Training Toddlers to Stay in Bed

by Sara E. Larson

When our daughter was 3, she had a difficult time sleeping in her own room. Every night, she wandered into our room, sleeping bag in tow.

So I invented "The Bedtime Game." I drew a series of colored squares on cardstock and grabbed a game piece from a board game.

On mornings after she had stayed in her bed all night, she could move her game piece one space ahead. If she came into our room, she had to move back one space. Once she made it to the finish line, she got to pick an activity, such as heading out for ice cream.

We didn’t make it to the finish line for a while, but by the time we did, she was comfortable sleeping in her own bed. Now we use the game to encourage picking up toys or memorizing Bible verses.

For a printable Bedtime Game board, click here.


This article appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2013 by Sara E. Larson. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


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