Kids Sleeping Issues: Toddler Climbing Out of Crib
So-called solutions that do not work are: 1. Moving him into a toddler bed. He will just continue to get up at night and put himself at risk wandering around the house. 2. Bringing him into your own bed. This is a short-term, fake solution so everybody gets some sleep but nobody gets quality sleep. Resentment and a strained marriage are the guaranteed long-term results as the parents get more sleep deprived. 3. Moving a mattress into the child's room where one parent sleeps with him. You are depriving your child the opportunity to learn how to sleep through the night unassisted. One or both parents are going to eventually get upset over this arrangement.
A solution that will work is a crib tent. Remember that unbroken or fragmented sleep is unhealthy and our goal is continuous or consolidated sleep. The crib tent works because it provides safety to the child and allows the parents to not reinforce night awakenings.
For this to work well, watch for drowsy signs to determine when to choose an early bedtime. Make sure that the mid-day nap is in place. If the bedtime is too late or the nap is at the wrong time, your child will develop a second wind and this makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Choose either 1. Check and console, 2. Graduated extinction, or 3. Extinction to help your child learn self-soothing skills (from the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child).
Keep a Sleep Log to monitor progress and you will see improvement within 3-4 nights if all the elements are in place.
More kids sleeping tips from Dr. Weissbluth: