Need advice on what worked/works for you to keep toddler in bed?

We put our son in his toddler bed a week ago. He did beautifully the first week and we chalked it up to just being really really lucky for such a smooth transition. Well, last night he started coming out of bed and into our bedroom right after I put him down. We tried the supernanny approach of continually bringing him back in and laying him down (not saying anything), and also later put up a babygate. Both are exhausting, especially in my 3rd trimester!!! Just wondering what approaches you have used that have been successful :) I'd like to pick one and stick with it!

Oh, and how long should I expect him to do this? Weeks? Months?!


florida keys - dad was helping 1/2 the time...not that that matters.....just didn't feel the need to include unnecessary details....

Update 2:

more unnecessary details: shutting the door doesn't work, as he can open the door :)

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am going to get so many thumbs down for this but we did the putting back for three nights and on the fourth she came out once we popped her on her leg twice and said you stay in bed. Never had a problem again. When we did our son a few years later never even did taking back to bed the first time he came out we put him back and popped his leg and said no and never happened again

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I did what you mentioned. I agree that it can be exhausting. Especially when you are wore out from a long day. Persistence does pay off. My son did it for about a week. It got better and better as the days progressed. Only difference is that we did talk to him. We would keep it short and explain he needed to sleep in his big boy bed and that we would leave the door open and the light on. I also mentioned that if he needed ANYTHING he could come to mommy anytime during the night. I even checked for possible monster outbreaks. At first it felt like I was up all night. Then it was just when he woke up in the night and after a week he was comfortable sleeping in his room.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We shut their doors.

    Darn. My younger two haven't figured that out yet. The times when LJ wants to keep getting up and calling for me, I will go lay him down, rub his head, and tell him it's time to go to sleep. I don't think I'd be able to not say anything or look at him, that seems a bit too distant for me. On the nights that I am exhausted from having to wake up 15 times, I resort to food. I grab a plastic bowl and pour some cheerios into it and give him that in his bed. I know it's not really the right way to do things, but it works and he goes to sleep after he eats it without making another peep, and I can finally sleep.

  • I'm a little late on the ?, but we did similar to Kris.

    The first night, I sat on the floor, right inside his door. Every time he sat up, I said "Go to bed Sam" and not another word. I didn't acknowledge him if he spoke to me. Just sat there. Granted, it took about 30 minutes before he fell asleep, but it worked.

    The next night, I sat right outside his door and did the same thing. It took less time that night for him to fall asleep. This I did for two nights in a row.

    The 4th night, I sat in the hallway, where I couldn't be seen, but I could be heard, and I could hear him. When I would hear him rustling around, "Go to bed Sam" and within a few minutes, he was asleep. Two more nights of sitting in the hallway, and we haven't had a problem with him since.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We had the same problem with both of our kids. Our approach was to put them back in bed without making eye-contact, without any expression, and without any words. On a nightly basis, we just knew we had to outlast the kids. I had the mentality that I'll tire them out before they tire me out. Is it ridiculous, frustrating and exhausting? Yes. But with our daughter we did this for about a month before she stayed in bed.

    We're 2 weeks in with our son, so I know we've got some time left. Some nights are better than others. Last night, he only got up about 8 or 9 times. The night before, he got up about 25 times. But once he falls asleep, he stays in bed until morning.

  • 1 decade ago

    I cringe at how bad this is going to look typed out.....but here goes

    Emma was in her toddler bed for awhile before she decided she didn't want to sleep in it anymore.....we tried everything and needed the crib like you do for the new baby. We ended up shutting her door. Unlike with the baby gate she couldn't see us. Now, I'm not going to pretend like it worked prefectly. She cried and even fell asleep in front of the door a few times.....but eventually it worked.

    I also tried something else, but it wasn't effective. I set the play pen up in her room and if she got out of bed I'd put her in the playpen. If she cried wanting back in the bed I'd give her one more chance. If she got up again I'd put her in the playpen for the night.

    Emma's been in a big girl bed for probably 18 months and she still takes spurts where she will get up 3 to 4 times before staying put.....we just tell her to go back to bed when she gets up.

    If your into attachment parenting and not letting your kid cry you could lay down beside his bed until he falls asleep, but that will be hard to keep up in a few months.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Our daughter slept with us until she was almost 3. She did fine when she moved to a toddler bed and stayed in it all nite. She's woken up crying but never left her room. I guess we just got lucky. I do keep the door shut b/c once our 75 lb dog tried to lie in the bed with her.

    I've read on here that a lot of parents use a gate to keep them in their rooms. We let ours choose stuffed animals to sleep with each night and keep a nightlight on for her too.

  • 1 decade ago

    i do the supernanny esq way. my boy doesnt mind the talking and it doesnt encourage anything additional.

    he goes through phases when bedtime is easy, others up and down.

    honestly, i just keep taking him back to bed. telling him its bed time. when ive had enough, i start taking toys away. that usually works with the threat. although there have been nights, i swear i took like 8 toys, but those are rare.

    keep it up, he will get it eventually.

  • 1 decade ago

    I struggle w/ this question at times. There's the keep taking him back that gets exhausting. Then there are the options of either closing the door w/ a child proof door knob or holding the door knob, neither of which I've ever been able to do, I tried it once or twice and felt so cruel, so those options were gone. Next attempt... baby gate. The boy climbs right over it, they may work for babies and pets but definitely don't work for my toddler.

    Sooo, what seems to work best for us is on those nights that they don't want to go to bed when they are told, I either sit down by their bed(s), lay in their bed, or rock them. Usually we go to the rocking chair and I pull out my phone and we watch youtube videos of small children singing silly songs. Then we sing songs like "bringing home a baby bumblebee" and with each song we sing, I tone the song down to more of a slower, sleepy song. We usually sing 4-6 songs. It seems to relax them and get them in sleepy mode, if they don't fall asleep, that is.

    My boys have both been coming into our room, and into our bed at around 3am for a couple of months now, but I'm okay w/ that since they don't expect to fall asleep there. Friday night is "sleep in mommy and daddy's bed" night. Some nights (last night, for example), I throw the "do you want to sleep in mommy and daddys bed on Friday night? If so, you have to go to sleep in your bed tonight" card (and then follow through, of course). Works wonderfully for A b/c sleeping w/ us on Friday is a big thing for him, not so much with C yet but he is learning.

    Toddlers who have a lovie will go to sleep in their bed much easier if they have it and you remind them that it is there to sleep with them. Connor will not sleep without his pink lamb, Baby Bug.

    As far as how long to expect this.... a long time. In fact, it gets even more fun. He will soon figure out that as soon as he's in bed, he has to pee. He needs a drink of water. He's cold and needs another blanket. Whatever it is that works. Yeah, it just gets better. ; )...... But, if you make sure all of those things are done (I'm now preparing you for age 3 since it's quickly approaching, lol), it's not so bad. It just took me a while to figure his game out. And then there are more games to follow.... Sometimes I feel like I'm my most harsh at bed time and I hate it.

  • Kay
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    We start the bedtime routine with bathtime at 7:30, then a couple stories, then bed.

    He has a small tv in his room and I put a movie on for him for bedtime.

    When he comes out, i put him back in bed and tell him to lay down and go to sleep. Sometimes he cries and doesnt want to go to sleep, but I tell him it's bedtime and I give him a kiss and say goodnight. He stops almost immediately.

    I do that however many times I need to. Most nights its once.

    And his door gets shut, he can open it, but when its bedtime, he knows he should be in bed, so i enforce it.

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