T.A. asks from Madison, AL on January 25, 2008
Need Help with Adjusting to a New House
For one, he learned how to open the doors at our new house (we previously had "knobs" and now we have "levers") so he knows he can escape if he wants. Nap times have been horrible! I have to keep putting him in bed, over and over and over again. Yesturday, it was at least 20 times. Night time is a little better GOING to bed. However, he's been waking up 3 times or more. I go in there, lay him back in bed and leave. Sometimes he goes right back to sleep. Sometimes he cries and opens the door again and I have to put him back in bed a few times. Then, despite black out curtains, he's up at 5 or 6 blazing to go. I'm exhausted!
He's also been extremely naughty! Getting into cabinet after cabinet (which some we have locks on, but can't put them on all of them due to the design) closet after closet, playing in the toilet, getting into the trash, etc. He did a lot of this at our old house, but its been so much worse here! He just got a bunch of toys last week for a late Christmas that are downstairs in the playroom. He won't even play in there 2 seconds (even when I'm in there!) My daughter was always so good about playing with me or toys, etc. He's just a stinker!
Any suggestions to help him get it?
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone, for your advice. He's finally starting to sleep through the night again. However, he's still getting up at nap time and bed time and getting out of his room. We bought a child lock yesturday, but haven't installed it, yet. I'm hoping that once he figures out that he can't get out of his room, he'll stop getting up.
As for his behavior, he's still a toddler. :) He's still pretty naughty. However, I have noticed that if I take the kids out to play more or give him some extra attention, that he is much better. It was just hard to get out of the house with so much to do and unpack.
L.S. answers from Nashville on January 28, 2008
Don't know about the rest, but the sleeping issue may have nothing to do with the move. 18 months is a classic age for the dreaded "sleep regression."
A.H. answers from Dothan on January 28, 2008
Dear T. A
I have a little different situation, but maybe what we have learned can help you just the same. We built a new house, which came with a lot of changing, including moving into a motor home on site for 2 months because we closed on our old house, but were still working on our new one. My son is 6 years old. He started having problems in school, being disrespectful to teachers, cranky at home, into everything. He is normally a very good child so I was suprised and didn't really know what to do, especially since we had never had problems with him being disrespectful. Finally after a conversation with the Vice-Principal of his school, we tried a new tactic. Instead of so much discipline, which we had been previously trying, we worked on spending addtional time with our son and giving out rewards for good behavior. We made a point to have a special talk with him each day. We reassured him that the new house would be better for all of us because now we could get a dog, we were closer to grandparents, etc. Anything positive we could think of to make him feel more comfortable. Also, we made extra time despite the work of moving in, to give him special attention just for him during the day. We also found he was scared of sleeping in his new bedroom, much the way you describe as your son doesn't want to go into his playroom, ours did not want to go to his own bedroom. We started spending time with him in that room everyday. We also invited friends over for playdates and encouraged them to play in there. After about a month, he began to like his room and did not argue with being in there at night.
Basically, we started to realize that he was scared and frustrated with all the changing and just trying to explore and get used to his new surroundings. Also, the frustration had to manifest itself somewhere so the bad behavior was a result of that. Our extra time with him seemed to help the frustration and the bad behavior began to go away. After a time of extra attention and reassurance, he settled right in and is doing great now, at school and home.
I hope relating our experience will help you. What I have learned is that mostly time will take care of these phases and issues that drive you crazy if you just stick it out. Congratulations on your new home and good luck.
D.B. answers from Memphis on January 25, 2008
First of all congrats on the new house!
Secondly, switch out the door knobs for the ones you use to have. This for a safety reason more than anything.
Thirdly, with everything all new and all he may feel he's on 'vacation' and is just acting out. Keep putting him back in the bed until he realizes you're there to stay and I think he'll come around and go back to the way he was before. Also, they do make locks for toilets, LOL.
Right now with all the move, unpacking, organizing, your schedule is probably way off from what it use to be despite your best effort to keep things as normal as possible. Meal times were always the most interrupted event whenever we moved, because I was so exhausted we ate out more than normal and that in itself messed us up. Try & get him involved in the unpacking and organizing of your home as best you can. Recruit him to be the 'big boy' and help mommy.
I think once things are done and life calms down a bit, because we all know how unsettling moving can be even if it's a great move, he'll be back to taking naps & sleeping better for you.
J.R. answers from New Orleans on January 31, 2008
Get latches, excercise them, relax and enjoy, they grow up fast!
