Keeping Your Tot in the Crib
What's the best way to keep a toddler from crawling out of his crib to avoid sleeping?
Q. I need advice about keeping my 18-month-old in his toddler bed. He climbed out of his crib at the lowest level and now we can't get him to fall asleep without wandering around the room for an hour. Any suggestions?
A. Not going to sleep when the parent wants can often be a fine attention-getting device. The more excitement, yelling, threatening, the more attention they receive -- thus, the reward. Obviously, you have a very strong-willed child.
Try to create a quiet, peaceful pre-bed routine, perhaps with reading a long story with the lights dim every night. Do not ever take him into your bed, even for one night! Try not to yell, let him fall asleep on the floor of his room, and do not feed him or give him a bottle if it's bedtime. This will take work on your part, as well as his. Also, make certain that his room is safe for him to walk around in. Eventually, hopefully, this will work.
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