Our toddler (2 yr) just got a bed instead of a cot. The cot had high sides and she wasn't able to get out of it by herself. We bought her a bed recently, because she grew out of the cot.

While we were always under the impression that she was an excellent sleeper she now ghosts around all night and keeps the whole family awake. She also doesn't stay in bed for her afternoon nap. What to do?

  • Just curious, since I love different regionalism: is a cot the Australian name for what Americans call cribs? In AmEng, a cot would be a portable raised bed used in camping.
    – Nick2253
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 0:19
  • @Nick2253 - an Aussie cot would be an American crib then, yes :) What I call a portable cot here in Australia would be a portacot. Thanks for addressing this :)
    – AliceD
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


Abusing this newly gained open-bed freedom is quite common. My friends just locked their kid in his room, allowing him to roam, but only there. Fortunately, this was only a phase and he started to sleep better after a few weeks. Nightwakings would make him still roam around, though.

There is little point fighting it - you have already commited to a bed, for better or worse. You can't strap him to the bed, it'd have a very bad effect. Be strong and try to ignore his roaming as long as he's safe.

  • 1
    Not a fan of locking the door - both unsafe and unsettling to the child.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 20:24
  • @Joe how is it unsafe? Unsettling, irritating, definitely - but a two year old is capable of understanding why the door are locked and what we expect him to do.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 9:02
  • Because he might hurt himself and you might not be able to tell that it was serious
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 11:50
  • You do realize parents can open the door from the other side? Parents may not be able to tell it was serious with open door too. These are two completely separate issues.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 12:05
  • First off, given how upset the child is likely to be the first few nights if this is necessary at all, you won't be able to tell if he hurts himself because he'll be screaming for at least a while. Second, if he wakes at night and is hurt, it will take longer to get help (as you'll have to hear him and wake up and come in and unlock the door, while my son who has no locked door can just come in and ask for help). Third, if there is a fire or other dangerous situation, he won't be able to leave on his own.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 14:58

our kid started to do exactly same thing when he was 19 months old. Before that he went to sleep very easily.

One evening, when we put him to bed, he stood up and started to walk around our house. I carried him back to bed many many times but after 50 mins I realized that this will not work. I still tried that few evenings.

We changed plan. Every evening we sit next to his bed. When he tried to come out from his bed we first told him that now is time to sleep and put him back to bed. After few times we then totally ingnored him but still sitting next to him. No eye contact and talking. juat sitting next to hia bed. We also tried to block his way out from bed and putting him back to bed without saying anything. Sometimes he tried to get attention biting, jumping, laughing, crying etc. Still no any contact to him after the first few minutes.

It worked.

After few weeks he realised that he needs to stay in bed. But still after 5 month when we leave the room he leaves immediately from his bed so we still sit next to his bed in a dark room, but it only lasts for 15 mins.

I hope you find a solution. Try many things, some thing will work.

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