Toddlers: 24 Months+

Need expert mom advice...

Our daughter climbed out of her crib last week so we took off one of the panels and just added a half railing so she can now get in and out easily. It's been a nightmare! She won't stay in bed and once we do get her to sleep she wakes up in the middle of the night. Last night she was up from 1:30 - 4:15. The worst part was she wasn't just awake laying there...she kept running from our room to her room. We kept trying to get her back to sleep (rubbing her back, staying in her room so she knows we are close, etc.) but nothing worked. Then, I let her sleep on our floor in our room but she started singing and talking. When I finally got her down in her bed (after my husband went to sleep in the guest room), she woke up walking into my room at 6:50 am (she normally sleeps until 7:30 - 8:00). Needless to say, we are exhausted! We have tried reading books about sleeping in a big bed, doing a rewards sticker chart plus a treat if she stays in bed, telling her the "elf on the shelf" is going to tell Santa, staying in her room letting her know we are near, slowly moving out of the room, sitting outside of her room, leaving the door open, etc. I don't know what to do to keep her in bed and to actually fall asleep. So, if you have any advice, please share your wisdom!! :)
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Re: Need expert mom advice...

  • this is my fear about going to a big girl bed!  DD is still in her crib and DH wants to change her to a bed.  I told him that if she is still ok in her crib she can stay there as long as she likes!   I have a friend that tried a lot of different things when transferring her child to a bed.  She said that they had to kind of be stern about it, after the initial tucking in where they would tell her it was time for bed and to stay in bed etc, if she got up they would just take her right back into her bed without saying a word, don't make eye contact, just take them right back in and lay them down.   It apparently worked but I'm sure there were a lot of sleepless nights in the meantime.  Good luck!
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  • What's her nap schedule like? Is she making up the missed sleep during the day? Letting her sleep too much during the day may help to stay up at night. When my daughter use to fight bedtimes I tried everything that you are. Nothing ever worked for long. My current trick is to take something away every time she gets out of bed without a good reason. I'm nice the first few times she gets up but after that I start taking things. I hate doing that because she gets so upset. After a few times I now only have to tell her I'll take something away without having to actually do it.

    Using a baby gate or other means of locking your child in their room should be a last resort. Trust me, I seriously wanted to sometimes. I always worried that she might need something or feel bedtime was a punishment if I made it so she couldn't get out. But if that is something that works for you then do so. It might help her learn to at least stay in her room better.

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  • DS climbed out of his crib one night, so DH took the front panel off the next night. We suffered through a week of sleepless nights and DS taking forever going to sleep in his room. We threw the towel in after we were all grouchy and sleep deprived. DH put the front panel back on the crib and took the mattress support out and just put the mattress on the floor. DS has been sleeping like that for going on 6 months now and hasn't tried to climb out. We're planning on converting his bed to a full size when we move in January. He does great in his toddler bed at my mom's which gives me hope that he'll do well when we do convert his bed. 
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  • We put DS in a twin bed with rails at 18 mos.  He has a gate in his doorway and we baby proofed his room.  He gets his book read to him, his stuffed animals, tucked in, and then I hand him a picture book and tell him he can read but he has to stay in bed and that usually knocks him out in 15 minutes for naps.  For bed we do the same thing but I don't give him a book I just tell him he has to stay in bed because it's time to go to sleep and if I hear him out of bed he's in trouble.  Some nights he's out immediately and some nights are telling him to get back in bed 2-3 times before he crashes.  We were told to try naps first before overnights so that could work for you to get her used to sleeping in her bed.  Naps didn't work for us but the first night we put him in his bed he slept there no issue and he's able to nap in bed now too.  My best advice is stay firm and patient.  When we have to go back in we either just pick him up put him in bed and leave without saying anything or I stand in the door way, point, tell him get back in bed and stand there until he does it.  Keep talking to a minimum and just make your point known that you're serious and displeased.  The gate in the doorway is imperative; even if he's up and pulling stuff out of his dresser drawers at least he isn't free to roam the house.  I wish you the best of luck.  I know it's tough, frustrating, and exhausting but it does get better. 
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  • She usually naps 2-3 hours during the day but that was before we transitioned her to the bed at night.  We told our nanny to only allow her to sleep 2 hours today and wake her if she tries to sleep longer so that hopefully she will sleep tonight.  I don't want her making up sleep during the day.  We did put one of those door knob child proof handles on the inside of her door to lock her in, but I just felt so horrible and feel like it's a punishment and don't want her to feel like she can't come to me if it's really important (although, everything to a 2 year old is important)! :)  We do have a baby gate at the top of the stairs and the child proof door handles on the linen closet and other room on the upstairs she can only roam around to our room, her bathroom, and her room if she ends up doing so.  The crazy thing is, this is still her crib, just not all 4 sides on it.  So, I hope we aren't doomed twice when we decide to actually put her in a twin bed as we have another baby coming in May and need the crib for the baby!
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  • Honestly, get a regular sized bed and lay down with her.  I have to get up at 5:30 for work.  My LO started climbing out of the crib.  I resisted moving him because I knew it would be terrible.  It is!  Gone are the days of easy bedtimes and sleeping through the night.  All kids are different.  Some are lucky with easy transitions.  It isn't better parenting or special techniques.  It's luck!  Just roll with the punches and do what you need to do for sleep.  It won't last forever ;)
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  • I think some of your struggles could be caused by the fact that you are trying 27 different things to keep her in bed. I know this is true for things with my DD. If she sees us panic or start trying all kinds of different things she just feeds off of it and the problem tends to get much worse. Pick one plan and stick with it. You may have to do it 100 times the first couple night but when she realizes that it is the only action happening she should settle down. The point is to make it as boring and repetitive as possible.

