Our son recently turned 2, and about 3 months ago he got to the point where he could climb out of his crib, so we took the side down to convert it into a toddler bed. He really likes this, but it has turned into a near-nightly battle to keep him in bed.

It's not a case of him crying and screaming or anything like that - he just gets out of bed and starts playing with his toys. We go back in there every few minutes and put him back to bed. Sometimes this will last for an hour before he finally goes to sleep.

We're not sure what to do at this point, short of sitting in his room with him until he goes to sleep. We've tried shortening his afternoon nap, thinking that having him more tired at night would make going to sleep easier, but that didn't seem to make much of a difference.

Any thoughts/advice on how to keep my son in bed and get him to sleep in a timely manner?

asked 06 Dec '09, 16:47

Brandon's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

edited 14 Dec '09, 01:35

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

Its really great that there is no screaming our shouting, and also that he doesn't walk about on his own. I think he is probably just really excited that he can get out of bed so easily mixed with mildest feeling of independence.

Our daughter would get out of her bed and come to find us, so we had to deal with two issues, getting out of bed and walk about. So everytime she got up, we would put her back to bed, and everytime she came to us we would walk back to her bedroom with her.

It took a while for us to make any progress at all, we didn't offer any rewards or take away any toys because we weren't sure if that would have a lasting effect, so we just remained calm and just kept putting her back to bed. Both my husband and myself made a point of behaving in the same calm manner. To be honest I cannot remember how long this lasted, but probably not more than a week.

The walks began to cease first, but getting out of bed and playing in the bedroom took longer to solve.

My husband had an idea to leave a cuddly toy and a book of her choice at the end of her bed, and so we asked her/told her to not get out of bed, but that she could play with her cuddly toy or look at her book if she didn't feel sleepy. That choosing process became a kind of routine, was repeated every evening, whereby she would choose a book and a cuddly toy herself. I think with our case, this may have helped her accept and understand that bedtime meant staying in bed time.

After a period of about 2 weeks she was no longer getting out of bed.


answered 06 Dec '09, 19:25

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 07 Dec '09, 05:59


+1 for the "choice" idea. That works in many other ways with kids (and senior management).

(06 Dec '09, 23:01) Peter K.

Great suggestions Emi. He already has a stuffed animal that he always likes to sleep with, but the book and "choice" idea could be promising. We'll have to give it a try...

(07 Dec '09, 06:00) Brandon

When we transitioned our daughter into her 'big girl room' we only put her stuffed animals in there with her - actually on her bed. There are about 20 of them but she does have a queen size bed so its not super crowded. Besides those there are currently no other toys or interesting objects in her room. We wanted her bed to be the focus. We made her a play nook down the hall for all the toys and things. When we put her to bed, we place her on her bed, give her a kiss and say goodnight, turn around, leave and close the door. We have a video monitor in there so we can see what she'd doing and each night she takes about 5 minutes to rearrange all her 'babies' and find her snuggly spot to curl up. She has never gotten off the bed to play or bang on the door or anything like that. The other added bonus for our scenario is that when she wakes up, all her friends are right there to play with so she plays quietly and talks to them allowing us sometimes as much as an hour of added sleep in the mornings.


answered 07 Dec '09, 14:08

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

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Asked: 06 Dec '09, 16:47

Seen: 4,409 times

Last updated: 14 Dec '09, 01:35