We switched Mazzy to a "big girl bed" about two weeks ago. It was not something I wanted to do— Mazzy slept perfectly well in her crib and never once attempted to get out— but I was told we had to transition her before the baby arrived or else she would harbor negative feelings against her little sister for stealing her stuff.
Since I didn't want to worry about Mazzy smothering her soon-to-be roommate while she slept, we bought a toddler bed on Craig's List, told Mazzy she was a big girl now, and crossed our fingers.
The first few days went swimmingly. Mazzy went to sleep just like she normally did and did not seem to notice the unlimited freedom that her new bed provided.
Then, on the third night— EVERYTHING WENT TO SHIT.
And when I say "everything went to shit", I mean— ANY ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL WE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT WE HAD OVER OUR TODDLER HAVE NOW DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY.
As of this moment, I am typing while also terrified that Mazzy will suddenly appear at my side like the Ghost of Christmas Past asking me to tell her a story, get her some water, turn the light on, sing her a song, make her a sandwich, go to the playground, take her to the moon, find her a dayjob, explain the theory of relativity or any one of the myriad of requests she has made in the past 11 days.
When Mazzy was in her crib, the roles were clear. We put her down and she couldn't get out, so she had no choice but to lay there and go to sleep. We had a routine. Three books, two songs, one kiss and then she was put in the crib and I left the room. Even if she protested, I didn't go back— I was hardcore. Lights out, no toys in the crib. We never heard a peep once we shut the door. It was a wonderfully magical thing that actually fooled me into thinking that Mazzy was a GOOD SLEEPER.
Nope. Not the case. I have now come to understand that Mazzy was just trapped and defeated.
On DAY THREE, at about 9:30pm, as Mike and I watched a movie on the couch, suddenly a tiny figure appeared before us.
"I'm not tired."
"It's late, Mazzy. You have to try to go to sleep."
"Come lie with me, Mommy."
Interesting. I'd never done that before, as lying down next to your child is not possible when they are in a crib. I must admit, it sounded kind of nice.
Unfortunately, as soon as I lay my head down and bent my legs all the way up to my pregnant belly to fit inside the tiny bed frame, I realized I had made an error in judgement. Mazzy did not want to lie down and fall asleep next to eachother. Mazzy wanted entertainment.
"Tell me a story, Mommy."
Huh? What about?
"The dog who wants a bone."
"Ummm…okay. Once upon a time there was a dog who wanted a bone…" I continued on with some half-assed story about a dog who knocked on all the houses in the neighborhood but none of them wanted to give him a bone. So he went to the pet store which had a wide selection of bones, but he had no money so he had to leave and go home. He was so sad until he got home and his owner surprised him with a bone. Moral of the story: sometimes the things you search for far and wide, are at home all along.
I was pretty proud of my impromptu tale and was ready to get up when…
"The duck who wanted to swim."
What? Where was she getting these from? I made up something about a duck who didn't know how to swim so finally he got floaties which impressed all of his duck friends so much that they all wanted floaties too. When I was finished, I said, "Okay, babe, it's time to—"
"The cat who wanted milk."
"No more stories, sweetie— you have to go to sleep."
"Sing me a song."
And so it began.
Any attempts at leaving have been met with Mazzy jumping out of bed and running after me out of the room. Mike is currently campaigning for shutting the door entirely and letting her fend for herself in the dark. But I refuse to shut the door until he anchors the bookshelf to the wall (which will happen on a cold day in hell).
As a result, we now have to service our new bedtime princess with anything her little heart desires. ANYTHING, to keep her in that goddamn bed. We have gotten her a nightlight and agreed to keep the hall light on (after a 3am demonstration that showed how easily she can get up and turn the light on herself), we have gotten her one of those alarm clocks that glows green when it is time to get up in the morning, we have experimented with and without bedding (she prefers to be both blanketless and pillowless), we let her take a huge stack of books to bed which she "reads" in the dark and then discards unceremoniously over the side, we refill three separate sippy cups full of water, and I have now told the dog and duck stories a few thousand times (they don't get better with repeated tellings).
I estimate that Mazzy doesn't fall asleep until a good two hours after we first put her down.
There is no end to this story. I have a bad feeling that this is only the first chapter of a book that will take the next ten years to read.
Why such a pessimistic outlook? Because, each time Mazzy appears in the living room announcing "I'm not tired", I am reminded of someone else.
When I was a kid, every night I would lie wide awake in my bed until I thought a sufficient enough time had passed to safely declare that I couldn't fall asleep. Then, I would take my pajama-clad self downstairs, stealthily appear in the doorway to the den and announce to my TV-watching parents, "I'm not tired."
If I was lucky, my mother would accompany me back upstairs, crawl into bed next to me and tell me a story.
When she was done, I would ask for another.
And another and another and another, until one of us (usually her) fell asleep.
Have you transitioned to a big girl/boy bed yet? How long did it take for your kid to figure out that nothing was keeping them there? How did you handle it?
With kid #2 we didn’t take him out of his crib before #3 arrived. We figured when he was ready to leave the crib, we would put #3 in. (He was 16 months old when she was born, so he was too young to be in a bed.) He never left that crib. #3 slept in a pack ‘n’ play for almost 3 years. As soon as she transitioned to a big girl bed, he went to a big boy bed.
As I was reading your story, I was wondering if you could put that crib back in her room. Has she tasted her freedom? Is there no turning back?
There are some books that might help you deal with this. Some parents sit quietly in a chair (not interacting with their child) until he or she is asleep. That can make it easier on you both. At her age, it won’t be much fun. I’m sorry and good luck!
I know someone who solved this problem by putting a gate on the bedroom door.
No pillow or blanket?!? Mazzy is hardcore. No wonder you never win.
Sleep! My favorite subject! (no, not really but I talk about it a lot!)
Monkey never slept in a crib (not for lack of trying). We co-slept on my queen bed until he was 18 months, and he moved to a regular, single bed (not even a toddler bed) when he weaned from the boob. He’s been sleeping in one ever since. Aside from a few regressions (moving house hence new single bed, turning 2, vacation), he’s been awesome in it. He stays in when he’s put to bed, and he stays in until I come get him in the morning.
Have I just jinxed myself?
Oh, we close the door and it’s completely dark in his room. He’s unfazed because he’s so used to it.
I have no good tips except the usual – do a bedtime routine, get her to bed, tell her firmly goodnight and leave. When she comes out, lead her back, put her back in bed and say goodnight. Then leave. Rinse and repeat until she falls asleep. And every night until she stops getting out of bed. It takes patience so good luck!
