Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time for a toddler bed?

Many of my friends have moved their little ones into "big kid" beds, and some of these children are a little younger than Madelyn. Our crib actually features a childproof door which swings open on the front. Using it purportedly helps save Mom and Dad's backs from lifting a heavy child in and out a few times a day, and it promotes independence and self-confidence in the child. The manufacturer also suggests that consistently using the door rather than lifting a baby over the railing prevents the child from learning to try to climb over the railing to get out. I really love the crib, despite my hesitations at the sales presentation where we ultimately purchased it. I'll have to tell you about that sometime.

18-month-old climbing into bed
Peek-a-boo!
June 2008

I would love to have Madelyn in a toddler bed because she could probably get up and go potty and go back to bed all by herself now. I would still go meet her in the bathroom and make sure everything is okay, but it seems like less of a hassle than listening to her cry out and having to escort her every time. Even when she wakes up from a nap or in the morning, I wouldn't mind if she wandered out and played with toys or came to my bed rather than calling for me over and over as if I haven't heard her because of my obvious magical ability to transport myself to her bedside the moment she calls. Normally Madelyn knows when it is time for sleep and would probably stay in her bed without being contained by crib railings.

However, and it's a big however, there are those days now and then where Madelyn resists taking her nap. Naptime is non-negotiable for me, so on days that she doesn't curl up and fall right to sleep, she stays awake in her crib and I attempt to be productive through a sort-of "la la la I can't hear you!" technique. Usually she eventually sleeps, but it might be after 45 minutes or an hour of singing/crying/kicking the wall/giggling. If I weren't able to lock her into the cage that is her crib, what would become of naptime (work and me time)?

Because of our nifty crib door, it seems logical that I have the unique option of "trying it out." I can leave the crib door open and see how it goes for a while before dismantling the crib only to learn that we wish we hadn't done it yet. But I've tried that a few times, and at least once Madelyn thought it was completely silly to leave the door open, and kept slamming it shut. Another time she was alright with leaving it open, but the whole idea distracted her from nodding off because it was novel. There is something about switching altogether to the new style of bed without railings that makes it separate enough not to be associated with the way her crib "should be," if that makes sense.

This common usage of crib door opening demonstrates how sleeping with it open might not be conducive to sleep.
January 2009

While every child is different in these matters, I would appreciate any advice you fellow parents can give me. How do you deal with it when a child doesn't want to go to sleep, but definitely needs a nap, and the ability to keep her in her toddler bed has been eliminated?

3 comments:

Bridget said...

This is a tricky one. For us, the no-nap thing came first so it wasn't really an issue.

Mark and Em said...

We just did this out of necessity on vacation this past week. We're moving him in his own room this weekend. As for me napping wasn't an issue because he stopped at about 22 months. I substituted "movie time" for my one 45minute to an hour stretch of "me" time during the day. Good luck!

KimberlyGanir said...

We were kind of mean, but not as mean as some friends that would turn the door knobs around and lock their kids in their rooms! I would hold the door shut and Adriann would scream for about 30 minutes and then would find her asleep on the floor, or on the changing table, or wherever she happened to fall asleep. After a few days of that, she gave into the naps and it kind of just turned into quite time. IT's a struggle, but luckily with our kids, if they don't take naps, then they usually get to bed early. You just have to get them to bed before they hit their second wind, then it's all over if that happens! I think both kids were done with naps around 2, then they had "movie time" like emily said or quiet time in their rooms. Plus if you use "movie time" and they don't watch tv all day except during that time, then they usually sit and actually watch the movie!

Good Luck!

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