Tricks to stop cot jumping
So you know your toddler is too young to move to a big bed, but he keeps climbing or jumping out of the cot! Before you make the move too early (because you can tell that keeping him in a bed will be a nightmare), try these tricks to help stop your little one from cot jumping.
Use a sleep sack
Sleep sacks are great to use after the newborn/swaddle phase. They’re a safe, easy way to keep your baby warm with the comfort of being wrapped in a blanket, whilst allowing for movement and access to their hands. The sleep sack should allow your little one to move their legs and kick around inside it, but it’s still reasonably restrictive if they’re trying to walk or climb in it. If your child needs to hoist their leg over the side to climb out, a sleep sack will help prevent that.
Note: this helps if your child is already in a sleep sack, or has not long ago stopped using one (put them back in one). There is the odd toddler who will happily start using one for the first time after a cot-jumping incident, but they’ll often resist it if they’re not use to it.
But if sleep sacks aren’t your thing, what else can you try?
Drop the mattress
This won’t work with all cots, but it’s worth investigating if you have a cot-jumper. It involves removing the base and dropping the mattress all the way to the floor. This can work well if you have a thick mattress and a cot with sides that go down low enough to ensure there’s no gap.
If those just don’t work and safety is an issue; you may have to consider a bed. And if this is the case, you can try the following tips to try and make the transition go as smoothly as possible:
- Involve your child in the transition. Toddlers are old enough to know what’s going on and be part of the process. This may include choosing some new items for their big kid bed.
- Be clear on what your expectations and rules are. And stick to them. Toddlers feel more secure when the expectations don’t change.
- Consider rewards for good behaviour and a consequence for not following the rules.
Also consider a sleep training clock
You can use a sleep training clock, or sleep training nightlight to let your little one know when it’s time to get up. These devices simply tell them when it’s time to get out of bed.
There are a number of sleep training devices on the market, but it is worth doing your research (some are very bright and/or the wrong colour to promote sleep). I personally love “Pam the penguin” for younger kids, and the “OK to Wake” clock for those that are two years old and over. But you need to be aware that the clock won’t do anything on its own. You’re the one who needs to enforce it until your child learns what it means.
And if you feel like you’ve tried everything and still aren’t getting anywhere with your wily toddler’s sleep, including cot jumping; book in a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d love to help!
Because everyone needs a good night’s sleep!