A Week in Bedlam

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 son’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 wouldn’t feel any resentment towards his new brother.  I sought advice from pretty much everyone on everything from  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 didn’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 don’t even realize it just a box and mattress.  Oh, and I let him help pick the mattress and set up the bed.

Don’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 ‘study’ the big bed. Then when he’s in the big bed, leave the crib for a bit so he knows his gigantic wooden ‘lovie’ is still there.

The Transition…

7pm- Saturday: We set up the new bed and let him help. He loves jumping on it.

9:20- He decides it’s time to go to bed. Given the choice, he heads straight for the big bed. Mommy’s thoughts. “Sweet-my son is so mature!”

9:30-The nightly ‘jabbering’ begins. He calls for mommy once or twice but it’s typical so I don’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 thumping….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.  Back on the couch for some Toy Story (we call this quiet time)….

9:50-He’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 “NO!” 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 wasn’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 night’s reprieve for momma! I honestly thought he’d be so tired he wouldn’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- it’s tonight or never!  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.  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 couldn’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) It’s too dang long.  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 (a  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 ‘lovies’ in the big boy bed.  There wasn’t a peep all through the night until 7 am (a rarity in itself) when I heard a nearby, “Mommy!” 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  “Oh no, the kid just fell out of the bed!”

Wednesday: Another day with no nap and an extensive amount of playtime with the grandparents again.  Wednesday night, he hopped straight into the big bed, I am thinking the crib is history!

Thursday: I’m right, no crib and sleeping through the night- double bonus! Not to mention he’s finally going to bed without crying for a half hour, never thought THAT would happen. I should’ve done this bed switch MONTHS ago if he keeps sleeping through the night too.

Friday: Okay, so sleeping through the night didn’t last but at this point in my pregnancy it’s a distant memory anyways.  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.  At first he got upset and wanted back in. He jumped around happily for 5 minutes and refused to come out…until Mommy left the room.  It was as if he balanced the equation: Crib=Restricted….Big Bed=Freedom. I took him out, flipped the mattress up again and two hours later he jubilantly ‘helped’ 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. I’m so proud of him and us for getting it to go so smoothly. Quite frankly, I was expecting more of a fight. Maybe it’s still coming once the ‘newness’ wears off. If it is, don’t warn me, I think I’d prefer to be blissfully ignorant!

 Now, if I can just figure out how to pare down the aforementioned entourage of lovies….

6 thoughts on “A Week in Bedlam

  1. For my daughter we skipped the twin bed and went for a full bed. She did do a couple of months in a toddler bed, but she was too tall, and toddler beds aren’t the most sturdy things in the world, especially for a kid that likes to jump on the bed. She went into BIG bed around 2, but the toddler bed around 14 months when she got walking down pat.

    • I bet my son would’ve loved having a full bed to traverse in his sleep! :-) We went twin so he has more room for toys….and toys, I’m afraid, we definitely need more room for.

      • I can’t imagine her on a twin bed with all her toys. She takes at least 6 stuffed animals and 5 additional blankets to bed with her, not to mention her lego’s, blocks, and other favorite items. The Full bed is looking pretty small now too! ^-^

  2. You sound like me, trying to limit the number of toys going to bed with them at night…time for a new project for me to blog on I guess!

  3. You both are making me VERY appreciative of my kids and their extremely streamlined bedtime/sleeping routine.

    For the loveies (for about 6 months my son insisted on sleeping with Henry from the Thomas the Train set ) would it work to have him/her choose a toy every so often to sit on the bedside table or in another designated spot? My kid just liked being able to see it as he was falling asleep.

  4. Good idea, I need to invest in a night stand once he’s old enough that I’m not worried about him climbing on it.

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