Keeping my toddler in bed

Stacy - posted on 01/06/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am thinking of converting my sons crib into the toddler bed (it then goes into a full size bed). He is 20 months old and I've seen that people have started to do this anywhere from 13 months on. He still fits nicely in his crib and he isn't able to crawl out yet. I would like to try just because I don't want him to be in the crib too late, but he is very active and can manage getting up and down from the craziest things. I'm just afraid he's going to continue to get out and play with his toys. How do you prevent toddlers from getting out? In addition, if I do this, should I keep the baby gate that I have at his bedroom dooor closed? For some reason I have this cartoon mental picture of a toddler duct taped to his bed. I would never do this of coarse, it's just my sense of humor. Any thoughts?

Curious,
Tyler's Mom

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Sacha - posted on 01/08/2011

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we switched our son from a crib to toddler bed at 12 months. It was difficult in the beginning because we spent more time going in and putting him back in bed all the time than anything... we have a baby gate on the door still and it works great... think of it as you are converting his crib into a bigger crib (his room). If you let him get out and explore when it's bed time then he will slowly learn that nothing is going to run away on him when he sleeps and he has all the time in the world to play later.

You have to do everything in baby steps and whatever you do try not to give up and switch back. It took about a week before our son would stay in his bed once we put him down for the night, he would get out and play sometimes or come to the gave and try to get our attention. Eventually he realised that he needed to go to bed, so he would stay in his bed with TAD (LeapFrog musical teddy) and chat away like he used to do in his crib, In the mornings he gets out of bed and plays quietly in his room or comes to the gate and lets us know that he is awake.

the transition isn't as much of an impact on most kids, when they are tried they can sleep anywhere anyway! So if you think you are ready then go for it and stick to it! Good Luck!

Laura - posted on 01/10/2011

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I recently converted my daughter's cot (she's 21 months). We fitted a bed rail to stop her falling and make it a bit more difficult to climb in and out (Tomy make one that fits most toddler beds). Also for the first week or so I stayed with her by her bed untill she was completely asleep to ensure that she didn't climb out. This gave her plenty of time to get used to the new bed. I also encouraged her to climb in and out of her bed as much as she likes during the day, the novelty soon wore off. Hope this helps.

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14 Comments

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Di - posted on 01/25/2011

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If my little guy would not climb out of his crib he would still be in it. He climbs gates (never able to use those either) he can do more harm climbing and falling then the task at hand. Yes we have had our share of trips to the ED and he loves the attention every time. We see friends kids there as well, no big deal anymore. couldnt lock a door either he knows how to pick a lock from the outside and unlock from the inside.. your next question> he'll be 2 in mid April
One tired Mammy

Linda - posted on 01/24/2011

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we couldn't prevent our daughter from getting out and playing with her toys, but she finally started putting herself to bed after playing. I figure either way she is in a safe and comfortable environment and she'll get tired. She's never stayed up more than maybe 15 minutes after we put her to bed for a nap. As for the night time, aside from a little night lite, her room is so dark so she can't really do much playing!

Elizabeth - posted on 01/24/2011

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The way to keep your toddler in bed is to make it fun. Put a musical light that shines off the celing with pictures with the lights off and some light classical music and he will stay in bed because his minds occupied. he will eventually fall asleep. If you do take this course of action, absolutely keep the baby gate up at his bedroom door because he will crawl out of his bed in the morning and you would rather be safe than sorry.

Emily - posted on 01/18/2011

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We moved our toddler (21 months) into a toddler bed at 11 months. It seemed really early, but he was a climber, and we figured it was safer for him to be lower. We still use a baby gate (and will continue to for a long time, as he shares a room with his baby brother). He's actually our best sleeper, out of 4 kids!

Linda - posted on 01/17/2011

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My daughter used to get up and play with her toys, but we would just closer her door (which she couldn't open) and then open it after she fell asleep. At first she would fall asleep on the floor after playing, but after a few weeks she understood and then either stayed in the toddler bed or got back in it to sleep after choosing a doll to sleep with. Since I would open the door while she was sleeping, she knew she could get up and get out when she woke up which comforted her - less struggle.

Jackie - posted on 01/16/2011

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i have a 3 year old that sleeps perfect and i also have twins girls 21 months. i just took there sides off because they were trying to climb out and didnt want to wake up to them crashing to the tiled floor, i have a gate on there room,and they have slept perfect except for the first night the screamed alot but 1 bad night isnt too bad. now i pop them to bed the try and beat me to the gate to get out but i leave them in there room and a matter of minutes they are asleep. they also sleep together some nights very cute. so i say go for it!

Natasha - posted on 01/12/2011

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wen my oldest daughter started jumping out of her bed is wen i knew she dsnt want to be in the crib anymore and i had no choice but to get the toddler bed, my yungest daughter is started to climb so i will be investing on getting her one too

Amber - posted on 01/11/2011

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You know, I would never do this now, because I am older and know better, but when my oldest, who is now twenty, began climbing out of his bed, I panicked. I could not keep him in his bed, his room, or our apartment. At the time we lived twenty feet from a river, and I was petrified he would climb out and drown. So... I flipped his crib over and put his mattress on the floor. Sounds bad, I know. But... he did sleep under there for about four months, until we moved into our house and I could get him a twin bed. Again, don't do this... it's just funny how times have changed. My twenty month old son has just begun climbing out of his crib, and he shares a room with his almost three year old brother. I just put a doorknob cover on the door and shut them both in at night. My three year old has no interest in playing, and goes right to sleep, and since it is dark, and Max is asleep, Mitch gives in to the sandman after not too long. Good luck to all of you, it's definitely a difficult milestone!

Kendall - posted on 01/11/2011

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The first night it took her an hour and a half to go to bed, the 2nd night, 1 hour and last night 45 mins. Today's nap time took an hour and I had to clear out her room of toys, but she slept for over 2 hours. Hopefully tonight it only takes 20 mins, but she's getting the hang of it!

Abby - posted on 01/11/2011

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LOL..I have visions of duct tape all the time! And, after what I've been through this week, I would keep that baby in his crib as long as he wants. My now 21 month old just started hopping out of his crib liberally this week. He's very good at it, I don't have concerns for his safety. The first two nights were chaos; he was up until 3am the second night because it was so exciting to have the freedom. Although, each day the novelty seems to wear off a little bit more ...but every nap, every bedtime is like rolling the dice. I applaud you for being so proactive!

Jessica - posted on 01/11/2011

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Lilli, my 20 month old, has been in her converted crib since she was 16 months old. She learned to walk at 15 months. Ashleigh, my 3yo, learned to walk at 11 months and moved to a bed at 14 months. I just waited for that milestone and put a step stool next to the bed and a toddler rail on the bed. The only way on or off is through the opening I left at the end of the bed where the stool is. Neither of them has ever fallen or hurt themselves. They get out of bed, but just keep putting them back in and they will learn soon enough.

Kendall - posted on 01/08/2011

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Thanks Sacha! I am getting ready to put my daughter in a toddler bed tonight and I am super worried, but your post made me feel much better about it! Thanks!

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