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My toddler gets up to play in the middle of the night!
Q: My 19-month-old-daughter has been getting up in the night and playing. She’s in a toddler bed because she climbs out of the cot. When she wakes up in the night, she does not come and get me. She quietly plays until I hear her and put her back to bed. I’m concerned that she will get hurt or get into something dangerous.
Tamra Belgrade
A: I understand your concern, and you are wise to worry that she will get into something and get hurt. I think the solution is to use a monitor. Even though we think of these as being mainly for babies, they have many uses. I use mine whenever my youngest granddaughter spends the night. The guest bedroom is on a different floor, so I can immediately hear her if she wakes up and is confused about where she is.

Also, I would try closing the door to her room. If her room isn’t too far from yours, you might be able to hear it open. Finally, I would tell her that you expect her to let you know if she wakes up. Tell her that you can let her know whether it’s time to get up or time to go back to sleep.

Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education