Where Should Your Toddler Sleep?

?? - posted on 09/07/2010 ( 59 moms have responded )

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My son will be 2 on October 31st. When he was born I had him sleep in a basinette beside the couch where I slept until I stopped bleeding and then he slept in the basinette beside the bed. If he was super fussy or when he was breast feeding in the middle of the night he would sleep with me. When he was 2 months old we set up the crib beside the bed and he slept in there on the nights that he went to sleep with no problems, otherwise he slept with me in our bed. When we moved into a bigger apartment when he was 4 months old his crib was set up in a different room than our bed and he started to sleep through the night there, occassionally he would be fussy and sleep with me. When he was 6 months old and starting to teeth his sleeping went to shit and him and I would either sleep in my bed or on the couch together more nights than when he slept in his crib. At about 11 months we moved his crib back into our bedroom with us and he slept in there nearly every night except the very fussy nights when he was teething and he would sleep in bed with us.

So obviously, I have had zero problems with deciding where my child should sleep. Whether it's in bed with us, in his own crib or where ever as long as we both got as much sleep as we needed.

At the end of June we moved into our first home and Gabe got his own room, which is right beside our room. We contemplated keeping the crib but decided he was big enough to have his own bed. So now he has his own bed with toddler railings and he sleeps very well in his own room 99% of the time. In the mornings he wakes up with daddy's alarm and comes into bed with me for another hour (or 2 if I'm lucky) of sleep.

With that I have gotten a LOT of responses from people in our life. Some saying he should still be in a crib. Some saying that he should be sleeping with us. Some saying that it's good that he has his own bed. Some saying we should have an attachment on OUR bed for him in case he wants to sleep there. To each of these replies I roll my eyes and assure them that our son is safe and happy sleeping where he sleeps.

What are your thoughts on toddler sleeping arrangements? Should a 2 year old be in a crib? In their own bed? In bed with mom and dad? Does it really matter? I know each kid is different and can be comfortable in different situations...... but are there any situations that you think are just plain wrong? Or not appropriate for a toddler?

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[deleted account]

Lyndsay, Roxanne will be 2 on Saturday and she's still going strong in her crib. We have no plans of switching her anytime soon and I'm not sure where you got your information but there's no safety recommendation that suggests there be an age limit? I'm confused....shouldn't it have more to do with weight or height and all cribs are different. Roxanne's crib converts into a daybed next and the same mattress is used so I'm not sure why it would be necessary to take down the bars just because she's 2? I plan on leaving her in her crib until she's at least 3 unless she shows signs that she's ready earlier. (ie. climbing out) Just curious where you got your information.

[deleted account]

Until about 6 weeks, my daughter slept in a cradle by my bed. Once she was sleeping longer stretches (6 hours) we moved her to her crib. She's been there ever since. We JUST converted the crib to a toddler bed two weeks ago. She's Two years and 4 months. We waited so long because she is a wiggler, and there was no reason to rush her into the toddler bed.

Rosie - posted on 09/08/2010

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whatever works for your family jo!! :) i do have qualms in MY house about letting my children into bed with me. i don't like it, it's MY space, and they have their own space. also i know of a couple of people whose kids (notice the plural) slept with them until age 10, that scares the hell out of me. so bedsharing is out for us.



moving into a toddler bed is completely a choice made by individual child, and it's parents. do they have other things going on at the same time where it might cause some distress? i tried to keep mine in their cribs as long as possible just so they didn't wander about. mine never could climb the bars, lol! but by age 2 1/2 they were all in their toddler beds, and that's what i wanted, and sometimes needed (with another child on the way, i needed the crib back).



i don't think there's anything wrong with what you are doing as long as it works for you, and your partner. :)

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2010

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A child should be sleeping where they are most comfortable and where the parent's feel is most appropriate. My daughter's crib converted into a day bed with a side rail. She can get out on her own and often comes into our bedroom in the early morning. We like it that way. We get our couple time at night, a comfortable night's sleep, and 'snuggle-time' before the day starts. We leave her & our door open so she can come to us, and we do up the baby gate at the top of the stairs so none of us mistakenly take a tumble during any nocturnal wanderings.

