My child won’t go to bed and stay there

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Danger Zone: Toddler bedtime problems

The clock continues to tick: past 8pm, past 9pm. Your toddler keeps getting out of bed — or is still up. "I'm not tired,” “I’m thirsty” and “I’m hungry” are arguments you are all too familiar with. When your child or toddler won't go to bed or won't go to sleep, it can be upsetting for everyone in the family. So if you're dealing with the dreaded scenario of a toddler screaming and refusing to go their room, and want to know how to get a toddler to sleep in their bed (and wake up there!), first you need to understand more about how situations like this occur.

What are common bedtime problems?

If setting up your child’s bedtime routine is difficult or stressful, it's probably also having an effect on other parts of your life. Your relationship might be starting to suffer, you may be suffering from tiredness, and your child will not be getting enough sleep to grow and function well.

Common issues that can be part of toddler and child bedtime battles include:

  • Arguing, dawdling or trying to stay up later
  • Crying or calling out very often once in bed
  • Waking during the night and coming into your bed
  • Ignoring instructions, complaining or refusing to sleep in their bed

Why do bedtime problems happen?

Sometimes there may be very simple reasons for bedtime problems — your child is unwell, over-excited, over-stimulated, or stressed. These are usually temporary problems and will settle when things go back to normal.

You may, without meaning to, be making bedtime less dreamy than it could be:

  • By arguing, answering questions or reading one more book you may be accidentally rewarding your child’s sleep-avoiding behaviours
  • Your child may not have learned to go to sleep on their own
  • If your household routine varies a lot, and there are no set bedtime rules, children may feel less secure are also less likely to go to bed without a fuss

...or maybe all of these things at once!

It is possible to get a better bedtime routine

If a crying, procrastinating child, or a child who won’t go to bed and stay there is the norm for your family then you're almost certainly dealing with the effects of exhaustion too! Put a stop to the tears, excuses and attention-seeking tactics, so the whole family can get a good night’s sleep — and be happier and healthier for it!

4 million+ parents
have been helped to settle bedtime problems...
and much more!

You can achieve your parenting goals with the Triple P’s toolkit of parenting solutions and strategies. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® is the world’s most widely researched parenting programme with 35+ years of scientific testing and re-testing, and hundreds of clinical trials and real-world studies that prove it works for most families. It is used around the world and can work for you too — and it is available online!

Find out more about Triple P

Why is Triple P's positive parenting programme so different? Because it gives you proven strategies to help you set up your child for life — so they'll be happy, confident and successful. In the meantime, your home life will be better too… with rules followed, relationships stronger and parents who are much less stressed! Do you want to find out more about Triple P and how positive parenting can make that happen for you? It's all here…

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