Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another Milestone Found Us Early

That's my boy. Standing on a chair, clinging to my leg as I'm doing my spring cleaning in my kitchen. Mind you, his intentions were good "I hepping Mommy!" he excitedly stated! One might call him a stage 5 clinger, right about now. I don't know if it's because I've been home with him pretty much every day in the last 2+ weeks other than to go to the odd appointment, and for a little 4 hour shift the other evening...but this boy wants his mommy. The good news is, he happily still loves all the other people in his life, but I am his "person". It seems that I have to put him down for naps, I have to put him to bed, and his new thing lately...I have to put him back to bed, after he climbs out of his crib so I can rock him and sing him to sleep. I haven't done this since he was 5 months old, I'm not even kidding. It's like he senses his impending doom of becoming a big brother in less than 6 months and he's soaking up every bit of mommy time that he can. I am cherishing these moments, my busy boy often doesn't have time to snuggle during the day, other than if an owie occurs and he needs me to kiss it better... But then last night happened. Or what I would like to dub.
"The worst night of my life as a mother, bar none."
No, it didn't end in injury, a trip to the ER, or anything worse. No one was hurt, except maybe Braden's feelings, and mine. I realize I might will get judged on this one from a lot of you, but we've done it with him ever since he's had a steady nighttime routine of sleeping for hours and hours in a stretch. Here's how our evening went:
  • 7:00 PM Braden is in bed
  • 7:45 PM Braden still awake, quietly babbling to himself as he often does
  • I really wanted to go for a walk with Jay and the dog, so my instincts told me to lock up the house, "just in case" Braden climbed out of his crib at night for the first time. He now likes to try to escape out the front door and garage door to be outside, fun. So I did, I locked up the house and we took the dog for a walk like we always do
  • 8:10ish PM get home from our walk to discover that, yes indeed, Braden did get up. MOMMY FAIL. WORST MOMMY OF THE YEAR.
  • Thanking God that he's safe and that he wasn't upset in the least to not find us when he got up. I have no idea if he had just gotten up or had been up ever since we left
  • 8:15 PM snuggles and hugs in his room, rocking and singing...not asleep but lay him down in the crib
  • 8:17 PM thump.....pitterpatterpitterpatter down the hall and into the living room he comes as proud as can be that he can now escape. Hi Mommy! Hi Daddy! (he was SO cute)
  • 8:20 - 9:50 PM various attempts at different techniques of putting him back in his crib so he'd stay there. "Super Nanny" of quietly and calmly walking him back to his crib about 10+ times did nothing. He was upset every time I left.
  • In different intervals I'd try rocking him to sleep and singing, no dice.
  • I finally resorted to putting a lever lock on the outside of his door so he'd learn he had to stay in his room. BAD IDEA. Panic instilled and it scared him so bad. ANOTHER MOMMY FAIL. I bought an extra one of these locks in anticipation of this very situation, for that when we moved him to a toddler bed, if he started getting up in the middle of the night that he couldn't wander and hurt himself and/or get into trouble - to keep him safe in his room.
  • at 9:50 PM after lots of crying from him, he was finally exhausted enough that I rocked him to sleep as warm, wet tears rolled off my cheeks and onto his chubby little hands that were hugging my neck
ETA: As one of my readers commented, that I hadn't stated, we live in quite a remote rural place, we can see our house at all times on our walk.
I don't know why, but last night was so hard for me as a mom. In all honesty and truthfulness, I was not frustrated or angry at Braden at all. I felt awful for him. If he felt distrust in us because we weren't there when he got out of his bed the first time...I can't blame him. I think that's why when we locked him in his room, he panicked. I only did it for 5 minutes and couldn't take it, and regretted that decision. I have never wanted bedtime to be a "torture" or to be seen as a punishment. Which is why spanking to stay in bed, is just not an option that will ever work for us. His crib/bed should be a happy and safe place to be, like it always has been. That's why I've personally chosen to never use the threat "do you want to go to bed!" because I do want him to go to bed, when the time is appropriate, and up until now he's always loved going to bed.
He is exhausted too! Finally using his pillow and snuggling with all his friends! Goodnight! #itsajungleinthere
I am not coping well with my little boy transitioning from toddler to this supposed "big boy" he has to become. Also, I feel that all my hard work sleep training him will be thrown out the window and that he will have major regressions when we put him into his toddler bed. Gone are the days of  "night night Braden" as I lay him down in his crib and he drifts off to sleep like he has since he was 5-6 months old. I saw it happen with my nephew Luke, and it's had me terrified for this milestone because of it. At no fault of my SIL, who sleep trained him like I sleep trained Braden, it was just "freedom" for Luke and I see it being the same for Braden. It turns into a game of getting up multiple times from the new toddler/big bed at bedtime, and then it can turn into getting up in the middle of the night, or waking up and getting up at the crack of dawn
Thomas Toddler Bed
I was hoping to transition him at the end of the summer, when he was more mentally mature and would hopefully "understand" better that he has to stay in his bed because it is bedtime. He's been going through such a whirlwind of changes that I really do not want to lay this on him now, but I feel like I have no choice but to put him in a toddler bed, starting today. I plan on reading my SleepEasy book again today for their tips on getting him into a toddler bed, and I know I'm not supposed to do it when he's teething or when he's going through a big milestone, such as a language explosion, which he is...but I don't think it's safe to have him climbing out of his crib all the time.

Big changes are upon us and in all honesty, I am not looking forward to them at all. I'm a firm believer that our children feed off our moods a lot, so I will put on my brave face and stay positive for Braden, I really will. But I don't want to let go of toddlerhood just yet.

In light of this new milestone and with upcoming plans to be gone for Mother's Day, at least we can put off potty training until the third week of May.

