My little guy is 22 months old. Two weeks ago he completely mastered the art of escaping from his crib and play pen. Before this even happened he was already going through a phase of screaming and crying when we lay him down in his crib, when for months I would walk him into his room cuddling and he would say "bed" and would go to sleep peacefully. He is an EXTREMELY HYPER toddler. I feel that he is not at all ready for a toddler bed and I am totally terrified of those crib tents. Sooo....
For safety reasons we converted his crib into a toddler bed, baby proofed the room again, took all toys out, & bought a gate for the door. For the last week we have been using the Super Nanny sleep technique. I do not think its working, and do not believe it will work if we stick to it.
We have been in his room for 2 hours every night putting him back into his bed over 200 times. My husband did it for the last few nights because I have back problems. I took a turn last night & I realized it has become a fun game for him! Out of the corner of my eye I could see him creeping to the end of the bed with a smirk on his face, get to the floor, then when I would go to put him back he would jump back into the bed and laugh! He is so energetic, I mean all day he never stops moving, NEVER willingly sits down. I think he will make this new "fun game" his new bed time ritual.
I'm thinking of just saying good night shutting the door, letting him cry it out and hope he eventually gos in the bed. Him screaming & pounding at the door sounds so cruel to me...and then I'm just picturing him pulling all the dresser drawers out, climbing to the top and breaking his neck! He does think he is cliff hanger & gets into every thing constantly!
He is a difficult, hard to deal with child as it is...and this bed time issue is really taking a toll on my husband and I. Ive been reading blogs and articles and cant find any advice for a child of his nature. I'm feeling very lost Thank you for making it to the end of this long post. Any advice or experience with a similar situation or child would be so greatly appreciated
I agree with pp. Stay with him until he is asleep. If he's having trouble going to sleep, maybe he's not tired yet. Try really getting all the energy out of him to make sure he's good and tired. It's also hard around here, staying light so late. None of my kids can go to sleep until it starts getting dark.
Oh wow, your son sounds exactly like MY 22 mo DS! We had to get rid of the crib about 6 months ago when DS started climbing out of it. So now he sleeps on his crib mattress on the floor in a very baby-proofed room and YES, he does pull out the drawers and climb on this dresser if left alone.
Since you asked for general help living and loving a very active toddler I suggest the following blogs (they keep me sane!): Regarding Baby, Janet Lansbury, and Positive Parenting:Toddlers and Beyond. I try to always use the words "active" and "curious" to describe my always moving son. In my mind they help ME understand and love him more. My MIL calls DS hyper (she uses those words to describe DH as a child too) and it makes me kinda sad to see him labeled negatively when he's just being a KID. So we stress seeing his energy in a positive way.
Seems like your kiddo had a great bedtime routine going before losing his crib. Somehow, I hope you can help him back to that. I agree with the other posters about staying with him. Perhaps moving to a "big" bed means a change in dealing with bedtime. Explain to him about the change and how for a few days/weeks/months (whatever it takes), you'll be laying with him when he falls asleep. If this doesn't work, maybe he's just not sleepy enough? Maybe he needs a new lovey or a bottle/breast of warm milk.
I know DS has never adapted to a sleep routine so we start it (brush teeth, read, cuddle/nurse) and if he still seems active, we just bring him back downstairs with us. There's nothing more frustrating than spending your evening trying to keep your happy toddler in bed. We just go about or normal lives until we catch him yawning or rubbing his eyes and then off we go upstairs. Bedtime routines might work for others but DS rarely falls asleep during his, no matter when we start it.
Also, we have a baby gate in the hallway about 4 feet outside DS's room. This way we can keep the bedroom door open but he is still safe in his area. Also, do you have a baby monitor? Perhaps that would give you peace of mind to leave your DS playing in his room until he gets drowsy. And maybe some board books and stuffed animals for him to play with.
I hope that helps. Just remember: this is only a phase!!!! I remind myself all the time that DS will not need me next to him to fall asleep when he is 10 or 18 years old. Trying to love the time I have when he wants me around! Good luck!
Me: Sarah, married to: J, mommy to: C (8/10) and E (11/12)
It sounds like a lot of work but, hey, if after that time spent, he sleeps through and the struggle is over, it's worth it. Chances are that, if it works, he will learn to sleep in the new bed, go through this difficult phase and be ready to go back being an easy sleeper again. Fingers crossed!
I don't have much to complain about my toddler's sleep or overal behavior but, man, he still can't go to sleep by himself. Do not feel pressured to have your son knowing how to sleep by himself. I don't know the super nanny method. What you had before was really great and some children are easy like that but it's also pretty normal for toddlers to need help to fall sleep.
Married to, Mom to 02/00, DS 02/10, 02/13 and 07/96
I heard once of an approach to bedtime being that you gently, as you put the toddler to bed, explain to him step by step what you expect to happen.
Things like: "a bed is to stay still and rest and close your eyes... only when it's bright out you will get out of your bed"
Married to, Mom to 02/00, DS 02/10, 02/13 and 07/96
Sometimes little ones just need to be still for 5 minutes and they realize they're tired, and fall asleep. We also have our windows blacked out, I just put garbage bags on our windows behind our curtains. It seems to help our son.
Hope everything works out! God Bless. This too shall pass!
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Mama to 1 handsome boy born Nov 29/2009 and 1 beautiful girl born May 21/2013 and wife to 1 handsome man, married since Jun 9/2007.
My son is 22 months and will only go to sleep if he is rocked/worn to sleep, then layed down, OR if I lay next to him. Usually we rock him to sleep. 22 months is still young to fall asleep all by themselves.... It will just take time, but you are still going to have to comfort him down somehow for a while.
We laid with both our kids to fall asleep until they were oh, 3-1/2, 4 or so. They're 8 and 6 now and go to sleep without us, no problem. Well, they might come out and talk to us a couple times a week, but we shoo them back and they're fine on their own.
All this to say, if you lay with him now you *won't* be doing it forever. It seems like the most reasonable thing, because returning a kid 200 times, and/or a dresser climber just seems SO stressful. Laying in the dark for an hour, or even sittign in the room with im with a book and a booklight seems like a much more calming, reasonable solution. Good luck!!
Great suggestions everyone... My toddler is now 2 1/2 years old and has been in a toddler bed since 1 1/2yrs old. The transitiodn started at dinner time... After dinner, depending on weahter, we would let him have an hour of play time outside. then when we came in it was down time. we would sit on the couch and read several books. then put him in bed. (love nanny911) and did the same thing.
try this if have not already.... do a claming activity right b4 bed, bath time does not count. sing bedtime songs, read books, puzzles.... Then tuck him in, say good night, if he seems restless maybe rub is back for a few mins.then walk out of the room. Everytime he comes out of the room, say good night, tuck him in and walk right back out... give no expressions on face. keep calm. the next time, dont say nothing, just tuck him in and walk out .. do that each time... It will not hurt them if they cry themselves to sleep. My son has night where he just can't settle, so I sit and rub his back until he's almost out. Other nights, I just say our good nights and he's out. and the rest of the nights, he may get out of his bed, but there are no toys he can get into (all in closed boxes) so, he gets bored and crawls back into bed. We allow him to have a night time snack too. apple, banana, something healthy . and that seems to help too. he's just hungry and can't settle cuz of that.
I hope with all the suggestions you have gotten, something works for you and your husband. good luck!
My son is 26 months and super active and energetic as well. He started climbing out around 19 months and what I did was buy a large sleep sack and this kept him covered as well as kept him from being able to climb out of his crib! He loves his "blankie" and doesn't try to climb out anymore. When we transition him out of his crib when his sister is born, I plan to put a mattress on the floor, super baby proof his room (likely no dresser) and put a gate across the door so we can see what he is getting into. Hoping he will tire himself out and eventually fall asleep in bed. Right now he falls asleep beautifully with the door closed but I could totally see him LOVING the game of in and out of bed lol He does that when we remove him from play after he hits us or repeatedly does something dangerous...