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How to get a toddler to stay in bed

Any ideas how to get a toddler to stay in bed? We transferred her from cot to bed about 3 months ago and have gone from a 7.30 bed time to now 10pm bedtime. She just keeps getting up. It sometimes takes hours to get her down.

Transitioning from a cot to a bed can be an exciting step for both child and parent.  However, this transition can come with challenges as your child now has new-found freedom, that is, she can get out of bed by herself.

I am thinking back to when I made the cot to bed transition for my children, and the strategy that I used was placing the cot beside the bed so my child could think she was still in the cot.  My daughter, however, has a rail on her son’s bed. My daughter has also experienced her son getting out of bed.  The strategy that she used to encourage her son to stay in bed was lying with him until he fell to sleep. She continued to do this strategy until he got into the routine of staying in bed.  After about six weeks, he is now staying in bed on his own.

Sharon McKinlay

Sharon McKinlay

Early Learning Consultant, Goodstart Early Learning

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