Before putting J to bed the other night, he announced, “A crib is like a bike.” He’s two, he says crazy things – so we just nodded our heads and moved on with the night. That is, until we checked on him to find him straddling the side of the crib (like a bike) peddling his feet.
It was an aha moment – so that’s how a crib is like a bike.
It was also a terrifying moment – realizing it was only a matter of time before he figured out that “bike,” like a real bike would be the key to transportation during nap time and bedtime.
And sadly, I was right. The next day, he climbed out of his bed during nap time. He ran out to the living room and yelled, “Hi Mommy!” He climbed out again, again and again.
Nap time was cut short with a trip for a toddler bed, furniture anchors (for when he has free access to climb on anything in his room) and a baby gate (so he doesn’t have free access to the rest of the house).
We’ve made it through two nights successfully (the word successfully used loosely).
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this advice for the terrifying transition to a toddler bed:
- Repeat the following steps
1. Tell your child to stay in bed until you come for him/her
2. If she gets out of bed, quietly take them back to bed and remind them to stay put
3. When he/she gets back in bed, reward them by telling them they’re being a big girl or big boy
4. Tell him/her you’ll be back to check on them
- Prepare yourself for a bedtime struggle, you may have to repeat steps 1 and 2 over and over again (in our case, non-stop).
- Avoid rewarding bedtime breakouts, don’t let them stay out of bed
- Make Climbers Safer, if you want to wait to get a toddler bed put the mattress directly on the ground. Install a safety gate to keep your child from wandering when you’re not awake. Make sure you have a gate at the top of the stairs. Install childproof latches on dressers.