Knock, knock, knock. What in the world? It’s 6 a.m., I
thought. Knock, knock, knock. Just go
play honey! I thought I was telling my 4-year-old son. Instead my mom walked
in the room with my 2-year-old son in her arms. I did a double take. Wasn’t he
sleeping in the bathroom adjacent to our room still? The door was closed. Our
bedroom door was closed. And then it dawned on me. My son had just climbed out of his crib.
At home your child climbing out of their crib is a pain in
the butt. Now you have to be extra aware of where they are, so they aren’t
wandering by themselves at night or in the wee hours of the morning. This is a
whole new level of sleep training you are about to enter.
Let’s just say that when it happens on vacation it is doubly
fun. You don’t have the “big boy” bed ready for your kid to move to when you
are in a rental house or a hotel. You have that portable crib you just lugged
across the country. I knew my son couldn’t hurt himself getting out of our
portable crib, but I was worried that he was already perfecting his ninja
skills by closing the door to the bathroom and bedroom so he could wander the
cabin we were renting. We were situated
right in front of a lake. If he got out the door he could wander to the water
and drown. These are the thoughts that keep parents up at night people!
Baby-proofing your surroundings
The whole family went into active baby-proofing mode. We
made sure all of the doors were locked at night before anyone went to bed,
especially the deadbolts and locks too high for him to reach. This took care of
the baby wandering outside. My husband and I also built multiple barriers to
stop our son from getting out of the room without our knowledge. If he wanted to get out, he would have to make enough noise to wake
us up by moving shoes, laundry baskets, chairs and trashcans. It wasn’t a
foolproof setup for our budding ninja, but it was the best we could do.
Each night it got more entertaining (for him) to climb out of the crib.
Crib or bed?
We had the room figured out, but now we had to figure out
the bed. How could we keep him in there? Should we move him to the floor in our
room? No, he just wasn’t ready. Have him sleep in a bed with his brother? No, they would play all night. Sleep in a bed with us? No, he’s a mover and a shaker in his sleep
and it was a tiny double bed. Three of us would not fit.
We let him continue to sleep in his crib. We knew once he
was asleep he would be fine in there, we just had to remind him several times
to stay put. Each night it got more entertaining (for him) to climb out of the
crib, while for us it got more aggravating. Keeping him in the crib solved the
problem for the short term, but as soon as we got home he moved into his bigger
bed. We knew the day was coming as he was already showing signs of trying to
get out of his crib at home, so we had it all ready.
Getting used to a new
He had a few days to get used to his new bed before we took
off on another trip. This was slightly closer to home, but still required beds
and two nights in a hotel. Thanks to a pull-out couch, roll away bed and a
queen-sized bed, my whole family fit nicely into a small one-bedroom suite. We
put the baby in the rollaway bed with pillows around the floor in case he fell
out (he did. Twice.) and had to remind him several times to stay in bed.
Thankfully we were doing a lot of exploring in a short amount of time, so he was
tuckered out by the end of the day. After a few simple reminders that he had to
stay in bed, he did.
I know this isn’t the case with every kid, but we got lucky
he was so tired. At home we still deal with him popping out of bed, but he just
comes to see us and say hi these days. He’ll settle in soon just like his big
brother. I just have to be prepared for lots of pokes in the face in the middle
of the night when he decides to say hello.
Have you had to
transition to a big bed with your baby while traveling? Tell us about it in the