A Week in Bedlam
Like any good parent who has a big toddler trying to climb out of the crib, I tried to prolong my sonâ€™s crib days as long as possible! After all, hey, I like sleep. Still, with a new baby coming in a couple months I wanted him to give up his crib well beforehand so he wouldnâ€™t feel any resentment towards his new brother. Â I sought advice from pretty much everyone on everything from Â methods and hints to what kind of bed to buy. This is what we came up with as a starting plan:
Buy a twin sized mattress and box spring, skip the bed frame. This way the bed is low to the ground and you can still use bedrails on. We also skipped the toddler bed because we really didnâ€™t want to go through this all again in two years. (Plus our son is an active sleeper and needs room to squirm) For aesthetic purposes, I put a tailored bedskirt over the box spring and people donâ€™t even realize it just a box and mattress. Â Oh, and IÂ let him help pick the mattress and set up the bed.
Donâ€™t remove toys from the room beforehand, save that for when he starts acting out and not wanting to go to bed.
Keep the crib in the room and let him decide which bed to go to at first. He may just sleep in the crib a few nights and â€˜studyâ€™ the big bed. Then when heâ€™s in the big bed, leave the crib for a bit so he knows his gigantic wooden â€˜lovieâ€™ is still there.
7pm- Saturday: We set up the new bed and let him help. He loves jumping on it.
9:20- He decides itâ€™s time to go to bed. Given the choice, he heads straight for the big bed. Mommyâ€™s thoughts. â€œSweet-my son is so mature!â€
9:30-The nightly â€˜jabberingâ€™ begins. He calls for mommy once or twice but itâ€™s typical so I donâ€™t answer. I am trying to keep myself from getting lulled into a false sense of security-he could still change his mind at any moment.
9:36- A suspicious thumpingâ€¦.here he comes. I try to put him in the crib or in twin bed but both lead to total tantrums- which make him wide awake again.Â Back on the couch for some Toy Story (we call this quiet time)â€¦.
9:50-Heâ€™s ready for bed again but as I sort of expected, he chose his crib, which we left in his room for just that reason. Try #2 at naptime tomorrow.
Sunday: Well, at naptime I was told â€œNO!â€ when I tried to put him in the big bed and back into the crib he went. At bedtime he asked to go to the big bed but as soon as he was in it, decided he wasnâ€™t quite comfy and wanted back into the crib.
Monday: Cranky toddler=Not even gonna bother with the big bed! Straight to the crib, ahh, one more nightâ€™s reprieve for momma! I honestly thought heâ€™d be so tired he wouldnâ€™t care because mom skipped naptime completely and the grandparents were there to visit. Unfortunately, it only led to him being more wired.
Tuesday: This is it, I am dedicated, I have steeled myself- itâ€™s tonight or never!Â He is going in the big boy bed. The plan? No naptime, copious amounts of wild playtime with Nana and Papa, and an hour of swimming at their hotel.Â At about 7p.m. I was thinking about backing out because he could end up being a bear at the pool. Ironically, the swim vest he couldnâ€™t stand 3 months ago was now the greatest thing since chocolate milk to him and away we went. He even attempted a little doggy paddling!
Tuesday Bedtime: Instead of sticking to our normal bedtime I decided to incorporate some new items in our routine. We had bathime, which hypes him up, much earlier. Then no Toy Story for quiet time because 1) He gets too engrossed in it and 2) Itâ€™s too dang long.Â Instead of Toy Story its 30 minutes of Curious George, with all the lights off in the living room but one, and then the TV was turned off and mommy read a book (aÂ new one for us). This all seemed to relax him much more and he was nearly asleep by the time the Kangaroo believed Horton really heard a Who.
Crossing my fingers, I took my son to his room, putting him amongst his entourage of â€˜loviesâ€™ in the big boy bed.Â There wasnâ€™t a peep all through the night until 7 am (a rarity in itself) when I heard a nearby, â€œMommy!â€ from his gated doorway. I was so proud, but also so exhausted. Turns out he likes to kick the wall between our rooms in the night and my over-sensitive hearing interpreted it as Â â€œOh no, the kid just fell out of the bed!â€
Wednesday: Another day with no nap and an extensive amount of playtime with the grandparents again.Â Wednesday night, he hopped straight into the big bed, I am thinking the crib is history!
Thursday: Iâ€™m right, no crib and sleeping through the night- double bonus! Not to mention heâ€™s finally going to bed without crying for a half hour, never thought THAT would happen. I shouldâ€™ve done this bed switch MONTHS ago if he keeps sleeping through the night too.
Friday: Okay, so sleeping through the night didnâ€™t last but at this point in my pregnancy itâ€™s a distant memory anyways.Â I think we are all set to get rid of the crib. I took the mattress up and set it vertical so Ry could get the idea that the crib was going to change/disappear.Â At first he got upset and wanted back in. He jumped around happily for 5 minutes and refused to come outâ€¦until Mommy left the room.Â It was as if he balanced the equation: Crib=Restrictedâ€¦.Big Bed=Freedom. I took him out, flipped the mattress up again and two hours later he jubilantly â€˜helpedâ€™ daddy disassemble the crib and put it away.
Saturday: Its official, my son is a big boy. He went to bed easily Friday night, leaving the crib far behind him and only 1 day shy of his 2nd birthday. Iâ€™m so proud of him and us for getting it to go so smoothly. Quite frankly, I was expecting more of a fight. Maybe itâ€™s still coming once the â€˜newnessâ€™ wears off. If it is, donâ€™t warn me, I think Iâ€™d prefer to be blissfully ignorant!
Â Now, if I can just figure out how to pare down the aforementioned entourage of loviesâ€¦.