Last week Annie was a little sniffly, then BAM full-blown sick with a cold. She’s not one of those kids that gets sick and just wants to snuggle and be mellow. Nope, she wants to run all over the house like any other day, coughing and sneezing on every surface while yelling, “Mama, come ‘errrrre!” Annabel with a cold is like having Healthy Annabel, but with more grumpiness and 1,000 pounds more snot.
Mike and I got sick two days after Annie started coughing. I was not pleased. We were all JUST sick, and no one is going to day care or preschool around here, so I am calling shenanigans. My parents also came down with colds last week. We had no back up! Of course, Annie didn’t care that Mike and I were sick, and our coughs and sweats and shivering bodies garnered no sympathy from her this time around. I spent many hours laying on the cool floor in the kitchen, coloring paper and probably the tile. But, it kept Annie happy and in one place, so it was a victory for me.
What is it about illness that completely messes up sleep patterns? I have jacked sleeping habits anyway, so of course I am locked in another battle with insomnia. Annabel is even worse. Like I said earlier, she doesn’t slow down at all when she’s sick. She still barely takes one nap each day, yet she is WIRED in the evening. Mike and I have spent the last four nights re-training her to sleep. When we start her nighttime routine she immediately starts screaming. She screams through teeth, pajamas, book reading, song singing, and then she screams from her crib. It’s just been so super fun.
Don’t even get me started on the random three am wake up.
“Mama, I tie tie.” “Do you want to go to sleep?” “NO!”
She eventually falls asleep so it’s not a horrible problem, but I really thought we were past the battle-for-bed phase (at least until she’s old enough to realize all the good TV comes on after bedtime). Last night during one of her screaming jags, I walked in to discover her trying to figure out how to climb out of her crib. She was doing this jumping maneuver where she would kick out one of her legs, as if she were trying to get it up over the railing (she wasn’t even coming close). But, the climbing out of the crib thing is something I’m really surprised she hasn’t figured out yet, and it looks like she’s starting to realize it’s something she can attempt. So, do we wait for her to actually climb out of the crib before we switch her into a toddler bed, or do we bite the bullet and do it sooner? I really don’t want to do it sooner…but I don’t want her to hurt herself, either.
UGH she is going to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep in a toddler bed. I can tie her to the bed, right? Just kidding.
It may have been a more accepted practice in the 1970s than it would be today, but my parents used to tie me to my crib! It was a harness type thing that wrapped around my upper body and attached to the sides of the crib, to prevent me from standing up, because once I did, I didn’t know how to lie down again.
I don’t remember it, but I’ve seen photos, and I can’t say I look discontent
You could always transition her to a toddler bed and put a baby gate in her doorway so that she can’t actually leave her room. Or you can try one of the nets that you put across the top of the crib so she can’t climb out. Jumping and climbing toddlers made me nervous. Mine were actually out of the crib by 2 1/2 and Robert went straight to a Twin bed, and I put the crib mattress on the floor next to his bed in case he fell out.
She does need to learn that Bedtime means bedtime and she needs to stay in her room. Each child is different, and I am sure you will figure out what works best for you and Annie. I just encourage you to figure out what works for your family at a young age so you aren’t dealing with an older child that can’t stay in her bed at night or needs you to lay with her to fall asleep at night. Good Luck!
I second the net/tent/cage thingy. My second little monkey began escaping her crib when she was not much over a year and I wasn’t about to put that crazy lady in a big bed so she could have free reign of the house all night long. It wasn’t long after that that she discovered she could pry her bony little finger through the tiny hole the zipper left and then unzip herself to freedom. But, haha, I just safety pinned the zipper pull to the trim and she was safety locked in again. I had several relatives appalled that I was using a cage, but my take on them is the same as the leashes. If it keeps my kid safe and me sane, it’s all good.
I am so for this idea it’s not even funny. I am googling net/tent/cage thingy RIGHT NOW.
Just coming here to give my love to the net/tent/cage thing too! My youngest was the same way…monkey girl climbing out at 10 months old. Heck to the NO! was I trying a toddler bed. I loved that tent!
Just wanted to add that my second started climbing out of her crib at the same age, 10 months, (both girls were early! walkers and have amazing upper body strength (gymnasts!!!)) but we put her in the toddler bed bc I had not been informed of the GENIUS that is the crib net. I have many a photo of her standing next to the bed with her little head laying on the mattress sound asleep bc she refused to stay in the bed and would get to the point at which she fell asleep!!!
Allison Y. says:
Yep, crib tent is the way to go. Kept my twins in their cribs for an extra 9 months or so. Then my advice for big girl bed is like someone said, a gate on the door so she can’t get out of the room. It all sounds mean but it starts a lifetime of good sleeping habits!
Jessica Makuh says:
We did a crib tent, too. I used it for both my kids until they were 3 and then we just got them a twin bed and bought a railing for one side so they won’t fall out. It is totally the way to go! By the time they were 3, it was really easy to switch them to the twin bed and we almost never have a hard time keeping them in bed. They enjoyed shopping for the bed and their bedding and feel like big girls. They were both a little freaked out by the tent the first few nights, but we just took our time zipping it up and they eventually got used to it. Peek-a-Boo helped, too.
For what its worth we have had the same problem. When we moved our oldest into his toddler bed we let him watch as we changed his bed and them when it was time for bed we followed the normal routine. I knew he wouldn’t stay in bed so we put up a baby gate at his door. I will be very honest the first few night we rough, he would stand at the gate and cry for one of us to come and get him. We let him stand there for a few minutes but them we took turns putting him back in bed. The big thing was to just put him in bed, he was very clever and wanted just 1 more story or one more drink. It took about two or three night but he figured it out. I think he was close to 2 when we made the transition but we we’re also expecting another baby and had to get him ready for his big boy bed. No matter what you decide, I wish you all the best of luck and here’s to hopes of dancing sugarplums in your near future!
