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Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

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Old 03-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #1
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Location: Belleville, Ontario Canada
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Irish_Eyes1980 HB User
Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

My daughter has been in her "big girl" bed for about 3 or 4 months now and the transition from her crib seemed rather easy at first.
she has never been a GOOD sleeper, infact I can count on one hand the number of times that she has actually slept through the night. But now the problem lies in the fact that she will sleep like a log as long as she is in Mommy's bed. I can deal with this anymore as she is a very restless sleeper and I get no sleep (not to mention it is not good for her to become so dependant on me for her sleep).
Last night I decided that she is going to sleep in her own bed from now on and of course I expected a fight about it. I have heard that you should just keep taking her back to bed saying nothing to her and repeat the process as many times as needed. Well I took her back to bed 150 times last night. (I counted because I was curious to see how many times it would take, and I am sure she could have went another 150 times at least)
At that point I had no patience left and I just let her get up and she fell asleep on the couch and then I put her to bed where she stayed for about 4 hours and then came into my room. Because I refuse to let her sleep in my bed anymore she curls up on the little blow up mattress that I put on the floor of my room for her.
I am at my wits end. I don't know what else to do to get her to understand that she is too big to sleep with Mommy anymore.
I have tried positive reinforcement (I made her a sticker chart for the times she stays in her bed, it worked the first time but the excitement seems to have worn off.)
Last night she was crying and screaming when I kept putting her back to bed but there were no tears at all so I know it is just a power struggle and she is winning!!

PLEASE, if you have any advice that may help me convince her to stay in her own room I would appreciate it. I am a single Mom and I am just short of losing my mind over this.

Thanks for listening!
Taking it one day at a time.....I can deal with this and so can you!

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Old 03-08-2006, 08:26 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
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danimal15 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. We have a 2.5 year old boy who's still in a crib, and we're going to start having him sleep in a "big boy bed" in a few months. He's very excited about the prospect. But I worry how he'll do because, like your daughter, he's very active and might come into our room.

With our older son, who's now six and has been sleeping in his own bed since he was three, this was never a problem. In fact, the first few months sleeping in a real bed he refused to get out by himself - he called us to get him every morning as if he were still in a crib. He's been a great sleeper since he was about three months old, however.

My advice to you is to hold firm. If it took 150 trips back the first night, maybe the next night it will be 75, and the next night 25, and so on. Remind yourself that you're the boss, not her, and that she has to follow the rules you set. Take the mattress out of your room - it's too tempting for her. And if necessary, you can buy a gate for her door to keep her in her room at night. She may not stay in her bed, but at least she won't bother you. I think you made a mistake letting her sleep in your room so much, but it's too late to correct that. It's hard to learn how to sleep on one's own if one is used to having the comfort of a parent right by one's side. So the transition will be harder for her than for my kids, who've never been allowed to sleep in bed or in the room with us.

I wish you luck.

Old 03-08-2006, 08:32 AM   #3
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besafe20 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

My friend has this problem with her 2 year old girl as well. The problem for her is that her daughter won't go to sleep when it is time for bed. She walks out of her room and comes down stairs. Her parents stay up late and she will be downstairs hanging out at midnight instead of going to bed. They have one of those portable DVD players and the only way they can get her to stay in there is play disney movies but that still doesn't get her to sleep. My suggestion to her and to you is to lock her in her room and let her know that when it is time for bed (in her bed) she has to stay in their. They sell those plastic door knob covers anywehere and hopefully she won't be able to figure it out right away. My neighbor said their daughter figured out how to push the buttons and turn it quickly, but all kids are different. Anyways whatever you do you have to keep her in there and I think she will get the point and start sleeping without trying to get in your bed.

Old 03-08-2006, 12:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2005
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sem627 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

I agree with the gate on the door. When my daughters each turned 2 and we transitioned them to the bed, we immediately from the first night put a gate at their door. That way they knew that once it was bedtime, no leaving the room. I had a friend who did the lock thing, but the only thing that bothers me with that is fire safety.

