If you've grown so used to kids sneaking in you should consider putting a bell on your door so you wake up when they're on the move. The best time to reinforce the new plan is when they're in the process of moving rather than when they're already snuggled up with you.
Now the critical part: when your child comes in to your room you need to take them back to their bed every single time. Try to remain calm and loving, yet firm. Keep conversation to a bare minimum (just "You need to stay in your bed. Mummy and Daddy are in their bed and [child's name] needs to stay in his/her bed too"). Don't engage in an argument, don't battle your child - just kindly and firmly lead them back. It could take many many trips so it would be a good idea to start this settling routine on an evening when you don't have work the next day. Remember, the secret to fixing any sleep problem is to be consistent and persistent!
If the musical beds tends to occur in the wee hours of the morning, consider using a wake up clock. These can be great for training a child to stay in their beds until and appropriate hour.
The problem could also be that you've moved your toddler into a big kid's bed too early. They may not be able to understand what 'stay in your bed all night' means. If this is the case, don't think of it as a regression to move them back to the cot - rather, you're helping them learn healthy sleep habits at developmentally appropriate ages.
If you would like personalised help with any sleep issue for a child, newborn to 5 years, contact Katie Forsythe at The Baby Sleep Co today on 0457 473 725 or click here to send us an email.
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