My 3 Year Old Won’t Stay In Bed: What To Do About It 

A good night sleep tight.

But your toddler doesn’t sleep at night. They have other plans. From staying up in their room well after their bedtime to never seem to fall asleep no matter what you do, and waking up in the middle of the night, it looks like your toddler won’t fall asleep. What is there to do? 


It’s common for toddlers to do this. Why does it happen? Let’s find out. 

Your Toddler Is Curious 

At three, your toddler is becoming more developed. They can talk, comprehend things, possibly use the toilet, and be able to do a whole lot more. The world seems curious about them, and they often don’t want to fall asleep. This can make it harder for them to stay in bed. 

They Aren’t Worn Out 

Toddlers are energetic and are like the Energizer Bunny. If your child has been cooped up in the house all day and hasn’t played much, that may be why they are having so much trouble falling asleep. You may need to wear them out before they can fall asleep. 

Too Much Screen Time Before Bed 

This is a problem, especially in an age where everyone is on their phones or tablets. The blue light from phones can damage one’s melatonin and make it harder for them to fall asleep. There are blue light filters you can use, but even then, the dopamine rush your toddler may get can make the problem. 


Sleep Regression

Sometimes, a three-year-old won’t stay in bed due to sleep regression. This is usually around the time they drop their naps, and sometimes that can lead to sleep regression. It can be quite a hassle. 

Poor Sleep Rituals

If you are sending your toddler to bed immediately after an energetic day, they may have a hard time being able to go to bed. Make sure you dedicate an hour to wind them down.

Another Medical Problem

Usually, your toddler’s sleep problem is temporary and goes away with time. But if you suspect it to be a sign of something more serious, it may be worth it to talk to a doctor and rule out anything serious. 

What To Do About It?

If your toddler doesn’t seem to want to go to bed and stays up, here are some ways you can help. 

  • Don’t Lose Your Temper 

It can be annoying to see your toddler, not go to bed when you want to, and you may feel like shouting and screaming. However, sometimes your toddler can’t help it, and yelling at your toddler will make it harder for them to go to bed. Instead…

  • Reward Your Toddler 

Every time your toddler goes to bed successfully, reward them. From praising them to making sure they have the occasional treat, positive reinforcement is one of the best ways you can help your toddler.

  • Let Them Out If They Can’t Sleep 

If your toddler is having trouble sleeping, sometimes staying in bed will make the problems worse. Your toddler may associate the bed and the bedroom with not being able to sleep. Take your Toddler out. Read them a beautiful book and give them a glass of milk. Put them to bed when they are tired. This is good for anyone who is dealing with insomnia. If you are tossing and turning, get out of bed, and do something. 

  • Play Some White Noise

White noise can make it easier to sleep, especially when there are bumps in the night. A fan or a device that can play rain sounds or other ambient noises can tire your kid out and make it easier for them to fall asleep. 

  • The Importance Of Unwinding 

We can’t stress it enough. Having an unwinding process is essential if you want your toddler to fall asleep. Here is what a typical unwinding process can look like. 

An hour before bed, stop all playtime. If there are devices, put them to bed by charging them. Have your toddler say night-night to their playing environment. With that said, do make sure your toddler has enough playtime and don’t feel too afraid to give them a little extra.

Give them a nice, warm bath. It can help tire out your kid, and it just feels relaxing. Play some soft music while you do so and make sure that your child isn’t playing too rowdily. 

Take them to the bedroom and dim the lights. Read them a nice bedtime story and tell them that if they need to get up and use the bathroom, that’s okay, but otherwise, go to sleep. 

At this point, they should be tired enough to go to sleep. If not, you may need to unwind a little earlier.

  • Keep It Consistent 

Always keep the bedtime routine consistent whenever possible. Some nights, you may have to change it up a bit, but otherwise, make sure your child is waking up, napping, and going to bed at the same time. Always changing the schedule can be a reason why your toddler just can’t be able to sleep. 

  • Your toddler Shouldn’t Fear You, But They Shouldn’t Rely On You 

If your toddler feels sick, has a nightmare, or has another problem, they should be able to tell you without worry. However, for every other issue, the toddler shouldn’t wake you up and rely on you. If a toddler has to go to the bathroom, use night lights to guide their way. 

  • Seek Help

Again, if your toddler is having a problem falling asleep, it may be an example of a bigger problem. In a case like that, taking them a counselor or a pediatrician may be the best move. Remember that your toddler will fall, eventually, fall back asleep. Sleep disruptions happen at any time of life, and they can be a hassle, but with a little patience and love, you can be able to get past your toddler’s sleep problems and help them get the rest needed. 

FAQs On 3 Year Old Won’t Stay In Bed

Why does my toddler suddenly not want to go to bed?
The reasons may vary why three years old won’t stay in bed. However, the most common is that toddlers often suffer from separation anxiety.

What time should a toddler go to bed?
Often, toddlers are ready for bed between 6.30

pm and 7.30 pm as they sleep deepest from 8 pm to midnight.
How do you get a 3-year-old to stay in bed?
Complete the bedtime routine as usual. Walk your toddler back to bed calmly. Just tuck him or her in again and remind the need to stay in bed.

Why does my 3-year-old toddler have trouble sleeping?
For some common reasons, toddler years are prone to nighttime fears, nightmares, sleepwalking, and sleep frights.

Is there a three-year-old sleep regression?
Well, the change in sleeping habits can make toddlers suffer from sleep regression. They may wake up during the night, and even resisting naps. But usually, these symptoms generally last for only a few weeks at a time.

Why is my 3-year old regressing?
Your 3 year old won’t stay in bed may have conflicting feelings about being separated from you. In some instances, your toddler may be feeling overwhelmed or frustrated by a developmental milestone too.

How do I get my toddler to stay in bed in the middle of the night?
First, you need to check whether your kid feels comfortable in their room or not. From there, ensure that he or she knows what you need your toddler to do. Remain patient and consistent.

What do you do when your child keeps getting out of bed?
For toddlers, you have to set bedtime boundaries. These little ones get out of bed for pretty much anything, so you have to create a balanced routine.

How do I get my toddler to fall asleep on his own?
Yes, of course. You can start by keeping the lights low and voices quiet as you approach their bedtime. Make a plan and implement it consistently

When should I change my toddler’s bed schedules?
If your child’s bedtime gets stretched, plot a return to average at least two weeks before. Try bringing it back to no more than 30 minutes every few nights until your child has settled into the new timetable.

How do I sleep train my 3-year-old child?
Before nap time, plan an energetic activity. It will help them want to crave for rest. From there, create consistency and plan a predictable schedule.

How do I get my 3-year-old to sleep in his bed all night?
The best thing to do is to make your child’s bedroom inviting. Allow your toddler to establish a memorable bedtime routine.

Why does my toddler take so long to fall asleep?
Usually, toddlers often feel that they don’t want the day to end. They tend to meltdown when it’s time to go to sleep because they want to spend more time with you.

At what age should a child put themselves to sleep?
Toddlers are not ready to give up naps until age 3. However, every child has individual sleep needs, so you must take that into considerations as well.

Is 10 hours sleep enough for a toddler?
Experts say that toddlers need around 12 hours of sleep a night.

3 Year Old Won’t Stay In Bed Other Resources

Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Jejomar Contawe

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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