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How can I get my 2 1/2 year old to stay in his big boy bed?

My 2 1/2 year old son, who has refused naps for the last few days and normally takes a 2-3 hour nap, has also just discovered how to climb out of his crib. For no apparent reason, his personality has changed dramatically in the last week from an easy-going, sweet child to an angry, moody little monster; this sudden change was accompanied by the nap boycott and crib escape. He rubs his eyes all day long and is a miserable, crying disaster by day's end. Since he refuses to stay in his crib we moved him into a big boy bed, but he keeps running out of the room and whining at the gate we put up at top of stairs. If we ignore him he wakes up his 10 month old sister who sleeps next door. We keep telling him nite nite and putting him back in his bed but he continues to escape. We finally locked him in his room out of desperation b/c he can climb a gate at his door, but he cries more. Any advice?

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Asked by moregreen at 12:32 AM on Sep. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (3)
  • at 2.5 years old my only advice is to stop talking to him and keep putting him back in bed. I would keep your 10month old out of the other room for a few days (until big brother is asleep) because it's going to take some persistence. But every time he gets up walk up to him, pick him up and lay him in bed. Do it over ...and over ...and over again. As many times as it takes, as many nights in a row that he needs. It should only take a few nights before he realizes that he has to stay in bed.
    I did this with my own son at 18 months.
    It's hard to hear our babies cry. But you have to be the mom.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 12:35 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • Stay consistent with him. If you want him to go to bed at a certain time, keep it that way and don't let him out of his room to throw a fit. Eventually he will get the idea that it doesn't matter how much he cries and whines, it's bed time and there's nothing he can do; he'll give up if you don't first. And with your 10mth old either you can leave her in her room and keep everything the same, I would say your son will come out of it in a week, maybe two. She'll miss out on some sleep and it might be more work for you but it won't last forever. Or you can move her to your room until after he falls asleep. Whatever you think would be best. Good luck and hang in there.

    Answer by heartfrommyson at 12:37 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I used double baby gates. The bottom one was to keep them in and the top one was to keep them from climbing over the bottom one. LOL

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

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