I was scoping out facebook for a few minutes and came across a question posed by a friend about how to help her child stay in bed at night. I thought I'd share some tips on what I learned while raising my kids. I had a child that would do the same thing and at a very young age. When my son was just about a year old, he was able to climb out of his crib. I remember when he was napping, I heard a knock on his bedroom door and wondered what the heck that was since I thought he was in his bed sleeping. I opened the door and there was the little guy out of his crib! I thought, "oh no how did he do that?" I put him back in his crib, walked out of the room and closed the door. I cracked the door open and watched to see what he would do. To my amazement, he climbed right out like a monkey! I knew I was in trouble. My life at night was over for awhile as I tried to get him to stay in bed which was so hard since he was so young and most tricks didn't work.
I purchased the book "Super Nanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children." As I began to read and study online, I decided to give it a try since nothing else worked. Here's a link to the actual steps called "Gettting Toddlers to Stay in Bed" that the Super Nanny suggested. There are a few steps missing that are in the book so I would suggest that you purchase it. It is a great book to have on hand. We have used it many times for all kinds of different reasons. I'll describe a little bit about how we did it for our small, growing family.
I started the night with his bedroom routine: bath time, brushing his teeth, reading a story, songs, hugs, prayers and tucking him into bed. Then the tough part started. As soon as he hit the bed, he got out crying. I put him back in bed, said good night and gave him a kiss. He got right back out. I put him back in his bed, said good night and sat down next to his bed. The third time, I just put him back and I continued this pattern at least a few dozen times that first night. We also swapped his crib for a toddler bed since we didn't want him to get hurt climbing out of his crib. Each time I put him back into his bed I would sit right down on the floor
next to his bed and not look at him or engage him after the first few times. It was not fun and being a first time mom it was painful to hear him crying. I just kept at it. Each night I would put him to sleep after his Bedtime Routine, tuck him into bed and start the drill all over again. The dozens of times he got out started to lessen little by little each night. I would also sit a little further away from him each time until I was sitting right next to the door. I think it took a couple weeks to finally be able to put him in bed, say goodnight and leave the room. He was able to stay in his own bed without sneaking out and he was able to go to sleep on his own. Oh happy day! It paid off even if it was extremely hard at the beginning. After sticking to those first few weeks and helping him stay in his bed, he became one of my best sleepers. Now that he is older his biggest problem sleeping is trying to get him to close Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or one of his other beloved books at night so he can get some rest!
Here's the little guy finally giving up getting out of bed. I love how he is just barely hanging on to his bed. Can't believe how much he has grown!
Any bedtime routines that have helped in your home? We'd love to hear how you did it!