How do I get my 2 1/2 yr old to stay in her "big girl bed"?

Stephanie - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 3 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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Lynne - posted on 03/16/2011

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Try the Nanny 911 solution. The need for reassurance gets to be a ploy after a while and she will play it up as much as she can. Put her to sleep in your usual loving way (whateer you do - story, etc.). Then leave the room with a reminder to go to sleep. When she gets up, take her back in without a lot of fuss or conversation, just saying "Go to sleep now, sweetie" and lay her back down. Leave again. Next time put her back with even less conversation, i.e. just a "Night Night" or something like that. Then if she perserveres just take her back silently and keep tucking her in .but no talking. The idea is that she will learn there is no reward in just continually calmly and firmly being put back to bed because she knows getting up won't get her any attention, just the same response She won't like it but it will get easier once you have done it and she knows what the procedure will be and she will soon realize that the nice part is actually GOING to bed and not the getting out of bed part.

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Stacey - posted on 03/21/2011

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I'm currently having the same problem with my Son. He's 2 1/2 and nothing I do is working! I'm not sure what to do with him. He's in a toddler bed now, and has figured out how to climb out of his Pack 'n' play. It's so very frustrating.

Stephanie - posted on 03/19/2011

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Thank you Lynne! Thats a great idea and a new perspective!! I'm going to try it.

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