Nighttime is a glorious time …. until your kids decide to not sleep, then it sucks! It was inevitable, but you had no choice – at some point the crib must go and we learn new ways to survive. The benefit of baby two is you learn from baby one – remember me telling you how my eldest never got out of her crib/daybed until the day she did then never stayed in? Followed by my second transitioning from crib to a trundle so high off the ground, she has a crib-like rail so is still trapped? There was method to my madness 😉
What I remember from the good old days with child one, is that she liked to sleep in our bed. Our best “stay in bed” technique was to let her start off sleeping in our room – if she got out, the priviledge was lost – so she usually stayed put, then we moved her when she was asleep and we went to bed ( we prewarned her about ” starting off” in our bed so she was ok when awoke in her own). We also stopped naps to ensure she was genuinely tired at night ( but real key? Not overtired which can present as hyper and/or tantrums!) and kept same bedtime and same night routine. We definitely still had nights of unrest, but for the most part was a lot better!
Last point? ANCHOR THAT BOOKCASE! You are freaking me out!! I am honestly very relaxed re:childproofing, my kids are not overly curious and I prefer to teach boundaries. But – every bookcase we have is anchored and has been since the first could crawl. Kids don’t understand physics – it is a terrible lesson to learn via a toppled bookcase. If he won’t anchor it, take it our or turn it sideways so it is lying on the ground. Or if you read this to Mike and he rolls his eyes, tell him to climb to the top and try to balance on top of an unanchored shelf, see how safe he feels. Kids climb – even those who haven’t yet or who you think never will.
What was the harm in keeping her in the crib? Forget what other people say and do what’s best for you guys.
My oldest was still in a crib when her little brother came along. I actually kept them both in cribs as long as possible. I think they both were just over 3 when they went to a toddler bed. But for my son he may have stayed in the crib longer. It was more for his own safety. He is such a “curious” boy that he get’s himself into trouble. We even used a crib tent so that he couldn’t escape.
If the new baby is going to share a room with Mazzy, what’s going to keep her from getting out of bed and waking the baby?
Mazzy is going to turn three about a month after the baby arrives so we would have had to switch very shortly anyway. And I think doing it at the exact same time as the baby arrives would be a mistake. For two reasons- 1) Mazzy would be more likely to associate losing her crib with the new baby and 2) There is no way I could handle this transition and a new baby at the same time. I am hoping that in the next couple of months, we will have this somewhat worked out.
Plus buying a new crib is a lot more expensive than a toddler bed which was an added incentive to switch.
Hi , Mom.
We tried the first night and she called me in to say the blanket wasn’t working because it fell off her feet. Then when I arranged it to fall over her feet, she cried— I can’t see my feet! After that, she threw it over the side and hasn’t asked for it again. Same with the pillow.
Mazzy always slept completely in the dark too. It wasn’t until the big girl bed that she started asking for the light on. She wants the bedroom light on entirely so the nightlight with hall light was a compromise.
I know we have to do what you are suggesting. It’s just hard but I’ll get there.
After reading your comment, I have decided to just hire someone to do it. It will happen way faster and I’ll have more confidence in it anyway- sorry Mike!
Sleeping in our room doesn’t work. I actually wish that was an option but Mazzy has never been able to do that. She associates our bed with making tents and tickle time. I’ve taken her in there a couple of times out of desperation and she just wants to play. Sigh.
Can you set a consequence for her not falling asleep within a certain time frame? My niece was much like Mazzy. However, she hated having the light off in her room (she wanted to fall asleep with the full overhead light on). So, my brother would set a timer for 30 minutes and if she wasn’t asleep by then, the light would go off. It was usually enough incentive to get her to settle down and try to sleep, versus keep getting up, playing around, etc.
could you keep her in the crib and have the new baby in the pack n play or co-sleeper until she gets a little bigger, and mazzy gets better with the big girl bed? just a thought. good luck! sleep is one of the hardest things….my son wakes up almost every night, in the middle of the night, wanting to play, screaming “i’m not tired”…it’s 3am, yes, you ARE tired!!!
We went through this with our oldest son. We started riding our bikes in the evening after dinner, which really helped him get tired enough to just pass out after a few stories. If we aren’t in the mood for a bike ride we run races, whatever it takes to wear that kid out. If he has any energy at all, he will be up until 10am.
That was hilarious if it is your Mom – but sooooo much funnier if it’s not! ROFL!!!
Great, sigh of relief over bookcase! Whew! 🙂
Here’s the thing – much like newborns waking every 2 hours, it is a phase of life. A stinky sleep-sucking phase, but a phase non-the-less. You will sort it out, or it will end on it’s own, and then you will forget about it until reliving it with baby two. Or maybe not as all kids are different.
But if you want a silver lining – so long as Mazzy doesn’t mind sharing the attention, she could be good company in a couple months when you are up anyway with your newborn 😉
My sister put a baby gate to keep her kids in!
My son took to it like a champ.
And then there was my daughter.
It sucked. Putting a fancy “alarm clock” in there did help a bit (Reference material: http://letmestartbysayingblog.com/2011/02/17/the-battle-at-pink-bedroom/ ), but it’s still not as heavenly as having your kid in Crib Lockdown.
I wish you much luck, my friend. I wish I had more advice for you than that.
WAIT, YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE BED AT NIGHTTIME????
Sorry. I still have to lie down with my 6 year old until she is asleep. And 1 night out of 5 she will end up in my bed in the middle of the night. Welcome to having sex with locked bedroom doors
Can you babygate the bedroom door? That’s what we did with both of older daughters when they transitioned out of their cribs. That way they have the run of the room but not the run of the house. Sort of like an oversized crib – safe enclosed space, but no ability to sneak up on the adults.
And maybe you should get her a nightlight? Instead of the plug-straight-into-the-outlet ones (those always scared me, too tempting for little fingers), look for either a little statue-type that lights up and can be put up high or something that hangs on the wall – we have a big plastic star from Ikea that has a lightbulb inside it and hangs over our daughters’ bureau.
Caitlyn has been fully capable of climbing out of her crib for a year now, so we took the side off and made it into a big girl bed a few months ago.
Wait. Did I say big girl bed? I meant least used piece of furniture in my house.
She had a few days where she didn’t exactly understand that she could now come and go as she pleased. Those were happy, happy days. Now? Every single night she stays in bed for under 2 minutes before crawling into bed with me. And if I try to put her back in her bed she throws a fucking fit. And she won’t go to bed until I do. Can’t Dr. B weigh in on this one? I NEED HELP!
