We have recently transitioned our 2 year old from a cot into a bed. We did this with some reservation but he appeared to be ready as he would constantly ask to go into his bed. Also he started climbing onto the top bar of his cot so we thought it might be best to move him to his bed.
However now he is in we have a problem that when he wakes up early he can get out of his bed and walk around the house. Typically into our room. In the past we could leave him in in his cot and he would either churp away or cry to be picked up at which point we might leave him for as long as possible.
He has always been an early waker even though we never got up early to him. At least from as long as I can remember anyway.
As he is only waking up 45min to 1hour we are finding it hard to tell him to go back to sleep, especially as he has already woken up walking around. He wakes up at 5:30am - 6am instead of 6:30am which we would be happy with.
We are hesitant to completely close his door so he can't get out but apart from that we don't know what to do. Why? Just a personal thing at this stage in that we like to have his door ajar just so we can hear him if necessary.
His room is completely dark so when he wakes he won't be able to see much (so there's no morning light issues). We have tried telling him it's not time to wake up yet however he is already fully awake by that time it seems tough to ask him to go back to sleep (for 45min to 1hr?).
He goes to bed early-ish in the evenings and at times has good sleeps during the day. We don't force either of these and try to work in with his state each day, although we also stick to a routine as much as possible.
UPDATE Sept: I thought I would provide an update to this. Our little guy is much better now although he is still waking up once during the night (at which point I just pick him up and take him back to bed) as well as waking up early. However he is slowly getting better. Now although he complains more often than not it's not a continual cry. Things that we are doing now include:
Purchased a Gro clock and have been constantly drumming in that he can only come into mummies and daddies room when the sun comes up. He gets the concept and it's almost... working.
Started a sticker chart. Although he doesn't fully understand it is a nice treat for him now and he sort of understands when he isn't allowed on. He is only allowed one when he has stayed in his room.
I started off hoping into bed with him for a month in the core of winter but the last 4 weeks I've been filtering that off so now I don't need to and just take him back to his room (although he does still complain and cry/grizzle at times).
So it's been about 4months. Slowly but surely he's getting there.