All I can offer is my reassurance that it won’t be as bad as you think it will be. The first month or so was rough for us, with Nate falling asleep crying on the floor a lot of nights but now he stays in bed to fall asleep with the door open. Good luck you guys!
I had one that learned to climb out of his crib at 15 months, and get on the dresser that sat next to it, and shimmy down the front! I think that we got something that fastened to all four corners of the crib, and covered the top, (like a netting of some sort) but that was so long ago, that something like that has probably been put on the “danger list”!
Dude. Keep her in the crib as long as possible. My now 3 year old started trying to climb out of his crib at 20 mo. Then we used the fabulous behavior management tool of fear to deal with this by watching him through the crack of the door and the second he threw that leg up on the rail we burst in, and yelled, “NO! NO!”. It freaked him out enough that he stopped doing it, for about 9 mo. In August, he was just getting out of his crib easily, climbing out like…whatevs, no biggie. So we switched him, he was almost 3, it was time. Dude proceeded to not ever stay in his bed at night. I could get him to nap in his bed and stay there, but not night time. At night he would get out of bed and run amuck, getting into toys and his brothers rooms while we hung out downstairs. Eventually he would just fall asleep in a cloud of toys and exhaustion. We tried standing outside his room and wordlessly putting him back into his bed many times, but it quickly became a game that he enjoyed. At one point he would come halfway down the stairs and fall asleep on the landing–did that for about 3 months. I tried baby gate across his door, he climbed over that after pushing it over and stomping on it….he cannot be contained you see. Eventually I put a child lock on the inside of his bedroom door and if he got out of bed two times, I would shut the door (we had visuals and sticker charts, etc.). We had to do this for 3 days, and then he just suddenly got it and now stays in his bed, as long as that door is open. So, it only took us 6 months for him to correctly transition to a big boy bed! Moral of the story? Leave her in the crib. And let me also say that he is my third, I successfully trained the other 2, no problem, into big boy beds–so, it really depends on their personality too…
On a side note, my neigtbors swear by the crib tent. All in the presentation–the “super cool crib tent bed!” Best of luck to you all!
I’m going to second every word of this comment. For reals yo, keep her in that crib as long as possible.
I totally agree! Keep her in that crib as long as possible. Especially if she’s having a hard time with bedtime. I would only tansition her once she’s calm and happy about going to bed every night.
Totally agree!!! Once you make the switch, you can’t really go back, so wait!!!!! My 3 year old is still in his crib and he loves it. He can totally climb out, but he doesn’t do it. It took him a long time to figure out how to do it, but once he finally did, the novelty was gone I guess, and he got over it. At the time, I thought of one of those crib tent things, but some of horror stories online freaked me out, so I passed. Wait as long as you can on this one. If you are worried about her hurting herself if she climbs out, out some blankets on the floor in front of the crib to soften the landing. Of course you don’t want her to hurt herself by falling, but she could get into much more mischief (and potential danger) if she had a bed that she could get out of all the time and have free reign of the house while you guys are sleeping. Good luck mama!
completely agree – keep her in esp. if she is the type that will get up and come in your room (assuming you don’t want her there!).
My youngest (now 6) hated her crib and we had to sit next to it to get her to fall asleep and then in the middle of the night she was up in our bed. So we said forget this & got her a full bed at 22 mos so at least we could lay down with her (vs. sitting on the floor). She loved it but she also was not the type that would get out of her bed & just walk down the hall. She would call for us to get her (and then we could lay down in a nice comfy bed) on occasion but never once got out herself. That’s her personality – sounds like Annie would get out so I’d keep her contained as long as you can. Some moms swear by the crib tents too.
P.S. Just wanted to add that the dresser that he shimmied down was longer than it was high, and there was no danger of it tipping over on him. We may have fastened it to the wall anyway,
One of my daycare families is dealing with a similar struggle. At 14 months, their darling child learned how to flip himself out of his crib. They promptly took the crib down and switched to the higher wall/shorter fall playpen to sleep in.
Now, he can flip out of that too!
At 18 months they are switching to a bed out of necessity, not desire.
My two we in beds around age 2, I don’t see anything wrong with holding out longer. My youngest was only 21 months when she made the toddler bed. I had a ninja baby, no lock could hold her, no baby gate was un-scalable. It was a long toddlerhood. She taught me that babyproofing was just a ploy by corporate American to lull us in to a false sense of security. I still do it to make myself feel like I have just an ounce of control over my doorknobs and locked cupboards… shhhhh, don’t tell corporate American that they are winning.
With 8 and 9 year olds and hoping for another baby in the next 2 years, I’m in the camp that thinks we tend to baby toddlers beyond the years when a crib is appropriate, it’s more about the parent’s desire to do ‘what is right’ than it is about taking cues from what your kid can handle. I know parents making the transition at age 4!
Annie is a ninja. I think it’s time you both accept that and get her a bed before she can refine her stealthy escape moves. Never underestimate how much practice she’s getting while you two think she’s sleeping. That’s not napping, Heather, it’s plotting with her eyes closed.
*don’t anything wrong with holding out longer, but I also don’t see any reason TO hold out longer…
geesh, I should re read my own words before hitting post.
