Things That Go Bump in the Night

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I wasn’t sure what topic to write about today, but as is common, a subject from my daily life provided me with more questions than answers, and hence a blog post was born.

I went to the gym today, and returned home sweaty and in need of a shower. My mother-in-law, who was watching Faith and Jonathan, had to leave. Showering while the kids are awake is a scenario I try hard to avoid. Normally I am up and ready for the day before I go into the nursery to get them out of their cribs. But today was different.

The kids’ room is pretty well childproofed, so we headed there. The dresser is teathered to the wall, the wall plates are the child-safety kind, the door has a plastic lock in it, and all climbable furniture (except the rocker) has been removed. Jonathan was in a “rough” mood, meaning he was treating Faith like his middleweight sparing partner. For both their safety, and my sanity, I put them in their cribs with books and toys and told them I would be back in 10 minutes.

Three minutes into my sudsing, I heard a loud thump followed by a wail. And I just knew Jonathan had climbed (or fallen-depends on how you look at it!) out of his crib.  The crying didn’t seem life threatening, and stopped after about 30 seconds.  I was then hopeful that maybe he had just dropped a toy on the floor. Twenty seconds later a little hand pushed open the bathroom door. I could just imagine his glee “Found you mama!”

As I stood there dripping wet, I convinced him to shut the bathroom door as I remembered the gate to the top of the stairs was open. While he played on the scale, in the relative safety of the bathroom, I quickly shaved my legs while screaming inside “I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!” Toweling off, I escorted the escapee back to his room where I witnesses Faith’s efforts to follow in her brother’s footsteps. Thankfully, she is still to short to perform such a maneuver, but it won’t be long before she grows another inch or two.

I immediately sent up a red flag on my blog calling for all suggestions. And since I needed a topic to write about for HDYDI, I have decided to widen the net and utilize the rest of our readership!  Here are a few questions I have been mulling:

At what age do you plan on/or did you move to toddler beds?

Once you moved to beds, could your kids remain in the same room?

What additional toddler proofing did you do?

How old is too old to be in a crib?

What are your thoughts on crib tents?

What are you best childproofing tricks and tips?

Any personal stories would be a great addition to this discussion…nothing like learning from our fellow bloggers and parents! For the record, I am going to try to keep my kids in their cribs for as long as I can do so safely.  F and J are only 18 months old, and are not at all ready to have the freedom of a toddler bed.  So, dear readers, this is my SOS! Or maybe I should say, SMS for SAVE  MY SANITY!

My little escapee
My little escapee

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15 thoughts on “Things That Go Bump in the Night”

  1. I was lucky in that my girls were never climbers. But here is my advice:

    1. I would wait until they are at least two before moving them to a toddler bed.
    2. Use a crib tent. I have many friends that did and they work wonderfully.
    3. Not sure what your discipline style is. I used to be a high school math teacher and I am a strict mom. We spank. Not all the time but we spanked for getting out of bed. Mostly because it was a safety problem. We also used positive reinforcment (need to validate myself for those who now think poorly of me:) like giving a treat for staying in bed. My children LOVE food so that worked great for us.
    4. Now after all of that guidance, they are almost four and still stay in bed until we come to get them. It is great. The only time we had to separate them was during naps about six months ago because they were playing…but they hated it so much that they quickly obeyed and just went to sleep.
    Hope this helps!

  2. My boys realized they could climb out of their cribs about two months ago. I was in a panic but here is what we ended up doing and I have to say, I’m really happy.

