Staying In Bed

A toddler is still developing the ability to control impulses, and when he or she wakes alone at night, the impulse to go to you will be very strong.

It will take time for your child to learn to stay in his bed (in the years to come, he may still seek you out after a bad dream). But you can encourage him toward that goal in several ways:


  • If your child has already been moved out of a crib into a flat bed, putting guards on the sides of the bed will help him feel more contained and safer in his own bed.
  • Help your toddler develop a ritual that she finds comforting to help put herself back to sleep at night when she wakes: singing to a favorite stuffed animal or pressing a button on a music box.
  • Talk to your child about “practicing” sleeping in his own bed and, together, choose a reward that he would like whenever he succeeds.
  • It’s best if you take your child back to her bed when she comes into your room, so she learns that is where she sleeps.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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