A.D. asks from Keller, TX on April 22, 2008
2 Year Old Nocturnal Wanderer
My son has been in a big boy bed for 4 months now and has recently been getting up in the middle of the night. He usually takes the time to collect his critters and usually struggles to open the door with his hands full so a lot of the time we do hear him. Yet sometimes we don't hear him until he's in our room handing us his stuffed animals. (We still use a monitor because our HVAC system is right outside our bedroom door.) My biggest concern is he's going to fall down the stairs (16 of them straight down to ceramic tile). We always do the right back to bed thing and barely say anything to him other than "back to bed" or "don't get up when it's dark outside, please call for us if you need something" And last night - this was the kicker- he told me there was a monster in his room - he's 2! Any suggestions to keep him from getting up other than putting him back in a crib?
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for your input on the monster thing and the wandering. I was thinking he was a little young for monsters but I guess not! He has 3 stuffed animals he sleeps with that he carts around with him when tired and sometimes they're scared too. I'll try the monster spray and a song! As far as the gate, I really hate the idea of putting one at his door, we've put one up on the stairs but sometimes our dog tries to knock it down because he thinks he needs a drink in the middle of the night. Solved that issue by putting a bowl of water in our bathroom, (we'll see how long it takes him to realize it's ok to drink out of that at night.) Thanks again!
P.F. answers from Dallas on April 25, 2008
That sounds dangerous! My sister put a baby gate at my nephews bedroom door to stop the wandering, because they too had stairs.....they even make gates now that you can open like a doorway (childproof). I don't think I could sleep without him being safe, you poor thing....good luck.
C.H. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
I have a friend who locked her twin daughters in their room at night so they would not wander in the night when they were toddlers. The girls are now eight years old and STILL terrifed of shut doors and being left in a room alone.
T.D. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
I would also suggest the child proof door knobs. I actually put the knob on my door, so my son would be forced back to his own room, but as you have stairs i would suggest you put it on the inside of his door instead. A gate for the stairs would also be a good one.
Was he sleeping through the night before the big boy bed?
T.T. answers from Dallas on April 22, 2008
Purchase a gate either for the stairs (which is what i would do to begin with) or purchase a gate for his bedroom door. So if he gets up he can play in his room safely.
If it were me...I would put a gate up at his door, the top of the stairs AND the bottom of the stairs.
I am an over paranoid mom and worry that my daughter will fall down the stairs.
We live in a one level home and in a few months my DD will be moving to a toddler bed herself. We plan on putting a gate at her door.
1 mom found this helpful
S.C. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
We had the same problem... We had to buy those door knob spinners. I think they are made by Safety First and they are made of white plastic. They just fit over the door knob - and, keep them from getting in doors or out of their room. We tried this and it worked great! Our son learned to knock on the door or call for us... then, we would just go up to his room instead of him coming down. It was a lot safer than chancing him falling down the stairs in the night. Hope this helps! Good luck! :)
J.W. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
I agree with Trish that you need a gate on his room and at least at the top of the stairs.
I had a friend who gated her daughter's room and told her that it was up to the daughter when the gate was removed. When she stopped getting up and wandering around the house.
I've heard of the "monster spray" idea before, except to use some Lavender spray..or some scent that will relax him.
I love the idea of Veggietales "God is Bigger than the Boogie man"...it's a great video!
M.P. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
Well...my mom would say to put a hook type lock at the top of his door to keep him from exiting his room. This is not wise because of fire etc. Give him some monster spray (spray bottle with water in it) and have him spray his room and sleep with it beside the bed. I don't really have any suggestions, but I would consider placing a child safety gate at the top of the stairs (so he does not tumble down the stairs) or at the entrance of his bed room to keep him from leaving his room. Also make sure he has a night light. Helps combat those monsters.
K.O. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
Hi A. -
Not much new advice here, but I did want to add my two cents. Definitely get a gate for the top of the stairs. We have a wonderful gate that swings like a door and even has a motion sensor light that lights up the walkway/stairs in the dark. You can leave the gate open or shut, depending on when you need it.
As for the monsters.... we have simply told our daughter since she was very little that monsters are our friends and we like them.... She loves Sesame Street and we remind her about Cookie Monster, Telly Monster, Elmo Monster and Zoe Monster. We tell her that there are no such thing as mean monsters... They are all nice!
And, to keep her in her room and SAFE at night, we have a child SAFETY knob lock on her room. We have them on the front and back doors, too. When she was very little (2) we simply shut the door at night. She has a monitor in her room and if she needed us, she just called for us from her bed, or got up and knocked on her door and we went to her immediately. She was never scared, because she knew that we would always come right away when she needed us. (When she was potty training, she had a special potty right in her room to use during the night if she wanted to....)
Now that she's older and fully potty trained, we leave her door open and just make sure that the stair gate is closed. (She can manuver the stairs just fine, now, but we don't want her to be able to go downstairs and wander around, if she is ever up when we are sleeping.)
The door lock works PERFECTLY for getting her to stay in her bed at night, even when we don't close the door. How? We tell her that as long as she stays in bed, the door gets to stay open like a big girl. When she starts doing the, "I need a drink of water.... I need to go potty.... I forgot to kiss you (which she didn't)..." string of excuses to get up, we simply tell her that she can choose to stay in her bed like a big girl, or we will have to close her door until she goes to sleep. (We always open it after she is asleep).
Our daughter would never stay in her toddler bed after she started crawling out of her crib, so this was the safest option for her. As for everyone who says it is cruel to "LOCK" your child in their room... It is alot crueler to leave your little one in an unsafe situation. What if your son woke up and wandered down the stairs and fell or got into something dangerous while you were fast asleep?
Our daughter is happy and well-adjusted and has learned that as long as she is a big girl and only gets up to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water that her door will always be open. It may only take a few days of the door being shut for your son to learn that he must stay in his bed if he wants his door to stay open or it may take longer, but whichever, it is important for his safety. Alot of times, our daughter wants her door to be closed anyway....
Good luck and best wishes!
S.P. answers from Dallas on April 23, 2008
I just had to mention... my 9 year old step-daughter had a problem of getting out of bed & waking us up on the weekends we had her. When I got onto her about it, she gave me the "monster in my room" excuse. SHE'S NINE YEARS OLD! The best one was when she told me she couldn't control her legs. It just ticked me off when she said that, but after the fact, I thought about what a shock it would've been to her if I'd said "What? You can't control your legs? Well, get in the car. We're going to the hospital so they can perform a brain scan and take your blood and give you shots to see why you're walking around at night beyond your control." Maybe that would've scared some sense into her. Anyway, I just had to share that story. Best of luck to you!
J.G. answers from Amarillo on April 23, 2008
My only advice is you have to get a safety gate for the top of the stairs! Don't chance him falling down them. It will give you some piece of mind if he gets up to wander.
S.R. answers from Dallas on April 22, 2008
We did a gate at the doorway to our son's room and it worked for a while until he figured he could crawl over it! I would do the gate at the top of the stairs as well as maybe halfway down. If he did get through the gate at the top of the stairs he would not tumble all the way down. Our middle daughter is our Phantom Potty girl. She just gets up and wanders (sleep walking) and pees wherever she feels like it! Most of the time we catch her.
As far as monsters go, we do a go away monsters song and pretend to make them all go away to their beds since it's his bed time. They can come back in the daylight and play when we can see them!