I like the gate idea. I may have to go down that road too... I have a 2 year old still in her crib, whom we are thinking about transitioning into a twin bed sometime this summer, when she's 2.5. But we may wait even longer. Here's why: our excellent, awesome, locally famous, super smart, old and wise pediatrician tells us kids shouldn't make the transition out of the crib (if it can be helped.. for example, sometimes kids are too big for the crib, so that's a different story...) until closer to age 3, for the exact reasons you're mentioning. It makes life so much easier to have those little buggers contained in a crib for the sanity and sleep cycles of mom and dad (and for themselves, quite frankly)... and having gone through what you're going through with our 3.5 year old, I couldn't agree more! It may be too late for you to put your son back into a crib... but maybe a bed with higher side rails that run the length of the bed, in addition to a baby gate at the door, may be what needs to clue him in to staying in bed or at least in his room until mom or dad says it's time to come out. Other tips you might try to entice him to stay in his room (we've had to try all of these for our 3 year old): a really cool night light (we have a turtle that lights up different endangered species onto the ceiling and we have a stained glass house that lights up too (it dazzles her), a white noise machine. Also, our pediatrician recommended giving her half a banana and a little milk before brushing teeth, to help with inducing sleep. He also suggested a very small amount of the herb melatonin, which promotes sleep. Now, with all that said, our 3.5 year old still wakes up around 6am and wanders into our bedroom, ready for us to get up and go for the day. Which is ok since daddy's working, but not mommy! But I'll take 6 am over 5 am any day, as that hour surely does make a difference.