22 April 2010

Things I've Learned - The Big Boy Bed

The past two weeks of parenting have been the most challenging since The Imp was newborn, fresh out of the womb, and I was completely overwhelmed with the not-knowing newness of it all.

I blame the Big Boy Bed.

Looks fairly innocuous, doesn't it? His crib mattress on the floor, the same blankets and bedtime pals...


And we thought the electrical outlet would be our biggest headache... such optimism! We safetied it beyond all reasonable measures; not only is there a child-proof cover on it, beneath the cover is electrical tape covering the outlets as well. All our work notwithstanding, this corner of The Imp's bedroom is a lurking pit of evil.

It has turned my complacent crib-sleeping toddler into the most magnificently maleficent perpetrator of angst-causing, sleep-depriving NAUGHTY LITTLE BOY behaviour, including but not limited to: bedtime escape attempts by the dozen nightly, jumping on the bed instead of sleeping, attempting to climb the pulled-out dresser drawers, thereby dragging the entire dresser and all its contents down on himself, dumping out his giant container of mega-blocks in the middle of the night leaving parental foot arch slaying land mines in our path, slamming doors at 3am just for fun, and running to the kitchen to open the fridge, spill the milk, and eat unwashed strawberries (stems and all) at 5am.

Two weeks ago, on Good Friday (good! ha!) The Imp managed to climb out of his crib for the first time and blew his dismount, falling on his head. Being the fearless little daredevil that he is, he is not one to view a mere bruise in the middle of his forehead as any kind of deterrent.


No, The Imp of the Perverse views anything less than losing a limb as a challenge.

We dismantled the crib immediately to forestall the concussion/brain injury that was sure to follow. Little did we know that our little monkey was only a "good sleeper" because he'd been held CAPTIVE in his crib all this time.

The lure of freedom has proven to be too much for him. He cannot avoid its siren call.

I am exhausted.

And apparently it's not appropriate to put your child in a dog cage, no matter how large or lavishly appointed. I asked on twitter and the response was not positive.

I have a lovely sheepskin deal we could put in there...



Any hints or suggestions on how to ease this transition? Or even just an I've-been-there-too story from the trenches?



  1. Put that crib back together and get some hand cuffs!

  2. Reading about your current sleep problems is scaring me :( My boy has also been sleeping through the night since he was around 5 months old. I think that is largely due to his crib as well. So far, he hasn't tried to escape his crib or his play pen and I'm hoping he won't try to do it. If he can get out, I think he will. We're going away in just over a month and will not be able to bring a crib with us. He will likely sleep on a toddler mattress on the floor. I'm thinking we'll need to test this out a bit but I have a bad feeling about it all :S

    Have you tried talking to him and can he understand that he needs to sleep well at night so he can play better the next day? I don't know what else you can do. Maybe it will just take some time for him to get used to it.

  3. I have no suggestions (helpful or otherwise) but am just here for support. Have you tried a playpen? I have a couple of friends that used them as a segway between crib and big boy bed...

  4. some folks around here have bought a mesh tent to put on top of the crib. or even maybe just one of the tent/canopies from Ikea. That won't restrain him like the first tent would, but maybe the novelty would keep him in there?

    Sorry - I dread the moment it happens to us too (not that S was ever a good sleeper though...)

  5. I couldn't put my daughter down awake until she was like 4. It sucked for me. It meant that I spent 45 minutes some nights sitting in a dark room with my hand on her back. I was highly frustrated. But the alternative was crying / escape attempts, and I couldn't handle those, so I went with it.

    The bad news is that this time is not fun. The good news is that you'll forget all about it one day. I promise. I pretty much have at this point. And in retrospect it will seem sort of cute and funny.

  6. When we transitioned my son to a bed we put him in a toddler bed first. His crib converted to a toddler bed with short rails on the one side. I think the rails surrounding him was comforting in a way and after a couple of nights he stayed put right away. (Plus it was still his same crib that he had been used to)

    I know you've tried sitting in the hallway. I guess I would try sitting in his room next.

  7. We've been lucky with Evan. He is a "rules boy" mostly and doesn't try to escape his big boy bed. I have heard that some people install a baby gate in the door of the child's room. This at least keeps them from escaping out of the room.

  8. I agree with the railings - closer to what they're used to. We also realized that filling the bed full of toys actually helped both our kids stay IN them, especially Saturday mornings (yay!). We would find them reading or playing quietly because they weren't bored. If he's up all night, maybe too long a nap during the day? Love your blog - voted today! Jackie