The pitter patter of tiny feet may fill your heart with butterflies, teddy bears and all things lovely when you’re expecting, but skip forward a few years (to when those perfect little feet are trotting across the bedroom floor at 3am!) and a whole new feeling cultivates. And there’s nothing lovely about it!
Why is your little one wandering the floorboards in the small hours when you’ve spent all evening creating the most blissful sleeping environment for her?
Will she manage to climb over the baby gate and tumble toss down the stairs?
Will she somehow conquer your meticulous child-proofing efforts and put herself in serious danger?
If your toddler is a “midnight wanderer”, these are just a few of the hundreds of concerns that probably have you sleeping (or not sleeping!) with one eye open every night!
Danger concerns aside, there are a host of other reasons why most parents are not comfortable with their child getting out of bed during the night. First and foremost, many parents simply feel uneasy knowing that their young child will be walking around while they are fast asleep. For many parents, the thought of their toddler exploring their little world without being under the watchful eye or the listening ear of an adult is troubling.
Next there’s the issue of sleep quantity. Well-rested toddlers are generally happier, healthier and better focused toddlers. And let’s be honest, is any curious, world-exploring tot going to tuck herself back into bed or climb calmly back into her cot after a midnight stroll around her room?
And finally, there’s your sanity. “Tucking them in” 37 times a night and being out of your mind with worry for every second in between isn’t exactly what you dreamed about when you decided to extend your family.
So how can you get your sleepy stroller to stay in their own beds?
It’s all about consistency.
After you have verbally corrected your little one once, simply take her by the hand and gently lead her back to her bed. Make sure her baby comforter or favourite cuddly is in her bed waiting for her as this will help to make her feel calm, secure and safe. Be firm, but do not lose your temper – even if you have to repeat this process 10, 20 or 30 times, which is very likely for the first night.
Many parents choose to start this technique at the weekend when they are not working the next day. Some parents of toddlers who get out of bed very frequently simply wait outside the bedroom door instead of returning to their beds. Whatever works best for you, the trick is to be consistent. Many parents have complete success with this technique in as little as three nights.
And how nice it is to hear that pitter patter of tiny feet at 7am in the morning!
Concerned about your toddler’s sleeping habits? You can find out how our award winning Sleepytot baby comforters have worked for so many babies and toddlers here.