How to get Your Toddler to Stay in Bed

How to get your toddler to stay in bed

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission (aka coffee money) if you purchase a product I recommend.  As always, I find what I love first and affiliate later.  You can read my full disclosure statement here :)*

My middle child was pretty much born saying, “no.” His favorite song is “No” by Meghan Trainor.  Some of his first words were “I not” and he can go from zero to pout in record speed.

I love him to pieces, but man, this kid can push some serious buttons.  He came out with a strong sense of independence and an even stronger desire to establish it loud and clear.

One of our biggest struggles to date with middle man has been getting him to stay in bed and in his room.  No matter what we did or what strategy we used, he popped right out of his bed and room immediately after we tucked him in. Every. Single. Time.

We threw every trick in the book at him, but nothing got him to stay in his bed.   The bed battles escalated and led to frustrating power struggles at the door of his room. He was beginning to skip naps (he needed to nap) and his bedtimes were becoming obscenely late. He was also way more tired and cranky during the day.  Things were becoming tense. As any parent knows, anything issue that interferes with your child’s sleep becomes a top priority to resolve.

I especially knew I had to do something to get him to stay in bed, and fast, when I woke up one night to a rustling sound in the kitchen at 4:00 a.m. Terrified, I peered into the kitchen to get a look at who was burglarizing our house. When I saw it was just my two year old, I charged into the room.

“What are you doing?!?!” I demanded.

He casually looked over his shoulder at me and said, with a slight hint of annoyance, “Fruit snacks.” I’m pretty sure he also rolled his eyes.

Enough was enough.

Middle man needed to at least be confined to the safety of his thoroughly childproofed room. I also knew I could no longer sleep comfortably knowing he might be cruising the house, touching and eating whatever caught his fancy. Fruit snacks are a total gateway item to far more sugar-y, or even hazardous, substances.

I immediately went about trying product after product to keep him tucked into his room. Nothing seemed to work or hold-up. I was losing faith until I stumbled upon one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Enter the Door Monkey. A $13 goldmine that I ordered from Amazon Prime.

The Door Monkey is essentially a latch that can be easily and quickly popped into a door frame to stop the door from opening.  It also keeps the door propped open about an inch so air can circulate through, and you can see and hear what’s going on inside.  It has the added bonus of being a pinch-gaurd since it stops the door from closing all the way.

It’s small and lightweight, so it’s perfect for traveling or bringing over to grandma’s house. It causes no damage to your door or door frame, and it is extremely easy to operate. You can open and shut it from inside or outside the room, and you can adjust it to any height on your door frame.  It is also aesthetically innocuous and blends in fairly well with your door and moldings (especially if you have light colored doors).

Check out this bad boy:

The Door Monkey has been a lifesaver for our family. After a few day of using it, our bedtime battles completely ended. Middle Man knew he had to stay in his room once the door monkey was shut. There was no outsmarting this tool – believe me, he tried several times and failed.  He stopped trying to break out since he knew he couldn’t and he began to, GASP, stay in bed!  Sometimes he would play quietly with his stuffed animals or look at books in his bed for a while, but then he would fall asleep.

All the praise hands!!

Of course, I always keep a monitor on him and am constantly checking in on him.

I know it’s different strokes for different folks, but the Door Monkey worked wonders for us.  It quickly and easily got our toddler to stay in bed, which removed a major struggle from our day.

And it allowed us ALL to get more sleep.  A major win-win!!!












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  1. I’m sure I’m going to be going through this in a few months when my little one learns how to climb out of his crib. Will have to make note of the Door Monkey. Thanks!

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