Again, I ask you for help. How did you make the transition from crib to toddler/big bed? Was your child an escape artist like I think mine will be, how did you handle it?

P.S. I have wonderful readers who are always kind and supportive. I'm not looking to be judged at this time about leaving Braden to go for a walk last night, so please hold back those comments if you wanted to make them. Last night was seriously one of the hardest nights of my life as mom.


  1. ha, i started to type out a comment & realized it would probably be way too long. look out for an email from me later :)

    1. Thanks for your email, I'll have to work on writing you back!!

  2. I have no advice, since mine is younger, just wanted to say good luck with the transition! Let us know how it goes.

  3. My daughter was escaping at 11 months... I thought at the time this was normal... I found out many kids stay in their cribs for 2 years (wow) I just gave her the freedom, I didn't lock the door and made her room baby-proof and 'boring' she would crawl around and play and fall asleep. It gets easier. Don't stress about it! I don't think locking the door is a good idea, teach him his room is somewhere he wants to be... not somewhere he has to be. Good Luck!

    1. My sleep training book, which I believe just about every darn word in their book, recommends keeping them in their cribs until 3 years. If not for this baby coming and the safety issue of him now climbing, I would have pushed it as far along as I could. I have to lock his room, terra cotta momma, it's too dangerous for him to be wandering around the house if he should get up in the middle of the night. I'm not alone in my thinking this way. When I locked his door at his nap yesterday he fussed for a few minutes, realized that he had to stay, and that was that. See, my son isn't just "crawling around", he can open doors and get into LOTS of trouble, there's a huge difference between an 11 month old and a 2 years, 3 month old. But thank you, as always for taking the time to read and comment!

  4. I don't think it's a big deal that you took a walk. I know you live really rural, so it's not like someone is going to break in (very doubtful). And I doubt you walked miles and miles away. Don't feel bad! xo

    1. yes, thank you for bringing that up, I edited the blog post to incorporate that important fact! We walk about a mile away, but can always see our house. I guess if anything, we'd have to worry about an electrical fire or something freak like that happening, which my mom always kind of worries about.

  5. I'm one who had an EASY transition to toddler beds. BUT my kids had each other for comfort & to follow their good examples as much as their bad, so that may or may not make a difference? Just what they are used to though, they don't know any different. They still slept 12 hours at night & still took a 2 hour nap once we got "toddler bed trained." Its a little different now, but I think that's just with age not beds.

    We didn't make a big deal of it. Yay you have a big bed. Said about 10 words about it, tucked them in & just let it be. No big whoopla to get them all anxious about this big change, just did it. Acted like it was no big deal, it just was the way it was & they seemed to follow suit. We let them pick a toy (or 4 or 5) to take to bed each night, I think it takes their mind off being in bed when they can play themselves to sleep. And lately we started leaving a lamp on in their room as Hayden has gotten a little touch of fear of the dark. We did the super nanny thing as needed & yes there were tears. Really, not a word, not a kiss... mean as it seems. It works best. Don't reward "misbehavior." You did it once, you can do it again! Once they learn to sleep good in bed, you can go back to extra kisses & loves on an off night. I tried to think of it as re-sleep-training & think its harder the more knowledge & vocabulary they have. But kept reminding myself it will be better for ALL of us in the long run. I think your night was extra hard- because of the way the night started (no judgement here, I just assume it skewed the way you felt about handling the rest of the night & may continue to skew how you feel about the transition & the tears if you don't forgive yourself- which I think you should do!)

    Our kids can't open their door. Well they CAN, just not very well & for some reason, just don't. And I am not against using a toddler proof door to keep them somewhere I know they are safe. Is there a hallway where bedrooms are or anything that you can baby gate him into not getting far if he opens his door if you don't want to "lock" him in?

    Naps were harder at the beginning than nighttime for us.
    I'm trying not to fear change or milestones. It just one step closer to the next amazing moment...

    Good luck!! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

    1. I can see naps being REALLY hard until, as you say, he's toddler bed trained. I'm definitely keeping up with my sleep training, I just can't afford to cater to every little thing. Locking him in worked yesterday, he'll just get used to the fact that when it's time to sleep, it's time to stay in his room. Already this morning he knew to call out for me when he was done sleeping. I just don't want a 2 year old wandering my house, potentially in the middle of the night, it's just not safe! He knows how to get outside, and we don't ALWAYS lock our house (living very rurally) so I just don't want to risk anything happening to him! I'd rather safely lock him in his room.

      THANK YOU THANK YOU, as always!!

  6. No judgement here, because seriously, that shit would happen to me. After all, I'm the one that had to call 911 to get her son out of the bathroom...yep. Anyway, our plan has always been to get a baby gate (one that will screw into the frame and swing open/closed). This way, Thad is able to get up and still feel that sense of freedom, wind down reading books (we don't have a lot of toys in his room and most of them don't even make noise - low stimuli) - this way he's safe in his room, knows he can't leave because it's "bedtime" and he can wind down on his own. My sister did this for her three boys. Granted, Jackson used to kick the walls, sing, etc., but at least he never left the room and would eventually fall asleep. I also figure it takes the show out of showing off the new skill of getting out of bed.

    Then again, I haven't transitioned him yet and have no desire to. I like the baby cage. ;)

    Good luck, mama! I hope you find something that works!

    1. The only thing that makes me feel not completely like the worst mother, was that he was completely happy, and proud (little bugger) that he escaped. We decided to keep the lock. If he can climb a crib, he can climb a baby gate. We don't even have any in our house anymore, except one that goes down to our unfinished basement, which he doesn't pay much attention too.

      Just hopefully it works! Thanks!


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