How to get your toddler to stay in bed?

Many children fall asleep without a problem, but learning to stay in their own beds throughout the night can take time. The Stay in Bed technique helps parents get that much-needed uninterrupted evening - and ensures a good night's sleep for the whole family

Once a child has their own bed, climbing out to pay you a visit could become their favourite game - especially if the effort pays off with a night with Mum and Dad. Some determined toddlers will climb out of their cots for the privilege, while even formerly good sleepers can sometimes change their habits at different stages in their development. This is disruptive for parents, but could also affect siblings, too. What can you do about it?

Try this Stay in Bed technique - as with anything child-related, it's important that you're consistent and follow the steps. Soon you should create the right environment for your child to stay in their own bed all night.

Steps to keep your child in bed

Follow a calming bedtime routine. Before your child gets into bed, make sure they have no reason to get up - they've been to the toilet, had a little water - and it’s clear that you expect them to stay in bed now. This way, if the child gets out of bed, you won’t be drawn into a discussion about why they are up, and you can get on with the business of getting them back to sleep.

What else might help?

You could make ‘stay in bed’ part of your child’s Reward Chart, but to break the back of an established ‘staying awake’ routine, it might be better to use a Star Chart initially. That way, you can give him a star on the nights he gets it right and not focus on the nights he doesn't.

We'd love to know whether this technique worked for you. Share your story with us via our Facebook and Twitter pages.