    1. Ours are still in their cribs and probably will be until we buy a house in about six months. They climb in and out so well that I’m not afraid at all. We put the side down to the lowest because that way it gives them extra steps and in fact makes it easier for them. Plus it provides protection while they sleep because they still toss around all over the beds. But with us about to move and not knowing if they will each have their own rooms or need to share, I realized it didn’t make any sense to go buy new beds right away.
    2. We don’t have any other rooms so they stayed together. They often fall asleep in the same bed now which is super cute. We go in after the fall asleep and move them back to their individual beds.
    3. I just made extra sure that the room was really kid proof and as safe as needed to be knowing that their space was now a whole lot bigger. We put a childproof knob on the door so that they can’t wander out at night and since they love to knock on doors its a cute game that they play when they wake from naps or in the morning.
    4. I didn’t do the crib tents because we are so close to the big bed point and they are expensive. If they had been younger, I probably would have made the investment or tried to find second hand ones.
    5. My biggest “trick” of this experience was to give them time to explore their new “out of bed” freedom (at first 30 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 10 – over a period of about a week at each time) and then go in and put them back into their beds and sit in the room facing the wall thus forcing them to relax and fall asleep. They found out quickly that every time they tried to get out of bed at that point I was going to put them back in and remind them that it was nap or bedtime. I almost never have to do that now because they get it. The first week at night it took them 2 hours to fall asleep. It wasn’t pretty as they fell asleep in all kinds of weird places. Now it takes the usual 15 minutes and they are in a bed.

    Some people recommend just putting the crib mattress on the floor. That didn’t work for us. I found the boys laying in the middle of the room and in all kinds of wacky situations.

    If you want to read the details of our experience, I tagged them in my blog:

    You know, it may not even happen again. Maybe :)

    Good luck and keep us posted!!

  3. Wow! What a little escape artist!

    We moved to toddler beds right after our girls turned 2. We only did it that early because we moved pretty far away and didn’t want to ship or buy new cribs.

    To keep them safe, we have a gate preventing them from the entire house except for our bedroom and the bathroom. Even then the bathroom door has a baby lock thing on it and is always closed. So basically they have their room or our room they can go in the mornings. It is a huge gate so they can’t move it (they’ve tried!) or climb over it (yet!).


  4. I think I kind of freaked out when I read this on your blog this morning and now I’m ready to be more calm and rational and give good advice.

    Here is the problem. An 18 month old has no impulse control and generally does not adhere well to discipline plans (time outs). A 2 year old does have better impulse control and can adhere well to discipline. After our experience, I truly think waiting until 2 is best… if youare planning to keep them in the same room.

    If you’re planning to split them up, I would deal with them like singletons. And certainly singletons could be transitioned to a bed at 18 months. I just would never ever ever EVER transition two 18 month olds to beds in the same room again.

    The boys’ room is insanely toddler-proofed. Dresser attached to the wall. Drawer locks on each drawer. NO toys, NO books, NO lotions, NO creams… these all become weapons when twins are unsupervised. We also bought picture frames from Ikea that have plastic instead of glass. And put a lock on the closet door. Doorknob cover on the inside of the bedroom door.

    Feel free to email me if you want the nitty gritty details. Let’s just say that on more than one occassion we walked in to find Alex sitting on Nate’s head bouncing up and down, laughing maniacally. And the biting. And the jumping on the beds. And the running around like banshees. And stripping off clothes.

  5. Oh, this brings back memories. Not good ones, unfortunately. I’d definitely go with crib tents, because I don’t see a good alternative, BUT: They suck, and there’s only one brand (unless that’s changed over the last year). They are very flimsy, and we ended up spending at least $500-600 on replacements in the end. My boys could climb out at 18 months too, and they were by no means ready for their own beds back then. The crib tents solved the problem for quite a while, until they started wrecking them. I had several months of decent showers, though! Then, after about 2.5, they started keeping each other up until after 10PM, and we knew we had to separate them. They’re still separated at 3 and 8 months, and will be for at least another few months. They had to sleep together during a vacation this summer, and it was a nightmare. Some twins just don’t do that very well, at least when they’re little. On a positive note, 18 months was the single hardest age we had with our twins, except for the first few months. It’s only gotten better since then! Best of luck.

  6. My 22 month old twins got out of their cribs today~one handily and one not so~she ended up with a broken collarbone. SO…….crib tents will probably be in order here shortly.


  7. A month ago (16.5 months) we had the same experience. We didn’t get crib tents because 1) they’re expensive and; 2) they weren’t going to work with sleigh style crib well. Our cribs turned into toddler beds, so we went that direction.

    Night 1:
    Went super well.
    Night 2:
    Elliot got out of bed and cried at the door, over and over.
    Night 3:
    Wedged a pack-n-play in the room and Elliot slept in there, through the night.

