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!

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About The Author

Picture of Jennie


Jennie is a certified sleep consultant with a background in Child and Adolescent Studies who specializes in teaching toddlers and children to choose to stay in their open bed, fall asleep independently, and sleep through the night. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies, and spending time in the classroom, she decided to follow her passion and move to New York City to become a professional theatre actress. Between shows, she worked as a nanny. One family had a toddler that couldn’t fall asleep without help, he refused to nap and would wake-up multiple times a night. Frustrated by the lack of resources for toddler sleep issues she became a certified sleep consultant. Relying on her education and experience, she then created Week to Sleep geared for toddlers in an open bed.

Jennie has helped so many families across the country make bedtime easy and enjoyable. She has been featured on Mommy Mingle, Parentville, corporate Google, and buybuybaby. Jennie’s favorite part of working with families is when a toddler runs to their parents in the morning exclaiming, “I did it, I am SO proud of me!