Toddler won't stay in bed. - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do I get my 26 month old son to stay in bed? He is usually a GREAT sleeper but has discovered that he can climb out of his crib. Last night he finally fell asleep around 10 and was up at 5:30. Usually he goes to bed at 7pm, and wakes just before 8am.
The poor boy is exhausted and I am at my wits end.

HELP!

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Old 04-14-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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Any chance you can lie down with him in your bed until he falls asleep?
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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We've had this problem with our toddler, too. We were fine with him in our bed, until we had the newbie, and then we did a routine that has worked, even though we have to redo it every few months when his routine gets off. When he comes to our room, we just get up, walk him back to his room and put him back in bed. No engagement, no eye contact, etc. As long as there's nothing wrong with him, and his needs are met, of course. The very first time we did it, DH took him back at least 30 times in a row, and he would just keep coming back, but he finally got tired of the game and went back to sleep. It didn't upset him one bit!

Also, if he's climbing out of his crib, I would definitely look into getting him into a bed, as he can hurt himself falling from that height.

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Old 04-14-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Definitely switch him to a floor bed, toddler bed, or something besides a crib if he is able to climb out. That's too high of a fall to risk injury.

I find that if my 24 month old is truly tired and ready for bed, he will go and lay down and fall asleep. But then, I don't have a set bed time so it's not a struggle. He sleeps in pretty late in the mornings-- so no advice for a LO that is not getting enough rest.

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Old 04-14-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Nighttime parenting can be a challenge no doubt. I thought I'd recommend "Sleepless in America." I found it a really helpful read.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I agree that the first thing to do is modify the crib or put him in a low bed or SOMETHING to make sure he's safe when getting out.

We just went through this with our 28 month old. We moved his bedtime back half an hour, then sat on the stairs outside his room and every time he got up, we'd go in and say, "Time to go to sleep. I love you." and put him back in the bed. We stayed calm and he was never upset... he'd say, "Okay, Mommy!" then pop back out 10 minutes later.

But eventually he got the idea and after about a week of this, he was back in the crib.

I read that you shouldn't say anything or engage at all but that just wasn't possible for me. I wanted to say SOMETHING so he'd know all was well and that we weren't upset. Seemed to work and felt gentler to me.

Edited to add, I think the key is to stay calm. If it takes 20 times the first night, so be it. Sit outside the door with a book and a small light or something. It will take fewer and fewer times each night. As a side benefit to this, our son had stopped napping on weekends even though we KNEW he was tired. We used this approach at naptime as well and he's napping well again.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. I can certainly put the toddler bed in his room tomorrow, he's so adept at climbing in and out and the carpet in there is so super padded that it never occured to me that he'd hurt himself.

I'mjust gonna keep trying with him. The boy needs to sleep! He was miserable, miserable, miserable today. He's generally a really sunny little one.

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