My youngest figured out how to climb out early, but she was so good at it, I didnt worry about her getting hurt. She could get in and out easily. When she was about 2.5 (just a few months ago), I converted her crib to a toddler bed. She “visited” me in the middle of the night for several months. It was painful. Then, one day she just stopped. That was only about two weeks ago, so I’m not counting on this being a permanent thing. My back up plan is to get one of those night lights that turns red when you should be sleeping and green when they can get up. It worked for my middle one…
We have a new baby coming and I can just imagine the fun it would be if I had the new baby AND the 2 yo to hang out with at 3 am.
Both my boys were out of their cribs and in twin beds by 15months…one for climbing and one for pure hatred of the baricade he was in. They both transitioned beautifully…we put a side rail under the mattress and the bed against the wall. I just didn’t want to transition twice…from crib to toddler bed to twin. Especially because the transition to a twin would probably coincide with potty training and well, that would be too much for ME! Lol.And they both really liked sleeping in our bed…there’s no comparison between a “real” bed and a crib mattress….dang smart kids!
Good luck with whatever you decide!
Like you, my older two were in their beds (not toddler, but regular beds) when they were 2y3m, so it might be time to get a regular bed for her. The thought of trying to climb out of crib would worry me regarding the possible injury, and we already had a twin bed with my oldest, so it made sense to just use it.
We went straight to the twin bed. I thought a toddler bed was a waste of money. We did add soft side rails.
Her crib becomes a toddler bed with like, three screws being moved. It’s like a transformer!
Cool. Our crib was older and didn’t have that option. The bit started getting better sleep when we upgraded to a full size mattress. He and his eleventy million animals fit in it and he has room to flop about.
What about one of those crib tents? They fasten on over the crib and keep your kid in it. Most cribs are rated until the kid hits 3 (that’s what we’re aiming for and at 2-1/2 we’re nearly there) so you could totally keep her in it that way until she’s old enough to stay put on her own.
My mother was a crib escapee. My grandmother found her standing on the roof overhang, calling out to the neighbors. My grandfather built a lid to the crib- ta da! A cage to contain her.
Why don’t cribs come with a lid option? My son, like your daughter, eventually found he could escape. A pile of stuffed toys in the corner, step up on those, wedge a chubby foot between the bars and he was out and about.
Soon after we had to move him to a toddler bed but it took weeks of firm training to make him stay in his room for his own safety (he also could unlock doors and go outside or go downstairs and rummage through the fine china for a plate to hold Cheerios).
The rule was- if he was awake and it was during bedtime hours, he could play in his room but no coming out. At all.
She’s a darling little girl- you’ll get through this latest challenge. Perhaps if you buy a toddler bed you could keep the crib up for awhile if you need to switch back if it’s not working out.
Yes! A lid!
We don’t have any kids yet, but I mentioned once to a coworker that my husband would build a lid for the crib if our kid tried to climb out, and she was mortified.
But it’s for safety!
Hmmm…I did phrase it as being just like raising a guinea pig. Perhaps that’s what concerned her.
I’m a fan of “crib as long as possible”. Another benefit of the sleep sac is that they cannot climb out of the crib! My baby is 2y7m and we just switched him to the bed 3 weeks ago.
The morning after my kid climbed out of his crib the first (and only) time, we put his mattress on the floor (until we got the toddler rails to convert his crib) and a baby gate at his door. Except for teething (stupid 2 year molars), he has done fantastically well staying in his toddler bed all night–still with the baby gate on his door–but he does get up and open his door from time to time. He was never a good sleeper until recently, so I feel your pain. (And I’m working off of less than 4 hours of sleep this morning, thanks to aforementioned teeth.)
I am a big advocate of staying in the crib as long as possible. My pediatrician even said that it is not reasonable to expect a child less than 2.5 to even understand why they need to stay in a bed and you will just spend months battling. My oldest was 3 when he moved to a bed, and we had no problems. My youngest was actually 3 3/4 (she was a holdout on potty training and I told her she could not have a bed until she stopped pooping in her diaper. she held out much longer than I expected!) Good luck!
Kelly H says:
My first child was 18 months when she started climbing out. She was pretty good at it so I didn’t sweat it that much, and moved her to a big girl bed at 2 (we needed the crib for our 2nd child anyway). I would suggest a crib tent. They sell them at all the baby stores. Just a way to keep her “trapped” for a little longer:-)
We just moved by 2 year old to a toddler bed. We did this only AFTER the first time she climbed out of the crib. After finding her on the floor having eaten a black crayon during naptime, we officially decided to move her to a “big girl bed” and promptly put all the crayons out of reach. She has done really well with it and after a few nights, hasn’t gotten up much at all. We kept the crib in tact until we knew she would be ok in the bed just in case we needed to go back to the cage for a little while!
I say bite the bullet and do it now. It will be an adjustment of course like anything new, but the newness will wear off after a few weeks. The baby gate is a good idea, or we actually switched the locks to the outside of the door. My son started climbing out of his crib at 15 mo, and my daughter around 18mo.
I moved my oldest to a *twin* bed at about 28 months old. I also believed in staying in the crib as long as possible–just easier! However my daughter was decently sized for her age and by 28 months old I just felt like she needed more space. She transitioned soooooo easily, I was amazed. I put a little side rail on the twin bed and stuck the other side against the wall. She never tries to get out on her own….she calls for me to come get her. I would say maybe it’s time to try and just see what happens The babygate in the doorway was my backup plan in my daughter tried escaping, but I never had to use it.
I’m a big believer in skipping the toddler bed. One less thing to buy and one less transition to make down the road. There’s really no reason not to start with a twin bed. Good luck!
Her crib converts into a toddler bed, so that’s why we’re going to go that route….eventually.
