3 year old toddler transitioning from Crib to bed...Many Problems

isaidthreeJanuary 9, 2009

I have read similar posts on this forum regarding our problem. We have been trying to transition our almost 3 year old daughter from her crib to a big girl bed (currently her crib with one side off of it). We have had numerous problems keeping her in bed and in her room. She is currently no longer sleeping where before she was a very good sleeper in her crib. And, we have tried several things to see if they would work...they have not.

With the door open, my daughter will leave her room wanted to either be with us, or to listen to our conversations. We would bring her back into her bed and repeat this process. However this process for has continued for 3 hours!!! Then she will wake up a few hours later and continue.

We tried a gate at her door, did not work. Would not only try to climb out, but actually said, "This is for puppy dogs, don't keep me in like a dog!"

We tried leaving her bedroom door shut...which contains her. This is the option that I most wanted. However here is some of the stuff that she has done with the door closed: Emptied out all her books and violently threw them across the room, actually slept for 3 nights in a row on the floor near her bedroom door, took off all her closed, and dressed herself in regular clothes, urinated on the bedroom floor, and the most disturbing one...climbed up her bedroom furniture to turn on the light.

Our dilemma is this: this was all with her current crib with no siding on one side of it. We are getting a mattress and boxspring that is a full sized one. DO WE LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN WHERE SHE CAN CONTINUE TO WANDER OUR UPSTAIRS, OR DO WE DARE LEAVE THE DOOR SHUT AGAIN? She hasn't slept much at all now for approximately 1 week (average amount of sleep each night is 4-7 hours), and we haven't slept either.

I don't think I can physically handle placing her back in bed 30 times within the evening. However if we choose that tactic, it leaves us with no down time. If we decide to keep her door shut, I don't want her hurting herself. She is a lovely, extremely bright, and manipulative child. PLEASE HELP!!!

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Have you tried offering a reward for staying in her bed all night?

As far as transitioning to the new bed, let her help pick out her new bedding so she has some involvement. You might pick out a couple of options in advance and let her choose from those other she might go off on a whole new theme. Brag up how she is such a big girl to get the new bed. Have you friends and neighbors brag her up too.

My kids liked to turn the light on too. I fixed the problem by getting (I don't know what this is called) a thing I could screw into the light socket. It sort of looks like a light socket. You can buy them at Wal-Mart back by the light switch covers. Anyway, it had a pull chain on it (some come with an extra outlet). I would just turn the light off at the bulb every night so flipping the switch didnt work. I put a night light in the extra outlet so the kids can't reach it.

I would move the furniture away from the light switch so she doesn't have a reason to be climbing.

Since your dd seems to enjoy her time in isolation, I would probably leave the door open. Give her a consequence for every time she wanders out. You may have to take away a toy or some other action. Don't sit and talk to her. Make a simple statement and return her to bed. After the first time, just use a gesture and no words. Don't let her have the attention she's wanting. If she knows you mean business, she'll quit.

Good luck! She will get over this.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:53AM
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I would continue to close the door. We are going through a similar situation and I'd say it took about a week to stop her from opening the door and sneaking around upstairs. I let her know that she could only leave her room if she had to go potty, and just kept bringing her back into her room. Eventually just calling "go back to bed!!" worked. As for what goes on in her room, I allow her that freedom. I usually put her to bed between 8 and 9 and I usually go to bed around 11. I always check on her before I go to bed and I find her asleep and naked, fully clothed in stuff she found in drawers, shoes on, sleeping on the floor, light on, toys in bed with her, books in bed with her, and sometimes just sleeping. I reclothe her, relocate her, tuck her in and kiss her and turn off the light. Half the time she is tired enough to just go to bed, but many nights she is up to something. Something that worked in the beginning was getting her a special night light just for little girls sleeping in big girl beds. As for climbing on furniture to turn on the light, this is the solution I came up with. I got some cheap tubing from HD or Lowe's, some wire, and some replacement curtain handles. We fabricated what I call a lightswitch extender, and now she can reach the lights. We put it in several rooms for her. Good luck :) Christy

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 3:11PM
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I would put the crib away. Place a box springs on the floor. Tuck in the sheets and blanket tightly. Tuck her in, shut the door, and finally resort to a swat on her bottom if nothing else worked. I know people don't like physical punishment, but if it is a safety/health factor, I have no problem with it. Maybe she would like some calming music playing, and a stuffed animal too, though you may have tried these already.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Hi everyone! I am new to the board, and am googling this same problem. I have a 2 year old little boy that started climbing out of his crib 3 weeks ago. My wife and I decided to move him to a big boy bed in fear that he could hurt himself climbing out. He sleeps well a few nights a week, and doesn't on certain nights. His habits are identicle to the characteristics above. I have noticed if he doesn't take a nap he seems to sleep through the night. However the babysitter insist he take a nap, and we stay up at night.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:30PM
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