From the day when your child first goes into her own room with her own cot or bed, you need to be thinking about staying one step ahead. It will be a constant battle as she goes through this part of her childhood and you need to be up to the task. So immediately put a gate up across the doorway of her room. This will make sure she knows that she has to stay there until you or her mother come in and bring her out in the morning.
How would you like an extra half an hour’s sleep in bed in the morning? It can be so tiring and intense when your toddler is awake, whether it is at the end of the day, or at 5.00 am in the morning, so finding a way to get that little extra time to sleep can be priceless. This technique really works. Once she is asleep, go into her room and remove all the toys which are in there. Then replace them with a set of new toys which she hasn’t played with for a week or so.
She will be both fascinated and distracted when she wakes up and the new toys will keep her occupied, quiet and give you and your partner an extra lie in the next morning. No more crying out ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’, although you might vaguely hear her playing if you do wake up. This extra time for you and your partner to relax will be priceless for the first three or four years. It will also allow you to have a higher quality relationship with both your partner and your child, because you will not be so tired when you wake up. A good night’s sleep makes everyone feel better.