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Move to a big bed - how to stop night time visitations??

(38 Posts)
bronniemuldoon Mon 10-Jan-05 14:23:32

My DS is 2 yrs 3 months and as we're due to have another baby at the beginning of April we thought we'd move him to a big bed and another room now so that by the time the baby arrives he's given up ownership of his former room for the baby to have. Anyway, we decorated it really nicely over Xmas and have bought him a lovely bed and he went in it for the first time last night. It took him ages to get to sleep. He was up and down like a yoyo and in the end finally fell asleep after about an hour with DH lying on the bedroom floor next to him. I'm wondering what to do. He's never got out of his cot and was pretty good at going to sleep but now he knows he can escape I can see problems looming. He's also now on the next floor up from us at the top of the house so wondering if he'll feel a bit creepy up there all on his own. I need some advice for getting him to settle and some reassurance that we're doing the right thing. DH is adamant it's the right thing to do now (particularly as he is away for a week at the end of Jan so I'll have to be hiking up 2 flights of stairs to sort DS out on my own at 7 mths pg).

CountessDracula Mon 10-Jan-05 14:24:38

I will be watching this thread with interest as I am thinking of moving dd soon and was wondering the same thing

Tissy Mon 10-Jan-05 14:28:30

wait and see! Dd has just gone into her big bed (age 3). She never used to try and climb out of her cot (would sit and shout for us to come to her!)and so far (2 nights) has done the same thing in the bed. Last night her dummy fell on the floor, and despite being able to see it (nightlight) she still sat and yelled for assistance!

catgirl Mon 10-Jan-05 14:30:46

we found the novelty of being able to get out of bed soon wore off, our ds has been in a bed since September (when he turned 2) and after the first week has rarely come into us a night - if he wakes up he tends to cry until we go to him! Typical man?? . We also have a 'rule' that he is not allowed into our room (we are in the room next door rather than different floor though) that until he hears the man on the radio he has to stay in bed - sometimes he shouts out to us asking if the man on the radio is on yet! Added bonus at weekends, which has just started, is that we can kid him that it is still night-time when he wakes at 6:15 (Mon-Fri usual time) and we can lie-in until 7:30am - never thought I would consdier 7:30am a lie in!

brooke Mon 10-Jan-05 14:33:57

we did this move this time last year - we put a safety gate on the bedroom door to make me feel 100% happy with any roming.

For the first 2/3 weeks she often use to get out her bed and rome the room - then eventually fall asleep on the floor - then after 2/3 weeks she started getting out having a roam then getting back into bed her self - now she simply goes stright to sleep at night.

unicorn Mon 10-Jan-05 14:34:55

ds (nearly 3) has just made the move...
we did all the things like buying special new Thomas duvet etc... he has a bed guard on, and wears a sleeping bag (for warmth as well as to limit his nocturnal wanderings!)
Anyway he has been waking at least once a night and expecting to come in bed with us... and he has generally been getting his own way (well who has the energy to do cc at 2am etc?!!)
The latest attempt for us (but your ds is probably too young bronniem) is those wonderous (allegedly) sticker charts... we have some with Thomas on... so are giving it a go.
Will also watch this thread with interest.. for any other ideas.
Good luck !!

bakedpotato Mon 10-Jan-05 14:41:04

nothing radical to suggest, just...
possibly a night light (dd got scared of dark at 2 but couldn't quite vocalise it)
talking up how big children sleep in bed all night without getting up

when we transferred dd just short of 3rd bday we kept her in her grobag for a week or so for security. then we used a duvet, tucked in sideways, so she still feels 'bound in'. she has never got up/out (even though we'd quite like her to start thinking about getting her to use the potty at night)

ok, this is just my POV, but don't fetishise the restlessness at bedtime. IMHO, if you do that, you give it licence. i wouldn't start getting into the 'staying in the room to settle him' malarky, as there will be no end to it. just settle him with minimum fuss and get out of there. repeat as necessary. if he doesn't get a rise out of you, or a nice burst of attention, he will get bored of it pretty quick.

dd is on the storey below us, so we still use a monitor/keep her door open. it has never bothered her.

the key with all of this (as with so much) is i think not to betray a flicker of anxiety. don't let him sense you're apprehensive about the new room, the bed, the fact he may try to get up. if you do, he'll be onto you like a terrier -- and the battle is lost.

Pidge Mon 10-Jan-05 14:47:01

Really interesting to read this - dd is 2.5, new baby due right at the start of March, so big bed is currently on order for dd, and we'll be doing the move in a few weeks. She is currently an ace sleeper - down without a murmur and doesn't stir for 12 hours, sometimes 13! So I'm terrified of rocking our very lucky boat. Reading some of the comments here, I think we may keep her in her grobag for the first week or so, as that tends to limit her movements, and will make her more secure. Then we'll introduce the duvet later.

bronniemuldoon - hope things settle down soon - good luck!

LunarSea Mon 10-Jan-05 14:49:13

Good luck. If your ds isn't a climber, then a stairgate on his door (or even on yours!) would probably do the trick. Have to say it didn't work for us as our apprentice-to-Houdini ds can not only go over stairgates (he used to climb out of cots too), but can open them, and even remove the pressure fit ones completely.

elliott Mon 10-Jan-05 14:50:17

I agree with bakedpotato. I think it is important to be consistent and clear about what your rules are (e.g. no coming out of the room after bedtime) and confident about enforcing them - be positive that it is normal and ok to go to sleep by himself and stay in bed. We moved ds1 into a bed just before he was 3. After a honeymoon period of a couple of weeks he did start testing the rules by getting out of bed at bedtime and when he woke in the early morning. we just persisted in putting him back and telling him he needed to stay in bed, and it settled down pretty quickly. We haven't had any major problems really.

