A Devastating Blow…

We are going through a bit of a hard time in our family right now. It came out of nowhere and knocked us for six. It all started a few days ago, a sight so terrifying we were left quaking in our bed socks…

What’s the one thing more scary that being woken up in the middle of the night by an axe wielding mad man? Yup – seeing a toddler who has learnt to climb out of his cot.

gets out cots

You see I’m not one of those parents who is all up for their kid hitting milestones as soon as possible. TBH I’d been hoping the cage, I mean COT, would be sticking around for a while longer. But alas it was not to be.


So with the choice taken out of our hands and a Google for Velcro bedding or cots with lids proving fruitless, we had but one choice left *cries a bit* – A BIG BOY BED.

The plan was two pronged – Stair gate on door, wine on stair. Partly based on one of my favourite inspirational quotes of all time…

‘Whenever you think you can’t do it – you can!
You just need some wine.’

Ok maybe I just made that up. But I honestly think it rings true in many a situation.

dont like it12

Anyway we decided to split the task between us, one night on/one night off and this is how we have been getting on thus far:

Night One – Husband on duty. 

2.5 hours returning child to bed whilst catching 15 seconds snippets of The Champions League final (ha ha).

Time asleep = 9.15pm. Time awake = 4.30am.

Overall verdict = This massively sucks.

Night Two – Me on duty. 

Child went quiet after an hour leaving me feeling a bit smug that I may have cracked it sooner than J.

Then I heard him strumming a guitar.

Went upstairs to discover he had turned the light on and was now trying to construct the Scalextric track. Offending objects were swiftly removed from room.


Time asleep = 9pm. Time awake = 5am.

Verdict = I don’t want to play any more.

Night Three – Me on duty (yes again! husband late at work, don’t worry he will pay).

Child employed a clever tactic of calling me ‘Mummy pig’ and ‘Mummy Katie lady’ interchangeably which was kind of rude but also sort of adorable. I kept laughing which made things harder.

Tried the ‘gradual withdrawal’ approach and ended up kneeling in the middle of the dark room making shushing sounds with my eyes shut. It was a bit like meditating but instead of reaching a level of inner calm Instead I was just thinking…

mummy pig

Time asleep = 8.30pm. Time awake = 5am.

Verdict = Feeling inspired to start a new Kickstarter project. Let me know if you would like to invest…




P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


33 thoughts on “A Devastating Blow…

  1. lindsey kettle

    Ah,the joys of the big kid bed :( We have a 4 year old that sleeps attached to my head – ever since we moved him into the big bed. We attempted the sitting on the stairs and withdrawals but he finally won with the middle of the night creep into mummy’s bed and if you attempt to stop me/remove me/barrier me into my room I will scream until the whole of Coventry can hear and the neighbours will call the police….But at least he starts the night in his own bed I suppose. Small mercies and all that :) Good luck! xx

  2. Lucy

    My mum swears she had ‘bed reigns’ for me as a toddler. Perhaps start a petition for Mothercare to start re-stocking them as part of a “Vintage Parenting” range alongside the 70s style Jules Oliver stuff?

  3. Notmyyearoff

    Hehe I remember when z climbed out of the cot the first time. I think we both stared at him for a second then did the Macaulay Culkin home alone scream!

  4. Sarah

    Try Gina Fords Book – The Complete Sleep Guide For Contented Babies and Toddlers. Really my eldest was sleeping through after two nights. Best tenner I ever spent! He is know 10 and I have just have trouble getting him out of bed in the morning!

  5. Caraway

    You could try putting him back in cotbed? It worked to go back with our climber. He actually felt reassured back in his old cot and stopped climbing out.

  6. All about a Mummy

    I am very familiar with the on all fours shushing pose. I suggested Husband buy me kneepads for Christmas one year. To be honest we still do a similar thing now and she’s 4. No doubt the baby with start throwing herself out of her cot soon to make the whole situation impossible, unless I clone myself.

