• My two year old son has gotten to that sad point where he is capable of climbing out of his crib. I feel very lucky to have made it this long with him. I’ve met plenty of kids who are climbing out much earlier than age two. I’m thankful for that. However, I am still sad to have to change his crib into a “big boy bed.” I mean, he is a busy, busy boy. The thought of him being free during nap time and at night frightens me a little bit. I don’t think that he will stay in his bed when I need him to. He definitely still needs a nap, and I am not ashamed to admit that I desperately need him to have that nap. But he is like a lot of two year olds, and they fight nap time. Once he’s there and in bed (and can’t get out!) he falls right to sleep. What will I do when he decides that he doesn’t want to take that nap that he needs and gets out to play. Or worse, gets out to scream at the door until I come get him, effectively waking up his younger brother?

    The key is to find something that your child does enjoy

    I suppose we will try what we did with his sister who is now five. First, she was allowed to get out of bed and play quietly. So long as it was exactly that, quiet. If it wasn’t, her afternoon snack would disappear. Her afternoon snack is usually when she got something special, a cookie, or her favorite three M & Ms. If she was loud I left her alone (so long as she didn’t sound as if she was dying or hurt!). Then she received the consequences after the fact. At this age kids are able to realize what they did wrong an hour ago. They remember. Doing it this way ensures that the kids don’t get any attention for doing the wrong thing. I don’t come back up into their room and effectively give them what they want. Nap time delayed. Also, if it doesn’t make Mommy come running, it stops being fun. If it doesn’t make mommy come AND I don’t get my cookie, even worse. At least I think that’s what happened with my daughter. We rewarded her for days that she stayed in her room and quiet with stickers. I’m not so sure the sticker bribe will work with my son, he’s not exactly into stickers.

    The key is to find something that your child does enjoy. And it does not have to be a food treat either. Stickers, coloring pages, getting to open the garage door for daddy when he comes home from work… whatever makes your child excited to do what you want. As for bed time. Well, if he comes out to visit me in the middle of the night I will do the same thing as always. Quietly, without one single word, pick him up and put him right back in. If he cries I will simply say, “I’m sorry this makes you upset, but it’s bed time now. I see that you are not hurt, I love you very much and will see you in the morning.” Same thing every night until he learns that it’s just not worth his time to bother. With any luck that will take hardly any time at all. Wish me luck.