If your child continually gets up at night for that last drink of water, or they simply won't stay in their bed, it's important to develop a consistent plan to deal with their behavior. If your child is comfortable and has everything they need, there is no reason they need to get up and out of bed. It can be very frustrating dealing with a child who refuses to go in bed and stay there at night, but with some consistent behavior on your part, you'll be able to get your child to sleep through the night. While it's tempting to allow your child to sleep in your bed, this is only a very short-term solution for the night.
Set Up a Nightly Routine
The routine to get your child to bed every night does not have to be elaborate. In fact, keeping the routine simple will make it easier for you to go through the routine in completion every night. Whether you read your child a book or give them a bath an hour before bedtime, following the same routine allows your child to know what to expect. Problems begin when your child stretches the routine out by asking for one more book or one more drink.
Stay Firm and Learn to Say No
When your child is refusing to stay in bed, you have to learn to stay firm. When your child asks for just one more story, you have to learn to say no. Although it is harmless to read your child another book, that is not the point. You want your child to know that when it is bedtime, it is time to go to sleep. No matter how many times your child asks for something else, tell them "no" and "it is time to go to bed."
Stay Consistent in Your Efforts
While it may be easier to simply let your child crawl into bed with you in the middle of the night, this gives your child permission to get out of bed and come looking for you every night. Of course when they have a nightmare, you are going to console your child. But if your child makes a habit out of waking you up every night, neither of you are going to get a good night's sleep. Remind your child that it is bedtime, and walk them back to their room to bed. Use resources like those from Baby Gizmo for more mom tips.