When JJ first started to notice that there was a world outside his cot I was quick to flick through all the ‘baby safety’ catalogues and source the tallest, most secure stair gate I could find to put across his bedroom door. Of course this is mainly for his own protection as his doorway drops down a step and faces out over a steep staircase which itself cannot be gated due to the non-symmetrical pattern of the banisters.. But no-one’s complaining that we have also benefited from the peace and quiet afforded by our child’s inability to run into the living room at 9.30pm demanding a banana. Or refuse to go to bed and stay there. Or re-appear 200 times to have a good old whinge about CBeebies axing Topsy and Tim.
I would certainly recommend this form of ‘sleep training’ to anyone with small children – keep the monkeys in the enclosure, that’s what I say!
To be fair three nights of ‘training’ was all it really took to make him feel comfortable with the situation. There have been times when he has actually taken us to task for forgetting to shut the gate behind us! And now, after just under four years of safety-conscious gating we have suddenly experienced the first instance of him realising that he could drag a small stool across, climb up and flip himself over the top. The reason he did this was to join his brother for an early morning cuddle in the cot which is currently located in the master bedroom. As the cot will shortly be transferred to his room and we will have all the same ‘safety’ issues with EJ, I’m not anticipating a removal of the gate any time soon.
Of course it also works as a ‘place of safety’ during a godalmighty meltdown…(for me!) These four year old boys and their testosterone surges eh?! (cue nervous, slightly manic laughter!) Now pass me the gin…