Also like you, I did the “I’m not tired” thing with my own mother and I can already see that Caitlyn keeps the exact same sleep habits as I do. That is, shitty ones.
Good thinking on the changing her before the new baby comes! My sister has six kids, the last two are almost a year apart (boys) and the older TOTALLY hates the younger for inheriting all of his things. They didn’t really think of that, so now they have a 2 year old trying to be in the bouncy saucer, he used to try and lay on the baby in the swing and ripped the poor kid out of the infant car seat. It was like lord of the flies that first year. Now he’s pushing three and the youngest is one, they don’t get along and the youngest kinda wanders the house like a paranoid zombie child waiting for the other shoe to drop.
On that note, this totally makes me fear changing my son over to a toddler bed. His crib doesn’t always contain him…
I wish I had advice for you. My 5 year old has been a horrid sleeper from the moment they placed her in my arms. We finally got a taste of the night time freedom last winter/spring after we spent 3 months sleep training her to go to sleep by herself. Then we moved. And it’s all gone to shit since then. Her mattress is now on my bedroom floor, but she does go to sleep on her own.
Do you reallly want to know? My son is now 7 and still requires someone to lie next to him while he falls asleep. I figure I’ll be sharing a dorm room with him at some point….sigh
This all sounds very familiar, except Lil’ Bit chooses 3am as her time to wake up and take advantage of the freedom her toddler bed provides. Used to be she’d appear quietly beside our bed – always on my side – and just stand there staring at me like she was about to eat my soul. That’s when I realized exactly how creepy *I* had been for 2+ years sitting beside her crib at night watching her sleep.
Then she went to stay with my parents for a week and my mom somehow magically trained her to stay in bed. Her alternative? To call for someone. So, now she wakes up at 3am and shouts, “MOMMY! DADDY!” Which is only slightly less alarming than the smoke detector going off in the middle of the night.
Either way, I find myself wondering when, oh WHEN, is this phase going to end and she (and I) will go back to sleeping through the night. And I do tell myself it’s a phase. One that’s been going on for nearly six months, but a phase nonetheless. I have to. It’s for my own sanity.
Iliana, I paid a BABY WHISPERER to sort out my sleep issues. She was brilliant. Actually, brilliant is a pissy word. She was fanfrikkentabulous. One week later, 3 kids sleeping 7pm -7am. The method is so easy and so damn common sense. I’ll try write about it for you – or feel free to contact me 🙂
Good luck! And, you know what? This too shall pass.
What about a gate in the doorway to her room? What we were told is that with a toddler who needs a big kid bed you just babyproof the heck out of the room, put a gate in the doorway and consider that the whole room is defacto one big crib.
This is not an issue for us right now because we do the fall asleep with Mommy, then get put into the crib for the rest of the night thing. He has never been put into his crib and fallen asleep there thing. That doesn’t work for us.
We’re dealing with something similar with our 2 1/2 year old. Just switched him to the toddler bed, removed the crib, and are dealing with 4th consecutive night of hysterical screaming to “I hold you.” Well over an hour of catch and release as he squirms to the other side of the bed and makes for the door. My approach is to try the Super Nanny trick of not speaking to him, and just putting him back in bed, but like I said, over an hour of screaming. That he started again when he woke up an hour early.
side note – he doesn’t do this for the nanny or grandpa, but at some point I have to be able to parent my own kid, right?
Until this started, he was a rockstar with the sleeping routine, never tried to get out of the crib, etc. We thought we need to move him to toddler bed to help get going on potty training soon, and have now sold the crib, so going back isn’t an option.
Dr. B have any suggestions?
We have a bunny night light clock that I found on Amazon. The bunny sleeps at bedtime and wakes up in the morning at the times I set. If the bunny is sleeping my 3 year old knows it’s time to sleep. She also has a gate in her door way to keep her in the room.
I was very happy to read your comment response that you are going to hire someone to secure that bookshelf. I read a blog post a couple years ago about a woman who had a dresser that she though was sturdy enough to not need secured. Her toddler tried to climb it and it fell on him. He didn’t survive. That was enough to make me secure every dresser and bookshelf in my house.
This was sooo totally my daughter. Oh how I used to brag about what a great sleeper she was. A few books, 2 minutes of rocking and then into the crib not to be heard from until morning. Then we switched to a big girl bed and it went to sh*t. Two lights on, easily 50 stuffed animals and 2 dozen books in the bed, and for a good two hours after bed time the constant refrain of, “Mommy, can you come here for a minute”. Bedtime 8:30, actual asleep time never before 10 PM.
I have good news though, the miracle of Kindergarten began a few weeks ago and guess what? Bed time is now 7:30 and someone is asleep by 8:30 at the latest!!! She went to Pre-school but apparently actual Kindergarten is a little more strenuous.
I wish you good luck..
I recommend a gate for the doorway – stat! Also, you will just have to keep taking her back to bed, no explanation needed other than it is bedtime and time to go to sleep. It is so, so hard but the results are worth it. Getting into the habit of laying down with her is not one you want to start, especially when that new baby comes along.
We went through this with our now 4 year old. What helped was a system of positive reinforcement (my mom calls it bribery but as a child clincal psychologist I can confirm it is reinforcement 😉 We have the same deal with nighttime routine and toddler clock that turns green. If our daughter stayed in bed after the routine and stayed in bed until the green light came on she got to watch tv in the morning (immediate reinforcement) and put a sticker on her chart (delayed reinforcement). For every five stickers she could pick a toy from the “treasure chest” (go to 99 cent store, put in knick knacks, special snacks, etc). We let her go to tresure chest after 2 stickers in the beginning, then 3, then 4 (they need lots of rewards in beginning so they know how great they are, and that they can do it!), then kept it at 5. This system worked for us. Nees to be tweated every now and then to keep it working. Most impt is that you need to be consistent. No sleep- no tv! (or whatever you choose to use as the things that will motivate your daughter)Good luck!!!
Love your blog, by the way. Provides so many great laughs!!!
Seriously? Tonight is night three of big girl bed for us and now I’m nervous. We’ve tried really wearing Aubrey out right before bath and bedtime so she’s so tired she won’t get up. Today was the first morning she got up and out of bed on her own so I’m sure the curse of night three will be upon us.
