How Do I Get My 2 Year Old Son to Sleep in His Room

Updated on May 18, 2010
V.V. asks from Dublin, OH
5 answers

I have a two year old little boy who has had to go through several changes the last last. he has always been really great but since we moved again 2 months ago, we have to fight to get him to bed and then he ends up in our room in the middle of the night. We try to put him to bed at 8:30 but he keeps coming out of his room. We can't use the supernanny idea of taking him back to his bed, because before we can reach him he says "I got you" and runs back to bed laughing. HE THINKS ITS A CHASING GAME! We have tried time out, talking to him sternly and now we just put the gate on his door but have to run to our room so he doesnt see us. If he sees us walking around outside of his room he screams for over an hour and then falls asleep at the gate only to wake a couple hours later and keep screaming. If we run to our room and "hide" he only cries for 20 minutes or so. We have been doing this routine for over 2 weeks. We usually take the gate off before we go to bed in case he has a bad dream or gets sick and needs us.
The other issue is that he comes into our room sometime in the middle of the night. I would like him to be able to leave his room in case there is something really wrong, so we take the gate off before we go to bed, but he sneaks into our room and falls asleep on the floor or in the hall and we dont realize it until we get up the next morning. My husband is working a temp job and HAS to be well rested to function in the morning and I am 9 months pregnant. We are both exhausted. Instead of his usual behavior or going to bed at 8 and STAYING in bed allowing a couple hours of alone time for my husband and I, we have this fight every single night. HELP! What do we do???? He is so hyper before bed time, even if all we have done is sit down and read or color. He starts running around and screaming with laughter. We don't feed him close to bedtime or allow for any snacks, we do not rough house or watch TV with him. I just dont understand the behavior or what to do. My guess is that he cries at night and comes to our room because he is lonely, making it even harder for me to walk away and listen to his cries...:(

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone. He does have a consistent bedtime routine and 2 special stuffed animals and a blanket he is attached to. In addition he has about 6 other stuffed animals in his bed. We just stayed consistent. We went through the bedtime routine, then told him to stay in bed otherwise the gate would go up. We gave him 1 warning and then put it up. I think I cried more than he did, but he has stayed in his room as night for 3 consecutive night! We had to put him back in our room since we have some friends visitng for a couple nights which might set us back, but now we know what works! Thank you all!

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you considered putting him back into a crib?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Children at this age sometimes have a lot of unrealistic fears so he might be afraid to sleep in his room alone. Do you have a night light or a sleepy time pal like a teddy bear that can keep him company? Maybe give him a bath at night to make him sleepier?

In some other cultures, the whole family sleeps together. But some people can sleep soundly with their kids and others can't so that would be up to you and your husband.



answers from Jacksonville on


I would suggest you set up camp in his room until he falls asleep. You be the guest in HIS room. Get him used to the idea that you are there and not leaving him. Try it every night for a week, then slowly branch out to once or twice, then none. He has to know that his room is comfy and safe just like moms. Find him his favorite toy or stuffed animal to keep him comfort and lay there with him. Then leave after he falls asleep.


answers from Dallas on

Does he have a late nap in the day. or waking up late? Maybe he just isn't as tired when you are putting him down.

We ended up having to lock my sons door from the outside. We do a good bedtime routine (clam down time prior to the bedtime routine, brushing teeth, bath, story, song, lots of cuddling, prayer), a good nightlight.... they cried at first, but after a week or so, they got used to it and it was no longer a problem.

In any case, here are some great tips from Dr. Sears regarding sleep issues:

lots of really good ideas here:



answers from Des Moines on

oh dear,

my son is 22 months old and he has a lovely bedtime routine. Off to toilet, brush teeth, hop in bed - I will read him two stories, tuck him in with all his soft toys (yes there are around 6) kiss them all goodnight and say everyone needs to close their eyes and go to sleep, then I walk out. Most nights he will jibber jabber to his soft toys for 10 mins then all is quiet and he goes to sleep. I think the toys help him feel less lonely in his room. It sounds like your son is acting this way because he can sense a lot of change around him and is probably unsure about exactly what is happening (e.g. you being pregnant). It is really important to teach him that his room is special and a great place to be to stop him from getting out of bed and sleeping in the hall or on your bedroom floor. Consistency is the key here, set up a nice routine and stick to it, soon it should help him to settle in his bed and stay there

all the best

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