he gets to wake up in the AM and come to get Mommy seems to be a big incentive. He is 20 months old. I close the door over but do not pull in completely closed. Fortunately my home is all on one level, reducing danger if he gets out.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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we did the super nanny technique for a couple of nights and I feel like it made things worse. So we ended up doing CIO cuz she didn't know how to do door knobs. 2-3 days later she would stay in on her own.

Jewel - posted on 02/02/2010

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the only thing that works, is returning him to his bed. If you sit on a chair in the hallway near his door, but do not talk to him or make any eye contact while returning him to bed, he will eventually get the message. It will be at least three nights of no sleep for you but he will make the transistion. As well, make his nighttime routine the same every night. I always beleive in rewarding them the first few times they stay in bed all night then gradually stop the rewards.

Yelling and threatening will only make it traumatic. He needs to feel good about being in own bed.

Hope it helped!

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2010

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My daughter is 17 months old and I just moved her into her big girl bed this weekend.So far so good ! What I did was make a big deal of it being a big girl bed like mommy and Daddy's bed. We went out and bought a safety railing for the bed and I let her pick out some special big girl Jammies. The only problem I had was that Hunter kept waking to ask me "No crib Momma ?" she did that 6 times the first night but has not done it since.

Daniele - posted on 02/01/2010

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I wish I could help. We are going through the same thing right now. It is making me crazy. We had to give up the crib when she was tiny because she climbed out of it at 7 months and wouldn't stay - same with baby gates and play pens. She's a little monkey. I guess repetition is the only thing we can do? Be determined and dependable.

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Hm...my friend has a toddler tent over the bed that he can't get out of. I've never seen it but she said its prison proof. Also why did you take him out of his crib so soon? He really should have stayed in a crib up to 2 or 3. My daughter is 22 months and still in her crib. Its a nice safe, LOCKED place where there is no escape from! I think sometimes we can transition them to early to toddler beds, when they are not toddlers, they are babies. To me...18 months is still a baby; he's not even 2. A crib or playpen would have been just fine for him. He's not mature enough for the toddler bed because he keeps leaving it. He needs that confinment. Like my stroller. My daughter will stroll until she's 4. She runs too much and I can't concentrate on shopping! She MUST be locked in her stroller and seated. We get out occasionally for snack time in the mall for a brief brake, then back in. We truly TRAIN our kids how we expect them to behave through routine.

Angela - posted on 01/31/2010

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we tried this a few weeks ago with our 18mth old daughter, she played escapee both times & we ended up just putting up the port a cot, have now decided to leave her in the port a cot until she is a little older, in the meantime she has the toddler bed set up in her room. good luck as I know this is hard, my 10yr old still gets up with a million excuses lol!

Elizabeth - posted on 01/31/2010

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thanks for all the advice. I am about to do the big move soon- she climbed out of her crib for the first time this am, with some help from her wipes box. I definitely see a trend towards the sit & move away theory. Also thinking I need to instill more of a nighttime routine going to get her in the mode.

Renee - posted on 01/31/2010

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I am trying to figure this out too. I posted a comment about my son sleeping with us b/c we have so much problems with this bedtime thing. I can't get him to stay down at all in the toddler bed. Just wanted to let you moms know that I laughed reading these.....kids are so funny.

Melissa - posted on 01/31/2010

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we moved my son to a bed just a couple months ago. he's 2 1/2 now and was climbing out of the crib. we never had a problem with him getting out of the bed though. we have dinner and play for a bit. then we take a bath, get out and get ready for bed, brush teeth, read a book, and turn on the music. by then he is completely relaxed and ready to be in bed. like clockwork, he's in bed by 7:15 and sleeping by 7:30. we do put the baby gate in his doorway so that if he gets up at night he can't wander around the house and make his way to stairs that he can't see in the dark. but it hasn't been an issue (he hasn't even gotten out of bed) since the first couple nights.

Lisa - posted on 01/31/2010

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my son is also 18 months and strong willed we used the rapid return method it goes on a while but is starting to work

Natasha - posted on 01/30/2010

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My daughter is almost 19 months old . I started her in a toddler bed when she was 15 months old. The first night she was really excited and even the next day she put herself down for her own nap and then it was down hill. Crying for all naps and bedtimes. I found that the best thing that worked was putting her in bed and leaving before she got out of it. 9 times out of ten she stays in bed and doesn't wake up until 5:30 . Its taken me a long time to get her to sleep that long. The other thing that helps is putting her down when she is tired and not overly tired. I found that putting her down at say seven was not always great because depending on what time she woke up for a nap, she wasn't always tired. I've made bedtimes more easy and when she's tired I know. Hope that helps. hang in there

Lorie - posted on 01/30/2010

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B/e we just had another little one and my 18 month old is going to be moving into his big brothers room with him in about 4 months so we want him to get use to it now.