My son was a great sleeper when baby and when he moved to a toddler bed I just had to sit next to him while not talking or answering questions, sometimes I was sleep before he was but that was encouraging for him, and then I would move to my bed.
Now that he is 6 he is worse than ever, I have to hug him so he can actually fall sleep, great thing that he is sleep in less than two minutes so I am free very quick.
It might be a little hippy-dippy for you, but my husband found Lori Lite, she has meditations for kids. (You can buy them on Amazon) That worked pretty well for awhile. He also had them trained to fall asleep to their sleeping song, a song that had their name in it. Helpful if there are a ton of songs out there with your child’s name on it. Rowan Tree and Aspen Glow are personal favorites. My son figured out that he could climb out of his crib and has been a crappy sleeper ever since, on Saturday night he was up until 11pm just for sh*ts and giggles, as far as I could tell because he didn’t have a nap. Good luck!
So…to get both my little ladies to stay in their big girl beds, I had to do the “Super Nanny” method. I had to sit at the foot of their bed (or beside their bed) and ignore all of their cutness until they fell asleep. They deploy every cute trick they had in an attempt to win my attention and it even got to the point where I had to sit with my back to them so they couldn’t see my laughter at the cutness. But don’t say anything to them unless they try to get up. Lay her bootay back down and tell her its time to go to sleep. That is all. As the days progress, move further and further away from her until you are eventually sitting outside her door for her to fall asleep. Then in the living room. It Seriously only takes about 2 weeks if you do it this way and they become sleeping pros once again!! Hope this helps! Good luck, Momma! May the force be with you or whatever you are supposed to say in this situation! 🙂
My son is now 17 and never leaves his bedroom. So give it at least a decade and you will get some rest… until Mazzy starts dating and driving and then you will know the true meaning of sleepless nights.
My son just turned two and we are expecting a baby in a couple weeks. I too heard the advice about transitioning to a bed… we bought one and the first night was golden. The next week was hell, resulting each night in him ASKING to get in his crib. I’ve given up and bought a second crib for the new baby. When he’s ready to get the big boy bed out, I guess he will tell me.
I cut her bedroom door in half. Really, I did — and it worked wonders. You know like a half Dutch door but without the top so no pinched fingers? Yeah. I took everything out of her room that made me worry about her being alone and let her have at it.
I hope you find something that works!
Letting them share your bed, or laying with them — failed as an approach for me. I think you just need to be tough (and CONSISTENT). She’s clearly getting a reaction from you that is pleasurable (extra stories, attention, songs, you laying with her as a personal trampoline) so there is no incentive for her to stop. I don’t know Mazzy personally, but I’m thinking [in my non-educated “what do I know, I have one kid” experience] that you should just be kinda stone-faced, and put her back in if she gets out.
Personally, I close the door, but my daughter’s a light sleeper so we do that + white noise. I think the gate is a good idea if she refuses to stay in there.
We’re ok at night (mostly), but naptime is our issue. It’s the worst because she clearly still needs a nap, but fights them. THe result is [more often than not] a witching hour from hell around 5/6PM. At least the red-light/green-light clock gives a little downtime if she refuses to sleep.
I second this. Use a baby gate. We used it up until the kid understood she couldn’t come out. And then when the gate came off it was a huge thing, she was a BIG GIRL and didn’t need a gate. Now I use the gate to keep the dogs out of their rooms overnight (or in elsewhere, depending on the location).
First off when I did this DD was 3.5. It might make a difference, but I think they get “rules” at Mazzy’s age. What worked for me was I set the rules beforehand. We’d talk about the rules at breakfast and throughout the day. “What are the bedtime rules again? I forget.” And have her tell me. They love to boss you around. We’ll do 3 books, 3 kisses, you can get yourself 1 glass of water (none in the room). Mommy will stay with you for 3 minutes. Then I set a timer. The one on my phone. At 3 minutes I left. If she left the room I walked her back, laid her down, and left again. No talking except once or twice “We are done talking, we are sleeping now.” I gave her 3 times of getting up and having her taken back to bed. If it got to 3 then she lost phone privileges the next day “Because you didn’t follow the ‘go to bed’ rules last night you are too tired to play on the iPhone today. I’m sure you’ll do better tonight.” (Or whatever hits her where she lives.) Then change the subject and move on. Yes, I realize this will make your tomorrow a living hell, but it only took about 2 days for her to figure out I meant it and bedtime got a lot easier quickly. I also told her she didn’t have to sleep, but she did have to stay in her room. Being alone in her room playing by herself got old quickly and she usually goes to bed pretty quickly. (This worked for my 6 year old nephew I was babysitting. I had him sleep trained in 1 week when I sat for him. Before me he was up until 10-11. You’d have to lay with him and rub his back. It was insane. I put him in his room, told him he could stay up as late as he wanted, but he had to be by himself. By the end of the week he was asleep by 8:30 and a much happier boy the next day.) Oh, and no screens (blue light) of any kind 30 minutes before bedtime. It just jacks them up. I’ve experimented with this and I believe it to be true.
Oh boy, this is the last 2 months at our house. “Big girl” got a brand new bedroom set from Grandma and Paw Paw, it was a big deal, woo hoo you’re a big girl! like you, everything was great the first few nights and we were so smug. After that and for the past 7 weeks (yes I counted), it has been a struggle. We started by standing outside the door-every time she got up, we put her back in. She got up as soon as we left the room, and we did that for an hour on average and it was hell. Then modified to standing inside the door, which helped her stay in bed. Now we stay in until she falls asleep and sneak out (most stressful 30 seconds EVER), and she has white noise and some nice piano music on. The last 2 nights she hasn’t gotten up in the night, which is improvement! But yeah, it is NOT FUN.
Oh, about the early morning. I got her a digital clock. Taped over the :00 numbers and put a note card next to it with a 7 on it. If the number isn’t a 7 she can’t come out of her room. (She was waking at 6.) So she’d wake at 6 and stay in her room and play until 7. If she came in before 7 I’d walk her back, remind her of the rule and go back to my room. Only 1 or two days of tantrum screaming and then she got it.
I gotta side with Mike on this one and suggest closing her door. There is too much temptation to leave the room if it’s open. Especially if she can hear noises from down the hall – clearly that means “it’s not really bedtime yet”. Then tell her she isn’t allowed out of her room once you say good nights. As another poster said, if she does come out, return her to her bed, remind her it is bedtime and repeat, repeat, repeat. She’ll get it. Eventually. 😉
For the record, my 4 year old still stays up way too late past official bedtime. She loves to read and, like Mazzy, will be found surrounded by books in her bed. SHe also sings, plays dress-up and goodness knows what else. I can’t force her to fall asleep, but she knows she has to stay in her room (short of a potty necessity) and that makes us happy enough.