My friend's son has decided that he likes to sleep on the floor in a pile of pillows & stuffed toys. He sleeps 11 hours like that. It works great.

What is inappropriate? A child sleeping in a shelter or on the street because they don't have a home. A child forced to sleep in a closet because they were 'bad'. A child who is not safe in their own bed because an pervert lives in their house.

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Jenni - posted on 09/10/2010

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When the intake nurse came to visit me after i gave birth to my daughter we discussed sleeping arrangements. I told her my plan was to move my son into a toddler bed once Morgan was ready for the crib. She said the pediatric society recommends waiting until at LEAST 24 months before moving to a toddler bed. (Ben was 22 months at the time). She said because he would be so close to 24 months when i made the move it should be fine.
Really i think it all depends on your toddler and your situation. My SD was climbing out of her crib since she was 12 months. At 18 months we moved her to a toddler bed and it worked just fine for her. My son only climbed out one time and never tried it again. Like i said, we had to move him to a toddler bed because we needed the crib for Morgan. He does good at bedtime but his naps are hit or miss.

Johnny - posted on 09/09/2010

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My daughter never tried to climb out of her crib either. I think it really depends on the kid. If they are constantly trying to climb over at 18 months, that is a good time to make new arrangements. But if they're 28 months and still content, why change it unless you want to. We had our daughter out of her crib because she was thrashing around on it, so she was on the floor beside us. So it was easy to transition her to a toddler bed when the time came. But if she'd slept well, who knows, she might still be in there. It would sometimes be rather nice to have her 'contained', lol.

[deleted account]

Emma, I couldn't even tell you if Roxanne can get out or not....she's never tried. She LOVES being in her crib and in fact she scales the bars trying to climb IN not out. I highly doubt she can climb over the bar and more importantly she doesn't want to unless it's to get in, which she's never accomplished without my help.

C. - posted on 09/09/2010

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Dana, that's like my son's crib. It converts to a daybed and then a full size.. My son's already 2 (since the end of June) and even though he's in a temporary crib until we get his room finished, when he goes back to his actual crib, it's going to be just that.. A crib. There's no point to take the sides down if you feel your child is not ready.

Dana - posted on 09/09/2010

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No, my son gets out of it except when it's bed time or nap time. So it's quite handy to put him in there and if he plays in his crib for a while it's no big deal. If he were in a regular bed he would be wandering all over his room instead.

[deleted account]

Yeah, Eliza never climbed out. We have a deep crib so she physically could not even if she wanted to. We JUST took the side down two weeks ago and she turned 2 in May. The ONLY reason we did it is because we have a baby coming in March that will need the crib. I wanted her used to sleeping on the toddler bed before we put her in the big girl bed. We'll probably make that transition early next year as to give her a few months in her new bed before the baby takes over her crib.

Stifler's - posted on 09/09/2010

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Doesn't the fact that they can get out of it make them useless though? Just sayin'.

Lyndsay - posted on 09/09/2010

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I think that a child CAN be in a crib until the age of 2, but no longer. The safety recommendations on most cribs say not to use past 2, but if your kid is climbing out at an earlier age then obviously you'd want to make the switch then. I do think that toddlers should sleep in their own beds, in their own rooms (if possible). They're learning to become independent and they need their own space. I see nothing wrong with your situation... if he's still comfortable on his own then why not gain an extra hour or two if you can?

Jenni - posted on 09/09/2010

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My son can hop a baby gate with little effort. He's a very light sleeper as well so we've always closed his bedroom door. Since he's been in a toddler bed it's been even more important to keep it closed. My son KNOWS when no one is watching and takes these opportunites to get into things he knows he's not sappose to. This includes the stove and fridge. I wouldn't want to take the chance of not hearing him in the morning. When he wakes up he usually plays in his room for about 30 mins before i hear him. (My room is on the other end of the house.) For his saftey I keep his door shut.

Sarah - posted on 09/09/2010

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I shut the girls bedroom door at night.
There is a stair gate at the top of the stairs, but it's been broken for a few months now!