Ahhh, see I didn’t even think of that. By the time we were ready to move our oldest we already had the next baby ready to move into her crib so it never had to chance to transform to the toddler bed
Sort of puts that scene in Mommy Dearest – where she ties the boy in bed – in a whole new light, doesn’t it? I would keep her in the crib as long as possible. Use a crib tent even. Or something special – like a special stuffed animal, blanket, whatever – that she only gets in the crib. If she climbs out, she doesn’t get it. It also sounds like she’s overtired. Counterintuitive – but you may actually need to put her to bed earlier. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – that book is golden!
She’s getting twelve hours of sleep once she finally gives in, so I don’t know that she’s overtired. She’s just STUBBORN!
Kate C. says:
My son is a few weeks older than Annie – we just transitioned him. We bolted his furniture to the walls to avoid tipping and put a thing on his doorknob so he can’t open it. So far so good! I know that there are nets you can put over the crib to prevent climing out – might be worth a try.
I vote to keep her in the crib. I bought a crib tent at a second hand store for $20 and it was one of the best parenting purchases I ever made. I would send it to you if I still had it. With the kind of energy Annie has, don’t take her out of the crib yet. My kids stayed in until almost 3. I like my kids contained.
CRIB TENT! Google it!
I am ALL OVER this tent thing.
TalK to her DR about melatonin. It comes in a liquid. Give her 1mg at 6 pm. It’s a chemical the brain produces that regulates our sleep cycles. My kids pediatricians suggest it at 2 years to help with sleep training. You can take the 3-5 mg yourself to help you sleep. It’s not a sleeping pill but helps your body get ready for sleep.
My oldest was only 9 months old when she started escaping from the crib. She was already horrible about sleeping and would do things like scream until she threw up and wake up SEVERAL times a night. She was like a monkey though, and one of those kids who starts walking (running) at 8 months and climbed on EVERYTHING. She was a psycho-baby! So, we put her in a toddler bed at 9 months and put a gate on her door. Guess what she learned how to do? Climb over the baby gate. So, we had to STACK BABY GATES ON TOP OF EACH OTHER to keep her in her room like a jail cell. It was pathetic. She’s now a teenager and perfectly adjusted (though she still never stops moving.)
My second daughter was the opposite of her big sister and was an awesome sleeper and loved her crib. She was one of those babies who slept in there from 7pm to 7am and still took a 3 hour nap during the day. We actually booted her out of her crib at 15 months to make room for her little brother and put her straight to a twin bed on the bottom bunk bed. There were a few nights I found her sleeping on the floor, but for the most part she did great.
Kid #3 we kept in the crib until his 2nd birthday before we booted him out to make room for HIS little brother (who was 8 months old and still sleeping in a pack n play.) That was probably a mistake for him, and the transition to a toddler bed was a NIGHTMARE. He refused to stay on his bed, and we had to go put him back on a million times a night (it felt like.) We tried a baby gate on the door but at the time we lived in a 2 bedroom townhouse and the kids shared a room and it was unfair to trap my potty-trained 3 yr old daughter in the room. What finally happened (and might explain a lot about this kid now, oops) was that he had a weird fear of pineapples, and one night my hubby was so tired of putting him back on his bed (we were trying to watch a Lost marathon!) that he set a pineapple just outside the bedroom door. Ha! My son went to escape and saw the pineapple and ran back to his bed and stayed there. Yeah…
Last kid climbed out of the crib at 15 months, and we did the toddler bed with a gate (by that time we’d thankfully moved into a bigger house and no longer had FOUR kids sharing a bedroom.)
Honestly, it all goes so fast and it all works out some how. Now my kids all start off in their own beds every night, and most nights my little 2 sneak in at some point to join us and my hubby and I wake up with two little boys’ feet jabbing us in uncomfortable ways… but honestly I cherish it because before I know it, they’ll all be grown up.
My 1st child learned to crawl out of his baby bed at 10 months, had to give up the baby bed early with him. It was hard to reason with a 10 month old that he needed to stay in the bed!!!!!
My 2nd, who had been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks, started screaming in her baby bed around Annie’s age. I think she was old enough to realize she was “trapped” and she didn’t like the idea of being “pinned” in. Bedtime had became miserable. We just put a mattress on the floor, didnt bother with the expense of a toddler bed, and wanted her to go ahead & get used to a regular sized bed. Once she had the “freedom” to put herself to bed, she was fine. She looked forward to going to bed.
Give it a try. She just might surprise you !!!!!
Colleen from MN says:
Plan a future date when you will get a”big girl” bed and start talking it up today! Every day remind her that “When you get a big girl bed, you will be soooooo grown up.” or “Big girls don’t cry at bedtime so neither will you when you ate a big girl.” Keep saying positive things about it and play it up. Remind her that when she is a little bigger, she can help pick the bed out, but girls that cry at bedtime are not quite big enough….It worked like a charm for my daughter.She was so proud of her bed that she never reverted to crib behavior, it works!
I’d wait. My son started escaping the Pack N Plays on trips at 20 months but the crib took a bit longer, he transitioned just before he turned three. By then he was old enough to understand the whys. I think Annie will show you when it’s time. I also second what Jen said about the melatonin, not just for Annie but for you. I suffer from wicked insomnia and it helped tremendously.
Personally, I’d keep her i the crib as long as possible, although she’s probably on her way to scaling the wall. Once you do the toddler bed, you’ll have to look for an old Supernanny where she tells you to sit outside her bedroom door for hours at night , putting her back in her bed. Such fun!
cindy w says:
We upgraded Catie when she was 2 1/2, but we skipped the toddler bed and just got a regular twin bed with a guard rail. That actually worked really well, because it took a while for her to figure out that she could climb in and out of it herself. And oddly, she slept much better once she had more space to thrash around (girl practically does jumping jacks in her sleep). So, our transition was pretty smooth & easy, but every kid is different, grain of salt, yadda yadda. Good luck!