T.A. answers from Little Rock on January 25, 2008
Hey T., I am with the other moms too! Congrats on the house! Try a baby gate. When you are in a room, just put up the gate and keep him in there with you. You are the mommy and he needs to learn. It just comes with the age. Just have to help him out sometimes! :)
Helping moms work from home!
S.H. answers from Huntsville on January 25, 2008
Do you have a baby gate that you could put on his bedroom door to keep him from escaping? That would at least keep him in the room!
Not sure about the nap times (my almost 2 yr old still fights naps at home!), but waking in the middle of the night might be because he is hearing a noise that he is not used to. He might be afraid of his new room. Perhaps you could sleep in there with him for a night, see if that helps him. Maybe you could figure out what is waking him.
The extra naughtyness could be because he isn't getting enough good sleep and he doesn't know how to deal with it. Maybe once he is settled and gets more rest he will calm down.
Hope this helps some! Good luck!
J.P. answers from Alexandria on January 26, 2008
Take a momment and breath. It does get better. We just moved down south after living up north my babies whole lives and being around family. We are still adjusting. We have those levers too. I will never know what possed them to do that. Around here we have kids escaping the houses and the parents never knowing. Be sensitive to what he is saying by acting out. He might not understand why you moved. Did you move away from frineds and family? Little ones cannot express their feelings like the older ones. So listen to him but stay firm. It might take about three weeks to get into your new schedual but if you stay firm you will start to see your hard work paying off by the second week. Play with the toys with him. If you are in the kitchen busy with unpacking give him a plastic bowl and a mixing spoon. Put some music on and dance. Have fun with them and the transition.
Our children pick up on our feelings and their acting out could be a sign of what we are sending out to them. So be strong. You can do this and you will be just fine. You will get sleep. Start a bed time ritual. Read a story and say prayers if that works for you and remind him how much everyone loves him and praise him alot with all of the postive things he does. It will encourage him to do the things you would like him to do instead of acting out.
I hope this helps, and if it makes you feel any better, we are still adjusting and it has been 5 months. My best advice it get involved in what ever they have going on in your area. If you have moved into a different area there is a websites called meetup.com and you could see where there is a mom's group in you area so you get out of the house and meet new people and make new friends.
D.M. answers from Johnson City on January 26, 2008
I'm not sure why an 18 month old can come out of the room. Is he not in a crib? All three of my children stayed in the crib until 2 1/2 yrs. of age. If you don't have a crib, or if he can climb out, get a pack-n-play. You are doing the right thing taking him right back to bed, but at 18 months, I am not sure that will work. That works more with children around 2 to 2 1/2. You also might want to put him to bed earlier. Studies have proven that children who go to bed earlier, will sleep longer. So, if his bedtime is later than 8:00, you might want to move it up to 7:00. I have given this advice many times, and it worked most of the times. The key, too, is consistency. That will also help with his nap. My brother insists on keeping his daughter up to all hours, and she is miserable and crying everytime I see her. Getting good consistent sleep is also key to good brain development. You might have to let him cry a little, but at this age, he can handle it. It will be worth it in the end. Because if you are anything like me, a mommy without sleep is not such a good mommy. (-:
B.B. answers from Nashville on January 27, 2008
sounds to me like your son is tey way mine was boys tend to be one of two ways eiter really good or hit them terrible twos way to fast. it sounds like your son has hit the T.T.'s early new house new setting new challenges for him to defeat..
just lock down what you can and wear him out during the day.. for mental tiredness get puzzles and coloring books tings e as to do wit his hands and for naps put im to sleep before 12 and allow him to only sleep an hour... after noon physical and mental tiredness outside toys hide and seek learning time schedualed late evening mine was dinner at 630 bath at 7 bed at 8 tey would be asleep by 830 every night i have a 5 year old and a 4 year old they are 19 monts apart i know exactly what you are going thru i feel for ya :) good luck
as for the not being in a crib we had to put my son in a toddler bed by the time he was 14 months old becuz he was climbing out of his crib and falling on the floor when he got to the top it was safer for him to be out of the crib then in my daughter was put in a toddler bed by 16 months old for the same reasons thanks to my son :) wait till he figures out how to unlock doors we got up one morning to both of our dogs being let out and the back door standing wide open my son got out of his crib pulled a chair to the back door unlocked it pushed the garage door opener and was playing in the front yard at 3 am talk about scared to death anyway boys are tend to be adventurous then te girls my daguther has never done te things my son has as for sleep scheduals and wearing him out during te after abut two weeks of tat e will be back on routin studies say tat it takes 21 days for a routin to be set but every child is different mine it takes about 2 weeks good luck and lots of patience