Toddlers: 24 Months+

Trouble getting two-year old to bed

We recently switched my daughter to a toddler bed. She seems to do fine with it- she likes it and sleeps well. The problem is getting her into bed every night and every day at nap time. She just won't stay in her bed. She won't lay down, won't let me kiss her good night, and now she won't even let me read her a story. When i say good night and walk away, she gets out of bed and runs to the door. I have to yell at her and put her back in bed and then she just gets out again. I have tried being very calm and nice to her and that only seems to make it worse. She won't lay down until I have yelled to the point of my throat being sore. This is not how I want to put her to bed and I don't want to lock her door either. What can I do????

Re: Trouble getting two-year old to bed

  • We have a gate on our two year old's door. She is allowed to get up and play or read a book on her own. She does get up and down a bit at naptime and will put herself down to sleep within a half hour. At bedtime she is far less likely to get up, but if she does we don't say anything unless she calls for us. When she calls for us, we remind her it's bedtime and leave it at that. We don't go in unless she cries. Maybe if you gave her that little bit of freedom?

    Married DH 7/30/11

    CSC arrived 5/7/12 

    CHC arrived 6/2/14

  • Moving to a toddler bed is a big transition, so it needs to be gradual. I know it is frustrating, but yelling is only going to make it traumatic for her.

    When we moved my son, I spent the first 2wks sitting in front of the open part of his bed. We would read & snuggle & he'd have a bottle, then I would tell him it was time to go to sleep & put him in bed. He could do whatever he wanted, but he had to stay IN bed. If he tried to climb out, I blocked him or laid him back down. I interacted as little as possible. There were tears, & I had to be VERY consistent & patient, but in just a couple of days he got the point & stopped trying to climb out. I would stay until he fell asleep, then leave.

    After two weeks I moved to sitting on the floor about a foot away. After another few weeks, I sat in the rocking chair a couple feet away. It's been 3mo & I still sit there. I could probably work on moving out of the room, but it only takes him maybe 5min to fall asleep now so I see no need to upset him.
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