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Sleep in own Bed

sleep in own bed

My daughter is going to be 4 years old in January and for a few months now (I can't remember what started it) she will not stay in her bed at night. She complains about having nightmares which wake her, then she comes into our room. My hubby and I are so tired now that we just leave her in bed instead of moving her, which know is the wrong thing, but we are exhausted.

You have fallen into a very common trap. At 3AM it seems easier to let her sleep in your bed so the whole family can get some rest. Unfortunately, most parents (and children) do not rest well with a child in their bed and this only encourages repetition of the behavior.

If you are having trouble getting your child to stay in bed after you put her in her bed consider using the “two gate system” I describe in moving from a bed to a crib.

You already know the solution to this problem - You must return her to her bed every time she comes to your bed. You must be more persistent than your child. In the short term this is more work, but after 2 weeks of consistency you’ll be well rested and smiling.

I would recommend that you start with a sit down conversation where you explain your reasons why she can no longer sleep in your bed. Explain that you are going to have to return her to her room every time.

If you and your husband do not wake easily at night you may need to lock your door. Locking the door forces the parents to get up when the child knocks. Once out of bed it is easier to return her to her bed.

Honestly, I love the rare nights when our children come to our beds to snuggle. Our Gordon house rule is one night is great, but never two nights in a row.


Written October, 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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