We had the same problem with our daughter (now 5). We actually had to put a tall baby gate in the doorway to her room because she wouldn’t stay in her toddler bed. She’s still terrible to put to bed, but I’m sure Annie won’t be so rough…we just eventually gave up!
We are dealing with bedtime issues with our 2 year old as well. He wasn’t trying to climb out of his crib but we have another baby joining us at the end of March and we wanted him to have enough time to transition out of his crib. Looking back, we probably should have kept him in there a little longer but the “no eye contact, no words” method of putting him back in his bed does work. It usually takes 5-6 times but if we start bedtime early enough he’s still falling asleep at his normal time. Go with your gut – if you don’t think she’s close to climbing out yet then leave her be.
My oldest tried climbing out her crib once around 18 mths and fell. After that, she never tried again. But at 2.5 yrs (when we needed the crib to get baby #2 out of the pack n play), we transitioned her to a toddler bed. Wow – the freedom went to her head! She knew the concept of “stay in bed” but didn’t do it at all. We tried reward charts and taking away toys, etc. Finally ended up that one of us would sit wordlessly in the chair in her room (as a virtual “seat belt”) until she fell asleep. Each day we moved the chair closer to the door until we were in the hallway, then out of sight in the hallway. After many nights, that method worked for her.
Baby #2 was a climber and learned to climb in and out of his crib. We lucked out that he somehow understood that he needed to stay in his crib at bedtime. Even though he could climb in/out to play, he’d stand in his crib crying in the morning for us to come get him. Odd. But when we transitioned him to the toddler bed, we had no problems at all since he had already had the freedom of getting in/out of his crib.
Hope you figure out what will work for you and Annie.
Jersey Girl says:
Let me explain! In our old house there were 2 doors to the baby’s room. One door opened just a foot frome the top of the stairs which we kept locked all the time (old house – skeleton key locked!) and the other door opened into our master bedroom. When we transitioned from a crib to a toddler bed, we put a doorknob cover on the inside of the bedroom door. Worked like a charm!
Now my 2nd son, it worked for awhile until he figured out how to dismantle the doorknob cover…. But this worked for us. My greatest fear was not hearing them wake up and then they roam the house and/or fall down the (wooden) stairs.
If she’s not climbing out yet – leave her in the crib!!!
I second everyone who says to keep Annie in her crib as long as possible. I still have PTSD from trying to put my oldest in a big boy bed too soon.
I’ve found with my kids that if they’re too tired there’s a lot more crying and drama at bedtime. Sometimes an earlier bedtime helps. The ‘sweet spot’ time for getting our kids to bed (3 & 5yrs) is 7pm.
Oh the joys and challenges of parenting!
I just wanted to send a hug. We are battling our own bedtime issues here, but since we cosleep, it is a different issue. Still, I feel your pain, because sleep is being interrupted here, too. Ugh.
I never did a toddler bed. I went straight from crib to a “big bed” (aka twin size). I figured that way if I needed to snuggle my little ones to keep them in bed or what not, it was much easier. For the transition, I just put the mattress on the ground in her room. After she was use to the bigger bed, I put it on the low bed frame and it worked great Saved the money of buying a toddler bed and the transition worked great. I tried to not snuggle often, so it wasn’t a habit but there were nights it was needed.
Her crib converts into a toddler bed, so it’s actually a money saver for us to go THAT route. I never thought of the snuggling thing, though…hmmm…
I used to babysit a kid who did this and had a crib similar to yours, and they turned the crib around so that the low part was aginst the wall
Annie sounds like my girls… They both climbed out of the crib right before their second birthdays. (They’re 2 and 4 now.) The only thing that worked to keep them in bed was giving them each a nightlight they can use in bed and after bedtime story, they got to keep the book in bed. However, this does not always work perfectly and yes, there’s some nights I have caught them up playing. I’m pretty laid back though and tell them the minute they get tired they need to be in bed and they better be in bed before mommy. As long as they play in whispers its acceptable. It probably took about a month to get them to understand the boundries.
Mary M says:
My daughter is just about one year older than yours and was climbing out of her bed by her 2nd birthday,not all the time but enough so that we knew it was time to make the move. We made the transition to the daybed (our crib converts) for Easter — along with a whole new room — so it was exciting and a big deal. She fell out a few times, but a large stuffed giraffe by the side of her bed helped with that.
Over the weekend, we just got her a ‘big girl’ bed (another day bed that looks a LOT like her old daybed — only shorter) because we needed to convert hers back to a crib for her younger sister (due in eight weeks). Honestly, we were more worried about this transition than the last as she was having to give up ‘her’ bed.
So far it has gone great — she likes being in a ‘big girl’ bed and knows that Pookie needs the ‘baybee crib.’ Of course, she is still climbing all over the bars of the crib so her younger sister may end up with a bedmate…
My 4 y/o was in her crib until just after 3 y/o. I DO NOT recommend getting a toddler bed for Miss Annie just yet. Once they have that freedom, it is hell in your own home. Put pillows down to break her fall if you are worried she will catapult out. You will NEVER urinate alone again if you get her a todd bed. Unfortunately it takes some really great ignoring skills by us parents to get through the screaming at bed time thing. This is what we did: Wait after you put her down for about 10 min of screaming, then go back into her room like every 5-10 min, but not for more than 3 or 4 times per night, & dont say one word to her. Just lay her down, rub her back, calm her. And then walk out. Don’t stay in her room for more than a minute at a time and do not turn on any lights. Obviously when she is sick, you have much more empathy, etc for the little dears and want to make sure they are okay. I love our humidifier with the Vicks. Works wonders for colds and sleep. And Benadryl. Benadryl is the best. It dries them up over night and makes them go to sleep. As much as you will be tempted to give her more, follow the recommended dosage. Other than that, turn the TV up very loud to drown out the crying. I mean, attend to her every need & comfort her as much as possible….. good I dont have a blog- good luck!!
My little bug was 13 months when she attempted to climb out of her crib for the first time. I squashed that nightmare right away and immediately converted her crib into a daybed because I figured her falling out and breaking a bone or chomping through her lip or something was way worse than me having to put her back in bed a handful of times every night. I skipped the toddler bed though after I won the battle of keeping her in her new daybed every night. I moved her straight to a twin, because I think toddler beds are a waste of lots of things. You guys will do what works best for you though, and it will be “right.”
Good luck Spohrs!!!
We made the move to toddler beds after one twin jumped out and I caught the other balancing on the crib rail on his belly. I thought they would never stay in their beds but somehow the thrill of a big bed keeps them in there. We told them not to get out of bed and for once they actually listened to us. . . Take care.
P.S. The excitement of their big beds will surely wear off at some point and then we will be back to square one. . .Good luck to both of us
You said she “wasn’t even close” to getting out – I say you wait!
We plan to keep my little monster caged for as long as possible! (and her short stature will totally help with that! HA!)
We switched my son to a toddler bed right when he started showing interest in climbing out (he hadn’t succeeded). DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! After we made the switch and he discovered sweet freedom, there was no more napping. There was no more going to bed and staying there. There was no more sanity! Then again, I know other kids who dutifully stayed in their toddler beds, so you never know. (But I suspect Annie, like my son, would not be one of them!)
My son will be 13 on Sunday…and bedtime is still a battle. I’m considering velcro pajama/sheet combinations to at least make it more difficult for them to get up, once down.
Amy Crider says:
I will be the odd Balll All my kids were in TOddler beds at 13 months yes i said it… But they learned from an early age that you do not climb out of bed. They are not allowed to play on there bed it is only for nap time and bed time. I put a gate infrot on their door and go from there. My 18 month old just crawled out of her toddler bed for the first time when she woke up from her nap.
Steph Morgenstern says:
Hey Heather – I’m there right now with child #2, and I have watched other parents fail miserably at this. Keep her in her crib as long as possible, at least until 2 & 3/4 years if she still hasn’t figured out climbing out of the crib. And even then, repeat a bazillion times to stay in toddler bed at night-night time until mommy comes to get you in the morning. Exception: to use the potty. You can try to tell Annie she might get hurt if she tries to climb out of her crib, which might buy you more time in the crib. Adam could climb into his crib (which is cute), but he always knew he could get hurt climbing out (not so cute).
Don’t know if it’s the angle of the camera or not but Annie’s feet look big in this photo. What size shoe doe she wear?
She wears sevens!
Amy K says:
My daughter started trying to get out of her crib at 18 months. She ended up sleeping with us for six months while we worked up the courage to move her to a bed, because we were absolutely positive that it was going to be awful. There’s an Elmo book called “Big Enough for a Bed” that we read with her about a million times to get her excited about the process before the transition. At 2, we let her pick out her new sheets and blankets, and we moved her to a full bed with a safety rail and installed a door chime so we’d know if she had opened her door and was wandering around. She LOVES her bed. No wandering, no awful transition period. I like having a normal-sized bed in her room so I can sleep with her if she wakes up early and wants company or is sick, etc.
erica L says:
Our daughter decided that she wanted to sleep in a regular bed when she was 22 months (there is one in her new Brother’s room) so we changed her convertible crib to a toddler bed. We put a baby gate across her door so she couldn’t roam the house. She would sometimes come to the door and holler but we would ignore her and she would just go back to bed; and that only took a few days. That worked fabulously for like 6 months.
THEN we moved the baby (5 months at time) into his own room which is across from hers. We can’t let her just holler because she wakes him up so when she comes to the door we have to go and give her the attention she wants and tell her to go back to bed. Man has she been frustrating about this for like the past month. However, she is in LOVE with her mobile that projects an image on the ceiling. We threatened to take it away if she didn’t go to bed and that seems to be working. Only good girls get to have their ceiling show we said. Sheesh it’s been fun!
Snarky Mommy says:
OMG NO! A thousand times no! Do not take that child out of the crib! My first two kids each climbed out one time, fell and never did it again and stayed in their cribs nicely for the next year. Both received “big” beds for their third birthdays, when they were a little more capable of understanding us tell them, “You stay in your bed and DO NOT get out until we come and get you.” That worked, umm, not well.
If she does climb out, you can always get a crib tent, which will stop her. It sounds like Annie would be a roamer and if you value your adult time in the evenings (and any primetime TV) you will keep her in the crib as long as possible.
We had the constant battle during bedtime for quite awhile around that age. Now that our daughter is 3, it’s more of a long line of “I needs” after we close her door. (Stickers for going to bed without us going back in are working miracles.)
My only suggestion is to give her choices during bedtime routine. “do you want to brush teeth, or get into pajamas first?” I went so far as to make a picture schedule that our daughter could velcro to the wall once she completed one of the tasks. The last one would always be bed, and she soon realized that once she ran out of picture cards, that was it. She did all of her jobs and it was time for bed.
