How To Get Your Child To Stay In Bed

4 min read
How To Get Your Child To Stay In Bed

Let’s be clear, I’m not going to give you a bum steer of advice, as I have not yet mastered the art of keeping any of my three children in bed.

But rest assured, I have researched damn hard to bring you the best tips there are to keep them in there and I will be implementing them TONIGHT.
If you’re anything like me (and I hope you’re not), I’m hopeless at keeping my kids in bed – I lay in bed with them, holds hands, do some singing, lay on the floor, more hand holding, and just when I think they are asleep, I creep out as quietly as can be. I sit down with my well-deserved wine, and I hear little voices “I’m thirsty,” “I need the toilet” or “There’s a cockroach in my room.” This goes on for quite some time, until I give up and fall asleep on the floor with one of them.

Bad parenting, I know. But what else is there to do? I cannot deal with their tears and I cannot resist their little faces when they look up at me. They just want to be safe, and that safe is me.

But then I think – I have a bad back, I just want to drink wine, my husband has slept on the sofa for seven years (how the hell we have three children I don’t know), it’s time to have a normal bed time routine and keep my kids in bed”¦.all night”¦from the start.

So here are some well-researched tips to keep kids in bed.

1. Routine

First and foremost, establish a regular bedtime routine, this helps to prepare your child for sleep and bed, and an opportunity to wind down. Make the bedtime routine enjoyable and not too stimulating. The idea is to calm them down ready for bed.

2. No more TV

Once you have got your child into their pyjamas, do not allow them back into the living room. It is much easier to persuade them to go to their bedroom from the bathroom compared to the TV room, which is lively and where they want to be.


3. No sugars or big drinks

Do not allow your kids to consume sugars, cordial or anything more than half a glass of water before bedtime.

keep kids in bed | Stay At Home Mum

4. Toilet before bed

Make your child go to the toilet just before bed. Sometimes, it’s the need to go that causes the child to wake and then want company, and it eliminates “MUUUUmmmmm, I need the toilet” scenario.


5. Bedtime

Tuck your kids in bed, tell them that you love them, give them hugs and kisses, and say that you will see them in the morning.

keep kids in bed | Stay At Home Mum

6. The Supernanny way or the highway

Supernanny says “you do not communicate with the child” even if they cry and beg for you to read a book, to get a glass of water, to have a snack. You stay sitting and quiet near the door and do not engage. If the child gets out of bed, place them back in bed and sit back down without saying a word.

You may have to sit for a long time the first few nights, but you will see it improving each night the technique is done properly” says Supernanny. Damn, that woman is good for not having any children herself. She probably knows they are way too much hard work.


7. Laying down with them

Don’t lie down with your child, or if you do, only stay for a brief time. You don’t want your child to think they have someone to lay down with every time.

8. Night light

Maybe your child is afraid of the dark and needs a night light. A lovely soft glowing toy will help ease your child into a sweet and peaceful sleep.

keep kids in bed | Stay At Home Mum

9. Rewarding

Maybe start a reward chart. Little ones love to see how well they are doing at something; it gives them the confidence to keep going. Not only that, with the chart, they can see the nights they have done and how many more to complete a full week.

And if all that fails, I say bribe them with some chocolate in the morning. It sometimes works and when they wake in the night and try to sneak in, I calmly remind them. “There will be no chocolate for breakfast if you come in”. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try.

What are your top tips?

keep kids in bed | Stay At Home Mum

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Michaella Tasker

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