My 3-Year-Old Climbs in Bed With Us in the Night—How Can I Stop This?
By Gopi Patel: MSE.d Special Educator
First of all, you are not alone! This is a common problem that has a solution (albeit one that will cut into your sleep-time).
Obviously, the key is to establish a night-time routine, and stick to this routine every night (reading books, telling quiet stories, listening to music, etc) and getting the child to bed at approximately the same time every night. One thing to note, as the days get longer and the sun is still up, it can more difficult to stick to your routine as it’s just more fun to have your little one’s with you. But trust me, stick to your routine.
In the night, when the child climbs into bed with you (this is the tough part…as you have to get out of bed), walk him back to his room (if he is awake) or pick him up (if he is really groggy or has fallen back to sleep in your bed).
When you get to the room, and the child is back in bed, simply say “Big boys/girls sleep in their own bed.”
Here is the key, if the child cries, SAY NOTHING but “good night”, and walk out of the room immediately.
If you have to repeat this over and over again do so, and be consistent.
Do not go back into the room if the child cries, unless of course, he is in danger, or sick.