Neither of my 2 have ever got up and just wandered around. They'll go to the bathroom, but that's it. Besides, if either was getting up to mischief, the other would tattle on them pretty quickly! lol

The walls in our house are pretty damn thin too, so I can pretty much hear EVERYTHING that is going on upstairs. They think it's amazing how I can stop their evil plots from downstairs! ;)

[deleted account]

Ok, maybe I'm just strange but I couldn't imagine leaving Roxanne's bedroom door open. What if there's a fire? LMAO. Am I being irrational? Apparently I'm the minority but it poses a very good question about what I'll do once Roxanne transitions into a toddler bed? Hmmm? She'll more likely than not insist her door be closed. Tonight Chad tucked her in and apparently forgot to shut the door.....a few minutes later we heard her yelling, "MOMMMMY, DAddd-DY, close door PU-LEASE!".....it was the cutest thing ever but until that moment I never realized that she gave it any thought. Interesting.

Amie - posted on 09/08/2010

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We leave our kids bedroom doors open too. We've never had an issue. All of them, on the few occasions they get up before us, just pile into our room and start jumping if we don't get up ASAP. =S

?? - posted on 09/08/2010

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I have a baby gate across Gabe's bedroom door. His door and our door are side by side, I have yet to not hear him either get out of bed or when he walks to the gate. Our front door handle wasn't working properly - we had to SLAM the front door to close it and latch and it only took a small flick of the finger on the knob/lock for it to unlatch from the inside. We had that fixed recently so it's no longer an issue. But we have a sliding glass door in the kitchen that he knows how to unlock and open so we feel it's safest to have the baby gate up at night until he's old enough that we KNOW he understands the dangers of going to the door, and opening the door in the middle of the night.

I'll add I'm not worried about some person coming in the house... but we have had raccoons, skunks and bears on the deck, an coyotes in our yard, so the last thing I want is for him to even accidently open the door and have some animal make itself at home in our house.

Johnny - posted on 09/08/2010

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I leave the door open. It's easier that way. If it's closed, she starts yelling. If it's open she just sneaks into our room, quietly crawls into bed, and goes back to sleep without even waking us. We often wake up in the morning to find her there having no recollection of her arrival. That is just how we like it. There is no where for her to go besides her bedroom & ours, we close the den & bathroom doors and put the gate on the stairway. So our sound sleeping doesn't make us worry. Although occasionally one of us is sort of awake when she gets up. Last week, I was awake and I heard her wake up, say, "I'm hungry. Stella (her doll) get me a banana please." About 10 minutes later she crawled into our bed. I was still chuckling.

[deleted account]

Eliza's door is shut when I put her down for nap time and bed time. I don't want her to be disturbed by the noise of whatever I'm doing. I crack it open before I go to sleep at night. But she'll wake up and shut it on her own sometimes. I'll wake up to her knocking on her bedroom day saying in a sweet little voice, "Knock knock Mama."

Dana - posted on 09/08/2010

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Ethan co-slept with us from the beginning, then transitioned to the crib beside the bed and then into his own room by one. He's still in a crib at 25 months. He only climbs out if he's in it for time out. For nap and bed time he stays in it. In the morning he will stay in it and call for me, even if the rails are down! lol It works for us. My house is child proof but, I know he would come into our bedroom and get me if he did crawl out. I plan on keeping it this way until whenever. lol I'm not ready to fight with him to stay in a big boy bed when it's time to nap. Right now, he plays in the crib sometimes up to an hour before he falls asleep, if he had free reign, I doubt he would stay in his bed and fall asleep.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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LOL Erin , Cooper tries that too but i put a lock on the fridge :D

I leave the door open because even in my deepest sleep i can still hear when he stirs and wakes up and he is a very heavy sleeper anyway so running around the house has never been an issue , the only time he leaves his bed is to come into our room for cuddles , i guess because the whole house is dark except for the hall between our rooms he never ventures into the dark .

Erin - posted on 09/08/2010

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Wyatt is in a toddler bed with a gate at his door. If he didn't have a gate there, he would take everything out of my fridge while I was sleeping. Oh yes he has done that already! I didn't latch the gate right :P

[deleted account]

Question - for those of you who've put their children in toddler beds do you leave their doors open?

