Le Petit just figured out how to climb out of his crib.
Just writing that makes my stomach twist into knots.
He's only 21 months old, and I naively thought I'd have at least another six months of tranquility before I had to worry about convincing him to stay put in a toddler bed all night long. But no, my tall, clever, precocious child just figured out how to scale the side and tumble out to the ground. Ever since he made his first crib break last weekend, our interim security measure is padding (currently a second spring mattress) on the floor, but the incident seemed isolated until today at nap time.
After an hour of singing and playing and refusing to nap, I went in to check on him. Far from being coaxed to sleep, he jumped out of his crib, bounced and rolled on the mattress. I put him back in, he tried to climb back out; I made a couple of futile attempts to convince him to sleep before giving up on the nap entirely.
Alas, the skipped nap made him an exhausted wreck at bedtime, too tired to fall asleep peacefully on his own. He screamed when I put him down and tried to climb out again. He eventually fell asleep in my arms in the recliner and I put him back in the crib asleep. I am terrified he'll wake up and try to climb out again at some point during the night.
I have no idea what to do. This problem couldn't be timed worse, because we're starting a huge kitchen remodeling project on Thursday.
The good news is that the side of the crib can be removed to make a toddler bed. I'm very worried, though, that he won't understand this new sleeping configuration and will either refuse to fall asleep, will roll out and wake himself up during the night, or will use the lack of a side to wander around his room or, worse, the apartment all by himself while we're asleep.
What to do? The options as I see them are:
1) Remove the side and hope for the best. This would mean we would have to get a latch for his door, since he's otherwise figured out how to open ever room in the apartment and I can't have him wandering into the kitchen or the bathroom on his own. I don't want to imprison him in his room, but I do want to make sure I'm awake if he's up and exploring.
2) Transfer him to the pack n' play or use the pack n' play mattress in his crib (and hope he doesn't figure out how to climb out of that too soon).
I'm leaning toward the first option. To me, 21 months is too early for a toddler to be free-roaming at night, and he's typically been such a poor sleeper I dread the repercussions of a "big boy bed" so young, but what choice do I have?
(For what it's worth, although I completely respect it as a solution that works for a lot of families, I'm not at all comfortable with cosleeping. So bringing le Petit into our bed is not an option.)
If anyone out there has strategies for surviving an early transition from the crib, I'm all ears. Or commiseration... or words of support... anything!