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Calling all parents (bedtime advice)

Aberwacky's picture

Boy, kids are different.  Grant is unperturbed by change (but wears his heart on his sleeve).  Hugo likes regularity, but has feelings of steel.  Even taking him into daycare at a different time gets his day off to a bad start.


So, here's our immediate issue: we're trying to transition him from his crib to a toddler bed, and it's not going well.  He really likes the idea of the toddler bed and wants to sleep there, but as soon as he's left alone in it, he becomes genuinely afraid, starts crying and gets out of bed no matter how many times we calmly put him back in and comfort him.  If we sit there with him he's fine but he won't fall asleep. He does share a room with Grant, (as he did when in the crib) but that doesn't seem to help. He's 2-1/2. (We've left him in a crib this long because he falls asleep after we do and, well, he's safer in the crib!)


For now, we're putting him back in the crib, thinking it's just too much change for him.  He calls for his big bed a few times, then settles down to sleep.


Suggestions for helping him make the transition are welcome.  We tried naps only, and he's fine for nap but not at night. 


On the other hand, Hugo decided two weeks ago that he wanted to use the potty, and has been doing great.  He even stayed dry last night in his diaper, and then wanted to use the potty first thing when he got up!  Maybe this will spur Grant to get rid of the nighttime pullups, LOL.  He's very competitive, and didn't like it at all that Hugo stayed dry at night before he did!


Leigh


 


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
msm-s's picture

(post #52403, reply #1 of 30)

Man, it seems like a million yrs ago we went through that, and DS is only just turning 8 in a few weeks!
We had the same problem and on advice of ex-DH's teacher colleagues, we did the "cry it out" method, modified slightly to be a little more gradual. I must say, it does work. Took 3 nights to get the new routine started. Of course, there are times when you backslide, but at least it sets the precedent for the new era.
good luck!

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #2 of 30)

We did the "cry it out" for the crib transition, which worked.  However, how do you keep them in the bed (he couldn't get out of the crib, so that worked)?  We must have put him back in bed 20 times each night we tried!


Leigh


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Gretchen's picture

(post #52403, reply #3 of 30)

I assume there is a bed rail to reassure him he won't fall out.


I don't think our grands had any trouble. I know that DGS had a flashlight in his bed--to read when he wanted to.  Maybe that would reassure him.  ;o)


Gretchen
Gretchen
roz's picture

(post #52403, reply #4 of 30)

Leigh it's been a long time since I had toddlers that went from cribs to beds, but I wouldn't force him to change if he doesn't want to do it now. If there is room for two beds (or more) in the bedroom, let him have the crib. What harm? You feel safer and so does he. He will transition when he's ready. He sees his brother doing things and he'll come round. What you want is a good nights sleep. Good luck!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Gretchen's picture

(post #52403, reply #5 of 30)

Maybe put the side of the crib down?

Gretchen

Gretchen
BoofyQ's picture

(post #52403, reply #6 of 30)

I'll be interested to see responses, since we'll face this transition sometime soon.  (without the benefit of an older sib though!)


I have heard that it's unwise to combine multiple transitions at one time -- such as potty training (even if it's his idea) and crib-to-bed.


My gut feeling, supported by a couple of friends who have just done this with their own toddlers, is to let them cry it out.  If needed, silently walk him back to his big bed and tuck him in, and leave again.  From my small sampling of friends, it has been 100% effective, even if it takes 30 return trips the first night and 15 the second.  By the 3rd or 4th night, the transition is complete.


Ask me again when we actually do it at our house though ;-)

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #7 of 30)

I think we'll try it again when we have some vacation time scheduled so that the lack of sleep for all involved will have minimal impact, LOL!


Leigh


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
nexus's picture

(post #52403, reply #8 of 30)

I never let my son "cry it out". Ever. If you have room, why not try putting the crib and beds side by side with the crib rail down so he can be in either? Just a thought. I would tie the bed and crib legs together though.


