Originally Posted by hakeber
Well, if she is sleeping, why bother to lock the door? I don't understand.
If she sleeps when you are not in her room, and she wakes and calls for you, why do think you will need to lock the door? Does she sleep walk?
If you are worried she will wake up and not call for you, or wander the house, I think it might be better to have a baby gate you can block the house off with, or maybe an alarm system that would wake you if she left her room, but not terrorize her?
DD is one of those kids who needs time alone to wind down before sleep. We have our routine together, which ends with a nursing session, but *she* is the one who tells me she's ready to go into the crib and for me to get out :) I've heard her singing and talking to herself for as long as 30 minutes after I stepped out of the room. She may be just a little thing, but I respect that she, too, needs some alone time. If I stay in the room with her, she simply will not fall asleep. If the door is open and she can see me outside doing things, she will not fall asleep. She's also a super-light sleeper, who needs total quiet and darkness to sleep and stay asleep. I've already explained above why I think a baby gate wouldn't be a safe idea and I think an alarm system would drive us and the neighbors totally batty :) !
Originally Posted by hakeber
so then how will she be able to get out and "wander the house" while you are sleeping? Won't you wake up if you hear her walking around?
I don't think DD is the only child capable of mischief without making a lot of noise :) I once shared a room with her while staying at my in-law's house and after a rather long, physically painful (imagine books and other solid objects slammed into your face, while you try your best to keep your eyes closed), and torturous session of me pretending to be asleep, I woke up a little later to find her clawing and peeling HUGE strips of the wallpaper off our room wall. I won't go into a lengthy description of why it isn't possibly to make our entire apartment completely safe for a toddler to explore at night without adult supervision, but I do feel it is safer and more practical to make her room completely safe and keep her in there. Okay, one example: We have a rather large shelving unit in our kitchen that isn't secured to the wall and that DD has attempted to climb more than once. If I weren't there to stop her, she'd pull the entire thing down on top of herself and it would cause her considerable injuries. I'd also have to nail every chair and stool to the floor to prevent her from climbing and reaching things she isn't supposed to.
Originally Posted by lovepickles
Personally I never liked putting my child in a crib, it felt too much like a cage. So we co-slept. I realize your kid is like the energizer bunny so you resorted to these type of restraints. All kids are different. I accept that some parents use this as a safe/sanity device so I won't comment too much on that. I used to put our daughter in a bouncer right next to the shower while I washed my hair ... so i get the need for conveniences such as this ...
But hear me out on this point:
Using a restraining device is appropriate in certain circumstances like driving in an automobile and providing a safe spot so mom/dad can sleep, shower, etc if need be. It isn't the best option but if spare hands or conscious minds aren't available it is acceptably resorted to. However, when a child reaches certain milestones they must be granted additional liberties. For example I now shower with my child in the bathroom with me, but she is free to roam around with toys on the floor, no more bouncer. Yes she has slipped once or twice and completely unwound a roll of toilet paper but she got over it, as did I. It wasn't fun having her tear up the bathroom but that is kind of what kids do. She didn't do it after a few times. By locking your daughter in her room at night you are only delaying the inevitable escape and communicating a sense of mistrust.
We currently co sleep with our 16 month old daughter on a mattress laid out on the floor. When she started walking it was tough convincing her not to dash out of bed and run around the bedroom but in the end i just laid down with open ears and let her go. She eventually wandered into bed with me and now it is not an issue. She knows she can get up and run around whenever she wants, so the thrill is gone.
The best advice I can give you is to secure your exterior doors but leave the interior as it is during the day. Your child needs to learn how to wind down and be able to self regulate her sleepiness. Eventually she will realize that a dark living room is boring and wander back to her sleeping place or just pass out on the floor. Consider that it may be your agitation that fuels her late night excitement.
I would alternatively suggest that you get a chime of some sort hooked to her door so you know she is up and about. Let her roam but keep your ears and eyes open and act like you are just very very sleepy. Perhaps lay down on the couch and gently supervise for a night or two but don't interfere. It may be hell for a few days but you provide your child with a sense of dignity by treating her as a human being and teaching her about how everyone else decides to go to sleep.
Please reconsider locking your child up at night.
I think your argument makes a lot of sense, but I also believe that every freedom we grant a child should come at the right time. When that right time is, of course, is probably something that will never receive a unanimous vote. Look at legalized drinking, for example. Some kids are definitely ready earlier for certain freedoms than others. Truthfully, I only intend to use a lock on my daughter's door for the time it takes her to grow comfortable with her new sleeping arrangements. But I think an important thing to remember is that, as mothers, we probably know our own children and what they can and can't handle.
I've received tons of criticism for things like continuing to breastfeed my daughter on demand, using a carrier with her when we're out and she doesn't want to walk, not putting her in daycare even though I'm told that what she "needs" is to be with kids her own age. I think, on this forum, it's great that people are comfortable and frank with their opinions--and I totally appreciate that everything that's been written has been out of concern for the welfare of my child--but I also hope people will try not to be so quick to judge and also assume that just because something works for them that it should for every other family and child.
I do love hearing all the varying opinions, but I hope we can keep this thread friendly and open-minded!