Kylie - posted on 09/08/2010

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My toddler is in our bed..he will be moving to his own room after his second birthday...if he's ready. Neither of my kids liked crib sleeping and i was too lazy to get up 6 times a night so co-sleeping is what works for us. My oldest moved to her own room and big bed at 2 with no issues ..so i hope its as easy with my son.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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Oh yeah my oldest is like that but we have Cooper proofed the house and he generally runs straight into our room in the morning for cuddles :D

C. - posted on 09/08/2010

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Uh.. Wow. Well, I'm going to say this.. My son turned 2 in June and he is STILL in a crib.

This is why: He's just too curious and our house isn't fully set up yet b/c we have had to wait on a few things. My son likes to tear things apart and put them back together, he likes to tear up papers and we also don't have all the cabinet locks on just yet, so.. As you can see, my son kind of NEEDS to be in a crib right now. I know for a fact that if I left him in a toddler bed, he'd crawl right out whether I was up yet or not, and get into something dangerous.

If you have made sure that there are cabinet locks on every cabinet/drawer in your son's reach and you have absolutely positively NOTHING left out that he can get into that wouldn't require parental supervision, then maybe a toddler bed is just fine. I, on the other hand, know that my son would be quite mischievous knowing that daddy was at PT and mommy was still snoozing (hubby leaves for PT at 530am).

If your child isn't like that, then you probably don't have anything to worry about.

Sara - posted on 09/08/2010

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My daughter is still in her crib, she appears to have no issues with this. I figure there's no reason for me to transition her to another bed because she doesn't try to get out of her crib. We're in no hurry, I figure she'll let us know when she's ready.

Any situation that are just plain wrong? Well, as long as they are safe and sleeping well, who really gives a shit?

[deleted account]

Dana, all co-sleepers are spoiling their kids and they will grow up with dependency issues. Plus, when do you have sex?

There, that should liven things up for ya. ;)

[deleted account]

WOW! I just read through the thread (quickly) and I'm surprised that no one has a problem with the co-sleeping or bed-sharing that's goin on....lmao. Surely SOMEONE disagrees with it?

[deleted account]

I haven't read the other responses yet.

Should a 2 year old be in a crib? Roxanne is, but, that doesn't mean another child should be. This is one topic that I STRONGLY feel that each family needs to do what works best for them....I don't think one way is better than the other. Roxanne is still in her crib with her second birthday coming up on the 11th. She LOVES her crib and for us, there hasn't been a need or desire to swith to a toddler bed. When Roxanne has a bad night I have no problem bringing her in to snuggle with us.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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I think the pediatric society of canada reccomends sleeping in a crib until 24 months. Then you can use a toddler bed.
That said, it's really up to you and your family to decide what works for you.
I moved my son into a toddler bed a month ago when he was just over 24 months. Mostly because we needed the crib for my daughter.
I co-slept with both my children on occasion either by accident (falling asleep while nursing) or b/c they were fussy. I worked at getting them use to a crib since they were born but never forced it on them. My son took to his crib around 4 months, my daughter at around 2 months.
Personally i wouldn't want to co sleep with my 2 year old. Although the idea of the whole family curling up together at night sounds so peaceful and lovely. I couldn't see myself wanting to do it every night or any time my toddler decided he wants to sleep with us. Mommy and Daddy need their alone time. That's why for us teaching our children to sleep in their own beds is important.
But really when it comes down to it to each their own.

Hannah - posted on 09/08/2010

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My 2 1/2 yr old still sleeps with me. My husband sleeps on the couch because he has a bad back. We usually find that the only time to have fun is to put Roary the Race Car on and grab a quickie in the bathroom. I long for normalcy. I hope to get my son out of my bed and into a toddler bed once we move. We move on the 1st of October, by the end of the year is my goal. My daughter sleeps in her crib right next to my bed but she will have her own room when we move and I will put her crib in there. I don't see that being a problem at all.

