How do you get your toddlers to go to bed once and stay there?

Rachel - posted on 01/25/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. They used to go to bed without trouble the first time that we put them in their rooms for the night and would stay there until morning. Now they come out over 30 times in one night to go potty or to get a drink or because they are hungry. These are things that are necessary for their well-being, so I feel that denying them those are wrong when they really are an issue, but the majority of the time it's just an excuse to come out of their room. How do we stop all of the excuses and just get them to come out when absolutely necessary. This is a big problem because they have to be up early for preschool, but are always exhausted from staying up all night.

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Kay - posted on 01/25/2012

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The kids have gotten out of their routine but you are the boss so remind them of that. They have found out that if they get out of bed and ask for something then you will give it to them. Take care of their needs once before tucking them in. They will not like this change at all. They will get up and ask for things like they did the night before. Now you,guilt free and determined ,will calmly return them to their beds. Repeat as many times as they get up until they get the idea . It might take several nights of this but it is worth it for you all to get a good nights sleep in the long run. What you have going for you is that they are 3 and 4 and they used to have a good bedtime routine. Of course you will respond during the night if they are sick or if they have a bad dream but hopping out of bed right after you tuck them in makes it a game that you don't want to play! Sweet dreams

Michelle - posted on 01/27/2012

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Some of these ideas ive read sound really good but just remember that if you give them a drink right before they go to bed or for through out the night they will need to go to the toilet throughout the night

Heather - posted on 01/26/2012

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I had a problem with my son when he was about two and a half. I had been giving him a water bottle by his bed since he was one and a half. That way if he got thirsty he could get a drink himself. He likes to have the door open and a night light and music on. So after he kept getting up I told him that he would lose those privaleges if he kept it up. Of course he tested it and I just put him back to bed turned of the music turned of the light and shut the door. Then I waited outside the door for a couple min. And went back in. Asked him if he was ready for bed, he said yes and i turned the light and music back on and opened the door. I explained to him that he was only to get up to use the bathroom. He was fully potty trained at this time and would use the bathroom on his own even at night unless it was poop then i would here mommy i went poop. Lol i woke up to that almost every morning. When he would say he was hungry i told him he had his chance to eat and he could eat again in the morning but its time to sleep now. He is now 5 and i have not had a problem since except for him dragging out his prayers. Just be firm about the bed time. Maybe leave a light on in the bathroom so they can take themselves to the bathroom if needed. The main thing is to not give in and not give them the extra attention at this time. Or it may never end.

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Keri - posted on 02/08/2012

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Once the "bedtime routine" occurs in our house, it's bedtime. Our 5 year old son gets to get up once to go potty or get a drink, but after that he's told to go back to bed. Yes, food and drink is a necessity, but a you don't feed them every time they say "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty", even during the day, do you? If you're feeding them so much, of course they have to go potty a lot. If you're always giving in, they're going to take advantage. Maybe allow them 5 "get ups" a night when they are in good health (if they're sick, they're probably going to need to get up multiple times). If they get up a 6th time, you talk about why they're getting up and decide if they really did need to get up so much.

Rachel - posted on 01/27/2012

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Thank you for all of your comments. My daughter is responding well to it. Still working on my son!

Paulette - posted on 01/25/2012

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What we do is everyone uses the bathroom before bad. Everyone get a glass of water to have sit by their bed, 2yr old get a sippy cup. Of course you don't have to do that, maybe everyone can have a drink before bed. If anyone asks for food before bed, I tell them it's too late for that. They will be fine till morning. It will take a few days for everyone to stop the habit of getting up. But stick with it, hopefully they will sleep better. Good luck!

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