Cheryl

MadMom's picture

(post #52403, reply #9 of 30)

My mother talked for years about the time she and dad decided to take me off my middle of the night feeding.  Said they would put a bottle under my pillow (hey, this was a thousand years ago, babies slept on pillows) and I would wake up, guzzle it down, then throw it across the room.  They finally decided not to do that anymore.  Said I woke up, pitched the fit to end all fits when I couldn't find it, screamed and cried for what seemed like forever, and finally went back to sleep.  Never looked for it after that.  I understand, I guess, parents who don't let their kids cry, but sometimes the little ones have to learn that they don't get everything they want in life.  If a child is old enough to climb out of a crib, they are probably old enough to climb over the side and really be hurt.  At some point, they need to make the transition.  That's why motherhood ain't for sissies!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

nexus's picture

(post #52403, reply #10 of 30)

I think we can agree to disagree here. I favor attatchment parenting and I think its worked pretty well for us. Everybody's different.


Cheryl

MadMom's picture

(post #52403, reply #11 of 30)

No disagreement.  I've said before and I will say it again, every child is different, as is every parent.  You need to find what works for you and for your child.  If you're happy with the results and he is also, then who am I, or anyone, to question the method?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

madnoodle's picture

(post #52403, reply #12 of 30)

Ugggh.  I had one kid who was a nightmare to transition from crib to bed, and another who was completely unfazed by it.  With DD (#1) who HAD to get out of the crib b/c her brother's birth was imminent, the issue was not fear, but just delighting in the freedom of being able to get out of bed and run around the house all evening. It was horrible, esp. since I was in the late stages of pregnancy, and then in the early stages of having an infant.  We tried all kinds of things, and nothing worked.  I remember confiding to DH that, if I thought I could get away with it, I'd duct-tape her to her bed.  With that, he hit on an idea:  when she got up, he'd calmly walk her back to her bed, and then lie down beside her, throwing one big leg and one big arm over her, so she was (gently) pinned down.  She hated it.  After a couple of nights, all he needed to do was give her the hairy eyeball and she'd run back to her room screaming "Don't 'quish me Dad!  Don't 'quish me!"  I know Dr. Ferber wouldn't approve, but we were desperate.


One of my friends couldn't get her second child to settle in a bed, so she put her and her older brother together in a double bed.  Older brother wasn't thrilled, but it worked. 


Good luck--you have my sympathy.


What if there were no hypothetical questions?


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #15 of 30)

Grant has offered to let Hugo sleep in his bed, (he is such a sweetie), but when we've tried that, it ends up in a fight because Hugo will start kicking, etc.  Hugo, at 2, loves to get his big brother's dander up, and already knows how to push his buttons.


Sigh.  Parenting is not for sissies!


Leigh


 


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
DianeGaye's picture

(post #52403, reply #13 of 30)

You said that the new bed worked for naps but not at night. How about a nightlight ?

Gretchen's picture

(post #52403, reply #14 of 30)

I would guess a night light is de rigeur already.  I get so amused when I baby sit for DGS at his house--or he stays here with us.  The light in his closet is on and the louvered doors closed, and the hall door is ajar "just right". Here it is the bathroom light (down the short hall) and the correct door opening!  In his newly decorated room he has a very cool "moon" light in his ceiling fan.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Canuck's picture

(post #52403, reply #16 of 30)

JMO, but I wouldn't set the two kids up together. We didn't do this but youngest DD even now, at 12, will ask to sleep with a sister or me if she's scared. It isn't fair on the older sib, who also needs her sleep.


I'd keep him in the crib until the "big boy" draw is something you can exploit to get him to stay in the bed.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #17 of 30)

I think we'll keep him in the crib for awhile longer.   Since he wants to be in the big boy bed (and it is a cool race car toddler bed a friend gave us), he gets into the bed for story-time, then we put him in his crib to go to sleep.  Don't know if that's the best way, but it's worked the past few nights. 


Grant often wants to have Hugo share his bed for naps, but it's as much so they can play as anything else, and it rarely works out (re the kicking and fighting).


