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A & S writes:
I have a little boy of three, and twins at 21 months old (a boy and a girl). At night my little boy climbs out of the cot and won't sleep in his own bed. He seems to have so much energy, even though we are now cutting his nap to around 30 minutes to ensure he is tired at night. Please help!
Here's the life coach's reply:
Dear A & S
I think that for the child's safety, once they start being able to climb out of a cot, then it is time to move them to a proper bed. Some children are trying to escape their cots as soon as they can stand, so the time to move to a bed can come sooner than you might expect. If you're worried about him falling out of bed, then you can use a bed guard or (the old fashioned method) put a few large cushions on the floor in case he falls.
I must admit that when my own child started getting out of bed at night, I used to ignore this as much as possible. I would find her curled up on a little bed she had made on the landing floor, or having sneaked into my bed. Eventually she stopped doing it and stayed put in her own bed.
It's a very common phase that many children go through, but like all phases it passes eventually. Much of children's behaviour is linked to wanting attention, and if you don't pay attention to it then they tend to stop doing it. And since your son is one of three, it is natural that from time to time he will want a bit more attention for himself, rather than always being one of the crowd.
In terms of the daytime nap, then yes you are right that this is linked to night time sleep. But it is very likely that at three your son has grown out of needing a daytime nap altogether. Try dropping that 30 minute nap for a few days and see what difference it makes. He will probably still need some quiet time in the afternoon, but you could offer some stories, listening to books on CD or a favourite TV programme instead.
For more advice on helping your son be calmer at bedtime, take a look at my answer to this question.
Good luck and best wishes,