C.H. asks from Sublette, KS on January 29, 2009
Issues with Bed/naptime
I am desperately looking for advice on how to keep my 2 year old in his bed! He has done so well since we transitioned to a big boy bed when he was around 20 months. (He is now 26 months) He occasionally leaves his bed a few times at bedtime, but it is mostly naptime.... sometimes he gets up like 7 or 8 times and I have to take him all the way back downstairs and put him in bed each time. I know he thinks it's a game because he laughs even though I am very serious with him about it. He sleeps about 9-10 hours at night and usually takes a 1 or 2 hour nap. Today I just gave up and put him in a portacrib so he couldn't get out. What can I do to teach him to stay in bed? Thanks in advance moms!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Luckily for me it was a short phase and after a little while and a lot of repetition he outgrew it! :]
D.K. answers from Denver on January 30, 2009
9 -10 hours a night for a two year old is not enough, kids at that age need 12 to 13 hours!
Put a babygate on his room, then make a chart, tell him for every night/day he stays put in his bed when you put him there he gets a star. If he gets up he loses a star. After 30 stars tell him he gets to go pick a special treat out at Target or Walmart or something.
Do not cave into his laughing, ignore it, silent discipline, not a word, stern face and put him back into his bed, take a star away in front of him.
My son did give up naps before he turned three and I told him, if you give up naps you have an earlier bedtime. He gave them up, was a little cranky at dinnertime but he was in bed around 6:30 every night! He slept until 7:00 every morning. Now he is four he gets to stay up until 7:15 to 7:30 but still sleeps until 7am. So maybe skip naps one day and put him to bed earlier.
When he complies, make a huge deal out of it, tell him how proud you are of him and praise him. Let him put his own star on the chart.
He knows you will give up or change it up if he pushes, the key is no matter how long it takes don't give up! Let him know you mean what you say and he has no choice!
I tell my kids "you can go to bed nicely or the hard way but you need sleep to grow and be healthy" "I really want to snuggle and read some stories, so please let's go".
I have a four year old that sleep 11 1/2 hour a night, that is a good nights sleep. I have a seven year old that sleeps 10 1/2 hours a night.
9 hours is just about what grown ups need, not good for a two year old and he will be cranky, irritble, lower immunity and overly tired which causes a whole different issue.
Put black out shades in his room if need be.
You cannot teach him as much as get him in a routine and stick to your guns! Maybe tell him if he won't stay down for a nap he loses time off bedtime. Put him to bed 15 minutes earlier for every day he battles you on naps.
C.T. answers from Salt Lake City on January 30, 2009
You may think this is way too cruel, but when my toddlers did this, I switched their doorknobs around so the lock was on the outside. After about a week of being locked in at naptime, they learned to stay in bed and I could stop locking the door. (I never locked them in at bedtime, just naptime.)
C.E. answers from Denver on January 30, 2009
Maybe he's done with naps! My children both stopped napping very early, but because MOMMY needed some time - they still had to do quiet time in their rooms for awhile. I put spinning things (I have NO idea what they are called) on the door handles so they couldn't come out of their rooms on their own.
This way, they knew they had to stay in their rooms, they could play if they didn't want to sleep, but they HAD to do quiet time. Then, afterwards, we'd have a snack with Mommy, play a game.. something special that gave them incentive.
You will need to give them a timeframe and since small children have NO sense of time, we usually put a movie on in their room, or a CD and told them when it was over, so was quiet time. Quite often, they would fall asleep for a bit!
Good luck - and God Bless-
V.S. answers from Salt Lake City on January 30, 2009
When we put my son in a bed at 2 years old, he also thought it was great fun to come out every 5 minutes. I didn't want to shut him in his room, so I put a baby gate on his doorway, and the first time he got out of bed he stood at the gate and yelled for us (of course!)--he hated the gate being there. So I told him that if he stayed in his bed, we'd take the gate down. So he climbed back into bed, and watched me set the gate aside. A couple of minutes later, he came out, at which point I walked him back to bed, and put the gate back up, explaining that he had to stay in bed for the gate to be down. Then he yelled from his bed that he was staying in bed (which was pretty amusing), and I said I'd take it down when he fell asleep. Believe it or not, after that it only took a couple more times of putting the gate up for him to "get it" and all I had to do was leave the gate outside his door as a reminder for him to stay in bed. Of course, this only works if your son is not a climber! In that case, he'll just climb over the gate.....