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Transitioning 19mo to 'big bed'
Tips to keep him IN bed please!!!


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10 replies to this topic

#1 sharonica

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:04 PM

Hi everyone!

We have just made the swap for our 19mo DS to move to a 'big bed' in anticipation of DD's impending arrival in 5ish weeks. We moved DS over about 4 weeks ago, trying to give ourselves plenty of time for him to adjust before we moved the cot into the baby's new room. The first 3 nights were a breeze, DS slept through all night and didn't get out of the bed. DH and I were patting each other on the back, praising our good parenting and wondering what the fuss was all about! Too soon, too soon! rolleyes.gif

Anyway, night number 4 and DS caught on that he could climb out of bed and there was nothing stopping him. So as soon as we put him down he would get out. We'd put him back in, he'd get out, put him back in, he'd get out (you get the picture!). We then strategised that we would make the cot his 'punishment' for not staying in bed: ie. warn him that if he doesn't stay in bed then he will sleep in the cot without his teddies etc. We've been going with that strategy for the last 4 weeks and it hasn't worked, he's still ending up in the cot every nap and nighttime! At night we'll put him into his bed once he's asleep and he'll generally stay there until 5am-ish when he hops out to go play with his toys (and we then put him back into the cot so we can go back to sleep). So the whole 'cot=punishment'/'bed=reward' theory has been a total flop.

So I need some ideas desperately. We're running out of time because I'd really like to put DD into the cot straight up when she comes home. We've never really been the type of parents to sit with their child til they fall asleep, I'm a big fan of them learning to self sooth and fall asleep without parental assistance. But given that I'm desperate, I'm open to ANY ideas, strategies etc etc!!

TIA original.gif , your tips are most appreciated!

#2 *mylittleprince*

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

Have you moved him to a toddler bed or proper single bed? 19 months is very young IMO for a big bed. Are you able to borrow a cot from anyone and keep him in it for longer?

#3 Jo-Anna

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

Have you considered a basinet for the new baby to buy you some more time? I think 19 months is very early to go into a big bed and perhaps in a few months the transition may be a bit easier. I have a feeling that reasoning with a 19 month old about staying in bed may just be fighting a losing battle.

That is what I would do, but then again I am only judging off my nephew who is 2.5 and is only just beginning to be ready to go into a big bed now. Maybe someone more experienced might have some tips for you.

#4 Xander2

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

We did the same thing at pretty much the same age with DS before DD came along.

I thought it would be a few weeks of torture for a good result in the long run.  All kids are different but it was months and months of torture....even after DD was born and came home!  If I had my time over I would have bought a 2nd cot and waited until DS was a bit older.

We just did the pick him up and put him to bed with no talking etc.  It took ages and in hindsight he just wasn't ready but for some reason I was all "Well it's a waste of money buying a 2nd cot if he'll only be in it for another 6 months" but if I'd bought a 2nd cot it would have been a much less stressful 6 months!

#5 Tesseract

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

We have DD 14 months in a 'big bed'. It's a mattress on the floor so yes she can get out of it. Some things I find have helped are:

-Using a sleeping bag rather than blankets. It's harder to get up and about in a sleeping bag!
-Minimal toys/distractions at child height in the room. She has access to her bookcase and a couple of teddies, that's it.
-Gate on her door. This way if she does get out and about she can play without any issues.

I'm not a fan of creating rewards/punishments, especially around bed and sleeping, it just creates anxiety about the whole thing. If your cot/no teddies=punishment thing had worked, he would essentially be staying in the bed out of fear that he will lose his access to his comfort items, the teddies. I don't think that's a healthy association to be creating with sleep.

You said he can get out of his bed, but can he get into it? I would make it so he can get both in and out, giving him some control over the situation. For us that meant a mattress on the floor. Then lie down with him until he is calm and relaxed, and then leave if you want (we just stay till she's asleep, but she's younger and that's more our style). If he gets up and is playing quietly and happily, I would just let him do that for a bit without making a big drama of it. He might go back to bed himself, or call you when he's ready for a cuddle and to sleep again.

