two girls on bed

How to Get Your Toddler to Sleep in Own Bed

By: Brooke Hamilton


The first few nights of transitioning your toddler to a new bed can be trying. With your little one waltzing into your room for impromptu visits, you might find yourself lying in bed, wondering how to get your toddler to stay in bed at night.

But don't give up hope just yet! With a little metaphorical (and perhaps literal) handholding, your toddler will adjust to their big kid bed and may even come to appreciate its newfound freedom.

Sleep training your toddler can be difficult, but we have the advice you need to help your toddler sleep soundly at bedtime. Today, we’re exploring some of our insider secrets to teach you how to get your toddler to sleep in their own bed.

Understand Your Toddler's Sleep Needs

As your little one grows from newborn to crawling baby to toddler, you’ll notice that one aspect that continuously changes is their sleep needs. When they were newborns, they slept—a lot. However, as toddlers, they require less sleep, about 11 to 14 hours (including naps) each day.

When your tot was sleeping in their crib, you probably established a solid bedtime routine that resulted in hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. You would tuck them in, and they’d stay there until you came and carried them out of the crib in the morning.

Fast forward to the present day, where they’re about to graduate to a toddler bed, free of the four barred walls of the crib. With that sudden and unexpected burst of freedom, they might no longer intend to stay in their beds all night long.

That said, toddlers need naps and ample nighttime sleep to help them consolidate their memories, develop their motor skills, and grow to their greatest genetic potential. This is why it is important to incorporate good sleep habits into your toddler's bedtime routine.

The Right Environment for a Good Night's Sleep: What Is It?

While there’s no singular recipe that creates the perfect sleep environment for your tot, you know them better than anyone else. Armed with their likes and dislikes, you can craft the ultimate recipe to cater to their ideal sleep environment.

Choose the Right Bed

If your crib doesn’t transition into a toddler bed, or if you’re expecting another baby and are saving the current crib for your newest addition, it’s time to purchase a new bed. It's essential to select a bed that your toddler will find inviting and meets basic safety standards.

Other questions to consider when shopping for a big kid bed include:

  • What is your budget?

  • Do you want a bed that transitions into a twin or full-size bed?

  • Does the bed you’re looking at have positive reviews from other parents?

  • Do you want a bed that’s easy to assemble?

Splurge on New Bedding

If you're purchasing a new bed for your kiddo, you'll need new bedding to fit the new mattress. And what better way to include your curious little dude or dudette in the process of transitioning to a new bed than by letting them pick out their own bedding ?

Here are a few questions to think about before you set off on your shopping trek for sheets, comforters, and duvets:

  • What style and patterns complement your toddler’s current room decor? Before letting your little one have the last say, narrow down the selection to three or four options that match the current color scheme and theme of their room.

  • What is the bedding made of? Little humans are known for their sensitive and delicate skin. Opt for a soft material that will make them feel like they’re wrapped in a comforting cloud.

  • Is the bedding ideal for multiple seasons? While jersey cotton might feel cozy during the winter months, it traps unwanted heat during the summer months. This can leave your tot feeling uncomfortably toasty when the temperature rises. Instead, opt for bedding, such as one made from viscose from bamboo, that adapts well to both warm and chilly months.

Create a Comforting Atmosphere

When you’re sleeping at a friend’s house or a hotel, do you find it harder to sleep? If so, it might be because you’re in a new place, away from your usual comforts. Your toddler may feel the same way as they lie in their new bed.

But with a few of the following tips, they’re more likely to feel the sense of security they were familiar with in their crib:

  • Maintain a regular nighttime routine – A consistent routine can help children feel secure and confident, easing them into the transition to their new bed. Having a regular sleep schedule for your toddler will help them adjust more easily. Include the same steps in your bedtime regimen each night, such as putting on their PJs, brushing their teeth, and reading stories together.

  • Incorporate familiar items – To provide comfort and reassurance during bedtime, let them choose a few of their favorite stuffed animals to sleep with or a baby blanket they have an emotional connection to. This will help reduce separation anxiety at bedtime.

