Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It Had to Happen Eventually

Last night, after I'd already read him his books, sang him his song, and gave him his kisses, Thumper suddenly appeared in the living room, unannounced. He was a teary, panicked mess, sobbing, "I dropped my cloth!"

When he was a tiny baby, we used old-fashioned organic cloth diapers as spit-up rags; he became very attached to them, and to this day snuggles with them when he is tired or anxious. I don't think his panic was entirely about the cloth, because he had 4 of them in his bed with him, and though he lost one, there was still an armload of them left for him to cuddle with. I suspect he had some kind of bad dream, and when he woke and tried to recover from it, he dropped a cloth out of reach behind his crib, lost his mind, and climbed right out of his crib for help.

So I calmed him, rocked him, and when he was ready, put him back to bed, and he was just fine for the rest of the night. Now, though, it's nap time, and I'm kind of jumpy. I knew that some day he would figure out that he was capable of leaving his bed any time that he wanted, and part of me is surprised that, with his climbing skills, it took him this long. The other part of me thinks it's too soon. Now, every sound I hear makes me stop and listen. Is it him? I just know I'm going to be working away and jump out of my skin when from directly behind me he suddenly says, "I want my milk!"

And it's just my opinion here, but I think 2 1/2 is much too soon for me to have to have the "Mama and Daddy were just wrestling" conversation with him.


anne said...

Although you didn't ask, here is my experience / opinion on the subject of crib to big-kid bed:

Neither of my two kids ever climbed out of their cribs. They were late walkers (15 mos and 17 mos) and not very active, so keeping them in a crib was no hassle.

When we found out baby #2 was coming, right about the time my daughter turned 3, we went to the mattress store and checked out all the big girl beds. We talked about being a big girl, and discussed the fact that she took naps at daycare on a mat - she was probably about ready for a big girl bed. A week later, when she was at daycare, the new twin-size bed was delivered. We took her crib apart, put the new bed in her room, and had it all ready with her stuffed animals, her favorite blanket, a new PILLOW (she had never had one in her bed before) and a side rail. We told her there waas a surprise in her room when she got home - she was thrilled to pieces! We still picked her up and put her in it like we did with the crib - she did not figure out she could get out by herself for several weeks (or months?) Once she figured out she could crawl to the end of the bed and get out, where there was no side rail, we took the rail off. She fell out of bed twice in the first week after the rail was gone, but after that, she was fine. I cannot remember if she ever got out of bed once she was in, until she was much older - maybe 5 or 6... for the most part, she knew bed was for sleeping, and she followed that rule well.

My son was the same story - never climbed out of his crib, but when he was about 3, we did the same crib-to-bed switch while he was at daycare. He also did not figure out he could get out by himself for several weeks - we still lifted him in and out until he figured out he could do it on his own.

We were also late to the potty-training project - both kids were still in pull-ups when they moved to a big bed. My mom thought we were nuts, since crib sheets were easier to change if overnight accidents ocurred, but it worked well for us.

I was also advised by several parents whose kids were climbers that as soon as they could climb out of their cribs, it was time to move to something that was lower to the ground, so they would not fall getting out of the crib.

As for kids wandering, you need to set expectations that when kids go to bed, they stay in their beds... there... and a lock on the parents' door is a good idea, especially on lazy Sunday mornings!

Jennie said...

As long as he's not slicing your Achilles tendon from beneath your bed, you should be fine. ;) But I totally understand your terror - it's much scarier when they're mobile.

I, Rodius said...

I've been kind of waffling on the big kid bed point. We're working on potty training, and I don't want to introduce more stressful changes at the same time, but of course I'd rather he didn't break a leg climbing out of his crib, or if some day we give him a sibling, adding the additional stress of a new bad to THAT situation. Anyway. Maybe now's the time.

Yay! A Pet Semetary reference! That was the cutest little psycho murderer ever, and the buildup to him getting run over by the truck was deliciously awful. Yay, Fred Gwynne!

She Said said...

OK, I'll give my two cents too. :)

We were also told the second they could climb out, you put them in a bed. (Of course, you could get one of those tent things that attaches to the top if you really don't want to get a bed yet.) When we put Braedyn in a big boy bed, we were given this little piece of advice from our pediatrician. If/when they get out of bed the first time, you can give them a hug, tell them it is time to stay in bed, and put them back in bed. The second time, no hugs. The third time, no hugs and no words. Just put them back in their bed.

This did work for us, however the first night B realized he could get out of bed, we kept score. He did it 58 times! But we were consistent with our reaction, and that was the worst of it.

Good luck with the transition!

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