Email 8K Shares Having just hosted my month old nephew on an overnight visit, I am reminded that toddlers can pop out of bed even leaving the room! And that can make for a whole new set of bedtime problems — namely, what we at The Baby Sleep Site call The Jack-in-the-Box Syndrome aka sleep regression For some families, jack-in-the-box behavior is a short-lived phenomenon.
Other parents, however, spend months — even years!
For more information and settings, go to Privacy Centre. Just be sure to present it as another exciting change, not as a step backward in development or a punishment.
For your toddler, bedtime is relatively dull. And parents often unwittingly encourage jack-in-the-box behavior by their responses to the behavior. If your toddler gets another story, or an extra bedtime snuggle, or even a little bit of extra attention, every time he gets up, then he has the incentive to keep doing it. Many toddlers go through a few bouts of separation anxiety namely during the 18 month sleep regression and the 2-year sleep regression.
Try these 5 strategies tonight: And speaking of naps — how close is that nap to bedtime? Your toddler needs at least 5 hours of wake time between the end of the afternoon nap and bedtime. Institute a strong bedtime routine Toddlers thrive on routine — particularly sleep routines. Also, make sure that your routine is, you know…routine! You need to consistently do the same thing each night in order for it to become routine for your toddler.
If bedtime drama and jack-in-the-box behavior is an issue in your home, try a sticker chart.
Maybe your toddler gets to put a sticker on the chart before bed if she is cooperative during the bedtime routine, and then another sticker on the chart before breakfast if she stays in bed all night long. You can get some really cute sleep stickers for pretty cheap too. Check Here for Prices 4. However, more often, repeated jack-in-the-box behavior is more of a discipline issue.
For this reason, some families find it helpful to respond with consequences. Instead, some parents use the bedroom door as a sort of consequence — mom or dad may leave the bedroom door open 90 degrees, on the condition that their toddler stays in bed. When the toddler gets up, the bedroom door closes to 45 degrees. If the toddler gets up again, the bedroom door is closed all the way for 1 or 2 minutes, at which point the whole process starts all over again.
Use your judgment in determining if this would work for your toddler.
This is just to be expected — toddlers love to test boundaries, after all! You want these interactions to be as boring as possible — no threatening, no bargaining, no discussing. This will help discourage your toddler from repeated attempts to engage with you by getting out of bed. We find that if parents are consistent in doing this, it can significantly reduce jack-in-the-box behavior relatively quickly. Finally, keep in mind that jack-in-the-box behavior can be a sign of a larger sleep problem.
The nightlight on the alarm clock turns from yellow to green to let your little one know when it is time to wake up. This alarm clock worked so well for my youngest who was also my most stubborn.
If mom or dad told her it was still bed time, she refused to go back to bed, but if the alarm clock said it was still bed time she stayed right in bed. Check current prices here!
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