How to keep a toddler in bed?

My son is just shy of 2yrs old and since his little brother is due to arrive in a couple of months we are transitioning him into a “big boy bed” which he actually loves and pretty much transitioned himself too. The problem is that he spends time playing and climbing out and coming to see me at naptime rather than just falling asleep nicely like he did in his crib. At night he crashes no problem, but this back and forth at naptime is really starting to cut into my knitting and workout time !!

We had one who never got up and another who was like a jack-in-the-box. :lol:

The biggest problem I think at this age is they have short attention spans and don’t really understand about time yet. Telling him that he has to stay in his room and take his nap till say 3:00 or “for an hour” doesn’t really mean anything to him yet.

I used to set a timer for some things like “you can watch Sesame Street for 30 min then you have to brush your teeth” or “Mommy is doing xxx so you need to play by yourself for 15 min”, etc helped some. That may also work in this situation although you’ll have to turn off the timer when he finally falls asleep and turn it back on later. :teehee:

It reached a point where I’d tell them that they had to stay in their room and play quietly for 1 hour worked with older kids.

Maybe you can sit with him for a little while? Then he won’t be compelled to come out to see you. Don’t talk, just sit and knit quietly until he relaxes.

Some days, nap time is the only way to maintain sanity!

Mine hated the word nap so I told them that I needed a rest and they had to sit on their bed (with books and or a toy) while I rested.
I told them that they could not get off the bed, but they needed to make sure their doll (whatever) took a nap so she would not be cranky later. Usually, within a few minutes they would have fallen over asleep and I got the rest or whatever I needed. Then reward and praise them for doing as you asked, but only if they do it. They like getting prizes, but make sure they earn them. Otherwise it ceases to be effective as a tool to train them.

here I am back on the computer waiting for him to fall asleep. Amazingly, his bed came in (he had adopted the guest bed) so he got to help put the frame together etc and now has his truck sheets and he is THRILLED to have his bed. I told him that big boys who sleep in big boy beds have to stay in them and he just accepted that !! Aren’t toddlers funny. I did leave him with a soft book today and told him to read it to his elephant b/c he was tired so we’ll see how that plan works. Overall, I have to say transitioning him out of his baby room has gone much better than I anticipated. He is such a creature of habit I expected a fight.

Good for you. Enjoy the rest you get now, because, as you know, infants are not quite as cooperative.

If you still have problems, you could always use the technique one woman resorted to. She ended up have to strap her three sons into bed. :teehee: Of course this was many, many years ago. It’s really funny if you think about it, although, they were much, much older than your little one.
I know a seven-year-old who can’t stay in bed at night. Some things work for some children and don’t for others.
Prizes will definitely work in most cases, and always making sure they have their favorite toy. The only problem with sitting with them is that if they don’t fall asleep, you’re stuck there for the rest of naptime. If you were going to sit with him, you could bring your knitting in with you, just in case. :knitting:

Haha Insane - I joked when we started talking about transitioning him that I was going to have to sew his PJ’s to the bed sheet and then just zip him in at night !!

good luck!

One of my friends used to strap her toddler into his car seat to keep him still and out of trouble at home. This worked for quite a while–in fact, after some time, Will would go strap himself into the car seat! How convenient is that?

At night, there’s an easy way to get them to sleep. Turn off the tv and any noise stimuli. Turn off all the lights. Kids are afraid of the dark so they won’t get out of bed. After 20 minutes or so when they’re sound asleep, then you can turn the tv back on with the volume turned low and resume your life. When my kids were out, they were out. A herd of tap dancing elephants could have paraded through the house and they wouldn’t have heard it. Another thing you can do is turn on a radio in their room that is tuned to an easy listening station. Elevator music is enough to put anybody to sleep.