Does your toddler keep getting out of bed in the middle of the night?
You've tried all my tips, it's been a few weeks -or even months-, but your toddler won't stop getting out of bed in the middle of the night. Does this sound familiar? Then, this post is for you! So, what to do when they won't stay in bed?
First of all, don't despair. You are doing a great job! Just remember that every child is unique and with that comes individual needs, temperaments and personalities. You have to find what works best for YOUR child.
Here are some tools that can help. You can try one at a time or you can try all at the same time.
1. Bedtime pass
This is simply a way to set boundaries in a playful and positive manner. How does it work? You give your child a certain amount of bedtime passes a night, which equals the amount of times they are allowed to get up. Every time they get up, they use one pass. You can give them a small reward, such as a sticker, the next day if they don't use them all. Every two nights, decrease the amount of passes until you reach 1. When you reach this point, reward them the next morning, if they don't use it.
2. Sleep manners chart
This is a tool that encourages positive behavior and helps to improve your little one's sleep habits. In this chart, you will write down the rule you want to reinforce -in this case "Stays in bed all night"- AND some rules that your child follows easily. Each night, review the rules with your child before bed. In the morning, review them again and add a sticker next to the ones that they followed. As this is a visual tool, they will feel proud as they see their progress. You can set up goals and give a small reward if they reach it. For example, stays in bed all night at least 3 nights a week. Each week, increase the goal until you reach 7 days.
3. Toddler clock
This is an alarm clock that uses color as a cue to let your child know that it is ok to get up. A red lights tells them it is time to sleep and a green one, tells them it is ok to get up. There are a variety of choices out there. Look for the one you like or try different ones before choosing. Let your child help you choose and have fun together.
So, how to stop your toddler from keep getting out of bed in the middle of the night? Here is the recipe for success: Make a plan, implement, be consistent and follow through. Keep trying and you will succeed.