Toddlers on Lockdown -- Good Idea or Not?

Cynthia Dermody
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locking toddlers in their rooms

Photo by amybuddy45

I've always had trouble getting my toddlers to stay in their beds and rooms at bedtime, but never anything like this!

 

One anonymous CafeMom's 4 and 2 year old boys have been destroying the house at night:

"At least once a week they will both wake up in the middle of the night and bring food from the kitchen to their rooms. They'll open every piece and spray it across the room,'' she says.

"Often times they empty out the closets, as well. One morning I woke up at 2 a.m. with a jar of rice all over my 2 year old's room, mixed in with some Kool-Aid powder (didn't even know that I had that) with every single toy out of the closet. Then I walked into my 4 year old's room and he had all of his plastic kiddie forks all over the floor and in the peanut butter jar, and a pack of crackers crushed into the carpet."

The mom has tried baby gates on both of their doors (they climb over), bungee cords on the pantry and the fridge (they undo them), and just simply trying to keep stuff out of reach (the oldest will climb up the highest shelf, 10 feet in the air, to find things).

Moms in Advice for Moms gave suggestions on how to deal with these types of security breaches:

Put locks on their doors and shut them in from the outside. "We do this with my son as he knows how to open doors and we don't want him wandering around at night when we're asleep. Works like a charm."

Use hook and eye fasteners. "Also, the sliding chain locks on the outside of their doors might help. They'd be able to open the door to yell for you in an emergency, but it wouldn't shut to the point where they couldn't get out."

Cabinet locks would be the first thing I put on. "Bungees are way too easy."

Install a door alarm. "You can get them at Radio Shack for $15. Get one for each of their doors. It's not a lock, just an alarm so you know when they leave their room. Within a couple days, I'm sure they will stop because the alarm will scare them, it's loud!"

Exhaust them out during the day. "So they are too tired at night for mischief. I sleep with my door open to hear better.

I'd also sit them down and explain that the behavior is not acceptable. Discuss  punishments -- taking away things, time-outs, making them clean up their rooms -- and then if it happens again, have them clean it and carry through with the punishments discussed.

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What type of mischief is your toddler up to at night? Do you lock your toddlers in their rooms?

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