59 answers

Survey- Do You Lock Your Child in Their Room for Nap/rest & Bedtime?

Hi Moms and Dads!

Question- do you lock or gate your kids in their rooms for nap/rest and bedtime? A friend will close her child in their room (with the childproof doorknob cover on the inside to keep them in. She said she baby proofs, leaves books & blocks and eventually they fall asleep. Or if they wake up it's easier to keep them in the room. (her child is 2 1/2)

Sounds like a great plan! Part of me wishes we could do it- but I'm too much of an wuss/worry wart parent I guess. My gut thinks that it isn't safe! Plus, My daughter always works herself up so much if she's tired and upset that we spend more time calming her
than we would of we use the "creeping" method to leave the room. we function VERY different in our house compared to what my
friend described. We have open doors, shared bed sometimes and my daughter definitely needs more attention before resting.

What do you do?

I th

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

As always- thank you for all of your opinions! I appreciate each one. We don't plan on using this method because we dont think it fits well with my daughter's personality, but it's always good to hear all points of view!

Featured Answers

I would never put them in a room and shut the door in a way they couldn't get out if there was an emergency. I do know people who have gated their children in their rooms, and that seems okay to me because you can clearly see the child and in the event of an emergency you could see what was going on.

7 moms found this helpful

I would not want my children to feel that they were trapped in a room behind a locked door. I'd much rather put a gate up in their door way and keep the door open so that they will stay put but they haven't lost that connection with me and the rest of the house.

6 moms found this helpful

I have never heard of this before. When my girls were big enough to nap w/o being in a crib, they did exactly that. I don't know if I agree with this locking the door. Perhaps a gate would be safer in cases where something is needed to keep the child in the room.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Of course not.
Kids... are not prisoners.
Kids... are not objects to treat as caged animals.
Kids.... are not zoo animals to take out or put away, just according to capricious whims or adult intolerance.

Kids, are kids.

My kids nap. My son, does so everyday. I do not have to lock him in.
My 8 year old daughter, will nap if she is tired.
I never have to lock them up or threaten them or punish them.
They nap.
We have a routine.
They know what nap or bedtime is.
Naps or bedtime, are not 'punishments' for them. It is rest.
It is not something done "to" them... just so Mommy can get them out of my hair.
It is nap. Or quite time.

13 moms found this helpful

And yet... if you had posted that your toddler gets out of bed in the middle of the night and roams the house... what would your response have been?

Put up a gate.

From working in the ER here are some super fun things we've had toddlers come in for in the middle of the night after getting out of bed:

- Drowning (typically in the toilet)
- Head injuries
- Broken bones (usually from climbing things -bookcases, tables, stairs, etc and falling off... sometimes from pulling on something - usually chairs, oddly enough- that land on them. Dining room chair meets ribs = more punctured lungs from broken ribs than I would have thought possible)
- Burns (sometimes from burners/ovens, sometimes from instant hot water)
- CO2 poisoning (from turning on a gas burner but it not lighting)
- Cuts and stabwounds (knives and scissors... one pair of scissors to eyes)
- Choking (eating food and non food objects)
- Perforated Esophagus or Intestines (from swallowing objects)
- Poisoning
- Parental Paranoia (parents wake to find toddler up and house thrashed and have no clue what they've been doing)
- 1 run over by car (had exited home and wandered off to play in the street).

My nephew was very nearly in the last category. By 2 he could drag chairs over to the front door, undo the deadbolt, chain, and top lock (at very top of door) and was found (more than once) 3 stories down playing in the parkinglot, and one time in someone's stick shift car he'd knocked into neutral and it had rolled down the street but fortunately crashed into another parked car before hitting traffic.

My SIL was going out of her mind.

She finally locked him in his room at night, and was reported to CPS. NOT because of the toddler in the street at 3am... but because of the lock on his bedroom door. She called me in tears, she was setting her alarm every hour to wake up to make sure he was asleep (he'd wake up randomly, he was never "up" at the same time). We did some headscratching and finally settled on 2 dog gates stacked on top of each other (dog gates are sturdier and taller than baby gates).

IMHO, there's very little difference between a dog gate across a doorway and a crib. My son never needed one... but man oh man... my nephew we were about to lose it over.

