The actress, 37, who is often open and honest about her life as a parent, said her toddler, Delta, decided to “stop sleeping” about nine months ago and now after she’s put to bed, she turns the light on and moves around the furniture.
This of course irritates Bell’s son, four-year-old Lincoln. “Look, I’ll get controversial,” Bell told Parents magazine. “We switched the door knob. We turned the lock on the outside.”
Bell continued: “I’m sorry, I know that’s controversial, but we lock it when she gets in there, and we stand outside and say, ‘We love you, we will talk to you in the morning, but now, it’s time for sleep.’”
The mum-of-two said after about 10 minutes, Delta winds herself down and manages to settle herself and go to sleep. Before Bell and her husband, Dax Shepard, go to sleep, they make sure they unlock the door so Delta can get out in the morning or during the night if she needs the toilet.
Speaking to Parents magazine, Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said allowing kids the “chance to work it out for themselves” and see if they fall back asleep without your help could prevent creating a “sleep monster”.
If you’re unsure about Bell’s technique, but are looking for tips on getting your kids to bed without a fuss, Maryanne Taylor, a sleep consultant for babies and children at The Sleep Works, previously told HuffPost UK a bedtime routine is crucial in ensuring your kids have a drama-free night. “There should be a consistent bedtime routine really from an early age, it’s really helpful for a child to know what’s expected of them,” she said. “They always do better when they know what is coming next.”
She also said if it has become a habit for your child to wake during the night, try and introduce a technique called ‘wake to sleep’. “It can be very effective for children stuck with a wake-up time,” she said. “Go to your child half an hour or 40 minutes before she is due to wake up and jiggle the child slightly, not so they fully wake up, but so they stir and soothe them back into their next sleep cycle.”
What hacks do you use to get your toddlers to stay in bed? Let us know in the comments below or get involved in the conversation on Facebook.