And definitely please get the bookcase anchored. We had a relatively short one in our playroom topple over when our 3 year old innocently tried to pull a toy off the top shelf. Thankfully she somehow miraculously managed to avoid getting squished by it, but it sure scared the heck out of her (and me). Hubby headed to Lowes and anchored it that very day.
Good luck! 🙂
My kids never really climbed out of their cribs, so I tried to put off the toddler bed thing for as long as possible. My husband was all “Oh it will be so cute!” and I was all “Keep them in that sleep cage until they don’t fit anymore!”
We’ve just recently had a few nights in a row without a visitor. And that’s a full year after the youngest got her toddler bed. We did use a gate for the first several months. At first there was screaming and hollering, but then she started using it as part of her play. We couldn’t put a gate by the stairs without drilling into the banister and wall, so the gate saved her body and our sanity.
Every kid is different. I Can only tell you what worked for us. Miriam was in a bouncer until she was about 8-9lbs (6 and change at birth), and the bouncer was in the crib. I bought the crib because it was a convertible to a day bed then a twin head/foot. At 12 months (she’d been sleeping in her crib since the day we came home) she got her own room, and by 13 months she was trying to climb in when she was sleepy. I converted to a toddler day bed and never had trouble. After 3 nights of surprises, we got a short gate for her door, and a tall gate for the kitchen.
We had this same problem. The glory of your situation is that you still have the crib up, yes? This is what you do: sit down and tell her that although you THOUGHT she was a very big and grown up girl who was ready to sleep in her big girl bed, clearly you were wrong. There are rules (not getting out of bed/not going to bed) for sleeping in the big girl bed– rules that, if not followed, will result in her being put back into her crib. The BABY bed. *at this point you make an icky/disappointed face* Continue talking about how awesome the big girl bed is/how lame the baby crib is thru-out the day…and then– when night time comes– tell her that you’ll give her another chance, but she MUST follow the rules. Otherwise, she’s going back into the baby bed. It’ll take a few nights– she’ll still toddle out… you’ll plop her in the crib. She’ll protest. Give her another shot. Eventually, she’ll want the big girl bed *enough* that she’ll follow the rules. Or, she’ll just decide that she still loves her crib and then you’re screwed. 🙂 Good luck! (But, in all seriousness– I did this with both my kids (2 and 3) and it worked great. The key is really playing up the terribleness of the crib and the absolute amazingness of the big girl bed.)
I agree with the baby gate – I have read this on multiple occassions, and will use it if necessary. We actually just made the switch, but my daughter is only 21 months old. I am also pregnant with #2, but had planned to keep the new baby in a bassinet in our room for at least 3 months so that is not why we switched now. We actually have always had a spare twin bed in my daughter’s room (we only have a 2 bedroom condo), and suddenly she was asking to sleep in it. So, we made it into a big girl bed, complete with a super duper long bed rail and her little princess couch so she can climb in and out.
The first two nights, she was afraid to sleep there, and we played musical beds between the crib and bed. But, for the past four night she has slept in there. The amazing thing is that for the past two nights she has slept through the night without a peep (very rare for her). I think she prefers the softer mattress.
She has yet to figure out the freedom part of it. She still sits up and cries for us in the morning, instead of just climbing out. I don’t know how long it will take her to realize she can leave her bed, but when she does, we will definitely use the baby gate if we need to.
I know I have also watched many supernanny episodes where supernanny would bring the kid back to bed, and then turn around and leave, over and over again. No extra stories, no extra snuggles. After a couple of nights of hell, this seemed to work. Kind of like sleep training but for older kids. Maybe you can try that?
I may be a completely awful parent and have no respect for my son, buuuuuut… We put one of those child doorknob lockers on the inside of his bedroom door, and it works like a charm. We even have been known to use his room as Time Out Level Two after taking his toy bucket out, so he can scream and holler all he wants and we don’t have to hear him as well. In the morning, if he wakes up before we do, he just plays with his trains or cars or books, and we can check in on him using a video baby monitor. Of course, since he’s potty trained, we know that nighttime training will change our blissful arrangement… But it works for now, and has worked for the last couple years. I know I won’t judge you if you decide to “lock” Mazzy in her room at night!
We had a lot of trouble with the bed-transition with our second boy. He kept getting up at night for the first month or so of being in a twin bed at 2-ish years old. Every time we would put him back down, we would say, “The sun is down, brother is asleep, Mommy and Daddy want to go to bed, your bed is soft and nice and it’s time to stay in bed.” Then, repeat the question, “Are you going to stay in your bed?” until he finally answered yes. If he answered no, we repeated the first part and then the question. It was terribly repetitive, but did help him finally understand what he was supposed to do. We also got to the point for about a week that we told him, Mommy will only come in with you 3 more times, 2 more time, 1 more time and that’s it. We did have to close and lock his door (which he couldn’t unlock in the dark at that point) and ended up crying himself to sleep right inside the door on the floor (which I’d unlock before we went to bed). I hated doing it, but nothing else was working. After just a few nights of that, the stay in bed question started working again and things got better and better until he started staying in bed by himself. It’s just a crappy transition for some kids. Didn’t have much trouble at all with my first or third. We do have a moon night-light that stays on for about 30 minutes before turning itself off that the older two now use. On rare occasion one of them will still come ask me to turn the moon back on, and I’ll say another quick good night and then they do fall asleep. Hang in there and be consistent with whatever method seems to work for you.
I sympathise! The only reason I transitioned my 2.5 yr old out of her crib (two months ago) was because I knew we’d be spending most of August in Australia, and that she’d be sleeping in regular beds at various family and friends’ homes. I needed to know she’d be okay.
We just got back yesterday, and due to the nature of such travel she’d had a total of 4 hours sleep in a 24+ hour period. Good times… She crashed in bed by 6.30 last night, but I woke up at 12.30 to find her sprawled across the top of me, and it’s been HOT here in LA. It took a fair bit of coaxing to get her (and her sister) both back in their own beds. Good times…
For the most part, it’s better than I’d braced myself for, but I hate that she can now get up at the crack of dawn. She used to be content to just chill in her crib until I came in to get her.
I remember the shenanigans with my eldest that would go on all evening when she was needing to ditch her day time naps, and I was heavily pregnant and in denial. I needed that break in the day! Day time naps dropped, evening shenanigans stopped. Got my fingers crossed for you that Mazzy keeps her naps for a while yet!