#6 kiwimum2b

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:28 PM

Hi. I have just put my nearly 18 month old into a toddler bed (took side off his cot and safety rail up) and like yours the 1st week when he didn't know he could get out of bed was bliss original.gif
What is working for us is making sure he is in there when he's tired..sticking to 1 daytime nap and strict bedtime (if he goes in not tired he just plays around and if overtired its even worse)
He also has a sleeping bag thing that he can still walk in which is his cue it's bedtime. I'm even stripping him off and using it for his day nap as a cue and it's working great.
If he cries I just put him back to bed, no talking etc but after 1 night when I did it about 7 times, he now just snuggles down to sleep with 1 return to bed max.

My advice to you would be to choose either bed or cot and not to use both..he basically knows he can get in the cot by getting up..if you don't think hes ready for a bed, put him back in cot an use bassinet for the baby and maybe try again in a few months..otherwise preserve with the bed..I'd say after a night or 2 of returning him to bed he'll get bored and know he may as well just go to sleep!
Good luck


#7 nakedrhubarb

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:37 PM

I would put my son to bed with the same routine - story cuddle and the tuck in before leaving ( we used a trundle bed with mattress until he was big enough to get into the big bed). The door could stay open if he stayed in his bed otherwise I would shut the door. He would hop up and play a little before going back to bed and falling asleep. I was also careful to make sure he didn't have more than one day sleep as if he fell asleep late afternoon it was a nightmare at bed time.

#8 spear_maiden

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

HI there

DS is 2yrs, 3mths and we're about to take the side off his cot as he can climb out when not in a sleeping bag.  So no doubt we're about to be sleep deprived for a while too wink.gif .

I don't really have any advice (sorry!) but thought I'd share.  DH's nephew has always been an absolute dream sleeper.  SIL put him into a single bed when he was about 2.5yrs as he's a a big boy and was running out of room in the cot.  SIL was so thrilled and shocked that he transistioned with only the first two nights being disrupted (calling out, coming out of his bedroom, etc).  Because there are a couple of steps near his bedroom door in their split level home, after the first night SIL put a gate on his bedroom door so if nephew got up in the middle of the night he wouldn't fall down the stairs.  Nephew had stopped calling out after the second night.  All was well again.

Then, a few months later Grandma came to stay.  She needed a middle of the night toilet break and got up.  walking past nephew's door she noticed the light was on, and he was playing.  She went back to bed and waited.  30 minutes later, nephew turned the light off, she checked on him and he was alseep in bed.  next morning SIL had a chat with nephew, turns out he'd been getting up in the middle of the night and playing every night since the big bed intro LOl, he just wasn't coming out because of the gate and was being quiet so he wouldn't get in trouble! LOL  

Anyway, maybe the moral of this story is to get a gate, and not worry if he gets up for a play provided he gets some sleep, he is quiet and he gets back in bed when he's done lol.

Good Luck!

Edited by Studybug, 23 April 2012 - 02:54 PM.


#9 paddyboo

Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

we are transitioning Pat now. At the moment his cot is made up like a bed (pillow/doona) but still has all 4 sides. We are using a gro bedding set. This is where the doona zips on to the fitted sheet. In a bed it stops them from falling out or kicking doona off but we are using it to stop him from moving around so much. The plus side is, with a grobag on as well, he can't get out. He can sit, but not stand. Maybe you could try that. I ordered mine from the UK as you can't get them in australia, I ordered from www.babycurls.co.uk

#10 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

Hi, we have always put them in the big bed with minimal toys in the room - just the teddies that they slept with really until they got very used to sleeping in the big bed and then I would slowly move the toys back in.

#11 Marchioness Flea

Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:48 PM

He might feel safer in the cot which could be why he ends up in there each sleep.
I'd do as the PP's suggested and get a bassinet for the baby for a few months or a cot for her.
I can't see how saying the cot (where he was previously happy and comfortable) is the punishment is ever going to work. Do you think he really CARES he's in a big bed? I bet he doesn't. Not at less than 2 years.




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