Your toddler and nighttime wandering

Sleep   |   Age: 1 year 3 months

Your toddler and nighttime wandering

The light you forgot to turn off in the hall; the end table that always seems to stand about a foot to the left of where you remember it being; plastic toys of your baby’s that you could have sworn you cleaned up, but that seem to have multiplied and started exploring the house on their own since you went to bed; your home in the dark of night may be full of hidden dangers, but there’s a good chance that it doesn’t seem nearly as exciting to you as it does to your baby once she realizes she’s been freed from the comfortable enclosure of her crib at night.

The transition to a toddler bed, or an adult-sized bed, or a mattress on the floor, whichever contraption your baby ends up graduating to when it’s time to say goodbye to her crib, can be challenging for many reasons. Some toddlers are afraid of the new terrain they’ll be sleeping in. Others are too excited by the idea of sleeping in a “big kid bed” to actually get much sleep the first few days. And for some toddlers, the new freedom to get up and out of bed whenever they want is just too tempting, especially if they find themselves wanting to come find their very favorite people.

If your little one thinks that bedtime now that she and the crib have parted ways is a great time to get up and go wandering, there are a few different ways to address it that different families have found helpful.

Other reasons your baby might wander

If your baby is having trouble falling asleep, and that’s why she is getting up and about out of bed, it might be time to rethink either her sleep schedule or her bedtime routine. Making sure she isn’t napping too close to bedtime, or bumping her bedtime a little later might help make her sleep a bit less restless. On the other hand, taking a little extra time to start her winding down even earlier may help her fall more deeply asleep and stay asleep longer.


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