Forum home Toddlers & older children Toddler

locking the door?

Okay I need some advice. Has anyone ever locked there lo's bed room door? My three year old has taken to getting up in the middle of night and wandering. I have spent more money than I have trying to child proof things more than they are but it getting ridiculous. At three though she is prenty able to undo most things. I have had her get up and clog the toilet full of toilet paper. The first night she managed to pry the drawers in the kitchen open and was playing with a knife (the drawers have child safety things on) and had gotten two pens out. Which she had used to scribble all over the papers in my husband's brief case. He was due to hand them into court in the morning, and they were part of his client's case. She has been on the computers and through all our desk drawers. I have also put a new lock on the front door as she unlocked the door and went outside. We live on a cliff in rural Canada. I mean last month I didn't go to the shops because a mountain lion was sleeping on the hood of our truck. She could be eaten or eat something toxic, or get hurt. I am at my wits end. I can't sleep worrying over what she might get into. I have tried various methods of both positive and negative reinforcement, and she just doesn't want to cooperate. My husband wants to just put a lock on her door and give it sometime for her to grow out of it. What do you think? I'm hesitant but I want her to be safe, and I want to sleep peacefully at night knowing she's safe.

Thank you xx


  • OMG mountain lions! Sounds to me that you have to do whatever you need to do to keep your daughter safe and if that means locking her in her room, then perhaps that's what you have to do. The only thing you need to think of is how she'd get out in an emergency (God forbid), or if she needed to loo in the middle of the night. Also, are you prepared to have her screaming in the middle of the night to get out?
    Have you tried a star chart with a reward after so many nights? These mostly work with my son.
    Knowing what she has done and what potential harm she could come to, i would give it a go, explaining to her your reasons for doing it and how she can have the lock taken off. She will understand hopefully. I'd rather have an upset safe child than an unsafe child, especially in your location!
    Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and how you get on. x
  • I'd advise against a lock...too many risks involved. Have you tried a stair gate?
  • Hi, your poor thing, this must be so stressful for you. As she is good at working thing out a stairgate might be very short term. There are 'dog gates' available, my niece has one as her dog kept jumping over the stairgate and going on their beds. It is a lot taller than a child gate, so she wouldnt be able to reach it easily. The only other things which come to mind are either one of those 'hook-and-eye' type fittings on the outside, so you can easily unhook it to let her out in an emergency and there is no danger of her locking herself in, or even one of those 'stable' type split doors. Then you could lock the bottom half but the top could stay open to save scaring her and she could be easily reached if needed. Good luck xx
  • i think in that kind of situation it is reasonable to lock her in, obviously you've tried everything else, those extra tall doggie stair gates sound good.
    good luck, she will grow out of it eventually!
  • i really wouldnt feel comfortable with a lock not just coz of emergencies but it would be harder to hear her if she needed you. my 3 year old still has a stair gate in his door coz he can be a little monkey. you have to push a button at the top and bottom at the same time so there is no way he could get out. i would definatly recomment a doggie gate if she would find a way to climb over it.
  • how about a chain on the door? that way it's easy to open in emergency and she can open the door a bit, through i fear you may have to deal with a slamming door for a while til she got bored!
  • Not sure what to suggest chick. My mum did put a lock on my door when I was very tiny but that was to stop my older brother coming in and waking me up! I suspect a stair gate wouldn't work. My 18 month old knows exactly how to undo ours, she just can't reach yet but a higher dog gate might work.
  • i actually think that a lock wouldnt be a good idea as some of the ladies have said about safety reasons but i think the stable type door is a briliant idea, you could put a lock out of kiddie reach on the bottom half and if there is any emergensies you can just lift her out or depending on how tall you are, step over the bottom half, i dont know how you get any sleep!!!!!!
  • OMG, mountain lions!!!! I'm scared to go outside if there are wasps about!!!!

    I'd be afraid of a lock too just incase of emergencies but I see where youre coming from. I'm sure you have tried stair gates on her door. I know Amys almost 2 1/2 & has been able to open them from she was almost 2. We've tried a few different types & within a week she has mastered them. Fortunately she stays in her bed at the minute.

    What about a half door (like a stable door) with a latch? I know that sounds a bit extreme though!!!

    Hope you get something sorted
  • Hello everyone, thank you for your advice and support. I have tried baby gates and we actually have a dog gate, but she climbs over. Little monkey image I have some concerns about the safety of locks too so I went into mother care, they suggested a door handle safety thing. It looks like a solid plastic thing that one would put over the bathtub spout to prevent little one scalding themselves. Anyhow we fitted the thing over the door handle so she can no longer open the door from the inside with such little hands but we can open it from the outside. The door can be opened from the inside by an adult as the thing simply needs to have two parts pushed at the same time so the door knob can be turned. Just incase one of us became locked in too. This seems to be working at the moment as she has yet to figure it out. But boy has it caused her distress. I did want to leave her feeling trapped and alone, but I want to know where she is so I know she is safe. I bought her a set of walkie talkies (sp?) so she drives me and dh crazy chatting to us long after having gone to bed, but she feels comfortable with that, and knows she can ask for help if she needs it. Unknown to her I set up her old baby moniter too, so she doesn't have to ask for help but if she awoke crying and needed help I could hear and come quickly. At what age is a baby moniter an invasion of privacy? I feel a little uncertain if I am invading her space, is a baby moniter still okay at three? What age is a baby moniter no longer acceptable?
  • Definately older than three!! Not sure to be honest as I haven't really thought about it before but I would say that it is ok untill she is old enough to learn that wandering around at night is not a good thing! Glad you managed to find a solution, I am sure she will get used to it in time.
  • I heard a good idea. put a bell on her bedroom door, so every time she leaves her room you can hear her, then you can do the whole "put back routine" and put her straight back to bed, 1st/2nd time she does it you tell her "it's bedtime now", third time (and all the other times... image) don't say anything, just put her back to bed,

    the bell you can get from B&Q, the kind that you put on your exernal doors and the noise goes off in your room, so she won't hear the bell noise.

    hth xxx
  • Hi - I hope you don't mind me asking but is she awake when she's doing all these things or is she in some kind of sleep/trance? is she breaking into drawers and stuff because she wants to break stuff or is she curious? She seems to be using her independance on her night time expeditions to do all the things that she probably wouldn't dare in the day? Does she know why she is doing it? It seems a strange thing for her to suddenly start doing and it must have completely freaked you out!!
    I think you are doing absolutely the right thing - at the moment your priority should be doing whatever it takes to keep her safe and if having to resort to locking her in is what it takes then thats what you have to do! A child moniter is ideal - that way she will soon learn that if she is ever upset she is not abandoned! That bell idea as a back up incase she does get out is a fantastic idea!
    I hope this works out for you ok (and for your daughter!) good luck! xx
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions