DD (2.5) is obsessed with climbing on top of her brother's bunk bed - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-24-2012, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She just figured out how to get up there by herself and now I cannot keep the girl down on the floor; she's running in there every 5 minutes. And not only does she love being up there, but she keeps standing up, jumping and bouncing all around, which is making DH and I more than a little nervous. yikes.gif I am telling her "Do not jump, sit, or bounce around on your butt" -- and she is totally ignoring me. I want to encourage her independence and usually am pretty good about NOT being a helicopter mom wink1.gif, but it does seem all too easy for her to trip and go flying over the edge. We live in an old house and ds's door does not latch closed, so she can and does push it open very easily. I'm kinda considering having DH disassemble the bed temporarily: the ladder is attached, so the whole bed would have to come down, or I could possibly think of something to put there to block her climbing up unless I am available to supervise. WWYD? Am I being too much of a worry-wort?


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Old 01-24-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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Two quick thoughts:

 

Let her climb. If she does it enough, she'll get it out of her system.

 

Tell her what she SHOULD do up there, not what she shouldn't. "Stay seated" or "stay on your knees" has a much higher likelihood of success. If it were my child, if she still bounced, jumped or whatever, then I'd take her down and say "we can try again later. You need to stay safe up there."

 

Hopefully this too will pass in a week or two.


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Old 01-24-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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Can you remove the ladder during the daytime? (some easily unhook).  Or reconfigure the ladder to put on hooks at the top?

 

Or... something my friend is planning to do because of the same issue (2yo sister wanting to climb 9yo brother's loft bed) is to DIY a kind of "ladder guard" like they have at IKEA.  It's this clear plastic thingie that they put over the ladders there so kids can't climb on the top bunks at the store (not available to buy... just to prevent lawsuits!).  Of course there's no reason why it has to be clear plastic.  She's just going to go to the hardware store and see what they have and brainstorm from there.

 

Or... put a sliding lock or hook and eye lock on the *outside* of ds's door, at a height that she can't reach.  Keep it locked unless someone is in there supervising.

 

FWIW I don't think you're over-reacting or being a worry-wort.  I think most top bunks are a bit too high for me to be comfortable with a toddler playing trampoline on it.


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Old 01-24-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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I don't think you're being a worry wart, either.  I would be really scared of a head injury.


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Old 01-24-2012, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 Lynn, thanks for the reminder to make it more positive :-)...I do tell her what she can do but I usually throw in the "No, don't do this" first. Something to work on...

I know she will get it out of her system in a relatively short time, it's just extremely inconvenient and not always possible for me to drop what I'm doing and run in there every time I hear her go in...that's if I even hear her! I'll have to discuss the other ideas with DH and see what he thinks. It's definitely not possible for me to remove the ladder, but perhaps we can cover it or block it somehow. Thanks, mamas.


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Old 01-25-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Do you have a little sliding board? If not, getting one might distract her from the bunk bed and fill a similar climbing challenge. My son's friend has a half height bunk bed with a slide. It gives little ones incentive to come down instead of hanging out at the top (climbing down is harder than going up). We have a small vintage wood slide with a square base with railings on top which my toddler niece loves.

 

I have a door that didn't latch because the house has settled so the pokey-outey thing that is worked by the doorknob doesn't fit into the hole in the door frame. I was able to attach a scrap of metal to the door frame so it could latch.


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Old 01-25-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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I do not think your concerns are unfounded, bunk beds need a safety policy when you have them at home.

 

We have a bunk bed for our children (two active boys!) have a chance of moving to his own bed/room when he would be ready. If he would be happy to sleep in the regular bed, he would get to sleep in the lower bunk. So the bed was around and standing there unused for quite some while but the 2 year old never happened to be alone in the room and was never really tempted to climb on the lower or higher part of the bunk bed. We've also always been telling the upper bunk is for much older children and we considered to take away (if possible) the attached ladder or the upper bunk if we would be concerned. He had a third under-the-bunk-drawer-bed to sleep on which he also preferred to the bunk for a while. We did hang some kind of a cover on the ladder and stuffed that side with somew pillows to avoid climbing or getting trapped and our little boy did fine in the lower bunk from about age 2,5 I believe, and we added a bed guard on the outer side and stuffing on the wall side for the time being. We always kept on stressing the upper bunk was  only for children from age 7 or older and ready to sleep on the upper bed, and that it was NEVER meant to be a place for play or anything else than sleep. Eventually when our youngest passed his fourth birthday he moved to the drawer bed. He is a very active child and sometimes he would climb the upper bunk which he know was not allowed/safe, but we were immediately aware when that happened it would be when he would be in a high energy mood) and he would come off. They both were allowed to try the ladder once in a while with the help of mum or dad, especially going down (I even had to practice again as an adult hıw it worked!) so that by the time one of them WOULD sleep on it, they would be experienced in climbing on and off. The eldest did not want to sleep there untill he was 7 years and the youngest was happy to move to the lower bunk. The eldest sleeps facing the fully enclosed non-ladder side of the bed. There is sufficient light at nighttime to get on andoff. when he's ill he can sleep on the drawer bed. He sometimes forgets to crwal on his knees and stands while getting in but he will learn eventually. When we have other children over and the children go and play in the room, I always accompany them reminding all children present that the upper bed is private territory of my eldest son and for safety reasons only for his sleeping there and so not allowed for play or for anyone to go up there.  And, to be honest, when the purchased bed actually stood in our room (actually, initially we wanted it constructed as two seperate beds when the kids would be little, but the workmen did not wish to do this since they knew only how to construct it one particular way, as a bunk), I found it very high above the ground and a bit scary indeed. However, in the first place we did opt for the bunk bed in regard to space-saving and it is really ideal for the long narrow room we have for the children with now space for a desk, cupboards and some play area.

