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How can I keep my child in bed?

My toddler recently moved from her crib to a bed, and now she's getting up during the night and refusing to return. She cries, asks for milk, more stories, and for us to lay with her. What should we do?
Submitted by Team

Unfortunately, unlike a crib, there's nothing you can do to keep your toddler in her bed against her will. Instead, try giving some of the control back to her. Since you're in charge of what time she goes to bed, tell her that although she must stay in her bed, she doesn't have to go to sleep if she's not ready. Give her a low light, books to look at, a toy she's chosen to take with her, and tell her you'll be back to tuck her in and give her a kiss in 15 minutes. Chances are when you return, she'll be in dreamland.

Copyright 2002. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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Toddler is usually 2-3...My son went to a "big boy bed" at 2 and that was because he could already climb all depends on the child. I never had an issue with him staying in bed but it seems like the expert's advice SHOULD work...again, probably depends on the child =) Good luck!
Submitted by dshowers
I would keep her in the crib till she's at least 2 1/2 or 3. What is your rush?????
Submitted by scmarkowsky
what i did with my son, because i was pregnant and needed his crib soon, when he was about 1 1/2, was if he refused to stay in his bed i would put him in the crib till he was just about to fall all the way asleep. then i picked him up and moved him to his bed. it was touch and go for about 4 days. he would ask for milk and i would give him water. then sit down by the door if he got up put him in the crib and after a week he learned if i dont want to be in the crib i better stay in my bed. G L
Submitted by heavenlandry88