How old was your little one when you transitioned them out of the crib? It was just about a month ago for us, right before “D” turned two years old. Yup, you heard that right. He wasn’t even two yet but we were already struggling with him trying to climb out of the crib. He also got into this really bad habit of waking up extremely early and then not wanting to go to bed at night. The moment he would wake up we’d have to go in and get him because he would start to scream and cry and immediately try to climb out of bed. We would then bring him into bed with us to fall back asleep because 5:15 am is way too early for me to get up. BAD BAD BAD idea. He would also have a meltdown at night when we would put him to bed. Not entirely sure why as he had always been so easy to put to bed before? We figured 1) maybe he simply wasn’t tired OR 2) maybe he was he scared to go to bed for some reason OR 3) did he just want to stay up with mommy and daddy and lay with us on the couch.
My husband and I soon came to realize #3 was it. He had made staying up later into a game (man those little ones are smarter than we give them credit for). As much as I would LOVE to keep him downstairs with us, cuddled up on the couch and falling asleep in my arms, after 8 pm is mommy and daddy time. We get to pour ourselves a glass or two of wine and watch some of our favorite TV shows. Not to mention, that’s our time to clean up from the evening, do dishes and get things together for the next day.
So one Friday evening I brought home a convertible wood bedrail from work. My husband and I had decided if we were going to play hard ball it would have to start on a Friday so we had the whole weekend to try and catch up on lost sleep. So when we got home that night we introduced the bedrail to “D” and explained to him that because he’s turning two soon that he now gets to sleep in a big boy bed. He was very excited because we let him help us put the bedrail together, as well as help remove a side rail, the bumper and add in a big boy pillow and blanket. He climbed in and out of bed several times all excited. It was very cute!
Later that night we went about our bedtime routine as we had done before he got into this bad habit (small snack, milk, a little TV to unwind, teeth brushing, book reading and some snuggling). We tucked him in, said I love you, goodnight and we’ll see you in the morning. We reassured him that we were going to be right downstairs and how proud mommy and daddy were of him, and all that other good stuff. Shut the light off (nightlight on) and closed the door. The screaming started right away. I won’t get into too much detail but Friday and Saturday night were disasters. Sunday was better, and by Monday we were back to normal. Thank god. He screamed and cried for about an hour both Friday and Saturday night, broke the doorknob cover off the door the 1st night, woke up several times in the middle of both nights screaming but in the end I feel like we’re in the clear. He has since re-learned how to fall asleep on his own, loves his big boy bed and goes upstairs to bed with no issue. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely horrible hearing him so sad and both nights I sat outside his door in tears but I fought through not going in there and knowing “D,” that was the right way to go about it.
I hope this helps anyone maybe going through this, about to go through it or can give those already having gone through it a little chuckle. Until next time…