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How to get child to stay in bed at bedtime?

  1. #1
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    How to get child to stay in bed at bedtime?

    My 3 year old has had a good bedtime routine since she was a tiny baby. I read her story books and sing her lullabies, switch off the light then leave!! She is now in her toddler bed and has been pretty good about falling asleep by herself. She is not afraid of the dark and does not have night terrors. Lately (and I know this is normal) she hops out of bed, wants a drink of water, wants to go to the toilet, wants another cuddle, wants to sleep in my bed, wants more stories, looks for this toy or that, etc etc. The to-ing and fro-ing can drag on for another hour or two. I have tried being patient and also tried being very firm. The last thing I want is a screaming tantrum or power struggle at bedtime. Anyone have any tips on getting a pre-schooler to go to bed and STAY in bed?

  2. #2
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    reward chart?

    my two are generally very good about bedtime, but they still will try it on once in a while...

  3. #3
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I have a 3 year old and similar issues. Two things that generally work for ANYTHING really are a) positive consequences for staying in bed, or b) negative consequences for NOT staying in bed. It is at times a daily battle - other times when she decides to "be an angel" she can be asleep within 15 min. She loves "bednight stories" as she calls them and tonight did not get one because yesterday she was difficult - however we told her that if she was good tonight, she'd get a bednight story tomorrow night. Something like that helps her to at least TRY to stay in bed... and tonight, she was much better than last night (asleep in about 30 min after a little whining and 1 potty break). I think it doesn't help that my two kids are in the same room, but I don't have any other options with that so we have to continue to fight these battles!! I know that like everything else, this is not forever :)

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    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    Velcro? Duct Tape? but seriously... nothing. The only thing that works in my experience is consistency. tireless consistency. EVERY time they get up, you tell them "goodnight, (name) it's time for bed" or something similar (and we found saying the same thing every time helped...) and put them back. Over and Over and Over. One day, it sticks.
    carang and TNT like this.

  5. #5
    bloominginHK is offline Registered User
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    I know this sounds awful... but lock the door or if you can't do that from the outside find a way to tie it shut. Like I said I know it sounds awful but for each of my children (I've got 3) we ran into this and consistency, rewards, consequences... NOTHING worked. We decided to try this dramatic approach and in 2 nights we never had an issue again. They immediately learned that they were not allowed to get out of bed. After those two nights we never had to lock the door again. And they didn't sit in their room crying all night either. They may have cried for a few minutes... but then just gave up and went to sleep.

  6. #6
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    We have a gate at the door, and as bloominginHK, they cry a bit at the gate and go to sleep.

  7. #7
    matemate is offline Registered User
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    have you thought about that your child's sleeping hours might have changed? sometimes we assume that the hours always stay the same but suddenly the child feels it needs more or less hours a night

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