We are team baby gate here. It seems like a perfectly rational solution. Isn’t being in a crib like a cage? I glorious cage? With the gate she would have her whole room to roam until she tired herself out. My friends use this method and their children have learned to entertain themselves until tired enough to get into bed and go to sleep.
We are transitioning Elena (16 mths) THIS MONTH in preparation for our coming November baby. I feel so blessed she doesnt understand door knobs yet. Like Mazzy, mommy’s bed equals playtime which is why at 3 months we gave up on the idea of co-sleeping. I pray I get some sleep before our new son arrives.
Bought a plastic star light at Ikea for about 12 bucks and a timer. The rule in the house was that when it was bedtime it was bedtime, and the child wasn’t allowed to get up and leave the room until the star light turned on, unless he was sick, of course. Worked like a charm.
My first son was like that. We had to gate him in and it was painful to listen to him wander around his room. He would eventually fall asleep on the floor. We did wind up pulling his nap because of this, as he would be up till 10 if we let him take one. For a while he slept on the floor, and we would pick him up later and put him in his bed. Then we just let him sleep where he dropped (he was getting heavy and his little brother was brand new and I was too freaking tired to do this every night that my husband was away on business trips, for the love of all that was holy). Do what works for you guys though. She’s definitely testing the boundaries to see where she’ll win.
We just put the toddler side up on our 18 month old son’s crib becuse he was half-heartedly trying to climb out. Going to sleep has been a breeze but nap time? I count on those few hours to clean or get other stuff where a helper isn’t a good idea but now that he can get up and play, forget it. The afternoon nap is non-existent and when my husband gets home in the evening, my monkey is pretty grouchy pretty soon thereafter. He has always slept with a closed door as we have a video monitor in his room with two cameras so we know when he is up.
We had the One Thing rule. Which meant after formal bedtime our daughter was allowed to get up once to ask for One Thing – a free pass. It could be a story or some water or whatever. If she got up after that we got really unfriendly and closed her door for 10 minutes (she hated having the door closed), or for 20-30 minutes if it kept happening. There were some raging tantrums early on, but she did get the idea. We also gave her a small wall-mounted fluorescent light (easy on-off, doesn’t get hot, fairly dim) that she could control, figuring if she wanted to sleep with the thing on we didn’t really care. We just wanted her to stay in her room!
I think there is a book written as luck would have it. “Go the F*#% to Sleep” beautifully captures the nightime rituals of coaxing our little ones to sleep.
Yeah, you’re pretty much screwed.
Isabella got a big girl bed when she was 2.5. I worried that she would pop out of bed but I was EVER SO LUCKY she will not budge. I have put her to bed kicking and screaming and she will not get out of the bed. She will take all of her clothes off. Strip the bed and throw everything on the floor but she will not budge. Some mornings she will lay in the bed and call for me to as to tell her it’s okay to get out of the bed…some mornings she will get up on her own. She’s now 3.5 and it’s just like when she was 2.5.
I wish you luck because that can’t be fun!
Great lil story you made up. And with a moral. Awesome! Also, your crib routine sounded perfection! So easy! Even when our son was in the crib, it took 15-45 min to get him to fall asleep. Wow, you have an alarm clock for her? She tells time? Whoa!
We are 3 days into the toddler-bed switch. I hope that his intermittent waking and crying will soon end when we find out from the doc that he has an ear infection, which is keeping him up at night. Otherwise, I might have to check my sanity at the door too. Luckily, when he gets out of bed, he stands in the middle of his room and just cries for us. I hope he never figures out how to quietly walk to our room. We leave the door cracked because it tricks him into thinking we are still standing by the door. But we did this 5x throughout Monday night, and at least 3x last night. Good luck with Mazzy. I’m sure she’ll get it soon. You eventually did so will she :). PS Like the advice of the gate and/or lock. Wouldn’t work for me b/c my son is a crier, not an escapee and I can’t stand crying.
Supernanny. Whither she goest, I will go.
Google “supernanny sleep training” and do what she says. That is all.
I’m sending this link to my wife who thinks we should make the switch to a toddler bed. Our 2.5 year old sounds a lot like yours. But we don’t have another on the way to force the issue.
The first night our daughter cried and cried for about 15 minutes but didn’t get out of bed. The second night she figured it out. After two weeks of what I refer to affectionately as bedtime whackamole that lasted hours, I got tough. We bought a baby gate to put across her doorway, put her to bed with the usual routine and when she opened the door to come out, she couldn’t. I would calmly lead her back to bed without saying much more than, “it’s bed time now, I love you, go to sleep.” The minute of course I closed the door, she’s pop back up but she couldn’t get out of the room. I would do the same routine a max of three times and the last time saying, “this is the last time mommy is coming in here tonight”. Then I would go downstairs. For three nights she wailed at the gate like something possessed screaming, “OPEN THE GATE!!”. I half expected her head to spin around and for her to vomit pea soup, but she didn’t. The first night she cried for about 45 minutes, fell asleep on the floor and we gently put her back in bed. She didn’t get up through the night luckily. The second night it lasted about 20 minutes and the third night it lasted less than 10 minutes. The fourth night she realized she was beat and just went to sleep. It was really hard and I’m sure some people think it’s horrible to let a child cry herself to sleep, but we were desperate, and it worked. We haven’t had a sleeping issue since and that was almost 2 years ago.
We too use the baby gate! That way if my 2.5 year old can’t sleep, she can play in her room until she gets tired and usually (after we tuck her back in like 3 or 4 times) she finds her way to her bed and falls asleep.
She also asks for the hall light to be on so she can “read” (every book she owns)
I would consider getting a video monitor. I read this post from a woman saying they would lock up their son in his room and he would wander around as he pleased and would eventually fall asleep by the door every night. Since they had the video monitor, they always knew what he was up to.
I have one and love being able to see her asleep while we watch tv.
Wow, so sorry you are going through this! I also fear karma rearing its ugly head when/if hubby and I have kids – I don’t remember very much of this, but I know I slept just fine in a crib but totally rejected a toddler bed. Not only that, but I then refused to sleep alone. Until I was in 2nd grade or so. (Yeah, really. And yes, it’s embarrassing to admit on the interwebs but what can you do, I’m trying to help! If helping = making you glad that Mazzy only wants to play in your bed.) I do remember that I just kind of felt like sleeping on my own one day, and overnight started sleeping in my own bed. But again, that was when I was in 2nd grade!
