When your toddler tries to sleep in the parents’ bed

“Does your toddler try to sneak into your bed at night?” my coworker asked me one day. He explained that his 3 year old son would try to sneak into their bed quietly, but as a heavy breather, they always knew when his son joined them in bed. His son would end up sleeping on their bed, but at their feet.

in bed
Small kids like to squeeze in the same bed, and that bed is usually their parents’ bed.

One hardworking father said, “No way my two kids are allowed in my bed. I have to have good sleep.” He would lock his bedroom door overnight, but in the morning often found 1 (or 2 kids) camped outside his bedroom door with a pillow or duvet. “It lasted for weeks,” he said. His kids kept sleeping in the hallway outside of his bedroom door. “Then they finally gave up.”

My 2 year old son fumbles with his locked door, then we open the door and let him out, before he starts a tantrum. He calmly walks to our bed with his bunny, a pillow, a blanket, and a sippy cup (is he moving in?), then climbs in and promptly falls asleep. Any light or noise in the parents’ bedroom is met with loud protest. “He is like a tyrant baby who took over our bed.”

Your bed is better than mine.

A dad of 3 under 3 years old said his eldest son stays in his bedroom all night until the morning, from 7 pm – 7 am “sleeping” (they locked his door, by reversing privacy locks).

Another female doctor said she simply sleeps on the floor in her 2 sons’ rooms (ages 2 and 6) every night and everyone gets a good night sleep. Whenever she sleeps there, her 2 kids peek at her then fall back asleep.

I often sleep on the daybed in my twins’ bedroom, so they would sleep in their toddler beds all night long. They peek at me when they wake up at night, then go back to sleep in their beds or on top of me. (But in the morning, my face or chest may be slapped by small hands, nudging me to wake up!) This way, the whole family gets a good night’s rest.

Another family lets their 2 year old son come join them every night, but after he falls asleep, they carry him back to his room. “It ends up like musical beds,” the mum explained, “because we keep carrying him back to his bed and he keeps climbing back into our bed.”

“Our solution for our 3.5 year old son? He is allowed to sleep with us in our bed once a week, either a weekend night or a special day like his birthday. So he knows to stay in his own bed the rest of the week,” says one family with just one kid.


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