Well, we did it. After years (I mean years) of fighting to keep Fritter in his bed during nap and bedtime, we have finally caved. First, though, to be fair, he has recently decided that staying in bed at night is a good thing, since the punishment to getting up is no fun. And he's usually tired anyway.
But naptime has been difficult. He feels that he doesn't need naps anymore, but I know better. But really, instead of a nap, we've just been struggling with each other almost every afternoon. And then he falls asleep at what would usually be the end of naptime. And at night he has recently started waking up about 3am and wandering around. One night he got into toothpaste and spread it all over his dresser. What to do?
Yesterday, my dear husband and I finally broke. We bought this after much deliberation. You see, Fritter has been in a "big boy bed" since around 16 months because he was a climber and would bail out of his crib. He wasn't ready for a big bed though, and we've really struggled with boundaries with him since. And we've known that putting him back in the crib was the thing to do. But keeping him in there? Ha! And as time went by, it just seemed like he was too big for a crib. He's a very big three year old.
But, as I've already said, we buckled. We put him back in the crib last night with the tent over it. He loves camping, and so we made it an adventure for him so he didn't feel like a baby sleeping in a crib. Once he was in, we realized that he wasn't as big as we thought he was. He can stand up just fine with the tent on, and he has room in the crib to stretch out while he sleeps.
And guess what? He slept great last night, woke up this morning and called to me to use the facilities, and went right back in his tent with no problem. The real test will be naptime, but I'm planning on giving him a stack of books to read, and at worst, he'll just get a nice rest/reading time.
We don't plan on using this forever. In fact, we're hoping we only need to use it for a couple of months to teach the idea of boundaries and self-control before transitioning him back into his big bed. And I'm hopeful. And we've learned so much. You can bet Ladybug has a long time left in the crib before going to a bed.
It seems to me that moving to a big bed is a right of passage. And so far, Fritter has been cheated out of that. This time, we plan on making it a big deal.
*Please note that I understand that there are differing opinions on the whole idea of kids and sleep. I am not saying that this is a one size fits all solution. It's one (I hope) will work for us.*