Can't Get 2-Yr-old to Stay in Bed!!

Updated on March 11, 2009
A.W. asks from Zeeland, MI
6 answers

Hi Moms,

I'm losing my mind. My 2-yr-old daughter has been in a big girl bed for about 2 1/2 months now, since she was climbing out of her crib regularly anyway. For a while we had to work a little to get her to stay in bed once we'd put her down, but she seemed to catch on and things were fine. Now we go through her whole routine, and she just won't stay in bed once I lay her down, both at naptime and at bedtime. Her feet hit the floor before I have walked the two steps to her door. I have tried not reacting, not talking to her, no eye contact and putting her back in bed, but it becomes a game because she is out of bed before I can even walk out the door. If I leave her for any period of time in there, she is playing with toys, pulling clothes out of the closet, taking her own clothes off, etc. I have even tried spanking her...and she literally laughs at me.

She already goes to bed late (even worse thanks to daylight savings time now), so I am sure she's ready for bed. I don't think it's an issue of bad timing; she'd just rather play than sleep. Any ideas??


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Grand Rapids on

Do our kids know eachother?! LOL! My daughter also did this and it drives you bonkers as a parent. This is what I did, but no guarentees it will work for you :D I took everything out of my daughters room so she had no toys to play with and I locked her closet. Her room was boring to say the least. I would then give her one toy to stay in bed with. I told her if she got out of bed I would take the toy away. I did take the toy away a couple of times and she threw a fit; but eventually learned. She, after about two weeks, started to learn the rules and would playin her bed quitely. I would say most of the days she even falls asleep for 45 mins or so. She still goes to bed at the same time, with a toy of her choice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

We just went through the same thing. I, essentially, started to let my daughter "hang out" in her room more often. We put a gate on her bedroom door and she plays or watches tv. Bit this has made her nor comfortable in her room and when she's in there she sometimes lays on her big girl bed or Dora air bed. So at night, she's cool with being in her room. We've also made sure that she was really sleepy when bedtime comes around. We don't do a bedtime routine because everyday is a different monster. Some days she wears herself out by 8:30. Some days her dad rocks her for a few minutes until she is fairly drowsy. Some days she loads up on dinner (around 7:30-8:00) and is begging us to go to bed.

If Zaria does get out of bed, she can turn on her tv or play. The gate on her door keeps her from getting out. She'll get in bed at some point and fall asleep. This doesn't happen often. I think she has learned the consequences of staying up really late playing. So...I hope our experiences help you. I know that they are fairly different than the textbook recommendations, but they work for us. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Put a gate on her door, or two if you need. We actually made a half door for my son at age 2. I had to take most of the toys out of his room for awhile. Is their someway you can baby lock the dresser? or move the clothes for awhile? I would also unscrew their light bulb, so even if they got up, they couldn't turn it on. No light made things less fun for them. I basically treated their room like a big crib or playpen. They were stuck in a crib, why can't they be stuck in their room. The thought of them wondering around the house at night is scary! Take out what she can make a mess with. You can put stuff back in a week or two. Lock her in her room with a gate or half door. No light. Put an extra blanket on the floor, that's where she might fall asleep until she gives up and gets in bed. My kids knew when it was bedtime, that's it. She might cry the first nights, but she's just yelling at you, she's not hurt. She can sleep on the floor, it won't hurt her. If she knows she can get you back in her room, then she will do whatever it takes and she will continue to do it for a long time. You need your sleep I'm sure, so don't play this game with her. Bedtime is bedtime, just like it was when she was in her crib. It's not being mean, it's being a parent, making sure that everyone, includeing her, gets good sleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

If you have a "stong willed" girl, good luck. You will make it, but they are a challenge. I had a rule that she had to "be quiet" during her nap time. She could play, but she needed to stay in her room and be quiet. If I could hear her, she would have to stay longer. If you watch "Jon and Kate plus 8", some of their kids don't sleep during naptime either and she does the same thing for them. If they come out of the room before she gets them, nap time is extended. Then they learn to stay in their room for a set amount of time. At night, I would do the same. I put her in her room at the same time, with the same routine and then shut the door. I didn't care if she was in bed, just quiet and eventually she went to sleep. She needed to feel in control and I let her start making her decisions. Just make sure they have consequences for the bad decisions. I would always wake her up at the same time in the morning. Especially important if she stays up late. Same wake up call.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You mentioned that your daughter is already going to bed late. That might be the problem: She might be overtired and WIRED. That happens with my daughter at times. You might want to try moving up her bedtime to see if that works.



answers from Detroit on

It was 6 los of h. E. Double hockey sticks for me. I finally gave up on naps started quiet time and she started going to bed earlier, like 7:30. It was tough for the first week and better the second week. Then she was adjusted to not having naps. It was ned for us though. She would fight naps fall asleep too late then be up until 10 or 11 because she napped for 3 hours. She is tired at night and stays in bed like a dream. The worst part was that I didn't want to give up my alone time when she was napping. Now I get to spend free time in the evening. My other child is still napping like a dream, stays in bed, what a difference from her at this age! Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches