Bed Time


A common question asked is what to do about toddlers who won’t stay in bed and keep getting out of bed or calling for you. Many parents speak about the little amount of sleep their child is getting when the major concern is about the lack of sleep the parent is getting. It is obvious the child needs rest and will develop normally under routines and regular house rules. It will not help to beg, bargain or threaten. Attempting to reason with the child is natural but fruitless.

You must decide when it is appropriate for child to be put in his or her bed. You need your rest and time for yourself. Once you decided, set up a regular routine about the tasks that need to be done before bed and start some regular pattern you will follow nightly. An early evening snack may be the starting point of the end of the day, bathing or a story. However you set up your routine, I recommend a story or quiet time with your child before bed as a part of the routine. Kiss them good night and then no other excuses like a second glass of water, another story, bugs, furniture moving, monsters or reciting some earlier events are acceptable. If the child gets up quietly pick them up and return them to bed. This behavior might repeat itself over and over. You must quickly get up and return them to bed whether it happens five times a night or twenty times. It will be become apparent sooner or later you mean business. Please, don’t give up or give in because you will have to start over at the beginning if you deviate from your pattern. Good luck, this always works. The suggestions for that 7 to 9 month old who wakes at night “to eat” or whatever is slightly different.

Additonal excellent resource for sleep problems AAP Website and