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Containing the Uncontainable Toddler

My oldest son climbed out of his crib when he was 15 months old. We tried to keep him contained because his dad and I thought a contained toddler meant a sleeping toddler. When he climbed out of the crib, we tried every other trick we could imagine to keep him settled in bed.

First, we tried a cute toddler bed. He slept in it for about three days, but then realized there was no reason for him to stay in it.

Next, we tried removing all of his toys from his room, putting a futon on the floor and shutting the door. He accepted this challenge and immediately learned how to open a door by turning the knob.

After that, we put a baby gate in front of his door. He scaled this obstacle quicker than the crib rail. As a final resort, we tried locking his bedroom door with him inside. One of us would sit on the floor outside of his bedroom door until there was silence  on the other side of the door. After what felt like too much time had passed, we would quietly open the door, holding our breath and full of hope that he was asleep—somewhere, anywhere—in the confines of his room.

On lucky days, we would find him snuggled on his futon. Most of the time, though, he was bright eyed and full of mischievous greetings for his exhausted parents.

Our bedtime struggles continued for a long time. I am not sure when he became more compliant with our sleep expectations, but I can say with confidence that eventually he grew into a typical teen, one who was rarely rousable before noon. #parenting #toddler #sleep

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