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  5. Trying to get a 2 year old to stay in their own bed

Trying to get a 2 year old to stay in their own bed Lock Rss

Hello I have a son who will be 2 in a few weeks. We had to put him in a bed as he kept climbing out of his cot and hurting himself. He doesnt seem to have a problem with the bed, just staying in it. At night we have a routine and then put him to bed tuck him in, give him a bottle, put on soft music and his night light. He will not stay in the bed after he has had his bottle unless we put the wooden gate on in his rooms door way. He will crawl out a few times and cry at the gate and even throw things over the gate into the hallway. I leave him cry for a while and then put him back into bed. This can go on for 3 or 5 times before he will stay in his bed and then go to sleep. Once he is asleep I have been taking down the gate. This I can live with. The problem is during the night he climbs back out of his bed and straight into our room. He comes to my side and I have been lifting him up and putting him in the middle of myself and my husband (if he is home) and he goes back to sleep. I know we did a stupid thing but when you are tired you will do anything for sleep as you know.
Last night I decided enough was enough so when he tried to come into our room at 11.00pm I put him straight back into his own room. He stayed there until around 3.00am when he came back into our room. Of course I took him straight back saying he is a big boy and has a beautiful bed which has heaps of room and he would be more comfortable in his own room blah blah blah. He cried of course and as soon as I left he was straight back to our bedroom. I kept taking him back until in the end I put the wooden gate back up in his door way and put some relaxation music on for him and went back to bed myself. He stayed in his bed until the CD finished and then tried to come into our room but of course collided with the gate. He screamed and had to be put back to bed and this morning I found he has a lump under his eye where he must of hit the gate. He has always been an early riser but this morning he wasnt up until around 5.30 which is very good for him. He then cried to get out (the gate was still up) as I thought he had done a pretty good job for his first night I let me out. I dont mind him coming in around 5.00 - 5.30 for a cuddle, my husband is a shift working so we have no set routine. But if I let him do this am I going to confuse him? How will he know when he can or cant come into our bed. I heard to get an alarm clock and teach them either the time or when the alarm goes off they can get out of their bed but he is still too young to understand that. I have read it is suggested to close the door but I dont want to scare him and I think that is what would happen.
Can you tell me if by what I am doing am I on the right track or if I am way off the mark? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi Calebsmum,

The most important thing you can do it to keep putting him back to bed every time he gets up, do it straight away with the least amount of fuss or attention. Let him know quietly but firmly, it’s time to sleep. Remove the gate if it’s becoming a danger.

If you’re happy with Calebs early morning rising then I don’t see any harm in morning cuddles in bed, they’re the best fun for everyone, so long as he’s not going back to sleep in your bed, because then you will be giving him mixed messages. Try giving him a nice new toy and if he stays in bed he can have it, but if he gets up you must take it away.

Good luck, Maree

It's Time to Sleep

My two-and-a-half year old girl sometimes sleeps in her own bed in her room (the third bedroom), sometimes in mine. If in her own, then she generally comes into mine in the small hours. Some nights she goes through but these are fairly rare (say two or three a month but becoming more often). I say 'mine' because my partner/her father is a shift worker and is sometimes there, sometimes not, sometimes in the other main bedroom we've set up (depending on what hours he leaves/arrives so as not to disturb) sometimes we're all in the second bedroom - so routine has never been big in our household either! This hasn't bothered me. It started around the twelve month mark in response to a specific sleeping problem after (but not immediately after) I had returned to full-time work and I had reached critical sleep deprivation. I did what I had to to survive and have no intention of wasting effort regretting it. Perhaps because I work and see less of her than I would like, I have especially loved one of our few routines - spending time with my daughter reading five or six (or more or repeating these) books in bed, talking about the pictures and then about her day and drifting off to sleep. Lately though I've begun to feel its time to move on from co-sleeping - not only is she getting older and more independent but, from my point of view, to put it bluntly, she's nearly a metre long with a propensity to sleep perpendicular to the bedhead. This is creating a new sleeping problem (for me). Also, a sibling is a future possibility and I do not want to be kicked when pregnant. I've read that from this age onwards, perhaps around three, as independence and self-recognition as an individual increase, toddler-pre-schoolers will often decide to sleep in their own room all by themselves. I think I see the signs of this beginning. I'm happy to encourage this but have long since decided against controlled crying/comforting, it wasn't for me when she just cried, her complex language abilities would make it additionally trying now.
Hi Kate,

Controlled comforting techniques are not for everyone, but if you don’t make some kind of routine change then your daughter will probably not either for some time to come. Spending time with her in her bed and reading is fine, it’s when she falls asleep with you still there that she wakes on her light sleep and looks for your comfort. If you could encourage her to allow you to say good night and leave before she falls asleep you will have a better chance of her sleeping through because she is able to resettle herself when she wakes on her light sleep.

Best wishes, Maree

It's Time to Sleep

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