    Recently Henry was getting out of his bed and opening (and slamming) the door in the middle of the night. Even though we have a gate up, it’s still a safety issue and wasn’t promoting much sleep for any one.

    After getting out of bed about 6 times, I hit my limit and dug up the second p-n-p, stuck him in it and he slept. My husband felt like Henry could climb out of that easily, so Henry is back in his bed, but the two p-n-ps form a barrier so Henry only gets a third of the room, with no access to the door. We’ve been doing that for the last week or so, and he has done an awesome job of getting himself back to sleep, or not even waking up. Yay!

    I think Elliot will be in the p-n-p for awhile. I tried to lay him in his big boy bed tonight and he acted like I was dipping him in boiling water. He laid right in the p-n-p and went straight to sleep. Silly boy.

  8. I’m not exactly sure how old your twins are. But I highly recommend the crib tent. We bought our first one when Lily was 13 months old and already hiking her leg over the side of her crib, and we bought the second one when Grace started doing the same thing around 19 months.

    They were never fearful of them, they actually like them and if you forget to zip it they tell you “zip, zip”. They like to give kisses through the net, or make faces at each other.

    Mine will turn three in March, and we’ll be moving to twin beds at that point. But until very recently, they were definitely not ready to be out of the cribs. It would have been a whole lot of partying and fun, and not a lot of sleeping. Now I think they’ve hit some sort of milestone and they’ll be ready.

  9. Our two-year-olds’ room has two twin size mattresses on the floor because crib mattresses were too easy for them to flip. There are no toys other than stuffed animals allowed. There is no other furniture. There is a lock on the closet door. It took us four months to get them to go to sleep in their beds and stay there by policing them up and putting them back when they got crazy. As they prepare to turn three they go to bed in their beds, they stay in their beds, and sleep well in the same room. We are now considering getting them big boy bed frames.

  10. I used the crib tents and thought they were a lifesaver. My twins loved them – felt like they were all snug in a tent or something, and always reminded me to zip them. They aren’t cheap, but I thought they were worth the money for safety and peace of mind for me!

    My twins moved to toddler beds around their 2nd birthday and I quickly realized they could not be in beds in the same room – it was a constant party or sometimes a war, but I was worried they’d hurt eachother in there so they weren’t safe. So at that point I moved them to separate rooms and it was smooth sailing from that point forward. I’d definately gate off any unsafe areas like the top of our stairs or else use the doorknob cover on the doors.

  11. Hello. My twin boys transitioned to big boy beds at two because we needed their crib mattress for the little brother we were expecting. I was so nervous. My twins are polar opposites; one (Jack) is very relaxed and follows instructions to the “T”, his brother (Brady) is a monkey. I didn’t think there was any way this was going to go well with Brady.

    In fact, it went better than expected. First, we got bunkie boards for their beds instead of box spring mattresses so they wouldn’t have a far to fall if that were to happen (it did). We got step stools so they could easily climb in or out and placed them at the foot of their bed so that they wouldn’t hit their heads on them if they fell out. Finally, we gated the door of their room so that they couldn’t wander the house, stick their heads in the toilet, etc in the middle of the night.

    I am happy to say that we had maybe a week of problems with Brady getting out of his beds and taking everything out of his drawers and every book off the shelf. But we were super consistent with punishing this behavior (and his brother was a huge tattle tale- I mean help- letting us know when his brother was breaking the law). Brady has fallen in line pretty quickly and stays in his bed now. He even proudly announces when we come to get them, “I stayed in my bed mom”!

    Every child is different, but two seemed the perfect age to transition our boys. I was so worried about Brady getting a foot caught in the crib rungs as he was descending the crib and twisting/breaking a foot. Brady did not consistently get out of his crib until right about two. He did once at about 18mos, but that was more of a fluke and didn’t become consistent (thank goodness).

  12. Oh, and I forgot to mention… my boys would hate to be in separate rooms. They like to chatter and tell stories to each other a bit before falling asleep and they are a great comfort to each other if one wakes up from a nightmare, etc. If they wake and the other isn’t there they burst into tears. Mom and Dad, of course, are never far off but it is so cute to see that they rely on each other.

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