LunarSea Mon 10-Jan-05 14:51:04

Oh - and grobags DO NOT mean that they can't climb over stairgates if they are determined enough.

bakedpotato Mon 10-Jan-05 14:51:52


nailpolish Mon 10-Jan-05 15:03:40

my dd is 26 mths and has been in a big bed since she was 18mths, with a bed guard. she has never ever climbed out of bed on her own, even tho she does it as soon as i go in to get her in the morning! she wakes up and lies in bed like the queen of sheba shouting 'mummy im awake'. i have a 2 mth old and if im feeding her at the time i know i can leave her til im finished feeding - i give her a book under her pillow and she will just read that. then we all (me, dd1 and dd2) climb into dd1's bed with our juice and toast

i think im lucky tho cos she loves her bed and is a lazy madam in the mornings!

bronniemuldoon Mon 10-Jan-05 16:37:08

Thanks for all the feedback guys - already feeling better that I'm not the only one. Think you're completely right bakedpotato about not showing DS anything but positive firmness!! They are like hawks at this age and I know he'll pick up on any weakness on my part - just needed to vent my worry on mn really.

We would have tried the sleeping bag option but he worked out how to unzip it about 3 months ago so at least he's been used to having a duvet in his cot so not everything's changed at once. I suppose I'm just feeling a bit guilty about him being up in the attic on his own (it feels like he's been banished!). It's the sort of room I know he'll love when he's a grotty teenager and wants to escape the rest of the family but he just seems really small at the moment.

I tried just putting him back to bed each time he got up but we had to resort to DH's tactics in the end and he dropped off. Thinking we shouldn't really do the same tonight though as don't want to set a precedent.

bakedpotato Mon 10-Jan-05 16:42:28

as far as i can see, parenting is all about bullsh*tting... faking confidence in the desperate hope the nippers will buy it

good luck tonight

bronniemuldoon Mon 10-Jan-05 16:47:36

Ha ha. I could hear my voice hardening with steely resolve at each subsequent revisit!! Thought about trying the stickers option too but no doubt DS would lose it in the bed and we'd get into a big palaver about turning the light on to look for it. Ho hum..

bronniemuldoon Mon 10-Jan-05 22:11:22

OK FINALLY got DS to sleep. Took 1 hr and 10 mins and involved the last 30 minutes sitting on the stairs outside his room (he really cried if I tried to go downstairs) and returning him to his room without talking to him or catching his eye. Took 17 attempts but he finally caved in. Supposedly it gets less each night - God help me if it doesn't!

bakedpotato Tue 11-Jan-05 10:03:38

poor you, how horrible/tedious, i'm sure you're doing the right thing.
sorry if this isn't applicable, but does he have a nightlight that stays on all night? do you think he'd like one? you could present it as a huge concession, a reward for his cooperation if he settles quietly. around 2 many children who have been happy to sleep in the dark get freaked out by, it as their imagination takes off.

Prettybird Tue 11-Jan-05 10:10:14

Bad Parent alert : our solution was to put a stretchie (bungie elastic with hooks on either end) onto the door handle and round to another dour handle, so ds could open the door a few inches but couldn't get out. (a variation of "Toddler Taming"'s rope trick.

He seemed to accept it without fuss at home, but when we did it at mum and dad's, he tried the door and then we got this wee plaintif cry, "...heeelp!!". Mum and Dad have dined out on that ever since!

bronniemuldoon Tue 11-Jan-05 12:02:43

We left the landing light on for him bakedpotato as think I'd feel a bit spooky up there on my own in the dark, let alone him (plus he's just come out the other side of a spate of nightmares/broken sleep). I'm going to try to get a proper nightlight for him today though and try it in his room to see if it helps. Bless him though, once he'd gone off he didn't stir all night so at least we weren't up and down the stairs with him in the night. Just meant I missed the first half hour of Celebrity Big Brother - gah!

Prettybird you're a braver woman than I. I know DS would completely freak if he thought he was shut in somewhere. Unfortunately it's a nightly vigil on the stairs until he gets the message. They promise it will work within 4 nights - hmmmm we'll see.

Prettybird Tue 11-Jan-05 16:55:23

Broniemuldoon - we weren't that brave - ds has a lovely character who we knew wouldn't object. We'd never had a problem putting him down even from an early age. It was the progressively earlier visitations, once he went into a bed (5.30...4.30....3.15....we've got to put a stop to this!).

Nimme Tue 11-Jan-05 17:05:24

DD1 went into her big bed when she around 3. We did the whole build-up as well. We had a couple of night visits and lots of early morning ones. Only thing is to take them back to their room. DD1 cried and protested but after a week she stopped (when she learned it was useless - so NO surrender or weak moments if you want it to work)

We have lamp on timer in DD1's room and she is not allowed to wake us up until light is on. Again a couple of false starts but works a dream now.

Good luck

bronniemuldoon Tue 11-Jan-05 17:24:21

Right, I'm going to continue with steely determination. I will not be beaten.

lowcalCOD Tue 11-Jan-05 17:27:15

I ha d abig show down too
one nioght I pinned him down to his cota nd snuggled down as he went mad
think I may have sat in f romt of hte door too

elliott Wed 12-Jan-05 09:37:10

slight hijack alert - nimme, is your dd1 out of nappies at night? what happens when she needs a wee in the morning? I'm a bit worried that our 'don't get up until the light is on' technique is stopping us from encouraging ds1 to go to the toilet for his wees in the morning.

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