[deleted account]

My 1 year old HATES his crib and I was thinking about taking the side off and putting the toddler rails on because when I did this w/#1 he didn't mind his bed soo much...So I think the comment of leaving them in a crib until they are 2 is a bit silly? If they are climbing out with the side up then that is just plain NOT SAFE! So taking it down or changing their bed is the proper thing to do! #1 slept in bed w/us until 3 and then his brother came and he sleeps w/us now. A few times we've had them both in bed! That was pretty full, thank gawd we have a king! I'd just ignore other ppls comments and do what is best for your family! I know I get all sorts of crap from ppl for having my kids in bed w/us *rollin eyes*

Jenny - posted on 09/08/2010

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The first 6 weeks was spent mostly on the couch. Until 3 months in my room in a bassinet. From then they went to a crib in their own bedroom. At 13 months both of my kids went to big kid beds. My daughter to a toddler bed and my son straight to the bottom bunk. It worked for us.

Jennifer - posted on 09/08/2010

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Honey my daughter will be four on the 13th and she still sleeps with me and my husband she has been since she came home from the hospital..... I mean it is whatever makes you happy.... I mean it makes me happy knowing she is right their beside me incase something happens I am right their... I hope this helps.....

Amie - posted on 09/08/2010

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That's cute Mary.

Allie, the youngest, fell asleep sitting up in a grocery cart yesterday. She normally naps after lunch but I had to run a couple errands before we came home, after dropping the other kids at school.

We got to the store, I put her in the cart and by the time we made it in the store she was sitting there sleeping. lol

Mary - posted on 09/08/2010

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Like everyone else, I think you do what works for you and your child.

Every child really is different. Sometimes I think my daughter is odd...she slept with us until about 8 weeks, when we put her in her crib, in her own room. Now, she didn't sleep through the night, but once she was in her own space, she did start sleeping for longer stretches, and started sleeping through by about 13 weeks. She has been in her crib ever since, and is now 22 months. She has shown no interest in trying to climb out (she simply calls me when she's ready to get out, which is usually about 15-20 minutes after waking, and conversing with her stuffed animals). Unless something changes, we probably won't convert her crib to the toddler bed until after her 2nd birthday.

Overall, she is a good sleeper, but she is a little fussy about only sleeping in her bed, or in her pack 'n play if we aren't home. She NEVER sleeps in the car, or falls asleep on a couch, the floor, or anywhere other than her designated "bed". A few weeks ago, we were driving home from the beach during her normal map time. It is a 3 hour drive, and about 1/2 way through, she started telling me "night-night, Mommy". She never got fussy or cried, but she would not go to sleep in the car. God love her, she waited until we got home, walked right into her room, and waited for me to put her in her crib. Since about 8 months, that girl has never slept in the car, no matter how long of a trip. We rarely use a stroller, but I doubt she would sleep in that either. I've also tried to get her to nap with me in my bed....nope, not having it. She'll snuggle, but when she wants to go to sleep, she again tells me "night-night", climbs off the bed, and goes into her room.

Sarah - posted on 09/08/2010

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My eldest slept in our room in a moses basket until 3 months, when she went into her own room. She slept in a cot until she was about 3 I think.

Our youngest was in our room in the moses basket until she was 6 months, then she went into the same room as her sister in the cot. She was in the bunk beds (on the bottom obviously) by about 18 months.

So we've been a bit all over the place with different times of doing things between the 2 of them, but it all worked for the situation at the time.

I a big believer in PLENTY of sleep of everyone! lol. So I think so long as everyone's getting sleep, it's all good! Co-sleeping certainly wasn't for us personally, but the sleeping arrangements we used worked out well. :)

Krista - posted on 09/08/2010

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I'm with the others -- do what works for you. Personally, I hope to have an arrangement like yours, where Sam has his own bed in his own room, and in the mornings comes and crawls in with us for a cuddle. Best of both worlds, in my opinion.

The only situation that I would think is wrong is if the parents are focusing more on some by-the-book ideal instead of focusing on their kid's needs.

Tracey - posted on 09/08/2010

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As long as he sleeps well it doesn't matter where. As for the sex question, who says you should only do it in bed, explore the rest of the house.

