21 answers

2 Year Old Keeps Sleeping in Our Bed

My 2 year old son keeps waking up at night and coming to sleep in mine & my husband's bed. It isn't a major problem but is starting to get really annoying. Our first son co-slept with us until he was 14 months old, but had no problem sleeping in his own bed. We don't even know when he comes in, we wake up in the morning and he is there. We used to have a baby gate up at his door, but he climbs it. I'm looking for some tips that others have tried. Thanks!

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I can't believe I'm admitting this, but my son is 9 and he still occassionally sneaks in late at night and I wake up with him beside me in the morning....I think that's the reason we upgraded to a California King sized bed. I think I always let him creep in around 2am because I could sleep better knowing that he was safely in between us. All I can really tell you, is that as he's getting older I wish that I broke the habit earlier. I feel like my bedroom is the only room I can have some privacy, but sometimes I don't have that anymore because of this habit I failed to stop earlier. Good luck!

My son is 4 and is a really quiet when he comes in, too. I use to sleep as close to the edge as I could, but he would sneak in and somehow fit in there. We have a chart that shows how often he sleeps in his own bed all night (with the bathroom light on, nightlights don't work for him). We reward him with time alone with either of us to a movie, meal, or just any outing where it is just him (not his sister). It's worked so far. And we had to extend bedtime rituals: watch him brush his teeth, wash his face, put on pjs (and praise) plus read him his own bettime story (in addition to his sisters and their co-story). As long as he gets some alone time with us, he's not so clingy. I hope this helps.

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Hi H.,
My daughter is going to be 1 year old this month so I don't have any experience with this issue however I do remember reading a suggestion for this problem somewhere or maybe on nanny911. The suggestion was to attach a belly to the door so that when the child enters you'll hear it and then can put them back in their room. That doing this a few nights in a row should break this habit. It might be hard for you to hear the bell if you and your husband are heavy sleepers.
Please let me know if you try it and it works. Then if it happens to me I know a sure fire way to resolve it. (I'm a very light sleeper).
Best of luck to you!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.- we had a similar problem with our oldest. We co-slept while breastfeeding both daughters- but only one of my girls had trouble moving into her own bed.
I fixed the night wanderings with consistency and firmness. For the first week or so after the wanderings started- I put a sleeping bag and pillow on the floor next to my bed. She could come in and sleep there if she wanted to- but definately not in my bed and I asked her not to wake me up. (I heard her anyway- but this let her know that my sleep was important).
After a week or so I moved the sleeping bag to the foot of my bed so if she needed to come in she could- but she wouldn't be next to me. Just close by. At this point she actually stopped coming in to my room! I think she figured out that she wasn't going to get what she wanted so she just stayed in her bed!
This worked for us- I hope it can help at least a bit!
Good luck!
-S.

Hi H.,
My daughter is 2, but she is still in a crib with a crib tent, so I don't have any experience with this, but maybe you have heard of a dutch door. It's a door which can open fully, or only on the top. The bottom locks on the opposite side of his bedroom, so he can't get out, Leave the top open so you can still hear him, and he won't feel closed in.

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but my son is 9 and he still occassionally sneaks in late at night and I wake up with him beside me in the morning....I think that's the reason we upgraded to a California King sized bed. I think I always let him creep in around 2am because I could sleep better knowing that he was safely in between us. All I can really tell you, is that as he's getting older I wish that I broke the habit earlier. I feel like my bedroom is the only room I can have some privacy, but sometimes I don't have that anymore because of this habit I failed to stop earlier. Good luck!

H.,
We had that same problem with our 2 year old. I reversed the lock on his bedroom door so the lock was on the outside of his room and we locked him in at night. I know this might sound cruel but it worked. We really only used it for maybe a week. As a Mom it was tough hearing him cry for the first few nights. After that we told him if he slept in his bed we wouldn't lock it. He only comes into our room if there is a huge thunderstorm. I got this idea from many other parents and it does work. Good Luck!!!

Hi H.:
Yes I have the same problem and my boyfriend didn't help at all. And know I'm not liveing with him and married to someone else and it's sad that he's know 11 yrs old and still sleeps with his dad and his dad lets him sleep with him. But when my son comes to visit with me he sleeps on the couch and does not come into my room to sleep with me. But he did go and sleep in the same room with his sister and I had talked to him saying that when you sleep at mommy's house you sleep on the couch and not in your sister's room you are both to old to sleep together and it's not right. And he's been sleeping on the couch when he does sleep over my house. It's a crime shame that his father don't inforce it at all. He claims he does tell his son not to sleep in the bedroom but I think he's full of it.
My advice is keep putting your child in the bedroom even if the child comes to your room to sleep. Just keep repeating.

I wonder if you set up a little sleeping area next to your bed on the floor for him? Good luck.

We had this problem with our daughter and solved it by putting up a baby gate in her doorway. If she cried, my husband would go in her room, put her back in bed but would not let her come into our room. It took a few days but eventually it stopped and we were able to take the baby gate down.

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