12 moms found this helpful

Yes I did. I used to put a childproof knob on the inside of the door to their room so that I would know where they were at all times. If it was naptime or bedtime we would close the door all the way so that we didn't have to worry about them wandering aound the house when they awoke or at night. All 3 of my kids were out of their cribs at a young age and didn't know the house "rules" yet. There were times that I would need to shower or nap myself and I didn't want the worry of them getting into danger or falling down the steps while I was sleeping or showering and couldn't hear them. I knew that their rooms were safe and they were happy in there, therefore I could do what I needed to do and they were safe. That's what was important to me!
Now that my oldest is 6 and my youngest is 3 they obviously don't need to be kept in their rooms any longer. I would say that by the time my oldest was 3 I'd taken the lock off of her door and by the time she was 4 all the locks were off because I knew if there was a problem she would come get me.

Edit:
Wow, after reading some of the other responses I can't believe that people think this is neglectful! My children have never been neglected in any way and are loved beyond all comparison.
Simply because a parent wants to keep a child safe at night or during naptime is not neglectful. My children never ever felt trapped or unloved. When they would wake up from napping or in the morning they would knock on the door to let us know they were up and we'd get them immediately. If we got up first we'd open the door for them. Also, I can't do baby gates at the top of the steps in my house because of the risk of me falling down the steps (due to spinal issues) so it was just another way of making sure the kids were where they are supposed to be and gave me piece of mind to sleep soundly! This is in no way neglectful.
If I may add one more thought...a friend of mine has a 3 year old child who she used to "put to sleep" every night when he was younger and then "sneek" out. Well now he is 3 and she sleeps with him everynight because he is afraid to be alone, and thinks if he fell asleep with mommy then mommy should be there in the middle of the night when he wakes. So, now she's just stuck sleeping with him because he expects it. My children on the other hand learned at a very young age to sleep in their own beds by themselves and now sleep soundly through the night 99% of the time.

11 moms found this helpful

I find it interesting that so many people believe a child is not safe when locked in a room during an emergency. Actually, a child is significantly safer when contained in his room for most emergencies. For example, if there is a fire, you do not want the child running out of his room into a smoke-filled/fire-filled area -- you do not want you child moving about the house unattended. If there is an intruder issue, do you not want the child entering into the situation. The list goes on.

The perception of safety (or lack of safety) is very misguided.

Hi Rachel K...to answer your myriad of questions: Most household fires start in the kitchen or around the furnace, hot water heater or other gas appliances. (Not to mention that most people ensure their baby's or toddler's room is 100% safety-proofed from fire hazards.) Also, most people make sure that windows in their infant and toddler's rooms are completely secure -- again, no hazard. Nevertheless, if a child is going to climb out a window, it seems mutually exclusive to the door being locked...don't you think? I'm pretty sure the stories of children climbing and falling out of windows have nothing to do with the door being locked. Along those same lines, if someone is able to break into your children's room to kidnap your child without anyone else in the house knowing, it doesn't really matter if the door is locked or not, does it? Again, the stories of those few abductions had nothing to do with the door being locked.

I am presenting information about safety -- not a point of view of whether you should or shouldn't use a door lock. You obviosuly feel very strongly...but there's really no point in arguing with objective safety data.

8 moms found this helpful

Have not. Have used a baby gate while training to stay in toddler bed. His door was at the top of the stairs and for obvious reasons did not want him wandering the house at night.
But I've gotta say, what your friend describes sounds a little neglectful to me. OK--a lot neglectful.

8 moms found this helpful

We did this with my son for a long time, and our pediatrician is the one that told us to do it. He had climbed out of his crib and refused to sleep in a bed and was out of his room constantly. He climbed over gates, including the stair gate, removed those protective door knobs in 30 seconds flat, and could easily work the dead bolt on the front door at age 2. I know some people will say it is unsafe, but when they were infants we put them in a crib that they couldn't exit without help no matter how much they wanted to . The locked room is just a larger crib in my opinion. After a while he started to like being locked in there and wouldn't sleep unless we locked the door. We no longer have to do it, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Honestly, there are a lot of judgmental mommies out there. Its great that you all haven't had to deal with a climber or a roamer or worry about safety. At least if a fire broke out I would know where he was. Things work differently for every family so don't judge your friend. Who knows, she may think lots of things of you for your "VERY different" child rearing methods.

8 moms found this helpful

I would never put them in a room and shut the door in a way they couldn't get out if there was an emergency. I do know people who have gated their children in their rooms, and that seems okay to me because you can clearly see the child and in the event of an emergency you could see what was going on.

7 moms found this helpful

I have never heard of this before. When my girls were big enough to nap w/o being in a crib, they did exactly that. I don't know if I agree with this locking the door. Perhaps a gate would be safer in cases where something is needed to keep the child in the room.

6 moms found this helpful

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