How We Transitioned Into a “Big Kid” Bed From a Crib!

It’s been a bit since I’ve been active on here! We’re currently in the intense stages of wedding planning, busy season with our business and all the loveliness that comes along with toddlerhood!

But, we kind of did something while taking this “blogging break” that I figured would be interesting to share now that we’ve been living with the changes for quite sometime now; we switched OUT of the crib and got a “big boy bed”!

It was extremely bittersweet. I was joking with a few girlfriends only days before he started climbing out of his crib that “my kid won’t be doing that anytime soon”….

FOOT. IN. MOUTH.

One day during his nap I heard the sound machine off and instantly assumed that the machine broke or that there was someone else in there. SO, I checked the baby cam and there is Charles on the floor, playing trains!

I ran in there and he is smiling ear to ear. Little rascal!

I put him back in his crib, say good night and I love you and I run back to my computer to watch what happens next.

One foot over the rail, followed by the next leg and jumps down. He opens the door, looks at me and shouts “TAADAAA!”

So, with my anxiety being at an all time high, I couldn’t fathom the thought of him falling the wrong way and hurting himself. That afternoon we marched to my favourite store of all time (IKEA) and decided we would start off with a twin size mattress on the floor, donated the crib and crossed our fingers this was going to work.

And….. it did! (With a lot of work, of course)

At first, he was weirded by his sleeping arrangements. In his mind, if he wasn’t barred in, he could do whatever he wanted, right?!

Night one: 1 hour trying to get him familiar with the new bed and reiterating over and over that it was time to sleep!

Nap time the following day was the worst. An hour and a half of reasoning with a toddler is….. not fun. He finally fell asleep because I assume he figured that he wasn’t winning this one. The nap was short, but at least he slept and we started with an early bedtime.

It got easier once he was more familiar with the bed. I felt more at ease knowing that he wasn’t going to badly injure himself falling out of the crib.

The question I get the most: do I regret switching him right away?

NO. The answer is NO.

The reason being is because it was bound to happen eventually. Although he will always be our baby, it was time to transition into something more permanent for him. We co-slept with Charles up until 5 months, then sleep trained and he has slept alone in his own bed ever since.

We also know our child best. We knew he was at a stage where he was getting better understanding us, routine and was showing a lot of independence.

Fast forward to now (3 months later), we still at times have struggles with bed time and nap time. He usually will try to get out of bed once or twice, and we simply lay him back down, tell him it is time to go to sleep and we will see him in the morning. This can take up to half an hour some nights!

Nap times we struggle with lately. He is really trying to push boundaries, which is healthy for his age, but his sleep lately has been paying the price for that.

Some things that help us with making sure bedtime goes smoothly:

  1. No TV or devices at least half an hour before sleep. Charles doesn’t play on iPads or phones, so mainly it’s the TV before bed that became a no-no before bed.

  2. Story before bed with lots of non-exciting down time.

  3. Warm milk. Charles will still take a bottle to bed occasionally!

  4. Giving him some warning of bedtime coming up. If your kid is anything like mine, he HATES not knowing whats going on or being caught off guard. He usually clues in that it’s time to sleep once we start reading and turning off the TV, but just letting him know “few more minutes before bedtime!” has been helpful with the transtion.

  5. Lots of snuggles. By the time 7:30/8pm rolls around, he is extra snuggly. We like to get wrapped up in blankets in bed and read.

  6. Dim lighting!

  7. Before lights go out, I let him know that he has to stay in his bed and that we love him and will see him when he wakes up!

  8. Making sure he has slept enough during the day! There is the odd time where he will skip a nap or have a short nap and we try to adjust his bed time schedule accordingly if so.

It’s not easy, in fact, parenting in general is not easy! Haha! It’s definitely been a trial and error situation for us. We tried the blackout blinds hoping it was going to be key in the whole “just falling asleep and no getting out of bed” scenario, but no.

My best advice for any parents trying to or thinking of transitioning your little one to a big boy bed is to trust your gut. It’s going to be weird for them and it’s going to be weird for you!

We also bought a Gro Clock, but Charles just isn’t quite old enough to understand yet. We will definitely be reviewing it once we start using it though! Stay tuned!

Our next parenting journey? Potty training! YIKES!