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My 3-year-old won’t stay in her bed
Q: My 3-year-old received a toddler bed for Christmas and was staying in it until she came down with the flu at the first of the year and was up several times as a result. Now we can’t get her to stay in her bed. Every night, a few minutes after crawling into bed, she comes walking down the hall. We then put her back in bed, but then she’s up again. She will get up anywhere from two to six times a night. Her baby brother sleeps in her cot, so we’re unable to put her back in it.
Heather Bothell
A: Alas, your daughter’s behaviour is typical for a 2-year-old. Here are some suggestions for getting her to stay in her bed:
  • Leave your bedroom door open a crack and place an empty suitcase behind the doors so you’ll wake up when your daughter bangs the door against the suitcase as she enters. Then, take her right back to her room. You may have to do this several times, and over a period of several days, before she understands that you’re serious.

  • Put an expandable gate in her doorway so she can’t sneak into your room. If she gets up in the night, tuck her in and let her know she needs to be in her own room.

  • Alternate with your husband who has to put your daughter back to bed so that one parent doesn’t end up always losing out on a good night’s sleep.

  • If you would like more ideas, read "Solving Bedtime Problems".