So yeah, staying strong and succeeding in getting Mazzy to sleep in her own room now sounds better than what my parents went through.
I second calling Dr. B in on this one, too!
And good for you on deciding to hire someone to anchor that bookcase. I had a friend who walked in the kitchen one day to see her 3 year old daughter sitting on top of the refrigerator. The girl had apparently seen the cat hop up there, figured out how to pull out drawers to make a type of stairs, and climbed up there herself to imitate the cat. So… glad you’re getting that bookcase anchored!
I dread switching Anna to a big bed possibly more than potty training. We lucked out when my in-laws moved to Florida and left behind the brand new crib they bought for her at their house, so now she’s in that and the new baby will be in her old one. I feel lucky that she hasn’t yet decided to start climbing out – in fact, we ask her if she wants a “big girl bed” and she adamantly declares her love for her crib. Whatever, kid. Stay in that thing until you’re fifteen for all I care! Good luck with Mazzy – hopefully the novelty will wear off soon!
I have been reading your blog with interest for AGES as my little girl is just a little younger than Mazzy… (I LOVE your blog – it was the ABC song that hooked me – I had TEARS of laughter rolling down my face at work)!!! Anyway – Mazzy could be my little girl’s twin – it is crazy how similar they are! I am terrified to put Kenz in a bed (she is 2 and a half) as she will not stay in it for sure – worst sleeper ever. Our second is 10 months so I just bought a new crib (cot, I am from down under)for him .. I figure I will keep her in the cot till she is 3 and then boldly go (after seeing how Mazzy went)! She will not sleep with us – our bed is a game, she sleeps in the dark, I even have felt black out fabric on her windows, black out roller blinds AND curtains to keep out the morning light. Our house is quite small so we watch TV at night with subtitles on and have relaxing music playing in her room. SHEESH! Good luck – I cannot wait to see how it all goes and thanks for sharing your stories!
With our half-pint, the first several weeks in his big boy bed were a constant up and down, in bed and out, every night at least 10 times. Now he stays in bed (almost) every night until morning. The trick? Two weeks of endless patience. When he came out of bed, regardless of his excuse (except for potty needs, which creates a whole other problem) my response was always simply “Goodnight Half-pint. I love you” until he finally gave up and went to bed for good. After a good 2 weeks of that he just gave it up altogether. Don’t get me wrong – those were 2-3 weeks of the most patience I have ever been able to muster (especially on the 10th time in a given night) but it finally worked. Good luck!
Oh yeah…and I also stopped keeping the TV on in the living room until he was asleep – he was much less likely to get up if he didn’t think he was missing anything.
Okay, my two cents: you are too freaking interesting at night. Be less interesting and she may power down easier. I’m not kidding. Be as monotone, sluggish, and boring as possible. Keep words to a minimum. If possible. 🙂
It would have been easier to get a cheap (not designer) crib on c-list and have two cribs for a while. I kept my girl in her crib until she was 2 1/2 when she figured out that she could climb out. It took her exactly two nights in the big girl bed to realize she had total freedom and she never took another nap again. Ever. By bed time she was so damn sleepy that she only got up several dozen times saying she was not tired…before passing out. I hate big kid beds and if I ever have another child I am keeping them in a crib until they go to college. Two-year-olds need naps like mommy needs xanax
I am living your life. Just in Louisiana. We use a $10 pressure mount gate a la the kind used for tiny dogs.
Good luck and godspeed.
wow, this describes my daughter to a T (especially the not going to sleep until hours after we lay her down). she just started kindergarten a couple of weeks ago, and now she falls asleep almost instantly when we put her to bed. its amazing what having to get up at 5:45 – 6am will do to a child’s sleep schedule!
Admit it, you were a little smug about what a good sleeper you had, weren’t you? Well, karma is a b!tch! 😉
Here’s the trick, and it should work if she’s at least about 2.5 and not genuinely terrified of the dark – it’s called graduated extinction. Get Ferber’s book (the updated version) or Google it – basically, each time she gets out of bed, say “it’s bed time honey” in a calm, neutral voice and walk her back to bed. She will get out again, you walk her back again. Rinse and repeat. It will take anywhere from 15 minutes if you’re lucky to 3+ hours on the first day, but the whole thing will be over in 3 days. The trick is to not engage her in anything fun, don’t fawn on her when you put her back to bed, don’t succumb to pleads or bellows, don’t get upset or frustrated, and for parental sanity, alternate which one of you takes her back to bed each time.
Oh, and you have to combine it with a very set bedtime routine, usually involving stories, books, pajamas, and tooth brushing in some consistent order. Remind her of that order at each step, and of course the last step is “go to bed (and stay there!)”. It will work … for now. When the new baby comes, you can expect some regression. You may want to include 10-15 minutes of special alone-time with you as part of the bedtime routine once Baby #2 in on the ground.
We had to switch our daughter to a toddler bed because she kicked out one of the slats in the crib. We got a night light and a door knob cover to keep her in. Now she is 4 and still doesn’t stay in bed at bedtime. I have to go in at least 3 times to tell her to get her butt back in bed.
Oh man. This sounds like my life! My older daughter is now six. She never slept in her crib (I wasn’t hardcore enough). I don’t remember at what age I finally got her to sleep solo in her bed but to this day she doesn’t always make it through the night there.
Sometimes she pulls the “I’m not tired” card on me. She’s too old for me to accept that excuse anymore. I send her back to bed with a book and she’ll read until she falls asleep. But some nights the little ninja waits until we’re in bed and somehow stealthily plants herself right between us. Gaaaaaah!
That worked well w/ one and two–three climbed the gate–it made her so furious to have a gate that she regularly trashed her entire room–she spent days in time out while I tried to figure out how I was going to make an 18 month old kid pick up every single book, toy, article of clothing and diaper that she had strewn around the room–it’s just not one size fits all–
You have to stick with it. The first time you waver in your resolve is the last time, because Mazzy will have won. No matter how many times she gets up, put her back. Don’t even talk and for gawds sake don’t look her in the eye. As soon as you engage her in any way, she’s won again. It sucks sweaty donkey balls, but it must be done. I’m right in the middle of it with #3.
DH has completely thwarted my plan to get #3 out of our bed (he comes in every night around 1 am) – he’s such a pushover. Last night, it was ‘I scawed Capn Mewica’. Night before, ‘I scewed my budda Wogin tep on me’. Seriously, if your brother was going to step on you, he’d make sure to do it during the day when you’ll be awake to scream bloody murder and beat the crap out of him for it.