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2010

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WHAT I DID WITH MY SON AND NOW I AM DOING IT WITH MY DAUGHTER IS U SIT OR LAY IN THERE TILL THEY GO TO SLEEP THEN WALK OUT AFTER DOING THIS FOR A WHILE THEY GET USED TO BEING IN THE TODDLER BED

April - posted on 01/30/2010

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i have the same prob my son is 4 and will not sleep in his own bed sleeps in mine he will scream and scream otherwise makin the neighbours think im doin sumthing bad or sumthing thats y he gets away with sleepin in my bed i dont know wot 2 do either

Rebecca - posted on 01/29/2010

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I think 2 years is a good age to introduce a toddler bed.. Good luck.... I will be trying it in a couple of months

Julie - posted on 01/29/2010

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My suggestion is to keep him in his cot. I only moved my two girls to a big (normal size not toddler bed) when they were both 2 years old. It might be a bit early still for him.

Manda - posted on 01/29/2010

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Just curious why you didn't keep him a crib for a little longer? I kept my first son in his crib until he was almost three and he always slept very soundly and safely. Of course I never had to worry about him walking around at night either. He is now four and still is a good sleeper. He transitioned into a big bed with a side rail without any problems on his third birthday. I plan to do this same thing with my youngest who is now 15 months. No hurry for me to move him out of his nice safe crib.

Alisha - posted on 01/29/2010

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they say if he doesnt stay in a toddler bed hes not ready to move from his crib. try putting his crib to a toddler bed, if the front come off. thats how i started with my son

JANICE - posted on 01/29/2010

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TRY HAVING HIM PLAY IN THAT RM ALL DAY, THEN MAYBE HE'LL GET USED TO BEING IN THAT RM.

Bronwen - posted on 01/29/2010

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Keep putting putting him back until (you go crazy and) he stays in bed. when you do it dont talk to him or get angry just keep repeating it is bed time you have to stay in bed. It will take a while but persist - with help from partner if possible - it is easier with two people who are determined.

Lorie - posted on 01/29/2010

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Thank you so much everyone. The only thing is that my 18 month is moving into my older son's room. I don't want him to keep my older son up b/e he has to go to school and he really needs his sleep. ( it makes me feel bad ).

Well Iam going to try for a month of putting him in his toddler bed, NO TALKING to him and put the gate up.

Thanks again

Ashley - posted on 01/29/2010

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that kinda funny you say that about the sippy then water and etc my daughter comes out to see if im there but makes it like she needs a kiss sometimes on her foot even lol

Adrienne - posted on 01/29/2010

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My youngest son is now 19 months old and he was put in a toddler bed around 15 months and just now he is staying in his bed at night and actually sleeping through the night. First he would do what your son does get up every couple of seconds and leave his room. (couldn't put up a gate because my oldest panic's when we put the gate up even if he isn't in the room going to bed too) So we would take our son's hand and walk him back to bed give him his sippy cup and his Handy Manny Doll and tell him good night. It took a month before he would stay. We use to rock him up until 18 months to go to bed but I'm due for our 3rd baby in about 2 months so I had to stop. Our only problem now is getting rid of the sippy cup when he goes to bed but I'm not to worried about that yet. Just keep on it. Don't say a word, take his hand and walk him back to bed and say it's night night time or whatever. Or put up the gate and let him explore his room and when he gets tired he'll probably climb back into bed.. we did that with our first but he climbed the gate or would fall asleep on the floor. Good Luck

Cassandra - posted on 01/29/2010

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Ashley,

That's how I got him off of rocking to sleep at 22 months. I sat by his bed until he went to sleep then slowly moved out the door. We got over that fine, now it's just him staying in bed. I can't help but smile when I see him sneaking back in there and now he comes up with ploys. Like he can't find his cup, then he needs more water, or he can't find mickey mouse etc lol

Ashley - posted on 01/29/2010

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my 2 yr old daughter is the same way or was ... we have worked out how to get her to stay in her bed to go to sleep just now stay there all night.. we read a book then the 1st night i sat by her bed back to her then next night moved to the middle of the room . then near the door then at the door then outside the door ..im sure you get the picture.. now im sitting in the hallway where she cant see me but she will come out and make sure im there and then go right back to bed .. not saying this is the best way to do it but your osn may take to it really good once your out of the room.. my problme im now facing is i have ran out of books to read .. so if anyone knows a better way to do this or at least a good book let me know lol

Cassandra - posted on 01/29/2010

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My son is 2 and we have to constantly run him back to bed. Sometimes it only takes one time...sometimes 10. But eventually he stays in bed and goes to sleep.

Nancy - posted on 01/29/2010

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I have almost the same problem my son us to sleep in his crib all night since he was born he is (2 1/2) and since 2 weeks he wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to my bed.

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