I agree with staying consistent. We have never let our daughters sleep in our bed, it's just been one of our things. The few times they did come over, we have walked them over and told them we would lay with them for 5 minutes and then we were leaving. I made sure I left while still awake and they knew I was leaving. That way if they woke up and I wasn't there, they weren't surprised and didn't expect me to be there. But wow, you actually counted and it was 150 times! All I can say is, keep at it.

Old 03-08-2006, 01:45 PM   #5
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besafe20 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

How would the fire thing be a concern? Unless it started in the child's bedroom. Because if you use the plastic door knob safety thing a parent can open the door like normal from the outside it just keeps the child in there. The gate idea is really good too. That is of course if your child does not mind sleeping with the door open. (my toddler won't go to sleep unless it is closed).

Old 03-08-2006, 03:14 PM   #6
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sem627 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

Electrical fires can start anywhere. Or what if it started in a nearby room or downstairs below the child's room? I'm just a freak about that stuff. We live in a one story and I also worry about intruders coming in their windows (which is why we're having a security system installed in our new home next week) and whatever else. I know the fire starting in the child's room is probably a long shot, but I personally would still worry about it.

My kids like the door open, but you can also still close the door with the gate moved forward a little farther on the door frame. I've done that when they used to nap and it works fine.

If you do go the lock way, I have a friend who bought a new doorknob but just turned the lock around. The thing to lock it was put on the outside. She did that because her son did master those over the doorknob things.

Old 03-08-2006, 06:45 PM   #7
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nikki2006 HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

does your daughter sleep with the door open or shut?
what i did with my son is, if he played up, id shut the door, then id open it and say "get back into bed and ill leave it open" each time he got out of bed id do the same thing, he didnt like the door shut and learned if he didnt stay in bed, it would be shut (you have to carry this through a couple of times so she knows you mean business) my boy is 3 and a half now and this still works, if he plays me up i just threaten to shut the door, good luck to you, i hope you find a soloution that works

Old 03-08-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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Bobbyzwife HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

I recently began dealing with this issue with my 6 yr old. She used to come into bed with me early in the morning and I was ok with that, but it kept getting earlier and earlier until it was only like 11pm! I explained to her that mommy can't sleep well with her in the bed (I know your daughter is younger so this may be harder) but she was welcome to come and snuggle with me after the sun comes up and it's light outside. There's been a couple of teary nights but I remind her of the rule, tell her I love her and that I can't wait until morning when we can snuggle. It's working pretty well and I'm feeling better rested. GOOD LUCK!

Old 03-19-2006, 01:35 AM   #9
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zackbluebeach HB User
Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

I think the question is why isn't the child sleeping all night.
I gave my daughters a snack before bedtime, when they were little. A healthy one. Milk, carrot sticks, celery sticks with peanut butter on them. Something to fill their tummys until breakfast. And of course they played hard, were tired out. I also learned that anything over 20 minutes for a nap, could cut into their nighttime sleeping habits.
A Mom

Old 03-24-2006, 06:31 PM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pa
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Mindytwo HB User
Smile Re: Trying to get 2 year old to sleep in her own bed! PLEASE HELP!!!

Hello..I thought long and hard about this post...and alot of the replys sounded great, so you definetly have a lot to try out.
Have you thought about some kind of lighting in there? Ikea makes these fun Stars that are only about 2 watts in brightness. Both my girls sleep with these on. It really helps and my oldest is 8 1/2. They also sleep with music. The oldest has a classical cd in that in on repeat so it plays all night, and the youngest sleeps to lullabys.
These are some suggestions that really helped us out. We don't allow the kids to sleep in our bed. We also take them back to their bed and lay with them for about 5-10 min.
Whatever way you turn, stand your guard. I know it's really hard when all you want to do is sleep, but let her know that you are right down the hall and that if she needs you, you will come to her, not vice-versa. If you are going to light route & cd make a big deal about it. Take her with you shopping. I know The Wiggles have a cd for night time also.
Good luck and hang in will get easier.

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