The stricter you are with the bedtime routine, the happier everyone is. It needs to be done with military precision. That being said, I have failed miserably at bed time for four different kids, have gone months with sleep deprivation, and then turned into the Bedtime Nazi on a dime when I couldn’t take it anymore. The result was my kicking myself in my own @$$ for not starting the routine earlier, thereby bypassing all that suffering.
I highly recommend you streamline it now, because when the second one comes, they tend to like to scream while you are trying to read stories and sing songs to get your older one to bed
I’ll be honest. We just got another crib. I had plenty of friends who were happy to loan/give one up. So we had two cribs. And my oldest loved it. When HE went into a big boy bed (about 3/4 months after the new kid arrived) we took the old crib apart. It was HIS crib- the baby took nothing away from him from any perspective. (well, save for some sleep…but now that boy can sleep through AAAAAAANYthing.)
For him, it was easy. He would stay in the bed in the AM until someone came to get him. Magical! That lasted about 2 weeks. But he loves sleep.
My youngest transitioned to his big boy bed about 2 weeks ago. Took three days for him to figure it out. We took turns dealing with it- but the big thing for us was walking in, saying “No. It’s time for bed.” firmly. And we would say “I will come back in 10 minutes and if you’re still thirsty, I will give you a drink,” if that was the delay tactic. Sometimes it works and sometimes no. But every kid is so different. It’s WAY better a few weeks in…..but yeah, no two kids respond the same way, so take it for what it’s worth.
Oh did this story bring back memories! My youngest is now 7 but when he moved to a big bed we had to double gate his door essentially making his whole room a crib!
I know it is hard, but just remember everything is a phase and they will move on to something else that will wear you our completely.
Oh! You’re screwed.
Wait, no! When she learns to read, it will get better.
Until then, you’re screwed.
Here’s the post I told you I was writing about how to go about sleep-training and getting toddlers to stay in bed. I hope it helps. http://theycallmemummy.com/2012/09/10/sleep-training
Have a good week!
I had this issue with my 3 year old when she played out her “Mary Lou Retton” fantasy and vaulted herself over the side of her crib at age 2. So we did the big-girl-bed. What kept her in & still does is this: I come back. I put her in and then every few minutes I go back in and check on her. No story. No getting in bed. Just checking. I lengthen the time between going back in. Soon enough she’s asleep. It’s gotten so that I only have to go in once or twice now.
Just found your blog through Babble and I am loving it! Although…this post scared me. We are transitioning our 2-year old to a “big girl” bed this weekend and all my fears about this are what is happening to you. Oh. No. Anna has been a stellar sleeper the past year and I am terrified this transition is going to throw her off kilter. Time will tell…wish me luck! I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog too! Great to meet you!
We are also going through this right now. I am due in Oct. ten days before my daughter’s second birthday. We thought it would be a good idea to transition before her brother got here. Oh how I miss the crib at times! Bedtime isn’t that hard on us, but naps are a nightmare!! She has emptied out her dresser drawers and bookshelves; she will do anything not to nap some days. She was a climber or I’d just put the crib back up. The only advice I’ve found useful is that at SOME point she will out grow this phase. Good luck to you, and know that you aren’t out there alone!!
I have to tell you— this comment has helped me tremendously! When she resisted going to bed, I said “I’ll check in on you in ten minutes” and it totally worked! She laid back down and didn’t try to come out of the room. I did it three times until she was asleep. Will be trying it again tonight, thank you!
Loving your work!
Anchor the bookcase, turn out the light, close the door, and let her cry it out. Sounds kind of mean, but after 2-3 nights of it, she’ll learn that’s how it’s just going to be from now on. We were negotiating M&M’s and cheese puffs, and then it hit me…this isn’t a negotiation. This is bedtime and there’s only one way to do it…in the dark, door closed, ASLEEP. Good luck!
First, I am just discovering you and how funny you are. Thanks for the laughs. I learned a lot with baby #1. I had baby number 3 one month after baby #2 turned 3. I bought him a lovely sleigh-style toddler bed for his third birthday. “Mommy I love my crib”. With baby #1 I would have insisted, but by the time #2 was 3-years old I knew that you let sleepinag toddlers stay sleeping. He slept all night in that crib and he loved it. Baby #3 slept in our room until #2 was 3 years, 7 months, potty-trained and one night at dinner said “I want to sleep in my toddler bed tonight.” By then I seriously thought I would have to move the crib into his college dorm. He has slept in the toddler bed almost every night since. If he comes out, the door gets shut. Baby #4 will come when baby #3 is only 18 months. I will buy another used crib. I have never spent more than $80 on a crib ,and it is some of the best money I have spent. Now if I could get him to stop pulling the cute girl’s hair at daycare…
I nannied my cousins who are 4 and three (the three year olds are twins) do that two. Mainly the four year old because she thinks it’s unfair that she doesn’t have anyone to sleep with in her room. What i usually had to do is dim the light after the three stories (one which I had summarized because it WILL be the longest Winnie the Pooh story known to man) and then tell her I was going to go check on her sisters and I’d be back, but to stay in bed. I pretty much just don’t come back for a while. I’d go check on her sisters then grab a snack from the kitchen, and watched some tv with my Uncle. By the time I got back 10-20 minutes tops. She would have been still enough to actually fall asleep.
Not to be overly critical, as i had 3 children in 4-1/2 years and was completely unhinged mentall for about 2 years after no. 3, but…i think 18 months is a little young to move to a big bed. My son has done this with their baby, who went to bed every night with zero problems. Now, nightmare. What’s the rush? They had no reason to move her.
Amen, sistah. Forevermore.
Last grandmother comment. My youngest granddaughter was 2 in July. She talks pretty well. For no reason they took her out of her crib before she was 2. Until,then they had zero problems with nap or bedtime. Maybe a little rocking and a story..end of routine.
She was at my house the other day and out of nowhere, said, “daddy lock bedroom door. I cry.” Apparently they got so desperate this is what they resorted to. I normally stay out of their business, don’t comment on their parenting style or interfere in ANY way. However, after hearing this, and remembering being afraid at night i chewed his ass and spit it out! He’s assured me they don’t do this any more.
point is..if you think locking them in in any way is ok, i respectfully beg to differ. Done.
That is exactly what I did with my daughter, and it only took one night of being trapped in the crib again to make her want to sleep in her new toddler bed.