Q. I have 2 year old who is sleeping in a twin size bed and was doing great up until a couple of weeks ago. Now he gets out of his bed 4-5 times during the night and he
makes a beeline for my bedroom. I do not want him to sleep in our bed
so I get up every time and put him back in his bed. We are making a
habit of it. I have tried to put a gate up at
his door but when he wakes up he wanders around his room crying for a
long time and I usually give in and put him back in his bed because I
worry that he will be exhausted the next morning when I send him to
A. It is always a challenge when you have a toddler who decides he wants to roam the house once he graduates from the crib (which is one reason I prefer kids to sleep in their cribs for as long as they like being there!) I agree that you should make his room his crib...a safe place that he can wander around as he pleases. You cannot force him to sleep. So, he makes the choice to stay awake or to sleep in his room. Those are his choices. If he chooses to complain or protest, again, that is his choice. You do not need to go in there to console him--it is just a protest to get what he wants. And, you going in only validates that this protest is an effective way to get your attention.
I am not worried about him going to sleep. He will, eventually. He may end up sleeping on the floor by the doorway the first night. That's fine. He may be very tired the next day at school, and you can just give the daycare provider a head's up. The next night is usually much better, and by the third night, he will probably change his mind about going to sleep--since there is nothing to gain by protesting.
Empower him with the ability to fall asleep. He's already proven he can do it. Having a comfort object like a stuffed animal or blanket helps.
Another option: give him one token he can redeem each night. That token can be used for one more hug, tuck in, drink of water, whatever. Once he's used up his token, you will not be returning for the rest of the night. That gives him some power in the situation.