How do I get my 2 1/2 yr old to stay in bed?

Stephanie - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi, My 2 1/2 yr old has started to climb out of her crib and we are trying to switch her to her 'big girl' bed. She tries to sit up and engage in conversation as I sit next to her till she falls asleep. I reassure her and lay her back down. Back and forth till I think she has settled and I quietly leave her room. After five minutes she has joined me in the family room. I don't believe in gating off her room. Any thoughts or ideas on how to get her to stay in bed would be appreciated. Could it be a fear of the dark? Or a new bed? Is this normal?

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Rebecca - posted on 03/18/2011

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One thing I would suggest is not to stay in the room till she falls asleep. I'm fighting with my son on a similar issue, and finding that if you let them, they will never be able to fall asleep without you there. Just like a night light or binki, it becomes a vice they have to have. I finally just put my son down in bed and started leaving right away. Yes, he still got up, but I just kept putting him back in bed till he fell asleep. My husband also tried going to bed the same time, that seemed to help. That way there's nothing interesting to distract them from going to sleep. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/17/2011

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I am wondering if you have ever watched supernanny. She has a fantastic method for this ..which I used with both of my oldest children and will be using with our new baby eventually. In 2 days everything was as if it were always a big girl bed.
I am posting the link for you to watch the video the method. ..
http://www.supernanny.co.uk/TV-Show/Clip...

why are you against the gate? just curious.

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Elizabeth - posted on 03/19/2011

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I totally understand the gate now. My oldest daughter is very much like you described. She has a lot of anxiety about new things or anything that is different than the norm. She was a bigger challenge when it came to moving her from crib to bed..potty training..etc.

To answer your question, yes, they both got out of bed multiple times...I would say I put them back 30 times maybe 40 but only the first night. The oldest fell asleep in 40 minutes the younger one took 25 minutes (she has a different temperment).
The 2nd night was much easier. The oldest fell asleep in about 20 minutes and the younger in 11 minutes. I remember thinking wow that was much easier than the previous night..I was prepared for another drawn out night.

The third night, instead of sitting in the bedroom I sat close to the door and I put them back maybe 3 times. They understood that I was holding my ground and it was bedtime.

Keep your cool, don't talk to them (just like the video) and it will work out. Just remember that a few days of hardship will lead you to a lifetime of bedtime bliss...so to speak.

Let me know how it goes.

Stephanie - posted on 03/19/2011

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Thank you Elizabeth. I'm going to try that technique. Hopefully it will work. The video reminded me of how I can see my daughter reacting. The first 2 days you had used that technique, did your sons get out of bed multiple times? Regarding the gates, my daughter is not relaxed and easy going when it comes to introducing anything new. When shes nervous, she wants either mommy or daddy for comfort and gating her in will make her freak out. The bed is a new concept to her alone and to add another obstacle would not work for her. One thing at a time with her... Thank you again.

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