How can I get my 3 year old to stay in bed?

Stephanie - posted on 03/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I thought I'd cracked the whole bedtime thing ages ago but for the last few days my 3 year old has been refusing to stay in bed. As soon as I put him in bed he starts screaming and follows me out the room. I think he had a nightmare the other night which has scared him and now he wants me to stay with him til he goes to sleep. I have a 7 month old too who is getting disturbed by all the noise. It's really starting to stress me out and am in real need of some advice on how to get him to realise that bed is actually a lovely place to be.

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Stephanie - posted on 03/15/2009

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Thanks for your advice. He's quite a stubborn little boy tho! Have put babygate across his room last couple of nights which has worked. He stands there for about a minue then puts himself back in bed and goes to sleep. Hopefully this is a very short phase. He's recently started nursery and I returned to work so he might be unsettled by that. I might well get him some glow in the dark stickers. Maybe some for me too....!!! Thanks again.

Tanith - posted on 03/15/2009

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Mine did a simaler thing - but I did not want to sit there till she fell asleep = Mums need a break too!!!! I introduced a night time teddy and a bed time story. I put the teddy (only allowed at bed time) in bed under the covers with her and then I sit next to her bed and read three pages from a book of short stories. By then she is settled (or playing quietly with teddy) and I kiss her good night and she is quite happy to let me go and settles herself. Hope this helps

Karen - posted on 03/13/2009

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I have a three year old that I also have a hard time getting him to stay in bed also.  What my husband and I have found is giving my son a night light of some sort helped him feel safer in his room.  For my son because he touches everything we ended up using glow in the dark stars over his bed to help him go to sleep.  He also goes to sleep using a machine I got for him that has various sounds of nature.  Also my son has a gate on his door so he can't run out when he doesn't want to sleep.  Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Maybe if you stay by his bed until he fall asleep and keep an extra mattress in your room in case he comes in at night because he had a bad dream. Just knowing you are close should help.

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