My little one has always been a creature of schedule and routine. From very early on we implemented a routine – breakfast, lunch and dinner at approximately the same times each day, similar nap times, bath time, and bedtimes. I am not saying there weren’t days we’re we missed the mark, or that we’ve done everything perfectly – hardly – but as an educator who works with young children on a daily basis I believe most children thrive on a schedule. It doesn’t have to be hard and fast, but children like the familiar and they like knowing what to expect. Such was the case with my little man…until last week.
Prior to last week he would eat dinner, followed by a bath, followed by some book and snuggle time with mom. Then, without much fight, he would go to bed in his own crib until around 3 am at which time he would come to bed with mom and dad and conk out once again almost immediately.
Then, all of a sudden, without any known reason, he began pitching serious fits before bed. We would read books and rock him and then when we laid him down in his crib he went from comma sleep to raging wild wildebeest. We tried letting him “cry it out.” We were desperate and let him go for a while in hopes he would give up so I could get some work done. However, 45 minutes later, he was still screamin’ like a crazy person with no sign of giving up. We finally gave up and brought him back to the living room where we sat in the dark watching T.V. until midnight and finally he went to bed with us.
Well, you can imagine, we did not want this to continue but we we’re out of ideas and this continued for several (three) nights. Finally, what I decided to try was placing him in his captain’s bed instead of his crib. My reasoning was simple, he seemed to enjoy sleeping in our bed, he woke up every time we tried to place him into his crib, and I thought I could transfer the sleeping child into the lower bed without much interruption/movement, unlike the crib.
So far, so good. It has worked like a charm for the past two nights. My only concern is safety. If he rolls out of bed he could hurt himself. It isn’t a far drop – about two feet onto a carpeted floor, but still far enough to bump his head. For now we’ve got him blocked in with my old maternity pillow (I found another great use for this terrific invention!). I’ve suggested that my husband break down the crib into a toddler bed so that he will have a safer place to sleep since he shows no sign of ever going back in the crib. I’m also installing a baby gate at the door so in the rare case I don’t hear him wake up he won’t be wandering the house and doing something unsafe without me knowing about it.
What are you’re thoughts… is fifteen months too young for a toddler bed? Have you had a similar problem? I’d love to hear your stories, suggestions, and thoughts. Speak up!