From Crib to Toddler Bed
People love to share parenting stories – the good, the bad, and the really bad. They love to share not only with other parents who can empathize and relate, but also with parents-to-be and those who are considering starting a family. Parents still need to figure out what is right for them and when is the right time to do things. For us, one of the big questions was when to transition from crib to toddler bed.
If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix it
We have been lucky with our oldest when it comes to her crib. Allie never even tried to climb out of her crib. She is generally pretty happy to play with her stuffies when she wakes up. I like that she is contained; we put her to bed at night and know exactly where she will be when we wake up. Even at two years old, she was as happy as could be in her crib. And I wasn’t going to mess with a good thing, so there she stayed.
When Allie was just over 2 years old, we had our second daughter, Emily. At this point in time, I realized that I really, really liked that Allie was still in her crib. It meant she couldn’t randomly wander into Emily’s room through the night, especially when I was up breastfeeding and getting Emily back to sleep. We kept everything as it was…until we were forced to change it. Nothing changed with Allie, she still happily went into her crib every night, slept pretty well, and never tried to climb out. When Emily was 6 months old we found out that I was pregnant again. This meant for many changes to come.
Time To Change
Within a week or so of finding out, I knew I wanted to transition to a toddler bed. She was 2 years and 9 months old. We opted for a convertible (4 in 1) model to accommodate her as she grew. One morning I had put Emily down for a nap and just decided to do it. I grabbed the necessary tools, the two extra bed pieces that had been stored in Allie’s closet and I went to work. Allie is ever curious and helped by holding the screws for me. Once it was done, she was pretty excited to climb up all by herself and check it out.
Our Ups & Downs
Over the first few days I couldn’t help but laugh. When Allie woke up in the mornings, she would stand up on her bed and call for us to come get her, as though she didn’t realize she could get out on her own. Eventually she figured it out and we started the fun adventures of putting her back to bed a dozen times in the hour after bedtime. After a challenging few weeks, we settled into a great new bedtime routine. Allie got used to her new found freedom and learned what was and was not allowed. We started to coast again.
Until she realized in the middle of the night, she could get up and go downstairs to play. We found her down in the living room a few times before we decided the baby gate at the top of the stairs needed to be closed once we went to bed. That solved that problem instantly. We are going on 5 months since we made the transition, and while it hasn’t be all smooth sailing and we still have the odd bad night, it hasn’t been as bad as some of the stories I’ve heard from other parents.
Only you know what will work for your family and your kids. You can always give it a go and if your child isn’t ready, remember that it is okay to convert back to a crib setup for a few more months before you try again.
Do you have any funny stories about your child’s transition from crib to toddler bed?