How Do I Get My Child to Stay in Their Bed?

Mommy, I need a drink of water.

Daddy, I need to use the bathroom/want a snack/another story.

If you’re having trouble with getting your child to stay in their bed at night here are our suggestions:

Set a clear bedtime routine

It’s important to set a bedtime routine for your child so it is clear what is expected of them and what they can expect each night. Consistency brings clarity.

Use a picture chart or visual checklist

Take care of ALL your child’s needs beforehand (ie. drink of water, story time, etc.). Using your checklist will help your child see the their needs are being met and the expectations of bedtime. I love this visual checklist from

Bedtime Routine Checklist from

Set clear expectations

Once your bedtime routine is done set clear expectations that it time for bed. Highly recommend using Hatch Time-to-Rise Nightlight. You set a timer on your phone when the light changes color to tell your child it is time to get up. You can use this nightlight as a visual cue to remind your child to stay in bed while it is on blue, and when it changes to pink it is time to get out of bed.

It is going to take time, patience and consistency for your child to get the hang of staying in their bed. When your child gets out of bed simply redirect them back to their bed reminding it’s bedtime without any attention or rewarding the behavior.

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Published by Gracious Parent

Parent coaching to help you navigate through challenging issues and behaviors. Confidential, judgement-free support from the comfort of your home.