It has been a struggle at our house keeping little miss in her crib. She is extremely articulate for 2.5 (I know every mom says their child is a genius.) she climbed out of her crib FOR THE LAST TIME at nap yesterday. So I decided it was finally time for a big girl bed. We went to target picked out some new bedding and a new stuffed animal. Got some M&M’s for reinforcement and crossed my fingers that she would be compliant and not give me a hard time.
She escaped her room while I was working so when I got home I had to put her back to bed. She has a thing with keeping the door so we created a contingency: “If you get out your bed, or yell, I will have to close the door. It is night night time” this apparently put the fear of God in her and she stayed in her bed ALL night.
She did get up a little earlier than normal, but agreed to stay in her room quietly if she could have her IPad. I agreed and we got up for the day rested and happy 😊
So many of my clients struggle with toddler bed transitions. Here are my tips for getting your little prince, or princess into there bed for good!
1. Make a behavior chart with icons showing the steps of their bed time routine. Once they get to the end where they need to get in bed, give them their “bed” icon and give them a high reinforcement. In our case it was an M&M (she can only earn an M&M for getting in her bed like a big girl)
2. Make a contingency, and if-then situation. “If you stay in your bed quietly, then I will keep the door open”
3. DON’T crack! Gather yourself and follow through. Some children may take up to a week of returning to their bed before they get used to having the freedom to roam. It is a lot of responsibility for a toddler.
4. Don’t try to introduce this transition too early.
Hope this helps! I will post soon about any ups and downs during our transition.