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How can I keep my toddler in his room at night

So my son is 21 months old and is in his "big boy bed" and has been since January. He loves it and we thought it was safer having the toddler bed being he was climbing out of his crib. Well, for the past few weeks he's been gettingup in the middle of the night for no reason. Last night at 230 in the morning I heard him yelling at the dog to "go to bed" and he was laying on the couch covered up playing with the tv remote. We tried the saftey locks on the inside of his door knob and he mastered them in about 2 weeks...tried putting our baby gate up in his doorway and he got that in about 3 days.... He's a tall boy and smart to boot. I do not lie when I say we tried everything...Would it be wrong to switch his door knob around to lock him in his room? Its not like my husband and I sleep in at all, we're always up by 7am and he usually wakes up about 645-630

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Asked by szeimetz at 11:14 AM on Jun. 3, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 6 (106 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Locking him in won't help--it may solve the problem but it won't make him WANT to stay in his room. I would try rewards. If he stays in his room all night, he gets something special in the morning. Keep it small & simple. You could also consider spending a few nights in his room with him--use a sleeping bag or air mattress--just to help enforce the idea of staying in his room. And crank up the baby monitor so you hear every little sound & can get to him before he gets into too much trouble. Good luck!

    Answer by funnyface1204 at 11:19 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I have stayed in his room with him, and he still gets up and runs out and then throws a temper tantrum when i make him go back to bed. I've tried the rewards bringing him to the water park and playgroup and even a donut for doesnt seem to help either....

    Answer by szeimetz at 12:15 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • strap him to the bed like in the movie 'mommy dearest'! just kidding. good luck, though!

    Answer by wyattsmommy626 at 1:07 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • id lock the door lol im just awful itll teach him u stay in ur room at night cus its sleepy time it wont nesicary teach him to sleep all night but itll show him to stay in there all night show him u guys stay in ur room all night or get a latch lock on the top so its not completely locking him in or theres a gate tht u screw to the walls but i got a sneaky boy to so idk cus he busted it 3weeks after buyin it

    Answer by mamabear0824 at 1:23 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • that's what I was thinking, locking the door to teach him to stay in his room...if he wants to play all night that's his choice.,..he's still getting up in the morning like normal. I have a friend who has a gate you screw into the wall and he's already mastered that, another friend who has a different screw into the wall gate my son climbs gates are useless. I've tried the nice thing, but my son is stubborn. It doesnt help he has started major temper tantrums where he has melt downs (those terrible twos are hitting a few months early). All I really want him to do is learn to stay in his room at night, like i said if he doesnt sleep oh well. He used to always stay in his room...even after the bed change. I dont know what's changed now, nothing new has happened around the house and in his room to make him scared.

    Answer by szeimetz at 2:23 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Have you tried stacking the gates? Or installing a screen type door? I know that is pretty drastic but at least you could see what is happening in there. I would just be scared of locking him in totally. The other thing I would try is making life outside of the bedroom really boring. Put away anything that is remotely fun & if he gets up, walk him right back to bed--no talking to him, no hugs, no stories, nothing. If he throws a fit, oh well. Just be ready to walk him back in if he tries to escape again. You could try spending a few nights in the hallway--that way if he tries to escape after he thinks you are in bed, he will get a rude surprise.

    Answer by funnyface1204 at 5:52 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I don't know if you have this or not, but there is a night light that you set timers on and it's blue at night like the moon and then when it's okay for them to get up it turns yellow like the sun. I'm not sure if he's ready for this, but if he's smart he might get it and go back to sleep if he see's that it's blue. They are really neat!

    Answer by Lisa_Bug at 7:44 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • LISTEN TO REASON We lock our 20-month old toddler in his room at bedtime for safety. I feel this is fine because he only protests for about five minutes and then falls asleep. In an emergency it would only take a half second to open up the door (far less time to struggle with a safety gate). He outwits all of the child-proofing devices we ever used. Safety gates pose more of a hazard because I have tripped over them and my son pulls them down or climbs over them. If our son got out at night he could easily fall down the stairs onto the hardwood floor and die. He could climb over the safety gate and enter the kitchen and climb onto the stove and turn it on. Our son has an en-suite bathroom which we lock as well. Putting alarms on you son's door only will wake the entire family and it will not solve your problem. If your son protests for longer than 30 minutes I would try something else, such as rewards.


    Answer by goombabear at 8:27 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • LISTEN TO REASON. Our baby would sleep all night without a problem until he figured out how to escape from his crib. We then immediately converted his crib into a toddler bed. Then the problems began getting him asleep because he was able to roam about. I tried rocking him and this helped for a couple of months. My husband has tried to stay in his room until he fell asleep but this took a couple of hours. He would not fall asleep until 10 pm and the wake up around 7am. This is not enough sleep fo a 21-month old. It is better to use tough love. We also have a set routine for him. Our toddler rarely get sup in the middle of the night but we lock in him just in case.

    Answer by goombabear at 8:44 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

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