How Exactly Do You Get a Toddler to Sleep in a Toddler Bed?

We switched Ryan to his big boy bed a couple weeks before Christmas.  It has since been a nightly struggle.  He has always been a great sleeper, we’d do our nightly routine and he’d go to bed without a peep.  Now, the only way he goes to sleep is if one of us is laying on the floor next to his bed.  Even with that it’s taken upwards of two hours for him to fall asleep.  I have decided that we cannot stay in there with him until he falls asleep, it’s not a habit I want us to get into.  So I’ve been trying to let him cry it out.  We have a gate at his door so he’s “stuck” (as he says) in there, my thinking being that he would tire of crying when he realizes no one’s coming and get in bed.  Well, instead he cries for 5 minutes (his cries are “pee-pee” which he only says because that is the one thing that gets him out of his room or “my Mommy”), is quiet for 1 minute and repeat and repeat and repeat.  Last night I finally broke down and went in there and sat with him and he fell asleep rather quickly.  We ended up taking the gate down because he can climb over it, and it’s higher than most gates and we don’t want him getting hurt.  It was 12:10AM the first time he wondered in our room, I took him back to bed and stayed in there for 10 minutes or so.  He got up again around 12:30 when he realized I wasn’t in there so back I went, but this time I ended up falling asleep on his floor, waking up at 2AM.  Again at 5:45 he came into the room and John told him to get into bed with us, I said no, but realized that we’d all be getting up soon anyway so in bed he came. I know there’s no easy answer, but someone please tell me what to do!

Aside from the bedtime struggles, he continually cracks us up.  Last weekend we went to a little Mexican restaurant by our house (our first dining out adventure with him since my parents were here in in November and John and Ryan had to leave early) and before we left he told us we were “going to the eat store for tacos”.  He tells knock, knock jokes.

Ryan:  Knock, Knock

Me:  Who’s There?

Ryan:  Me

Me:  Me Who?

Ryan:  Me!

After Christmas we found a play kitchen for half off and he just loves to pretend to give us coffee that’s “really hot”, so he takes our cup and puts in the microwave to “cool down”.

Tuesday I went to the doctor for labs they were down from last week.  My WBC went from in the normal range down to 2.5, which is in the “don’t be in large crowds” category.  I’ve had a cold since New Years Eve and it only seems to be getting worse.  So I’ve just been trying to get a little more sleep and rest.

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4 thoughts on “How Exactly Do You Get a Toddler to Sleep in a Toddler Bed?

  1. Have you thought about bribery? As long as there is consistency and clear expectations communicated, sometimes positive rewards for the desired behavior will work. I don’t think there is one solution that works for all kids, but in reading your post that came to mind….just a thought and good luck!!! Hope the cold gets better soon….hang in there! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. I don’t have much or any practice on this topic, but I read an article about getting infants to sleep in their cribs (Stella’s still in the bassinet in our room) and you might be able to apply the same concept. It suggested making the crib/bed a fun place to be while everyone is awake. During the day play games, tickle, laugh, (jump) in the bed and let him see it’s a fun thing… hope that helps. XOXOAUBS

  3. I don’t have kids and can’t help, but I was just thinking that this will make a great story when he has his first girlfriend over.

    Get lots of rest…there is a nasty bug going around. I had the bad cold/ear infection/sinus infection combo last month and it lasted over 2 weeks. 😦

  4. We had similar problems when we transferred Taryn into her toddler bed. We went through her normal routine, bathroomed, tucked her in, and told her it was her bedtime and time to go to sleep. Then we sat outside of her room and wouldn’t talk to her, but would just put her back in bed if she got out until she fell.asleep

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