[deleted account]

I completely agree with all the other ladies, as long as YOU and YOUR partner and children are happy with the arrangements it is nobody elses business.

For our son he slept in our room in a moses basket (and on me when he was unsettled) for the first 3 months (he was really small). He then moved into a cot in our room until he was 6 1/2 months when he moved into his own room. He is still only 10 1/2 months so is still sleeping in his cot but when he can climb in and out of it we will change it to a bed (he has a cot bed).

My SIL on the other hand had my nephew sleep in a moses basket for 1 month, then he slept in a cot in her room until he was 10 months. He has slept in her and my BIL bed since he was 10 months he is now 3.

Every family is different do what is right for you.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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WTF having sex while BF , i mean i know women are wicked multitaskers but COME ON you dont have to prove it with everything LOL.

I seem to remember a post about someones sister saying they had sex with the child in the bed , yeah thats wrong .

But it is fairly easy to still have a sex life and co sleep it just means having a bit more imagination and spontaneity .

Meghan - posted on 09/07/2010

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J slept ON me for 10 months...in a crib in his own room until 17 months and now sleeps in a big boy bed in his own room, but wakes up usually between 3-5 and I go to his bed and cuddle him till he falls back asleep. It all depends on what you and your children are comfortable with.
And yeah NO sex while the child is in the room...it would personally creep me out.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2010

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Ah, yes, the whole having sex while bed sharing thing. It seems weird to me too. But not uncommon in other cultures, so not like perverted or anything. I mean, lots of people in 1 room huts manage to have more than one kid. However, the post I once saw about having sex while breastfeeding has really stuck with me as being spectacularly odd.

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2010

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Someone said that on here? LOL. I don't think I'd co sleep for that reason too. Our kid used to sleep in our room in his bassinet but we got a bit over him waking up when my boyfriends alarm went off for work and just generally being a loud sleeping and thinking he was awake and getting up to check when he wasn't. He went in his own room at 10wks.

Amie - posted on 09/07/2010

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Ya well CoM's have opened my eyes to how strange some parents really are. haha =S

Amie - posted on 09/07/2010

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Oh and the only thing I can think of that's wrong when it concerns a toddler's (or any child's) sleeping arrangements is when the parents are having sex with them there. Ew.

Amie - posted on 09/07/2010

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My oldest shared a bed with me until she was about 6 months old. Then she went to a crib and sometime in before she was 18 months she moved to a bed in her own room.

My son never slept in a crib, he went straight from my bed to his own bed in his room at 1 year.

My 3rd slept in a bassinet/crib next to the bed until she was a year. Then went into her own room. She moved into a bed when she was 2.

My last went between bed sharing and the bassinet for her first 6 months. Then she was in a crib next to the bed until she was 15 months. She then moved to her own bed in her own room.

Out of all of them, Caitlin (3rd) was the hardest to get used to sleeping in a bed. I think it's because we waited so long to put her into one. If she had gone straight from our room to her own bed and room it probably would have been easier. It was with the other 3 anyway.

Charlie - posted on 09/07/2010

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We co slept until he was sleeping through the night then he slept in the bassinet beside our bed and then a crib next to our bed , he slept in our bed whenever he was unsettled or sick .
Cooper has had his own big boy bed since he was 12 months , he came to the shop and helped pick it out , he loves his bed and the fact he can get in and out by himself and come into our room next door is awesome .

Now we have Harry we are co sleeping again but have his crib set up next to our bed when i want to cuddle up to Jamie or if we are both so tired we think its safer for him in the crib next to us but generally he sleeps in bed with us .

I dont think there is a right or wrong way as long as everyone is happy , i would never put Harry into his own room before he is ready for it and his crib converts into a toddler bed so it will happen when he is ready whether that is the same time as Cooper or later it doesnt matter its up to him .

I woke up this morning with Cooper cuddling me on one side and Harry on the other ( Jamie was at work)

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2010

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I don't think it really matters as long as it's safe. I will never my kids in bed with us because one of us would surely roll on them.

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