My DS is 21.5 mos and last night, right at bedtime (impeccable timing, as ever), he learned how to open the doorknob on his bedroom door. So I'm in a state of "what do I do now?"
Background: After a wakeful infanthood, he transitioned from co-sleeping to the crib in his own room very peacefully around 11mos, and he dropped his last 1-2 wakeups and started sleeping through the night. Aside from the 18-month sleep regression (6 weeks), he's been a great sleeper ever since. He climbed out of his crib at 19mos, and we transitioned him to a twin mattress on the floor, which he loves and does well with. He has put himself to sleep - first with a bottle of milk, then with a bottle of water, now with just himself and his blanket - since he was about 12 mos. We have a consistent bedtime routine, and at the end, Daddy takes him to bed, sings two songs, and then daddy says "night night" and leaves the room. DS plays for 5 min-20 mins, then rolls over and goes to sleep.
Until last night.
Last night at bedtime, we attempted the "every time he gets up, just put him back in bed" technique. We made it for two hours before mommy and daddy were simply exhausted (DD has a cold and mommy has been nursing all night long for the past 4 days). Daddy finally decided to bring a pillow and blanket in and sleep with DS, who then just wanted to play with Daddy. DH tried to sneak out when DS was sleeping, but DS woke up screaming. Needless to say, DH did not have a good night.
I suppose we could gate the door or disable the knob with a sock or a childproofing device, but my instinct is to not do that. We got advice after he climbed out of the crib to put him in sleep sacks so he couldn't move his legs or to buy a crib tent so he would be trapped inside, and that sort of approach just seemed so backward to me. Like a regression into babyhood instead of a step forward toward "big kid."
But I'm not sure we have the stamina to do the "every time he gets up, just put him back in bed" thing 1000 times for half the night.
Thoughts or advice?