Is Locking a Child in a Room to Fall Asleep Okay?

Playing Should Parents Ever Lock a Child in a Room to Fall Asleep?

Actress Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepard admit they dealt with their restless 3-year-old in an unconventional manner: by locking their daughter in her bedroom to fall asleep. When put to bed, their daughter would get up, turn on the lights, move her furniture, and even bang on the door with hard toys! The parents switched the doorknob so the lock faced outside and it locked her in during her meltdown. For doing this, the celebrity couple has received some criticism.

Watch: Infant Sleeping Dangers Parents and Caregivers Need to Know

To weigh in on the situation, The Doctors are joined by parenting expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa knows what it's like to have a child who is a bad sleeper! She does praise the couple for switching the doorknob around so that their daughter can't lock herself in and her parents out! They say they only do this for ten minutes, and Dr. Gilboa does think it's a good idea that they don't rush into their child's room to beg her to try and go to sleep. "Falling asleep is a skill that takes some kids a really painfully long time," Dr. Gilboa says.

Watch: When Parents Should Meddle and When They Should Not

However, she thinks locking their daughter in her room is still too big of a risk that they shouldn't take. She brings up the unlikely, but still worth noting, possibilities of a fire, or a parent getting hurt, and then the daughter being stuck in her bedroom. If a child is locked in, which Dr. Gilboa doesn't recommend, there should be at least two adults at home and a video monitor inside the child's bedroom. Dr. Gilboa says she has also seen parents use gates to block a child in; still "jail-like" but at least it's not a closed door!

Sign up for Our Newsletter!