  • for my DD an OK to wake clock has been a life saver!!

    it took her about a week to get used to it, but now she gets mad at us if we try to get her up before the clock glows green.  We just explained to her that she was to stay in bed until the clock glowed green, and reminded her through the monitor a couple mornings and she's been great about it!!

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  • We started our two year old in a toddler bed in the middle of October and we are still fighting him on it, though admittedly some of it is our fault because we aren't entirely consistent. Because of our work schedules and the need for a babysitter, sometimes Julian isn't in his own bed to go to sleep until 10:30 or 11pm, though he does get naps during the day. He fights and fights and fights sometimes for up to an hour before he finally falls asleep and then like clock-work, every morning between 3-4am, he calmly and quietly drags his blanket and teddy bear into our room and sleeps with us the rest of the night. He's NEVER SLEPT IN A CRIB, always hated it, since the day we brought him home, nothing could keep him in his crib, even for a nap. So I understand we sort of created this monster lol...he's slept in our bed or right next to our bed all his life...so we're trying to take what we can get for now and make it easy on him to transition. Plus we're moving soon and know that it's gonna be a transition all over again for him to adjust to sleeping alone in a strange, new house. We plan on using the 'gate in the door' idea once we get settled at the new place but for now, at least mommy and daddy get a few hours of alone time at night, which is much better than any arrangement we've had the last two years! LOL Good Luck!
  • image JaysonandKristin:
    Baby gate at LO's door...  double-stacked if you have to.

    this.

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  • image MommaKrae:
    She usually naps 2-3 hours during the day but that was before we transitioned her to the bed at night.  We told our nanny to only allow her to sleep 2 hours today and wake her if she tries to sleep longer so that hopefully she will sleep tonight.  I don't want her making up sleep during the day.  We did put one of those door knob child proof handles on the inside of her door to lock her in, but I just felt so horrible and feel like it's a punishment and don't want her to feel like she can't come to me if it's really important (although, everything to a 2 year old is important)! :)  We do have a baby gate at the top of the stairs and the child proof door handles on the linen closet and other room on the upstairs she can only roam around to our room, her bathroom, and her room if she ends up doing so.  The crazy thing is, this is still her crib, just not all 4 sides on it.  So, I hope we aren't doomed twice when we decide to actually put her in a twin bed as we have another baby coming in May and need the crib for the baby!

    Ummm, may I ask how she "came to you when she needed you" when she was in a crib?  Having a gate on her door is just making a bigger "crib" she will be fine.

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  • image MammaBear81:

    image MommaKrae:
    She usually naps 2-3 hours during the day but that was before we transitioned her to the bed at night.  We told our nanny to only allow her to sleep 2 hours today and wake her if she tries to sleep longer so that hopefully she will sleep tonight.  I don't want her making up sleep during the day.  We did put one of those door knob child proof handles on the inside of her door to lock her in, but I just felt so horrible and feel like it's a punishment and don't want her to feel like she can't come to me if it's really important (although, everything to a 2 year old is important)! :)  We do have a baby gate at the top of the stairs and the child proof door handles on the linen closet and other room on the upstairs she can only roam around to our room, her bathroom, and her room if she ends up doing so.  The crazy thing is, this is still her crib, just not all 4 sides on it.  So, I hope we aren't doomed twice when we decide to actually put her in a twin bed as we have another baby coming in May and need the crib for the baby!

    Ummm, may I ask how she "came to you when she needed you" when she was in a crib?  Having a gate on her door is just making a bigger "crib" she will be fine.

    agreed 100%

    if she REALLY needs you, you'll hear her - just babyproof the room and she'll be fine

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