boy sleeping in bed

How to Get Your Toddler to Stay in Bed at Night

By: Brooke Hamilton


If you have a toddler, you’ve probably daydreamed about how magical it’ll be when they make the transition from crib to toddler bed. Perhaps you've imagined picking out a new bed, reading bedtime stories together, and feeling a sense of accomplishment after they’ve fallen asleep in their brand new big kid bed for the first time.

What you may not have considered is the shocking number of times they’ll sneak out of that same bed after you’ve tucked them in. And, as you’re winding down for the night alongside your favorite reality show and hear them running toward your room for the third time in two hours, you might find yourself asking: What can I do to get them to stay in bed?

Don’t worry. With a little patience and tips on how to get your toddler to stay in bed, you can both resume your regularly scheduled programming, erm, sleep schedule.

Create a Comforting Environment

Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed will be a big change for your little one! Luckily, there are tips to navigate how to transition to a toddler bed to help them get a good night's sleep.

The first step to getting your little one to stay in their bed is introducing the idea of having a new bed. A few weeks before the bed arrives, find organic ways to bring up the fact that they’ll have a new bed soon and how great it’ll be. Hype up all the reasons they’re going to love it and encourage them to share in your enthusiasm.

In addition, make them part of the change by allowing them to choose some of the items they’ll need for their new bed. This helps them to feel a sense of ownership and involvement in the process and can make them more comfortable once the new bed arrives.

Some of the objects they can help pick out include:

  • Bedding and blanketsPlaying an active role in choosing their new bedding can boost your toddler's sense of independence and comfort. From colorful reversible blankets to fun fitted sheets , they’re likely to enjoy sleeping with blankies they’ve picked out on their own.

  • Cozy pajamas – When it comes to jammies, the sky’s the limit. Let them choose a color and style that suits their blossoming personalities. We love these breathable toddler pajamas that are as soft as a baby’s bottom and super-stretchy.

Discover more tips on how to dress your toddler for sleep for more restful nights. 

Establish a Bedtime Routine

An important step in helping your little one understand that their big kid bed is their bed is maintaining a consistent bedtime routine. Likely, you had a bedtime routine when your baby was sleeping in their crib. Usually, bedtime routines look like some variation of these activities:

  • Helping them brush their teeth

  • Changing into cozy jammies

  • Reading stories in their room

  • Cuddling and winding down in bed

  • Singing a goodnight song

  • Turning on a nightlight

It’s important to continue that familiar routine when the new bed arrives. Plus, children often feel more secure and comfortable when they’re familiar with their daily activities, including their bedtime routine.

Along with your normal nighttime routine, you’ll probably want to add some new bedtime rules or boundaries that go along with having a big kid bed. For example, they have to stay in bed until it’s time to wake up.

Creating bedtime routines will help establish the idea of independent sleep for your toddler. Routines and clear boundaries can help create good sleep habits that encourage your toddler to stay in their bed all night.

Tips for Nighttime Wanderers

Your little sleepy head will probably get out of bed a few times (or more) in those first few days or even weeks after the transition. And while getting out of bed is inevitable, remember it’s not permanent.

Thankfully, we’ve put together a helpful cheat sheet on how to get toddlers to stay in bed:

  • Set clear boundaries – Let your little one know that after you turn off the lights, it’s officially bedtime, and you expect them to stay in bed until it’s time to wake up. Each time they get out of bed, lovingly tuck them back in, tell them the bedtime rules again, and let them know to call for you if they need something.

  • Be consistent – After carrying them back to their bed a handful of times, you might feel like giving in and letting them sleep with you. It’s quick and easy, right? It is, but the habit will likely continue. If you want them to stay in their bed all night in the long term, continue taking them back to bed each time they get up.

  • Provide praise – Children love rewards. Whether you offer them verbal praise each time they stay in bed all night or small treats, such as a special sticker to add to their sticker chart, they’re sure to be more motivated by positive reinforcement.

Make the Transition to Toddler Bed a Smooth One with Posh Peanut

There is no one-size-fits-all sleep solution for how to get your toddler to sleep in their own bed. The switch from crib to toddler bed might not be seamless, but with a little (okay, a lot) of consistency on your part, you’ll be enjoying the latest episodes of your TV show—sans surprise mini guest—before you know it.

Posh Peanut is here to do our part during the great crib-to-bed transition by offering the softest and most comfortable bedding and pajamas your little one will ever need.

Whether you surprise them with a few new pairs of jammies to celebrate their elevated status of ‘big kid’ or let them choose their new bedding, Posh Peanut has you covered with luxuriously cozy options to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition for your little one.


1. Head Start. The Importance of Schedules and Routines.