The Bedtime Pass

Reader Question! I have a little Jack-in-the-Box child that will not stay in her bed at bedtime. She comes out of her room over and over again with a new request to stall each time. How do I get her to stay in her bed and go to sleep?

Thank you for your great question!

It’s common for toddlers and pre-schoolers to test the boundaries in all areas of their life, but especially at bedtime and throughout the night.

A simple and fun tool you could use is the Bedtime Pass.

The Bedtime Pass is like a Get-Out-of-Bed-Free card! Each night, your child can exchange their Bedtime Pass for ONE brief request, be it to use the potty, get a drink, one more hug, a question or concern, or one more tuck in. Once they turn in their pass, they must stay in their bed until morning. Your child will likely test it out for a couple of nights, and then something miraculous will happen! She will SAVE the pass for later in the night – just in case – and then fall asleep. She will feel secure that she has the pass if she needs it.


Here’s how to implement the Bedtime Pass at your house:

  1. Purchase or make a Bedtime Pass with your child. Decorate it and make it fun!
  2. Explain to your child what the pass is for. Make sure they understand that they can leave their room only ONCE, or call you to come to their room, for specific reasons that you agree upon in advance such as a trip to the potty, a drink, one more hug from mom or dad, a question or concern, or one more tuck in.
  3. When you tuck your child in at bedtime, make sure they know where the pass is should they want to use it.
  4. If your child decides to use the pass for one of the reasons agreed upon, they must give you the card for the rest of the night.
  5. If your child decides to test you and leaves their room again that same night, then walk them back to bed without saying a word and without eye contact. Make it as BORING as possible!

After just a few days, you will find that your bedtime battles are greatly reduced, if not gone!

If you would like additional tools and tips for your preschooler or school aged child, or if you would like more personalized support implementing an age appropriate sleep plan, I have many packages available depending on the complexity of your situation.

Please call 250.575.6988  to book your FREE 15 minute Consultation and we can discuss how I can help your family.

Love, Hugs, and Gratitude,

Pam Nease

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