they won't sleep in their own beds - FamilyEducation
they won't sleep in their own beds
03/08/2008 at 11:38 AM

My 2 and 3 year olds won't stay in their own beds at night. I've done just about everything I can to keep them in there, from laying with them until they fall asleep to letting them watch T.V until they fall asleep but it just isn't working. What do I do to keep them in their beds?

I think this sounds like one of those self-regulation things that was reported on NPR.  You don't need to keep their minds busy until they fall asleep, you need to help them learn to put themselves to sleep.  The way you do this is you just insist, and they resist, and you have the endurance to insist longer than they resist.  You sit outside the bedroom door, and when you hear them get out of bed you go put them back in bed (calmly) and leave them and close the door.  Repeatedly.  Night after night.  It is exhausting.  It seems fruitless.  Repeatedly.  Night after night.  No magic wand, sorry.


I have a questions for you.

When they we're babies did you sleep with them in your bed? I am curious because our little ones sleep with us now and I don't want the same happening to us.

I hope you resolve the issue. But I think in time it will just naturally become better.


Just Trying to be the best I can be.


I absolutely agree.  This will not take as long as you think if you persist.  It happened to me when my son was 6 months.  My ped doc gave me a book about it.  Within three days he was sleeping by himself and through the night.  However an older child who is more mobile will take a little longer - but you have to persist.

Teaching them how to go to sleep is like potty training.  Your persistence will pay big dividends.


Quite honestly, persisting wore me out. I tried getting my three year old, now four  to unwind before insisting he goes to sleep. I put on some soft children's music (classical or religious) and I massage his legs and hands with baby oil or lotion while I sing along. I have even tried the warm milk with Ovaltine or cocoa. I cannot forget reading aloud  to him. This worked like magic. After reading, I follow up with the massaging of his hands and legs. These ideas have helped me and I have my sanity. I do not have anymore problems. This routine has even helped to relax me and I feel refreshed by the time he falls asleep. I hope at least one of these ideas work for you.

My kids are older now .But when they were new borns. They stayed in our bedroom. As soon as they were able to stand in there crib. We moved them straight to there room. You see we had there crib in our room until that time. This way they already get comforable sleeping in there own bed. So once we put them into there own room we just had to put a night light on. To this day the kids like that they have there own room and own beds to sleep in. If your wondering how old they are . I have a 10 yr, 7 yr , 4 yr old. each as there own bed to sleep in with there own room.

I can relate. I have two girls that are 23 months apart. I was worried that my infant would never sleep when the toddler played. But, it was the opposite. After a few nights, the toddler was tired of the infant crying and we talked about how she needed to be quiet and go to bed for her sister to sleep. Now, mine are 1 and 3, so this is a bit different. We started it when the baby was 8 months old. For your little ones, I'd suggest a few days of no naps and put them down after a set bedtime routine. That is KEY. We have the 5 b's of bedtime...bite (dinner or snack), bath, brush (teeth), books (read a story together - in their bedroom), bed. That meant a solid bedtime routine showed them what was to happen and they began to do more and contribute to the routine, without chaos. I also say no to tv or coming out of the room more than one time. I say "emergency bathroom break" only. One time. After that, lock the door. I switched the lock on my kids' doors, so they couldn't lock themselves in a room. But, I can lock the door, so they can't keep coming out. They get mad and they will cry, but check on them and explain it is bedtime and they are to go to bed. Also, I had all the lights out in the rest of the house and we all pretend to go to bed at the same time (7pm). Then, they don't think they are missing out on fun. I hope some of this works. Stay solid. It takes 5 days to break a child out of a bad bedtime habit. It's true, by day three you are ready to give up - so much crying and tension. But, let them play and fall asleep...that is nothing new to any parent with a toddler. Just stay solid on no TV, bedtime routine, and lock the door. By day 5 they will do things great. Try it for a week and re-post. Oh, and make sure they don't have candy or soda. That helped our son go to bed. He only has candy or sweeets on Saturday mornings.

I guarantee reading them the children's book, I Sleep In My Own Bed ( will get them to stay in their own beds. My daughter would either sleep in our room or have one of us sleep in her room. But the cute illustrations and text taught her that only her room is perfect for her so sleeping in any other room or having others sleep in her room wouldn't work. She now sleeps in her own room and wants the book read to her every night. Definitely try it will work!