    Great post as always xx

  7. Siobhan @ Everyone Else is Normal

    Can you hear the collective roar of laughter from parents who’ve been through this?! Oh god, it certainly did suck. But guess what, before you know it, once you’ve cracked this, you’ll be looking into special bedding that keeps the duvet on them so they don’t wake up howling in the night cold……sorry, not much comfort. It DOES get better, honest guv.

  8. Suzanne3childrenandit

    Absolutely hilarious Katie, I remember this stage SO Well (sadly). I can even picture myself sat at the top of the stairs with my glass of wine for nights on end. Actually it only lasted about a week….or two. It will get better Mummy Katie Lady, I promise ;) x x

  9. Rachel In Real Life

    We are one of the lucky few that managed the move to Big Boy Bed with out any pain and relative ease. I mean he ended up in our bed but he did that even in the cot because it was easier to cary him into my bed than stand over shhing him at 3 am. Hope you get through it soon! x

  10. Carie

    Oh that did make me giggle- it’s not that my girls ever mastered climbing out of the cot (though they do keep climbing in to Pip’s and getting stuck) so much as the memory of babysitting toddler twins when I was 17 – the first time either their parents or I knew that A could climb out of his cot (onto a wooden floor-eek) was when I heard the patter of tiny feet down the hallway – to say it made me jump would be an understatement!!

  11. Christine

    I think you have nailed it with the Velcro idea! It keeps them safe from falling out too, at least that’s how you could market it…..

  12. Sam

    Super tall stair gate (the kind people get for tall dogs) is the way to go! Then, let them get in touch with their emotions and fall asleep next to said gate. It worked for us. Twice. :-)

  13. Julia @ Rainbeaubelle

    Oh good lord, this brings back painful memories! My eldest (now six) took a few months of this kind of behaviour and just when I thought I was going to leave the house forever he decided he would go to sleep at night under less than three hours! Ugh. Second child is staying in the cot until she is five… or till she learns to climb out, god forbid. She loves saying ‘Don’t like it bib/buggy/bed’ too. Cute but not always funny!! x

  14. Adventures of a Novice Mum

    My word! I’ve not even thought about the time my toddler will be able to climb out of his cot … oh no! Great they’re growing up , but my, the responsibility … and joy / fun of course. :-) All the best as you seek a solution. The Lidded Cot Company sounds interesting for sure.

  15. LittleOandme

    Lol this made me chuckle. I need a cot lid (cage) just put my 2-year-old in a ‘big boy’ bed and he sneaks into ours during the night and I’m too tired to do anything about it!

  16. Sarah

    We have all this to come very soon – in fact the big boy bed is in the garage just waiting to be built! And we’re planning on making the move before the baby is born so I don’t even get the comfort of wine to see me through!!

  17. Helen

    I feel your pain. I remember sitting outside the room ‘reassuring’ her that Mummy was still there. It just made her want to come out and play. And she figured out how to open the stairgate after 3 days…

  18. Ruth

    Cried laughing…so did my 10 yr old, who WAS the escape artist toddler not so long ago. BTW – my Mum was given “bed straps” to keep me in my cot by her Swiss friend 40 years ago!! Apparently the first night she tried them out, I appeared, having catapulted myself out of my cot, complete with the mattress strapped to my back.

  19. Jenny

    Oh Katie that is tough. I can’t believe kids can climb out of those cages (cribs) I fear this will be MM so soon. And sometimes I wake my hubby up and say I think she got out… like a burglar has just broken in. But alas it’s just B snoring still down the hall. Its hard when the big boy beds come earlier than expected. I was lucky with B he would gladly still sleep in one if I let him at almost 4 (I dont he is in a normal bed now) but MM its only a matter of weeks she hates her crib now. I fear wine on the stairs is an excellent idea!!!! Hope you are topped up! :) Great post.

  20. Tianna Stell

    Hello guys, I am a new parent and I am desperately to get my three month son to sleep longer during night. At the moment I’m lucky to get three hours sleep a night. Best wishes

  21. Marie

    my son came out of his room his first night in the Big Boy Bed. My husband gave him the stare down of death, and now he almost never gets out of bed unless it’s really urgent. My little daughter… I’ll be needing this post to get me through her Big Girl Bed days for sure. She’s a fighter.


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