Friday, September 19, 2014

Sleep...and keeping your kids in their cribs: Part 2

You've worked so hard to transition your babies into a crib, and to train them to sleep at night, and knowing they're safe in their cribs gives you peace of mind.  And then they figure out how to get out and it's all over!  Then you have to either train them to stay in the crib and not get out unless you take them out, or if you're worried about safety you have to transition to a toddler bed, perhaps earlier than you'd planned.

I'll never forget the first morning I heard the running feet and noises getting closer and closer...  The boys had gotten out of their cribs one morning for the first time (see my post here) and then somehow forgot about it.  But that fateful morning that they burst into our room I'd left both their door and our door open because they had cried a lot in the evening and I wanted to hear them if they woke again.

What we did:

  • We turned their cribs so the highest side was away from the wall.  This did not deter them from climbing out AT ALL.  (To my husband, "you were right.")
  • I strongly "encouraged" them to stay in their cribs at nap time.  (I actually don't mind if they get up to play in the early morning in their room, but I need my afternoon break!)
  • I put up a gate to the bedroom door even while they were sleeping.  This was mainly for safety, since I don't want them wandering the house at night if they happen to get up and out.  Also, one of my sons had opened the door to the garage for the first time, and I didn't want them somehow unlocking or opening doors and leaving the house while I'm sleeping and not supervising! 
  • We tried sleep sacks.  I ordered super-long, toddler-sized ones.  I chose the Halo SleepSack in lightweight knit, so it wouldn't be too hot over their winter clothes.  As you can see below they did fit my tall toddlers, but the leg openings still allowed them enough range of movement to swing their leg over the side of the crib!

More suggestions from twin moms on keeping your babies/toddlers in bed:

  • Use a "Peapod."  Click here to see an example.  These are portable, zip-up, tent-like sleeping beds.  A member of my local twins club used hers by setting them right inside her cribs after converting the cribs to toddler beds.  She also says twisty ties can keep the zippers in place, since her twins quickly learned how to unzip the pods.  
  • If using sleep sacks, and your child learns how to unzip it, another member of my club sewed her own version of a sleep sack that had snaps in the back instead of a front zipper.  
  • If putting the crib mattress on the floor within the crib itself, don't just lay the mattress touching the floor, as it will too easily slide around.  Unscrew and lay the original crib bottom on the floor, then put the mattress on top.  
  • Pray.  

Some of these things might work to slow your children down or prevent their crib escapes.  Eventually, as you can see from the title picture above, we took the plunge and switched to toddler beds!  Stay tuned for a post on this transition!

Snuggling with daddy after a nap.  

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