So, I'm really very careful around the bunk bed. But I am also comfortable now about my sons knowing the dangers and the rules. We have few real rules that truly matter at home, so that the children also ralise that the rules that we give most importance too, are about the very serious issue of safety.

 

Now, if I had the situation of a little one challenging herself (or a parent ;-) to get up there regularly or to sneak in unsupervised, I would also seriously make work of either taking the ladder out/taking the beds apart or preventing her access to the older sibling's room. We used a child safety gate in the children's room's doorway to prevent them going downstairs in the night/dark unsupervised untill a certain age, since a guard rail at the top of the stairs was not possible. Such safety gate could be a way to keep a toddler out, too, while yor older child may be able to open and close it easily by her/himself. Or a special lock on the door could help, or lock the door in daytime when no-one needs to be there untill your little one ages a bit more (2 is a tricky age for discovering...). And provide enough other opportunity to climb and jump elsewhere, foresee a mattress on the floor in a room where you're next to her to use as a trampoline (we did this too), etc. I would personally not be tempted to let a child get accustomed to climbing the bed as fun and play, since it is not for play, but maybe when she's four start to let her learn master the ladder with your help so that she could climb the bed by the time she would use it.

 

Good luck!

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:53 PM
 
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What about putting a baby gate in the doorway of his room when you can't supervise in there? Then you can have a special time during the day when she can go in and climb with you watching to make sure she doesn't fly off, but the rest of the time she can't sneak in there?

 

And I agree with PP to get something else that is more safe for her to climb on -- maybe she can be redirected, especially if there's a slide involved. (It's worth a try; I know my DS wouldn't have been deterred, but I always got redirection advice on this forum when he was that small so it must be working for SOMEONE.)

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Old 01-27-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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I would imagine that a 2 1/2-year-old would be able to climb over a baby gate. I know mine could. I would just remove the ladder and if that didn't work, I'd take down the whole top bunk.

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Old 01-27-2012, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

What about putting a baby gate in the doorway of his room when you can't supervise in there? Then you can have a special time during the day when she can go in and climb with you watching to make sure she doesn't fly off, but the rest of the time she can't sneak in there?

 

And I agree with PP to get something else that is more safe for her to climb on -- maybe she can be redirected, especially if there's a slide involved. (It's worth a try; I know my DS wouldn't have been deterred, but I always got redirection advice on this forum when he was that small so it must be working for SOMEONE.)



Lol, I think this will work. I cannot see DD climbing over a baby gate...she is for the most part pretty cautious, except in the case of having seen her brother scale the ladder of his bunk bed, and now showing off her newly acquired skill ;-) ~ and DS can easily get over a gate, so it won't keep him out. It's worth a shot, anyway! Thank you.


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Old 01-27-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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Just make sure she doesn't see him climb over the baby gate. Then you're done. ;-)

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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I really like what Lynn said at the top of this thread.  I know it's inconvenient, but if you can stress how to safely be in the top bunk, she will learn what she can and can't do.  I've found that my children figure out how to climb up there around age 2, and it's all they want to do for awhile.  Once they get to do it for a few days, it seems to lose its novelty.  All 4 of my older children have learned to navigate the bunkbed safely by about age 3.  My littlest one (age 22 months) is just now beginning to be interested in climbing to the top bunk.  So far, I've been able to distract her so that we haven't had the challenge of keeping her safe yet.  FWIW, we removed the ladder long ago, and they just learned how to climb up the ends.  They also climb all the gates at Grandpa's farm, the slides at the playground, etc.  My kids love to climb, and I've had to really learn to stay calm about the whole thing.  

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