Toddler Won't Sleep in Toddler Bed

Updated on February 20, 2011
V.S. asks from Lima, OH
10 answers

I have a 2 year old daughter (27 months old) who does not want to sleep in her toddler bed. She is still currently in a crib because every time we go to put her in the toddler bed, she'll either cry until someone gets her (this is a scream more than a cry) or she'll just goof off. Now, we don't have any toys in her new room so I haven't tried putting some in there yet to see if she'll go to sleep on her own, but that will be the next step.

She goes to sleep on her own, but she literally wants nothing to do with her toddler bed. I think part of the problem is that she is so attached to her room that she doesn't want to leave it. Yes, we have considered moving her toddler bed in her room, but this is not solving the problem because we currently have a 3 week old daughter that will be transitioning into the nursery room (where our other daughter sleeps) in the next month or so.

Can somebody please give me some suggestions on what to do about this? My husband and I are out of options right now and we really need to get her transitioned to her other room. I think part of the problem too is that her new room is a little smaller too. I would put the crib and the changing table in the other room, but unfortunately the nursery is yellow and a Winnie the Pooh theme whereas the new bedroom is pink/yellow and a Precious Moments theme. My mom is currently painting a chest of drawers we got at a garage sale for my daughter but painted it the same colors as the Precious Moments room. We want her to get out of the nursery and be a big girl, but we are having some serious problems.

Please help!

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answers from Indianapolis on

My son got out of bed and slept on the floor by the door for a good 4-6 weeks when we converted his bed:( If she doesn't like the toddler bed, you can always try going straight to a twin. Either use a bed rail or just put the mattress on the floor.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Have you considered having them share a space? I have two boys who are 20 months apart and they have always shared a room. Because they were so close in age, I did purchase a second crib, so I didn't have to bump one out of the crib into a bed - that did help. Have you considered buying a second (used) crib? Or, if the baby is still little, she could sleep in a bassinet for a month or two yet... that might make the transition easier if she didn't feel like she was losing her room and her crib all at the same time.

My boys really love sharing a room. They are currently 3 1/2 and 5 and they love bedtime with books and talking after lights out. I think that it actually helped #2 learn about the whole bedtime routine since he was usually in his crib as the older boy got into his bed and lights out... he just would lay down and go to sleep.

Consider it - it might make your life easier... she really is still a baby at just turning 2. Maybe pushing her out before she is ready is not the best option...

Just my thoughts.

Congratulations on your new baby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear but that's a lot for your two year old and I think she is telling you that she's not ready! She now has to share your attention with the new baby along with getting kicked out of her bed AND her room - WOW! I think that trying to make all these changes at once has got to be extremely overwhelming to her.
I'd recommend baby steps (no pun intended!) Pick which is most important - the bed or the room change and make that move first. If it's the room change, than get a new crib for the baby and let the 2y/o keep her crib. If it's the bed change, then put the toddler bed in the nursery and put the baby in the other room. Once she's comfortable with that try introducing the next change. Don't forget to have her help with the baby - get diapers, etc. Another idea is that if she is in to dolls, have her change her baby's diaper at the same time, etc. Anything to include her!

I honestly understand having these ideas of how you wanted their rooms to be (I was the same way) but you've got to listen to your kids first. It may not turn out exactly like you envisioned but as long as everyone's happy and sleeping it will all be fine.

Wishing you lots of luck :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'd just buy a second crib for the new baby and leave your 2 yo in her own crib.
Don't switch to the toddler bed til she's 3 if she's not escaping.
It will be a HUGE issue (getting up, walking out of her room, walking around the house at night, etc.) if she's not interested. I wouldn't push it. She'll understand better when she's 3.

p.s. The color schemes of the room vs. the furniture don't really matter.....restful sleep MATTERS! :-)



answers from Columbus on

Oh, Honey! you know, your serious problem really is not that she won't sleep in her new bed, it is that she has lost her room and the sense of security that she had there.

You don't really "need" to get her transitioned for decorating. Move the little girl back to the place and the bed that she sleeps well in, the baby can sleep anywhere and your child problem is solved. Decorating problems are not that important in the big picture.

Decortating should be way down on your list than the comfort and security of your little ones. It is beyond a two year olds develeopmental stage to give up an emotional attachement and her routine that makes her feel safe and secure for estetics.




answers from Chicago on

can't you put the toddler bed into the room she is used to and put the crib in the new room for the baby?



answers from Indianapolis on

My son had a hard time with the transition at 29 months. I chose to make the change early because we have another baby due in a few weeks so I didn't want to make any changes too close to the birth, another transition. This could be part of the problem too. Try and excite her about her new room, tell her that she is a big girl and should sleep in her big girl bed because the baby needs her crib. I changed the theme in my son's room to something he likes, dinosaurs and slowly moved the nursery items into the other room. He has been fine with the transitions of these items and now calls the other room the baby's room and likes to hang out in there, awaiting baby's arrival. We decided to keep my son in his original room, I thought that would be too much to have him change rooms, so that could be another problem. It did take my son about 2 months to actually sleep in his toddler bed. He would skip naps and play and would have a hard time going to sleep at night. For the most part, he would fall asleep on the floor, which is normal. Its a new freedom and a big change and for some it takes longer than others to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Because it took my son so long to adjust, I am grateful I started in January rather than May! Sometimes you just have to let her cry it out too, we found that to be the only solution that worked sometimes too. He just wanted nothing to do with that bed and would fight us, but eventually he took to it and we are settled in thankfully!



answers from Monroe on

Every child is different in when and how to transition them into their toddler or "big room". I think if you will fill her new room with her toys and belongings that will make her feel more comfortable.Make it look and feel as much like her old room as possible.Buy her some new toddler bed bedding that she picked out or a favorite blanket or pillow she likes , also a new stuffed animal ,may make her feel more secure. I think it will just take time and also patience but she will get used to it. I would encourage the talk about her being the "big sister"now and how she gets the "big girl" room, talk it up and keep being persistent. Good Luck!



answers from San Diego on

Why not keep her in the room she is used and put the baby in the other room? you said its smaller, well the baby should be in the smaller room. Your daughter should not loose her room because of the baby. I think you are focussing to much on theim and color than what is best for your daughter. Put the toddler bed in her room, the one she has been in. J.



answers from Phoenix on

I hate to say this, but it might not be an option to change your older daughter to a new room now. Older siblings are often a little jealous when a younger sibling (ie. baby) comes along. They show it in different ways. What you see an a sign of her growing up and moving into her "big girl" room & bed, she likely sees as the baby taking her place and her things. I'd suggest moving her toddler bed into her room. After she successfully sleep in the toddler bed for a couple of nights, then talk to her about her baby sister wanting to use her "old" crib and then moving the baby into the new room (smaller) room you were planning on for your older daughter. I know the colors won't match, but it would be worth it if it avoids making your older daughter feel like she was kicked out of her space for the baby.

The truth is, it isn't suggested that you expect an older sibling to make any major changes during the first coupole of months after a new baby is brought home. The older sibling is often confused and feels like the baby is replacing or taking their role in the family.

Whatever you do....good luck!

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