Toddler Won’t Stay in Bed Tango

Welcome back to Tiny Duck Parenting, where we approach the challenges of parenthood with humor, empathy, and a dash of creativity. Today, we’re delving into the enchanting world of bedtime struggles, specifically addressing the timeless classic: “My Toddler Won’t Stay in Bed.” If you find yourself nodding in solidarity or silently whispering “amen,” fear not, dear parent – you’re not alone in this nightly dance. Let’s conquer the bedtime tango and ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Act 1: The Negotiator

Meet the pint-sized negotiator, a cunning strategist who turns bedtime into a bargaining table. From one more story to an extra sip of water, this savvy negotiator knows how to delay the inevitable lights-out moment.


Outsmart the negotiator by establishing a bedtime routine with clear expectations that remain consistent night after night. Introduce a visual bedtime schedule with pictures or a simple checklist that they can proudly mark off. This not only empowers your little one but also minimizes negotiation opportunities. Remember, consistency is your ally in this bedtime battle.

Act 2: The Great Escape Artist

Picture this: you’ve just tucked your little one into bed, kissed them goodnight, and tip-toed away, only to discover them performing a Houdini-esque escape act within minutes. Fear not, brave parent, for you’re dealing with the great escape artist, a common character in the toddler bedtime saga. This spirited performer believes bedtime is the perfect stage for their nightly escapades.


Equip your adventurer with a trusty stuffed animal sidekick, darken their room, and make the entire house feel like a comforting sanctuary. Leaving their bed should be uncomfortable and even a bit intimidating! Lastly, ensure your response is completely predictable each time your child leaves their room – familiarity will discourage repeated attempts.

Act 3: The Nighttime Explorer

For some toddlers, the allure of adventure strikes at the most inconvenient time – midnight. Suddenly, your little explorer is on a quest to discover the mysteries of the house, asking for a sip of water, a hug, or even attempting to climb into your bed to act as your personal furnace, complete with a takeover of all the pillows! It’s a nocturnal journey that leaves you bleary-eyed and questioning the laws of sleep.


As challenging as it is to summon the strength to guide your little CIA operative back to their bed, establishing a clear and predictable response to these middle-of-the-night wake-ups will bring them to an end for good. Remember, the only thing your child truly needs at night is sleep. 


So fear not super-parents, the key to a full night sleep for both you and your little duck is predictability and consistency at bedtime and the middle-of-the-night. Sweet dreams!


toddler wont stay in bed

Meet the Author



Jennie is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Tiny Duck Parenting with a Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Studies, discovered her passion while working as a nanny in New York City. Fueled by the mission to make bedtime a breeze, she founded Week to Sleep, dedicated to ensuring children and families enjoy restful nights for optimal development and well-being.

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