How To Get Your Kids to Stay In Bed : Tips From a Quad Mom and Her Readers

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.


I came to you discouraged, exhausted, and in tears and you came to the rescue.

Seriously, if you’re having any trouble with bedtime at your house, there’s some brainy, creative, and insightful ideas in the comment section of “Give Me a Magic Solution for Bedtime” post.


Here’s just a sampling of the ideas shared that might just work for your bedtime routine:

“We could give him 3 pennies for his nightstand and tell him he had to give us one each time he got up. Whatever he had leftover the next morning went into his piggybank.” – Heather

“We did a sticker chart for a while and if they got a sticker in the morning for being good at bedime, 10 or something meant a special adventure with mommy or daddy or grandma ALONE.” – Aimee

“Each night they went to bed well a new train car would appear on their wall after they were asleep. We just drew a new one on paper each night. They loved waking up to see a new train car – it took awhile – the train was pretty long but eventually they didn’t need it anymore. To everything there is a season :)” – Fisher Family

“I used duct tape. It works for anything. And Amber and Adam are only slightly scarred emotionally. :)” – Belinda C (Facebook)

“We use the "Teach Me Time" clock with Brooke. You can set it to glow green at the hour that it is okay for them to get up.” – Andrea P (Facebook) (I found this clock on Amazon if you are interested, it’ looks like a great find!) 

“We did timeouts in the PeaPod Tent; if they wouldn’t stay in their beds. We set up the tents in a separate room from their bedroom and would remove the offender from the bedroom if they got out of bed. I usually didn’t give them their blankie so that they would understand I was serious and it was time to go to bed and blankies are for bedtime in BED.” –Joy L (Facebook)

However, I truly believe that  EVERY child is different.  My own 4 being a prime example of this very phenomenon.  What works for one of them, by no means works for all of them. Our particular offender was not motivated by surprises, positive reinforcements, or verbal praise.  Likewise he did not respond well taking away toys, losing privileges, or punishment. 

So what do you turn to when neither positive nor negative reinforcement works?  NEUTRAL!

I remember watching the Stay in Bed Technique on Supernanny pre-quads. The days when I thought I was such a good mom (before I even had any kids)! Several of you mentioned that it had worked for you, and I was willing to try anything for a full nights sleep!

The basics behind the technique is you are not allowing your child to gain the attention (negative or positive) that they are seeking by getting out of bed.  You complete the normal bedtime routine (bathroom, prayers, drink, book, etc.) and then put them to bed. The first and second times they get up, you reinforce that it’s bedtime by telling them and leading them back to bed.  After the third escape you just keep leading them back to bed, without a word or cuddle.

I’m not going to lie to you.  THIS IS HARD WORK!  We had one persistent little dude who was bound and determined that his excuses would get his way. I couldn’t have done it without my Tag-Team-Buddy, Brad. Over 100 put downs later and over an hour of continuing to put him back in bed, he was FINALLY down for the night.

But here’s the best part: 

Our consistency has paid off! 

He’s been staying in his bed without getting up for 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW!!!!!!

I asked for a “Magic Solution”. 

And you didn’t let me down.



13 thoughts on "How To Get Your Kids to Stay In Bed : Tips From a Quad Mom and Her Readers"

  1. Christina says:

    Yipppee!! Is all I have to say, must have had some ESP going because I pulled out the stops and did the full on Supper Nanny thing last night and tonight and she finally gave in after 45 min! Now I might take you up on the IOU thing when the wee ones hit that phase.

  2. Mamma Sol says:

    Congratulations! You deserve some quiet "adult" time at night before your own bedtime! Well done 🙂

  3. Aimee says:

    Glad you've found some peace–keep in mind what works this week may not next week–they keep us on our toes for sure! Thanks for linking my blog 🙂 Good luck!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have a ? for you…Does Henry and Isaac can tell the difference between Brooks and Clark ?

  5. Alexia says:

    YAY I'm so glad you found something that worked!!!

  6. Alexia says:

    Oh, I wanted to add: I always used to watch Super Nanny before I had kids too…and I would shake my head at those parents that couldn't control their kids….and then I had kids…I think I use Super Nannies techniques every day over here now LOL

  7. Mama Mary says:

    I so needed this today. I have had a rough couple of nights with my 2 little girls and last night was the worst. They are changing and so I think my methods for bedtime need to change too. I've been so frustrated that I've been getting angry whihc doesn't help. This post has awesome tips and has helped me see the bigger picture. Perfect timing, thanks!!!

  8. Emily says:

    100 times!! Wow! I'll be using this story as example of perseverance paying off!!

  9. Simply Sara says:

    Yippee for kids staying in bed!
    Good job!
    We've used that method as well and it's super hard, but works!

    I also really like the penny idea. Genius 🙂

  10. Heather B. says:

    We LOVE SuperNanny at our house. We have used many of her techniques and they really work. We have a naughty spot everywhere we go and they know I mean business. It took a long time to get there but you are right, consistency pays off.

    YAY for boys staying in their beds!!! 🙂

  11. Heather in TX says:

    Simply Sara- thanks for the genius comment. 🙂 That particular child has always been about saving money. So at 2 when I was pregnant with the second, sick as a dog, and working fulltime, I needed something that would motivate him. The fact that he got to keep the pennies he didn’t spend made him seriously consider how badly he needed something in te evenings. He turns 14 on Sunday, and now it’s become dollars instead of pennies, but we still do that as a way for him to earn extra $. For example, we will send him with a certain amount of cash to camp, nights out with the youth group, etc and tell him whatever money he doesn’t spend, he gets to keep to save for something later. Keeps him from buying the gift shop junk a lot of kids buy,the 6 candy bars and 4 soft drinks some kids get at school events, etc.

    Our 2 girls- not motivated by this method at all!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      These are great ideas, everyone!

      Heather, isn’t it funny how kids are sooooo unique even in what motivates them? Sometimes I feel like I have multiple reward/discipline systems going at the same time. It makes my brain hurt sometimes. =)

  12. Heather in Texas says:

    I can’t even imagine having multiple systems for same aged children. You expect to when you have an elementary, middle, and high schoolers as there are different rewards and consequences. It’s so worth it in the end!

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