Toddlers are surprisingly adept when it comes to climbing, and once they’ve figured out how to climb out of their crib, they tend to get a pretty big kick out of it. It can be a fun game for them, but much less so for you, if they’re leaving their room several times a night when they’re supposed to be sleeping.
I’m happy to tell you that there’s a fairly easy solution to this problem that doesn’t involve any crying, protesting, or a frustrating battle of wills between you and your toddler, and I’ll tell you all about it in this week’s video.
– Hi, I’m Dana, welcome to this week’s video.
Today, I wanna talk about an issue that a lot of people go through with their toddler and that is crib jumping for fun. Now, there’s two different scenarios here. One is crib jumping dangerously and one’s crib jumping for fun. Dangerously means that they look like they’re gonna try to jump out headfirst or they already have tried to jump out headfirst or it looks dangerous, right? You get the difference.
If that’s the case then you don’t really have much of an option but to move to some sort of toddler bed or a single bed situation because that’s a safety concern.
I’m talking today about crib jumping for fun and that means, you’ve seen it, there’s YouTube videos all over the place. This little peanut can get out of that crib in one second flat. There’s no danger involved. They’re just really skillful and so what happens is they jump out of that crib and you come back and you put them in and on and on it goes.
I had a call with a client the other day and this was a scenario happening at every nap time, right? She’d put the child in the crib, leave the room, the child would jump out of the crib, run to the door. She would come in, put her back in the crib, leave, run to the door and this was going on 50 times, absolutely on and on and on until basically the mom just called it and said, fine, let’s just move on with the day here and you have to keep in mind this is for attention.
This is the only reason this is happening because it gets attention and most children, not all, but most children will take attention either positively or negatively and so it doesn’t matter that mom’s getting angry, maybe even if mom is raising her voice. It doesn’t matter. They’re still getting mom’s undivided attention for an hour or more every single day.
This can happen at bedtime too. These are two very popular places. Now, the temptation or the thought process is well, let’s just move to a bed then. That’s not gonna help the problem. That’s just gonna make it even easier for the child to get out and now, instead of the second attempt to get out of that crib, he’s just gonna pop right out of his bed and come a running because it gets attention and he’s not gonna stop until that stops, okay?
So how do you solve it? Guess what, you just ignore it. So what I suggested to this client was make a little area somewhere in the room, throw some blankets down, make sort of a little nest in the corner that could be an option and ignore it. Put her in the crib one time, leave your room. If she jumps out, that’s where she stays. I would also start calling it, if it’s a nap issue, just start calling it quiet time. Just take the pressure right off of the idea of sleep to say okay, you’re in here for an hour, you can stay in your crib or you can get out of your crib but you’re in here for quiet time.
Make sure you minimize any distractions in the room, right? We don’t wanna have a whole bunch of fun toys to play with. If there’s anything dangerous that she might try to climb up on, you wanna get that out of there too so that it’s very boring to get up out of your crib. If it’s night, what’s common is they’ll get out of the crib, run to the light and turn the light on. Either duct tape over the light switch or take the bulb out.
Again, we wanna make this boring. We wanna make this so boring that they stay in the crib and then just let it go, just let it go, even if that means she sleeps on her little nest. That’s okay. Again, this is a learning process. She will learn that if she gets out of her crib, there’s no trip back to it. She’s gonna have to sleep on her floor which is not as comfortable as sleeping in her lovely crib and the game will stop.
It absolutely will stop even if that means at bedtime he falls asleep in his little nest. That’s what you chose, right? That’s the choice you made. You chose to get out of the crib. Now you’re gonna have to sleep there. If you want to, when you go to bed, if you see that he’s there, you can pick him up and move him back to the crib if you want to. You may provoke the game, right? He may realize he’s been moved, jump out of the crib and the game may begin.
If that happens, let it go, right? Just let it go. Ignore it. Leave him be. He’s sleeping on his nest tonight. And that’s a great way to encourage a child to stay in their crib and they will, right? Who wants to sleep on the floor? Nobody. And stop the game.
So if you’re in any kind of scenario with your child where you feel like a game is being played even though you’re not enjoying it and they might not actually even be enjoying it either, you’ve gotta stop whatever you’re doing. That’s the only way to end the game and stop the behavior.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
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