October 27, 2008

Calling all readers

We here at the hondo house need some advice. It's about our two-year-old. The child is a total light of my life and I love him more than words can say. But, in the words our our esteemed pediatrician, he's just a crappy sleeper.

He's awake a lot during the night and nine times out of 10 he gets himself back to sleep, but the fact remains that he's restless, he still spins 360s during the night in his bed and he has a nasty habit of waking before the sun. When describing these habits to our doctor and seeking advice she asked questions about our routine for bedtime and finally suggested that we were doing the right things but that if he were her's he would stay in a crib as long as humanly possible.

Here's where I need some quick help today. For the past four nights he's begun to mention, at first subtly, now more assertively, that he would like a big boy bed. To which I say, &@*^!#.

It started by him wanting to sleep with Andrew. Then he kicked it up a notch and said straight-out that he wanted a big bed. Now he's moved into the mode of salesman and he'll point out the deficiencies of his current sleeping situation. He'll tell me that he, "No know how to get out." Right. That was the plan. (He tells me this while demonstrating from the inside that his leg doesn't reach easily over the rail.) He has also gone so far as to run his hand along the rails from the outside and say, "I no like these."


The last important data point here is that he's gotten out of his bed one time. It was months ago and it scared him because he hurt himself, but still. He's done it. I finally told him last night that I would talk to Daddy about it and we would start working on it. His response was, "OK. RIGHT NOW. GO DOWN. TELL DADDY RIGHT NOW."

I have some concerns about this request. The first is one of safety. His bedroom is upstairs and ours is down. I believe there to be a high likelihood he'll try to come see us during the night. That concern parlays right into the next, which is, I believe there's a high likelihood he'll try to come see us during the night.

I don't really see that we have tons of options. We've got a kid, who is fully capable of escaping his bed should he choose, asking for a big boy bed. I guess it's time. It's just that the last time we did this the kid in question was so ready and we just knew that he wasn't going to wander. This time? Different kid.

I need advice. I need opinions and I need suggestions. And, I need them today! He doesn't talk a lot but he's got a good memory and he's consistent. I don't see him giving up on this one and the more frustrated he gets with inaction I'm thinking it's more likely he'll try a Houdini-style escape which would be bad.


Stephanie said...

I say kill two birds with one stone - if he starts using the potty, he gets a big boy bed (I mean, maybe the suitcase isn't doing it for him!)

Anonymous said...

Stephanie might be on to something here. You could do a big production about how everyone sleeps in his/her OWN bed and doesn't go get in OP's (other people's) except on very special occasions. (You might leave that out until absolutely necessary.) And, heck, it might be THE answer - he sleeps better and he stays put. You won't know until you try it. It might be THE answer. I wish you all sorts of luck and many more postings of advice. Love, RoRo

Maria said...

Hmmmmm...I think you may need to go for the big boy bed too. How about a gate on the stairs just in case? Have you tried a white noise machine? I have friends who swear by them and say it helps their children sleep more soundly. Google it!

Anonymous said...

Okay, RoRo left something out of her post. That's what she gets for skipping "Preview." Never again! Anyway, please insert after
"here" in my first sentence a comma and "or you could go on and get the big boy bed." Then, delete the restatement of: "It might be THE answer." No, I wasn't drinking or on medication. Haste obviously in some instances causes blatant "Uh, ohs." Good luck, Susan. Love, RoRo

Amber said...

I have a friend that uses a white noise machine for her kids and she too swears by it. I have never tried it, but Cooper cannot and will not fall asleep without his mobile on...so that may be the next step for us. Both of my kids sleep with their doors closed and that seems to work pretty well for them. I used to put one of those child-proof door knob handle thingies on the inside of Connor's bedroom door to keep him from getting out in the middle of the night because the stairs were right by his door. Although, we all sleep on the same level, so we could hear him easily if he woke up upset. Good luck to you!

Claire said...

When this occured with the little boy I used to nanny, our main concern was injuries since he was an acrobatic sleeper. We tried introducing sleeping in a kids tent (which we called his fort) piled with lots of blankets and stuffed animals inside. He loved it, spent tons of time in there, and always went to bed without a fight. When it got old for him, he easily transitioned to the bed. Hope this helps, unconventional it may be! Love to your family!