James is a climber. He has been since before he could stand on his own. As soon as he could pull to stand he started climbing on furniture. Soon after that he began climbing into his toy baskets, over toys; barriers that used to keep him corralled became practice for bigger climbing adventures. He loves climbing over armrests to get into chairs, and a couple of times he’s climbed on top of the dining room table. We knew we’d be in trouble when he grew tall enough to climb out of his crib.
Well that day finally came. James is tall ( 35 inches) and has no fear. This combination meant the crib was no longer safe. Toddler beds bring their own set of worries, but at least he’d be safe.
The first test with his new bed was nap time. I was prepared for several days of difficult naps, but to my surprise he did great. He’s been getting out of bed once or twice before he falls asleep, and I’m always curious to see where I’ll find him. Sometimes I see fingertips poking out from under the door, sometimes I find him looking out the window, and once I found him sitting quietly in the rocking chair. It always makes me smile. He goes back to bed easily and still takes a two-hour nap.
Night has proven to be a bigger adjustment for me than James. I still rock him to sleep and place him in bed. The only place he can go when he wakes is our bedroom. At first I was very diligent about putting him back in his own bed, and he would go without protest. But one night I let him stay (something I said I would never do), and now I do it every time. I know I’m creating a monster. I know this is one of the hardest habits to break. I know he needs to sleep in his own bed – he loves his bed, but it really doesn’t get much better than night-time snuggles. I had no idea. One of these days it will be my turn to adjust. For now I’m going to enjoy the snuggles.