I’d switch her now, before she falls out of the crib and hurts herself. I was realllllly nervous about moving my 2 year old to a bed, too, but it went really smoothly. It actually wasn’t until a few weeks after he’d made the change that he figured out he could get out easily and come out of his room! When that started happening, I took the advice of a speaker who’d given a presentation at our daycare: for a few nights, after I tucked him in, I’d sit right outside his door. The minute I heard his feet hit the ground, I’d go in and put him back in bed – not roughly, but also without coddling him. I wouldn’t talk to him, either. Rinse, repeat. The first night I had to replace him about 10 times; next night about 5; and then he stopped. He just realized it wasn’t worth the battle, and I wasn’t engaging with him at all, so it just got boring. Now he loves his bed, but also realizes that once he’s in, that’s it – no wandering around.
PUT IT OFF AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!! Keep her in that crib until she is like 12 Just kidding. But seriously, don’t go jumping the time on the bed. It is way overrated. I’d do the tent thing over opting for a bed any day. My 4.5 year old never climbed out so at 3.5 we figured it was probably time to make the transition developmentally. He cried because he wanted his totally contained space back so he was off limits and protected from his 1 yr old brother. I think he actually enjoy that the baby couldn’t get IN forget about wanting to get out! My 2.5 year old is still in his crib and will remain so until we need to move him. Either way they both have those transition cribs so the front came off and the toddler bed rail went on. My older son still sleeps in that and is definitely not ready for a full sized bed yet. You will know. But seeing as you have sleep debacles as it is, I’d keep that crib up and tent on or just use some tactic (like watching the video monitor as soon as you put her in) to combat the climbing.
We switched our kids just a few months past their 2nd birthdays. When our oldest was ready, we chose to buy a bunk bed that comes apart. We only used the top bunk at first — because it was the top bunk, it came with built in railings everywhere but where the ladder would have been. In that space we put a small step stool for the kids to climb up into the bed. Then when our youngest was ready, we moved the top bunk into her room and the oldest then got the bottom bunk in his room. For whatever reason our kids have never escaped in the middle of the night (perhaps the illusion of being penned in by the railings?).
And now I should find some wood to knock on because my youngest is only 3, and it’s not too late for her to start escaping. If either of my kids would be the kind to escape, it’s her. No doubt.
Dawn K says:
Switch her to the toddler bed before she falls out of the crib! Then go through your normal bedtime routine with her. Read one story. Then make her understand that she doesn’t have to go to sleep, but it is bedtime and quiet time and she has to stay in her room and play quietly, read quietly, whatever. She will learn to put herself to sleep pretty quickly. Make her understand that once she is in bed, it is quiet time and let her choose when she actually goes to sleep. It worked pretty well with my two “I hate bedtime” little terrors!
Yes, Crib Tent! My friend has a 3 yr old who is still in a crib, but with a crib tent. He isn’t ready to be unleashed on the house after bedtime (they tried a big boy bed for a while) and the crib tent does the trick beautifully.
On another note, I LOVE what you’ve done with the fireplace! I loved the pumpkins in there at Halloween, and now I love all of the candles! If I had a fireplace I’d totally do that.
aw, thanks! I am loving the fireplaces, but I’ve found that if I DON’T put something in there, Annie tries to climb in. I should PROBABLY get a gate or something.
Two thoughts: Fight harder for her nap. She’s wired at night because she’s likely overtired from not napping enough. Children get so tired that they’re wide awake. I bet if you let her cry, whine, etc. but consistently enforce a 1-2 hour nap at around 1 p.m. or so, night time will be less of a battle because she’ll be less grumpy.
Second thought: I’m also shocked that my daughter hasn’t climbed out yet. She’s super short, so I’m lucky. But when she gets to that point and I’m not ready for the toddler bed battle, I plan to get one of these: http://tinyurl.com/6o2gkbt
Although as I type that, it occurs to me that my stubborn daughter will probably freak out if I do that. Sigh.
If the net isn’t something you want to do or that she’ll accept, I agree that you should put her in a toddler bed. You don’t want her getting hurt.
And when you do, buy the Sleep Fairy book. It worked well on my 2.5 year old when we transitioned.
I agree about her being overtired. I always told my kids they didn’t have to ‘nap’ just stay in their bed for 2 hours every afternoon doing whatever they wanted. They would look at books or play with toys, and usually fell asleep. Nice break for me though. Same at bedtime. I told them they didn’t have to go to sleep right away, just to bed.
Good luck, it is so hard with a child that is willful, but it will serve her well as an adult!
My son is nearly 23 months old. He’s almost exactly Annie’s size (same height, but he’s a little heavier). I’m convinced his size is actually the reason he hasn’t learned how to climb out of his crib yet. He’s just not as agile as a smaller/lighter toddler.
Regardless of the reasoning, I’m so thankful that he’s not an escape artist, and I fully intend to leave him in the crib as long as possible. He already knows how to open the door to his room, and I have no desire to have him roaming around our apartment in the middle of the night while we sleep!
Our crib converts too, and that’s what we’ll do when we eventually have to admit defeat. Good luck!
Michele Best says:
I haven’t read all of the comments and don’t know if someone has suggested this, but with my son, I took the bottom springy part of the crib out and put the mattress right on the floor INSIDE the crib. So it added another foot and a half or so and he couldn’t climb out of that. I’ve also heard that, depending on your crib, you can turn it around and add a little height. If the front is low and the sides and back are taller, put the front against the wall with the high sides out. That makes it more difficult for them to climb out. But some kids are just monkeys and will figure it out anyway. Good luck!
Crib tent all the way baby! My oldest never tried to climb out of his crib and slept in it until he was 38 months old. My youngest – different story – started attempting escape at age 22 months…since we live in a two story house both my husband and I felt like no good could come of that and envisioned him tumbling down the stairs in the middle of the night. We bought crib tents for both our pack and play and his regular crib. Peace of mind for everyone and he stayed in his crib as long as my oldest did…I will admit, however, that it is a pain in the arse to change the crib sheet with the tent – but so worth the effort!! Do it, do it now! Have it delivered FedEx!
