Toddlers: 24 Months+

How do you keep your kid out of your bed?

DS1 will be 3 in November and for the past few weeks has been getting out of his bed in the middle of the night and coming into our bed.  At the beginning, he would come in around 4 or 5 AM, but it keeps getting earlier and earlier.  Last night he came in at midnight.

DS2 is 8 weeks old and is sleeping in a Rock 'n Play next to our bed.  I'm sure that is contributing to DS1 wanting to be in our room, too.  He is not scared or anything like that.  I've just been letting him do it because I don't want him to cry and wake up DS2.  I'm also just so tired that I don't feel like dealing with it when it happens.

BUT I really don't want him in bed with us.  I am not getting a lot of sleep as it is with a newborn and I really can't sleep well with a toddler in bed with me.  He doesn't sleep as well, either, and sometimes wakes up and gets out of bed with me when I get up to feed DS2

We did turn the lock on his door around when he moved from his crib to his bed, mainly for safety reasons so he couldn't escape his room in the middle of the night.  I feel bad locking him in his room, though, so am just wondering if anyone has any other ideas.  TIA!

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Re: How do you keep your kid out of your bed?

  • We had this EXACT same issue when we brought DD2 home. DD1 never slept in our bed before bringing the new baby home and within 2 days after bringing DD2 home, DD1 was crawling in bed with us. At first we allowed it b/c we knew she was transitioning as well and like you, I just wanted some sleep and was too tired to deal with it. The only difference is that the baby was in her own room, not ours.

    After about a week we put the kabash on it and whenever DD1 came into our room, we would just take her back to her room and explain that she needed to sleep in her bed. There were some nights where she cried, but to our surprise it didn't wake DD2 up (and their rooms are right next to each other). It took a week or two, but by being consistent we were able to end the bed sharing.

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  • We keep DD's bedroom door open with a baby gate fastened in the doorway.  She can get up and walk to the gate and call for us if she feels like she needs to (usually doesn't anymore but when she does, we just put her back to bed).  That being said though, she's not really a climber and hasn't really tried to get out.  If your DS is more of a climber/explorer it may not work.
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  • 1) I would decide what the rule is.  Is it "you cannot come into mommy and daddy's bed, ever"?  Is it "you cannot come into mommy and daddy's bed when someone in the room is sleeping"?  Is it "you cannot come into mommy and daddy's bed until 6am"?

    2) I would enforce the rule.  If he comes into your bed when he shouldn't (ever, when someone's sleeping, after whatever time you set), tell him "You can't come into the bed," and state your reason.  In a situation like this, I would add "Do you need something?" in case he needs help with the bathroom, a drink of water, or just woke up lonely and needs a hug.  Then take him back to his room.  Wash, rinse, repeat (though without saying anything on subsequent times).

    3) Praise the heck out of him when he DOES follow the rule.  (Even saying, at the end of the day, "This morning, you stayed in your room and didn't come into our bed.  That was wonderful, and we really appreciate you following the rules."

    Additionally, I'd come up with some sort of compromise, some sort of fun thing that you can do with him in the morning (fairly right away) so he doesn't have to see his brother get attention from you through the night and he still doesn't get any in the morning.

    Finally, take my advice with a grain of salt.  I only have one, but have had to work through similar (though different) problems with waking.  If I had two, and I was looking for what you're looking for, this is how I would do it.  Who knows if it would work!

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  • We don't have #2 yet, but for the longest time DD was a bed ninja- I would wake up and she would just be in our bed. No idea when she got there. After a long, nasty, drawn out fight this summer, out of desperation I threw a sleeping bag on the floor one night. DD is perfectly content sleeping on the floor in our room. I guess she just needs the reassurance, and I get much better sleep. Not sure if that would work or help in your situation, but I"m just throwing it out there.
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  • Squash this habit as quick as you can. We,let ds1 do this when we had our newborn (DS was previously an EXCELLENT sleeper)...and it took a SOLID 6-8 months to get over this. Lock the door (that's what we had to do ) and call it a Night. GL!
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  • image sept9107bride:
    Squash this habit as quick as you can. We,let ds1 do this when we had our newborn (DS was previously an EXCELLENT sleeper)...and it took a SOLID 6-8 months to get over this. Lock the door (that's what we had to do ) and call it a Night. GL!

    Yikes...this is what I was afraid of.  DS1 has also always been a great sleeper and I'm so mad I've let him get away with this.  Bedtime bootcamp time!

    Thanks everyone for the advice!

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