HELP! How can I keep my toddler in her own bed at night BEFORE the new baby comes??

Sarah - posted on 09/13/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




HELP! We have just starting putting our 2 year old DD in her new BIG bed (a double), as her little sister will be born in a few weeks BUT my "not so good of a sleeper" insists that I come in bed with her at night...which I do, but really how can I continue to do that with a new baby? I'm so nervous that I'll go into labour in the night and then who will be able to console her? She needs to be sleeping through before I have this baby! I did CIO when it was absolutely necessary when she was in her crib but how can I do that when she can just get out of bed? Does someone have some tips to keep her in her bed and sleeping through the night?



Sherri - posted on 09/13/2011




Put her to bed give her hugs, book etc. If she gets up put her back in her bed and say it is bedtime, after that if she gets up just keep placing her back in her bed with no speaking or eye contact, no matter if she only gets up once or a hundred times. It will only take a day or so and she will realize you mean business and won't get up after that. Be prepared it could take a good 1-2hrs the first night or 2.

Stifler's - posted on 09/13/2011




I just kept taking logan back to his bed when he'd jump out. Now he sleeps in there all night and only gets out when he's awake for the day.

Karla - posted on 09/13/2011




I agree with Sherri. I've used that technique and it works great, but you have to be consistent. If she gets up during the night, comfort her for just 5-10 minutes, but don't lay down with her for even a minute. Put her back in the bed awake and do what Sherri described. I had to do this just a couple of weeks ago and it is one of the best things I have ever done:)


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I watch my son's diet...I back off of anything sugared or caffeine around dinner time. He eats a healthy supper and then I fill his sippy cup with water. His last two hours after dinner are play he and Dad and I wrestle a lot. We play 'I'm gonna getcha butt" and he runs laps around the living room. We play with him and wear him out. At bedtime, we get a warm bath, I still use the lavender scented baby bath. I brush his teeth, and we get ONE last sip of water. Into bed, with nothing heavy on his tummy, no discomfort there, a nice clean body, aroma-drugged with lavender, and his bladder reasonably empty. He shouldn't soak a diaper through during the night...making him uncomfortable. I've restricted his water at bedtime because I found the supersoaked diapers were waking him during the night. He would wake and take the old diaper off and crawl in MY bed naked. Of course his room is cool and dark, nice and quiet...
The few times he has wandered during the night Daddy and I have a deal...who finds him first, puts him back. Even if he never wakes up in the move, he will wake in the morning in his own bed. He doesn't do that much anymore...he pretty much stays in his bed, with his Elmo.
I didn't make a big deal out of being in his own bed, I just started putting him back. Eventually, we didn't have to move him anymore, he crashes in his bed and stays there.
I think mostly because we exhaust him after dinner.

Nikki - posted on 09/13/2011




Firstly I would really wear her out in the afternoon so that she is pretty tired, but don't let her get over tired.

Has she got a comfort item like a teddy or blanket?

Have a really consistent bedtime routine.

Talk to her about sleeping by herself and let her know that it's ok, you wont go anywhere. We bought new pretty bedding and made a big fuss about it being a special big girl bed etc.

My daughter liked having a night light and some music playing, seemed to comfort her. She has this star projector light so she has something to watch as she is going to sleep.

With all that said, this is the method I finally used, it takes a while but it mostly worked. We still have the odd unsettled night, especially after she has been unwell or teething, but that's understandable.

The Gradual Withdrawal Method

The key to Gradual Withdrawal is to take tiny steps and make the changes very small at first so the child barely notices them. Create a plan, broken into small steps of how you will reduce the parental dependence and work towards independence. For example, patting on the back becomes lighter and lighter until the hand barely brushes the child's back, but is poised just above it.

To implement, follow your bedtime routine being certain that your child has sufficiently wound down from the day. When wind down is completed, lay your child down, tuck them in and use a phrase they can associate with it's sleep time such as "time to go night-night you can find your blankie/pacifier/suck your thumb/etc. to help you fall asleep." Settle your child in their crib/bed and comfort as you normally would, then implement the first step in your plan. Depending upon your child's temperament, you may be able to tackle more in less nights, or need to do less over the course of more nights.

The Gradual Withdrawal Method is intended for children that are reliant upon a parent's presence to calm them and help them settle for sleep. Examples are: sitting in the room, holding a child's hand, laying down with a child, patting to sleep, among others. The idea is to simply reduce the reliance on parental presence gradually and in very small increments so the child continues to settle well and gains confidence in their ability to fall asleep independently. The parent is there to assist the child in sleeping, but slowly reduces the dependence. Examples might be: moving a chair closer and closer to the door until out of the room over the course of a few weeks, moving out a child's bed to an air mattress on the floor, then slowly move farther and farther towards the door over time, reducing the length of time patting though still staying with the child - then slowly working closer and closer towards the door.

This is also the best method for a child:
who's undergone controlled crying or crying it out as it helps to regain any trust that may have been broken
who gets very upset, sometimes to the point of vomiting
who does not settle after hours/days/weeks of walk in/walk out

This may also be a good method for a child who is not necessarily dependant on any one thing, but who needs some fundamental training to learn how to sleep independently.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works and congrats on the pregnancy!

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