Heather Marie says:
I would opt out of a toddler bed…grab yourself a big girl twin bed for Annie. Put the twin mattress on the floor next to her crib so that if/when she figures out how to climb out..she’s got a cushion. Toddler beds are kinda ok..but only last for a little while before they outgrow them.
Crib tents ROCK!! I used one on my son who climbed out early on. Then I later loaned it to a friend. And then she loaned it to another friend. Now I have shared my tent with probably 8 people. LOVE them!!!
We tried a toddler bed to no avail and we found out that our daughter slept just fine in our bed for her naps without us, so we bought a twin bed and unbelievably it did the trip. I honestly think those crib/toddler bed mattresses are so uncomfortable for them after a while. We put it up against the wall with a rail on the outside and it worked. Never got out of bed or up in the middle of the night again. Did I mention that she was 18 months old and had already climbed out of her crib?
Sarah A says:
Our son began flipping out of his crib at 14 months, he started by flipping out of the pack and play at daycare. One time while at daycare he flipped out and got his shirt caught on the side and became tangled. The thought of him hanging by his shirt freaked me out. Rather than wait for something like that happening during the night out of his crib we switched from his crib to a “big boy toddler bed” his crib would convert to a toddler bed but we opted not to convert it because we were worried he would get wedged underneath it (he has no fear and tried to climb under it when he was in his room with his crib) He LOVED his big boy bed and slept it in fine the first month. After that he started wondering the house and we were at a loss. We tried the gate acrossed the door and he climbed that so we asked our pedi. The pedi recommended locking the door from the outside. It wasn’t easy but after two very long nights it worked. Now he is 2 1/2 and asks for his door to be left open, as long as he stays in his bed we leave it open. he knows if he wonders the house he will have his door closed.
I heard about the nets but was afraid he would climb the crib and get stuck in it… call me paranoid.
Good Luck mama!
Im for the toddler bed. And the door gate!
If shes wired at night it could be shes overtired.
Oh, both my kids were escapers. They took after me as I could do it before I could walk, landing on my well padded diaper covered bum!
No kids here but my sister has a 20 month old son. When he was 15 months me became a crip hopper. She decided to put him in a toddler bed. She shuts his door at night so he can’t roam the house but the first week she would hear him walking around his room. She would go inside and find him behind the door or in the closet, it a crouched position. Little dude was so confused about his newfound freedome. Anyway, after that first week he was good. I told her not to worry so much if she found him asleep on the floor. Eventually he would learn that his bed was more comfortable, and he has. Good luck!
Words from my ped: No parent ever regretted keeping their kid in a crib too long, but they have regretted trying the toddler bed too soon. And: I’ve never heard anyone say it’s my parent’s fault, they kept me in my crib until I was __ years old. Stay in the crib as long as you need. The sleep sack suggested for warmth can also help make climbing out a little more challenging.
I’m going to have to set some time aside to read over everyone’s comments/advice about when to switch to a toddler bed since I know that’s a decision we’ll be facing in a few more months. Although for now I’m grateful that Coraline’s legs are too short for her to climb or even try to climb out of her crib.
CRIB TENT!!! It is a dream. It is more affordable than a toddler bed and there is no way for them to get out. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I put one on my son’s crib when he was 16 months bc I was truly afraid he’d break his neck trying to get out.
I am certainly not telling you what to do (you are her Mommy!) but I would say that she is a bit young for the toddler bed CONSIDERING once she figures she can get out, maybe nobody sleeps ever again? Ever again is a long time.
I kept both my kids in the crib over 3 years and the transition to bed was seamless. Old enough to explain, reason with, etc.
Just my opinion and my experience! CRIB TENT!!! Google it, you can have it shipped to your house!
Leigh Elliott says:
I didn’t read all the responses but you might want to try a ‘crib tent’. I think they are on the babiesrus site. I am guessing you’ve already moved the mattress as low as it can go in her crib? Other than that, I just wanted to offer my support of a “big girl bed”. I worried that our daughter would be up all night in her room, or worse, in ours by having a bed vs. crib, but it was actually a pretty simple transition. She stayed in her bed, for a few months anyway!
I was all for keeping our oldest daughter in a crib until she was 5…and only switching her then so she didn’t get made fun of by the other kids at kindergarten. But shortly after her second birthday The Mister and I would walk into her room after her nap to find her leg hitched up over the side. Rather than risking a head injury we decided it would be safer to switch to the toddler bed. The first night was rough as she experienced the novelty of getting up, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be with either of my girls. I was worried that they would get up in the middle of the night and wander the house, but if they do get up it’s only to come to our room.
My three and a half year old gave us a really hard time with bed time this summer. My solution was to lay down with her (umm so that lasted about a week before the toddler bed turned into a queen, luckily it was a crib/toddler bed/adult bed set up so we only had to buy the mattress)and guide her through a relaxation time where I talk to her in a soft voice and have her take deep breaths while she concentrates on relaxing different parts of her body. It worked.
But I’m so amazing at putting her to sleep that now more often than not I put myself to sleep too and wake up in the middle of the night, still in her bed. But it’s a snuggly, quiet sleepy problem as opposed to an enraged tearful one, so I’ll take it for now.
You really need to invent a toddler treadmill. (says the woman whose 4yo is still up destroying her room at 9pm most nights, after a full day of daycare and kindergarten, and no naps. (send help)
I use a Large Halo sleep sack to keep my son from climbing out. He was 2 in December, and is a very busy climber. He can’t get the other leg up to try to get out with the sack on, and it keeps him warm. He has since forgotten about trying.