Help with keeping my 2 yr old in her bed at night.

Jo - posted on 02/13/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Our 2 1/2 yr old is driving us crazy with continually getting out of bed at night. Not only just after she goes in (though this is a problem too) but all through the night. We are limited with what we can do as she shares a room with her older sister. So closing the door, leaving her to cry etc creates issues for our 5 yr old who is at school and needs her sleep. We still have the cot in the room but she climbs out of this easily which is why we moved her into the bed. Anyone had experience with this?? HELP!!!

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Susan - posted on 02/13/2011

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Hi Jo, I have 28 month old and a 4 year old sharing a room right now too...they are in bunk beds. And we are going through something similar. For a few months now my 2 year old has been getting out of bed between 2 and 5 times a night, however, as soon as I put her back in she goes to sleep fine. Our new issue (as of a week ago) is she sleeping fine until between 4:30 and 5;30 then gets up and will not return to bed and begins screaming and insisting it's time to get up. I remember going through something similar at this stage with my 4 year old, but having them in separate rooms at the time we chose to handle it by putting a safety door handle lock on the door and letting her scream it out until she realized no one was coming to give her attention. We can't handle it the same way with our 2 year old because as you said we don't want to disrupt the sleep of our 4 year old. It's a tough one. Yesterday was our worse day ever...today it began to improve some. She even refused her nap yesterday and today...
Typically I have found the best way to handle misbehaviour is to show as little reaction as possible, keep the message consistent and not reward the behaviour. For example now that we are getting back on track, we try not to use verbal communication, we simply point back to her bed or walk her back without talking and without hugging or carrying her. We aren't bringing her into bed or giving her food/milk or putting the tv on either. These were things I was doing to get her to be quiet. If I cannot get her to listen and quiet down, we have taken her to another spot in the house and just sat with her until she quieted. I have tried to be flexible and waving the nap and accepting that we will get up earlier than we would like to...possibly she doesn't need as much sleep right now? I think it more so boils down to her age and stage and it is a power struggle where she wants the control. My mother always said when things are tough with the kids, just give it 2 weeks and the habit or stage with change for the good and for the bad ones.

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