  • Use a nightlight – Some children enjoy the ambiance of soft lighting in their room after you turn off the lights. It can create a soothing environment and reduce any fears related to being in the dark. Making their space as comforting as possible will allow them to get a good night's sleep.

  • Pick comfortable pajamas – If your little one isn’t dressed comfortably at bedtime, they may have a hard time sleeping. Try letting your toddler pick out a pair of comfortable pajamas that they love and are excited to get changed into when it’s time for bed. Be sure to check out our tips on how to dress your toddler for sleep to ensure they stay cozy all night long. 

Gradual Transition Strategies

Humans are creatures of habit; toddlers are even more so. Switching up their sleeping arrangements is a significant change to their normal routine, so it’s helpful to allow them to gradually adjust to this change.

Below are a few strategies you can implement to help your little tyke gradually warm up to the idea of wanting to sleep in their bed all night long:

  • Start with nap time – If possible, let your toddler test the waters by sleeping in their big kid bed at naptime. It's a less intimidating experience than nighttime and for a shorter duration, helping them adjust to the bed during the day.

  • Slowly incorporate the bed during the nighttime routine – As they familiarize themselves with the new sleep space, include the bed in some of your nighttime activities, such as singing songs or reading in bed.

  • Stay close initially – Once you begin having them sleep in their new bed at night, stay close during the initial days. Bring a chair into their room and silently reassure them until they fall asleep. As they become more comfortable sleeping on their own, gradually move the chair farther from their bed.

Common Setbacks and How to Handle Them

If you know the story of 'The Tortoise and the Hare', you're likely familiar with the phrase, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.' You might hope that your toddler will be like the hare, quickly adapting to their new bed and sleeping soundly through the night after just a night or two of adjustment.

However, the reality is that they’re more likely to resemble the tortoise. As your little one navigates how to transition to a toddler bed, there may be a few setbacks, but with patience and understanding on your part, they’ll cross the finish line and sleep in their bed before you know it.

Until then, here are a few common reasons you might find your tiny tot out of bed at night (and what you can do to help them overcome these obstacles):

  • They’re in a new environment – Sure, their toddler bed is in the same room as their old bed—but it’s a new bed. And in the mind of toddlers, new can sometimes be scary and intimidating. In addition to offering comfort items to sleep with and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine, remember to offer reassurance in the form of cuddles and positive affirmations if they’re feeling anxious.

  • They’re waking up at night – It's normal for children to wake up at night—it’s a part of their regular sleep cycles. However, waking up in a new bed can be unsettling, leading to a sense of panic and the desire to seek comfort from you. This might occur several times in one night. The key is to remain consistent in returning them to their bed, reassuring them that their bed is a safe and secure place to sleep and that you’re nearby to provide comfort if needed.

  • They’re exploring their newfound freedom - When your little one wakes up, they may realize the four walls of the crib no longer confine them! They may be testing their new boundary by getting out of bed simply because they can get out of bed without your help. Setting clear and consistent boundaries about staying in bed until morning will help your toddler learn their new boundary.

Treat Your Kiddos to the Perks of a New Bed with Posh Peanut

As parents, we always strive to do what’s best for our children. That includes transitioning them to a toddler bed once they outgrow their crib. While the journey may not be as dreamy as you’d like for it to be, reaching that milestone of their first full and good night's sleep in their own bed is a victory for both of you.

Why not celebrate this achievement with a special treat, like a pair of toddler pajamas from Posh Peanut? With a wide selection of styles, patterns, and colors available, you're sure to find the perfect jammies to congratulate your little one on their accomplishment. And, if you're in search of soft and cozy bedding to complete the look of their new toddler bed, we offer a range of blankets and duvets that are both trendy and comfortable, perfect for year-round use.

Let your little one sleep in comfort and style with Posh Peanut.


1. NIH. Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for Healthy Children: Methodology and Discussion.

2. Science Direct. Sleep duration and growth outcomes across the first two years of life in the GUSTO study.

3. Sleep Foundation. Children and Sleep.

4. Raising Children. Family Routines: how and why they work.