Leigh


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Canuck's picture

(post #52403, reply #18 of 30)

I don't know if there's any best way with anything parental :) If you've figured out something that's working, and doesn't involve less sleep for anyone, it's a winner!

RuthWells's picture

(post #52403, reply #19 of 30)

We didn't have trouble with this particular issue, so I don't have lots of ideas. I assume you've tried a reward system for him staying in the bed all night? A sticker chart with a little gifty or treat for collecting a pre-set number of stickers was very effective with Q & G when they were little.

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com



www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #20 of 30)

We haven't tried that kind of reward system, but Hugo is more internally motivated than externally motivated so far.  (Some might call him persistant and independent, sime might just say stubborn, LOL).


Praise and attention are the best external motivations for him when they work, but it hasn't worked with the bed transition.  He may just not be ready for it.


Leigh


 


 


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
madnoodle's picture

(post #52403, reply #22 of 30)

How old is he?  Have you moved all his "good stuff" into his bed?  (Cute blankets, stuffies, books, whatever he had piled up in his crib.)

What if there were no hypothetical questions?


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #23 of 30)

He's 2-1/2.  He's got his favorite "babies" and those moved with him to the new bed.  (He's not picky about which one, but he comforts himself with a stufffed animal when going to sleep--must have a tag to hold between his fingers, but that's the only requirement, LOL).


Leigh


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
roxanna's picture

(post #52403, reply #25 of 30)

must have a tag to hold?  have you got any of the Taggies toys or blankets?  they are terrific, and might intrigue him enough to use the big boy bed with a Taggies companion as a special new treat... =)

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #28 of 30)

Taggies: I'd never heard of them and had to google. 


OMG--if Hugo had one of those he would be in tag heaven.  On the other hand, he might just go into happiness overload, LOL. Those are right up his alley.  He might just have one of those blankets or plush toys in his future. 


When desperate, and no tagged toy in reach, he's been known to use the tag from a t-shirt.  It really does serve to comfort him, and hey, I'm all for what works.


Leigh


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
madnoodle's picture

(post #52403, reply #29 of 30)

That's adorable--I love those little kid fetishes.  My friend's daughter had a thing about earlobes--her own, or anyone else's.  If you sat down beside her, you'd have your earlobe fondled.


What if there were no hypothetical questions?


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

assibams's picture

(post #52403, reply #30 of 30)

He sounds just like Colin, he who couldn't be bribed.
I agree with you re: letting Hugo sleep in his crib. Obviously he himself isn't quite ready yet. And just like he managed to use the potty, he'll let you know whenever he's ready to sleep a night in the big bed.

In a few years down the road it won't matter at all, when and why he made the transition from crib to bed ;-)


Resist the temptation to over-clean. After all, how many times do you need to kill the same germ.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

JillElise's picture

(post #52403, reply #21 of 30)

How about a new "big bed" sleep toy? A protector of sorts, a brave stuffie whose job it is to make sure the bed is safe, and to stay there all night keeping the bed safe? It could come with a matching blanket, a safe blanket. With a nightly ritual of turning on the nightlight, putting on the blanket, and tucking the brave stuffie in, maybe ...?

Florida2's picture

(post #52403, reply #24 of 30)

For what its worth, both our kids stayed in their crib until they were three years old. (Whats the rush, unless the child is ready, or dangerously climbing out of crib)-- then we put these rails on the side of the twin bed and used the wall for the other side of the bed so the child felt "safe" in the twin bed (you can buy them at a store). One child asked to have the mattress on the floor so she wasnt so" high up" and we did that until she felt ready to have the mattress on the box springs. Good Luck.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52403, reply #26 of 30)

Hugo was starting to climb out of his crib a few weeks ago, which was part of why we were transitioning him.  Since we've moved him back to his crib, he's staying in it, though.


 


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
madnoodle's picture

(post #52403, reply #27 of 30)

We had a rail for DD, but she just used it as a piece of gymnastics apparatus to catapult herself out of bed.  With DS we got smart and put him on a mattress on the floor.


What if there were no hypothetical questions?


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?