Preventing Toddler Middle-of-the-Night Bed Hopping

By Alex Beschorner, Occupational Therapist

keep toddler in bed

It is 2AM and you are awakened by your 2-year-old peering at you in the dark. The movement to a “big kid” bed gives them newfound freedom to roam!   For some parents, their child is a welcome guest, but if you would rather not add another bedmate here are some thoughts about how to make your child feel safe and secure in their own bed.

  • Quietly walk your child back to their room and help them settle into their bed with their favorite stuffed animal.
  • Spend a few minutes recalling the memories from your day and what they have to look forward to in the morning when they awaken.
  • A snuggle, a kiss and a firm good night once they are back in their room signals to them that it is time to go to sleep.
  • Providing your child with a dim light or a small battery powered lantern can help some children feel less worried about the dark.
  • You may need to repeat this a few times, but being consistent and firm will help your child understand the limits.