Keeping a toddler in her own bed can be tricky.
Transitioning from a crib to a toddler or twin bed is something many parents dread. For some, the problem lies in sadness over feeling their baby is growing up. But for others, the problem is more the logistics of toddlers and beds. Cribs are so easy, just plop your tot in there and she can't get out. But once you've dragged that stage out as long as you can and you're finally moving your toddler into a bed, keeping her in there can require some creativity. You will need ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with tying your unruly toddler to her new princess bed, or moving the whole shebang into a huge dog crate, tempting though it may be!
1Make her bed fun. Let your toddler shop with you for her new bed, if possible. At least let her have a say in the sheets and comforter for her new set up. If the bed seems like a cool one with awesome Dora sheets and blue pillows, she may be more likely to stay in it at night.
2Install safety rails on your toddler's bed. These rails will keep your toddler from rolling out of bed at night, and may also comfort your child as it makes the bed feel a bit more enclosed, like a crib.
3Explain to your toddler that she must stay in her bed at night, that it can be dangerous to walk around on her own in the dark, as she could trip or fall. Be firm, tell your child that she must stay in bed. Consider offering a small reward the first few times she makes it though the night without leaving her bed, such as a sticker or special trip to the park.
4Set up a routine. This way, your toddler will know that when certain things happen, it's time to get into sleepy mode. Examples of bedtime routines are a bath, brushing her teeth and reading a story.
5Set the mood. Your toddler's room should be dark and cool for sleeping. A small nightlight is appropriate if she doesn't like the dark. If your child frequently gets up for a specific purpose during the night, for example, to get a drink, anticipate her needs -- set a sippy cup with a bit of water next to her bed.
6Be consistent. Every time your child gets out of bed, walk her back into her room and tell her that it's bedtime and thats's where she belongs, end of story. No matter how tired you are, don't give in and let her sleep in your bed as this will only reinforce the behavior.
- Put the toddler to bed sleepy, but awake. A sleepy child will drift off faster than one who is wide awake and raring to play trains for an hour instead of sleeping.If your toddler isn't potty training yet, consider putting baby gates in the doorway of her room to keep her from wandering the house while you're asleep if she does happen to get out of bed. Make sure her room is completely childproofed before doing this so she's safe if she gets out of bed.