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Anonymous 

We recently moved our 21 month old from his cot to a toddler bed, because he worked out how to climb out of the cot. Ideally would have left it a bit longer but couldn't risk him falling. Trouble is, bedtime has gone from putting him in the cot, kissing him goodnight then leaving him to drop off to sleep alone, to 1-2 hours of sitting there trying to get him to lay down in his bed without getting up and running off. I've tried sitting in the corner ignoring him, reading him more and more books, not letting him out of his bed (by putting him back instantly if he tries to climb out), lullabies, cuddles (if I lie in his bed he just gets up and sits on my head so that doesn't work!)...I feel like bedtime is starting to take over my life, it regularly takes until 9/9:30. I thought the novelty would wear off but if anything it's getting worse. Anyone been through the same? How did you solve it? Grateful for any ideas! Thank you!

TOP RESPONSE
Let's Ask Livvy 
Hi- this is a very common issue when switching from cot to bed - suddenly our kids realise that getting out of bed is easy and getting out of bed sometimes also means more time with mummy or daddy! He is learning that he can control his environment and engage in behaviours that make you stay with him for longer. A clear set of bedtime rules and an age appropriate reward system should help to change this behaviour. Seeing as your son is still little you will need to keep the rules and reward system age appropriate. What is he into? Find his "currency" and use that to motivate him. Stickers are less likely to work as they are unlikely be more motivating than the extra attention he is getting at bedtime. Working all week to earn a prize at the weekend is also unlikely to effect behaviour change as he will forget what he's working for. I would recommend getting 5-6 little prizes (these things to not need to be big and expensive- but do need to link to his interests), wrap them up and put them in a box with a lid. At bedtime show him the prizes, give him a clear rule and an instruction on how to win a prize- e.g. If you stay in your bed unitl morning you can open a special sleep treat. (he shouldn't have access to these prizes at any other time). You will also need to decide on some clear bedtime boundaries, making sure they are age appropriate and try to stick to them. He is likely to try his full repertoire of things he can do to keep you coming back in, keep your attention on him. So try to reduce the amount of attention (language, eye contact etc) you are giving him and try to be consistent. There are so many possible strategies and finding the one that is the best fit for you and your son is important. If the above doesn't help- or you need more info, let me know!
ALL RESPONSES
Let's Ask Livvy 
Hi- this is a very common issue when switching from cot to bed - suddenly our kids realise that getting out of bed is easy and getting out of bed sometimes also means more time with mummy or daddy! He is learning that he can control his environment and engage in behaviours that make you stay with him for longer. A clear set of bedtime rules and an age appropriate reward system should help to change this behaviour. Seeing as your son is still little you will need to keep the rules and reward system age appropriate. What is he into? Find his "currency" and use that to motivate him. Stickers are less likely to work as they are unlikely be more motivating than the extra attention he is getting at bedtime. Working all week to earn a prize at the weekend is also unlikely to effect behaviour change as he will forget what he's working for. I would recommend getting 5-6 little prizes (these things to not need to be big and expensive- but do need to link to his interests), wrap them up and put them in a box with a lid. At bedtime show him the prizes, give him a clear rule and an instruction on how to win a prize- e.g. If you stay in your bed unitl morning you can open a special sleep treat. (he shouldn't have access to these prizes at any other time). You will also need to decide on some clear bedtime boundaries, making sure they are age appropriate and try to stick to them. He is likely to try his full repertoire of things he can do to keep you coming back in, keep your attention on him. So try to reduce the amount of attention (language, eye contact etc) you are giving him and try to be consistent. There are so many possible strategies and finding the one that is the best fit for you and your son is important. If the above doesn't help- or you need more info, let me know!
Dadah to one 
genius answer! wish I'd read this earlier!!! thanks @Livvy

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