Should I shut my toddler’s door at night?

Answered by Cody Janus

As an expert in child development, I strongly recommend closing your toddler’s door at night for several important reasons. First and foremost, closing the door helps establish boundaries and reinforce the bedtime routine. When a child is able to freely get out of bed and walk out of their room, they may do so repeatedly, disrupting their own sleep and potentially yours as well. By closing the door, you create a physical barrier that signals it is time for sleep and helps them understand that staying in bed is expected.

Furthermore, closing the door at bedtime is also about keeping your child safe. Toddlers are curious explorers and may wander around the house unsupervised if given the opportunity. This can be dangerous, particularly if there are potential hazards such as stairs, open windows, or access to potentially harmful objects. Closing the door provides an additional layer of protection, ensuring that your child remains in a safe and secure environment throughout the night.

In my own personal experience, I have seen the benefits of closing the door at bedtime with my own children. When my youngest was a toddler, he would frequently get out of bed and wander around the house if we left his door open. This not only disrupted his sleep but also posed a safety risk. Once we started closing his door, he quickly learned that bedtime meant staying in his room, and his sleep improved significantly. It also gave us peace of mind, knowing that he was safe and contained during the night.

If you are concerned about your child feeling scared or isolated with the door closed, there are ways to address this. For example, you can leave a nightlight on in their room, provide a comforting stuffed animal or blanket, or even use a baby monitor to reassure yourself that your child is okay. By creating a soothing and inviting sleep environment, you can help your child feel secure and comfortable with the door closed.

Closing your toddler’s door at night is important for both establishing a consistent bedtime routine and ensuring their safety. It helps reinforce the expectation of staying in bed and prevents them from wandering around the house unsupervised. By taking this simple step, you can promote better sleep for your child and create a secure sleep environment.