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3yr old WON'T stay in toddler bed despite all efforts

(7 Posts)
globaljen Thu 14-Aug-08 22:53:18

We moved our just-3yr old into a toddler bed last week, after he vaulted out of his cotbed 20 times in an hour. It's his old bed, just with the sides taken off. He slept really well in it the first night, but since then he will NOT stay in it once we put him to bed at night.

During the day today, I bribed him with a smartie for his lunchtime nap, and he didn't leave his room once. But every night he is up til 11pm or later, refusing to go to bed. We tried a sticker chart but he is not interested, and the Smartie trick doesn;t work after the first 'escape' as he knows it's now gone and he has nothing to lose.

We tried the softly-softly approach for a night, then went with the Supernanny 'return them to the bed with no reaction' for the last 7 nights. That happens from 7.30-11pm every night, and often later. My son thinks it is a game, and doesn't seem to have any impact on him other than to either make him giggle and say 'take me back to bed', or make him upset and less inclined to go to sleep.

Please tell me this method works in the long run - and if not, what else we can do. We have left his door open as despite a nightlight (which was sufficient when he was in a cot), he has become afraid of the dark. He then slams it shut and wakes his baby sister, whose ability in putting herself to sleep has been decimated (she was really good before, but now is woken so many times by the door that she is freaking out when we leave the room).

I know it is a big transition (one that he instigated by jumping out of the cot - he'd be in his cot still if we had anything to do with it!), and my son is particularly stubborn, but this is plain dangerous. My husband caught him climbing over the top stairgate last night, and later on trying to let himself out of the front door!!!!

We need to crack this as my DD (13mo) is a gymnast already and will be out of her cot far sooner than DS, and THAT will be an even bigger challenge... as she is even MORE stubborn!


globaljen Fri 15-Aug-08 14:13:26

bumpity bump (snore)

Egg Fri 15-Aug-08 14:23:10

When my DS1 was having issues he slept on the floor instead (for months blush). He had two duvets underneath him and was in a Grobag so was perfectly omfortable.

His main prob though was that he kept "accidentally" hurling his Blankie out of the bed so was then yelling for it (but not getting out of bed himself to get it), so we moved him to the floor which solved the problem.

Now he is usually in the bed but occasionally on the floor at his request (he is 2.5 and moved to toddler bed age 20 months).

witchandchips Fri 15-Aug-08 14:27:46

We've had this problem for the last year. The only thing that works is lying down with him in the dark until he falls asleep. We just find the threat of leaving the room if he plays up or of coming back into the room if he is "good" means that he calms down much quicker than doing the supernanny thing. Once he is calm and lying down it only takes 10 minutes to get him to sleep (and tbh its the quiet cuddles are just really lovely)
This is more an accidental parenting technique but hey it works

eatmorecake Sat 16-Aug-08 21:45:00

Oh my god this could be me. Moved my DD into toddler bed because of cot vaulting and she did exactly the same thing. I also tried the Super nany thing and she also thought it was a game, one night I put her back 67 times ! I then tried lying with her till she fell asleep but this back fired as I had to do it whenever she woke during the night which i had never had to do before. Was at end of my tether when I read Toddler Taming by Dr Christopher Green. He ses what he calls the rope trick. Basically you tie one end of a piece of rope to the door handle on the outside of their door and tie the other end to a fixed point, we used our bannister, meaning their door is ajar but they cannot get out because when they pull the door the rope tightens. They are never locked in the room with the door shut. My DD went ballistic when we first tried it, she screamed for an hour and a half, you go in and put them back to bed after 5 mins 7 mins 10 mins 15 mins etc. I can check exact timings if you are interested.What is worse is of course they can talk so she was yelling "Help me Mummy", it was unbearable and me and DH alsmost crumbled several times but we stuck it out as I was also pregnant at the time and needed my sleep! She fell asleep at the door after that first 1 1/2 hr but continued through the night. She was actually hoarse the next day from crying so much. I felt like the world's WORST mother and rang my health visitor in tears, she advised me to stick it out. The next night DD cried for 45mins then slept through, night 3 straight down. Now if she plays up we just threaten her with the rope on the door (which makes it sound like an instrument of torture)but it works and we are all much happier. You need an iron will resolve but we achieved quick results. Good luck if you decide to try it.

Twiglett Sat 16-Aug-08 21:48:24

be firm and consistent

we tied the door a la toddle taming with DS .. took one night

with dd didn't need to

bookswapper Sat 16-Aug-08 21:51:51

we put toddler back to bed time and time again then bought the sleepy bunny alarm clock which shows when its time to get up

this seems to work but now toddler has worked out how to make bunny wake up prematurely!

the rope thing sounds awful for you

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