The other day, Wesley finally figured out how to escape from his crib. Of course, he discovered this new trick right before Daniel was about to leave on a business trip for four days. The following is a timeline of my experiences over the last few days.
Day 1, Naptime:
I put Wesley into his crib. Wesley escapes. Repeat x7. I become more and more furious with each escape, and Wesley becomes more and more amused as fury levels rise. After roughly the twelfth attempt, complete with threatening to take his Binky away, he stays in his crib and naps. I resolve to not outwardly show emotion when he escapes.
Day 1, Bedtime:
I take a deep breath and start bedtime at 8pm. An hour and a half later, I am still attempting to keep him in his crib. Finally, after telling him if he got out again I would take his Binky away, he gets out. I take the Binky and put him back in his crib. He starts crying, and decides to get out of his crib, AGAIN. He army crawls down the hallway, crying (not hysterically though, I want to be clear – just normal semi-whiny crying). He gets almost to the end of he hallway, coughs, and then throws up all over himself and the floor.
I almost have an aneurysm.
I change his jammies and we re-brush his teeth, and put him back in bed, where he finally goes to sleep. It is now 9:40pm.
Day 2, Naptime
Wesley wakes up at 7:45am. (Normal wakeup is around 9am.) We spend two hours at the park, hoping that will wear him out enough that he will fall asleep easily. He yawns on the way home, eats a gigantic lunch, and then it still takes me 8-10 tries to get him to stay in his crib.
He then wakes after roughly 40 minutes. (A normal nap for him is about two hours.) I put him back in his crib a few times and he finally falls asleep again for a while.
Day 2, Bedtime
We spend the evening at Grammie and Grandpa’s house and pick up the toddler crib rail while we’re at it. We have lots of talks about when Mommy puts you in your crib, you… “Stay in!” He falls asleep in the car on the way home from Grammie and Grandpa’s so I am hopeful he will be drowsy and go right to sleep. No such luck, but escapes are at a minimum.
Day 3 (today), Naptime
Wesley wakes up at 6:55am. I install the crib rail and lower the mattress and have more talks about staying in bed when it is time for sleeping. We plan to go to the Farmers’ Market with my SIL and her nanny kids, but they had a whacked-out morning and weren’t able to make it by the time Wesley would be getting sleepy.
After several attempts to get him to stay in his bed, I notice he has gotten awfully quiet. A quick peek into his room reveals that he is laying on his back on the floor in front of his closet and has fallen asleep there.
He sleeps for thirty minutes.
That about brings us up to date. He is still not napping. I am supposed to attend a wedding this afternoon. Solo now, because Daniel is unexpectedly out of town, but with Wesley, who has been up since before seven and has slept for a grand total of thirty minutes all day.
Daniel won’t be back until late, late tomorrow night and then he has to work the next day which would normally be his day off. My SIL is going to watch Wesley while I’m at work, but because she is nannying that day, I have to drive Wesley up to the nanny kids’ house (which is 15-20 minutes out of my way) to drop him off and then still make it back to work before 8am.
In case it is not abundantly clear, I need some moral support. THIS IS THE PITS. Truly. Solo-parenting plus toddler bed transition equals HORRIBLE. Why anybody would choose to transition their kid to a toddler bed I have no idea, because it is the suckiest thing I have experienced in a long while.
You can do it Meggan! I promise you can do it. I went straight from the crib to a twin bed, but that probably isn’t an issue. Bribe him? Umm…when he gets out don’t say a word to him, just put him back in his crib & leave. If he cries then continue to ignore him? I don’t know. Does he still need naps? Would an hour or two of quiet play (reading, non-exciting play) work instead? I honestly don’t know. Just thinking.
Wow, it sounds like you need a day off. I’m not a mother so I have no advice to give. Wesley sounds like he should be exhausted by now. Maybe there’s just too much different right now with Daniel away from home, and the new bed? Hopefully it gets better soon. *hugs*
Oh mama! I’m so sorry that you’re having such a rough week. You are doing such a good job trying to stay patient with Wesley in this transition.
Some thoughts (which I’m sure you’ve already thought of so totally disregard if they aren’t helpful): Is there any way to make it so he can’t escape? I know with my nanny kiddo she managed to escape by taking her socks off and using her bare feet to climb up the rails, so putting her in footie PJs made it so she couldn’t escape as she wasn’t able to take off the PJs on her own. Once she figured out to unsnap & unzip the PJs the next step was putting her in a sleep sack (like this) because that too made it difficult for her to climb out. I also agree that not reacting to him at all when he escapes is probably best, so no talking or showing any emotion, just pick him up and put him back in his bed again and again until he gets tired of trying. Is there any chance he’d be receptive to a sticker chart? Like he has two squares on the chart for each day (nap and bedtime) and if he cooperates at naptime and bedtime he earns a sticker for each, then gets a reward in the morning. I’m not sure if this would work for him based on his age, but it might be worth a try if he does seem motivated by stickers.
((hugs)) Lots of deep breaths. He will sleep in his bed without a struggle one day soon.
Thank you all. It sounds like ignoring is the way to go.
Much of the reason I’m having such a hard time is because Daniel is gone – he can’t back me up / commiserate.
BreAnna, now that you mention these things… it makes me wish I would have left the crib intact and gotten him a sleepsack. The sleepsack would probably have worked perfectly. Gah.
For what it’s worth, he actually did okay at the wedding. Lots of “WHAT’S THAT? WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT DOIN’?” during, but no tantrums (at all! I was shocked!) and I don’t think he was disruptive. Several people told me he was adorable. I got to visit with two very dear high school friends that I don’t keep in very good touch with, so I wasn’t TOO lonely despite not having a date.
I am feeling a bit more level-headed this evening, too – the wedding cheered me up and Wesley fell asleep in the car on the way home. He did wake up when I got him out, but I was able to get him into his bed with a minimum of distractions, so I think he will actually stay in! It’s been 15 minutes and he hasn’t gotten up yet so I might be in the clear.