A couple of weeks ago we officially moved Lucy into her toddler bed. Not so much of a toddler bed, but just her crib with the outside bar replaced with a half bar. I’ve been thinking about making the switch for a while now, mostly because Lucy is a crazy spider woman who monkey climbs her crib every time she gets put in it, but I’ve heard SO many horror stories about how difficult of a change it can be, and I got scared. So I kept putting it off and hoping and praying Lucy wouldn’t find her way out of the crib and onto the floor.
Then one Monday it happened. I was on the phone at the time, and I all heard was a huge BANG! Followed with the most intense screaming I have ever witnessed in my entire life. I instantly hung up the phone and went rushing into her room and scooped her off the floor into my arms. She was so scared she just kept screaming and crying, and was completely inconsolable. From what I could see though, there wasn’t any physical damage. Thank God. But she was so scared and freaked out, she didn’t know what to do.
Needless to say, I calmed her down and immediately went searching for the tool box and the half crib bar. In a furry, I quickly switched the bars out and made Lucy’s big girl bed up for her. The second I was finished and presented it to her, she was so thrilled! She climbed right up and started jumping around and exploring her new space. She was already so happy and content in her big girl bed!
Unfortunately, throughout all of the excitement of the fall and then the quick bed change, Lucy did not want to nap. Who could blame her! So many new fun things are happening! So we just sat in her bed and read a few books while we rested and cuddled. (My favorite part of the big girl bed, mom can snuggle in bed too!)
Bedtime rolled around and both my husband and I were the least bit ready for the first night in the big bed. Through out all the stories we have heard, we just assumed it was going to be hell for the next two solid weeks. But boy were we wrong…
Lucy has always been an acceptional sleeper. She’s gone down easily since day one (I have had to go back in after putting her down maybe only a handful of times in her entire life) and has slept through the night from very early on. Sure she had to be nursed and fed during the night early on, but she always ate quickly and quietly, and went right back to sleep. Anyways, needless to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hoping and honestly thinking she may do okay with this transition, mainly because she’s always been such a good sleeper. I don’t know why I ever doubted her.
You guys. Lucy has done SO incredibly well in her big girl bed. I didn’t want to jinx it at first, so I kept my mouth shut, but she has really adapted so well and is really enjoying her new found freedom.
Night #1: It was a whole new thing, so she was a bit thrown off, naturally. We went about our normal bedtime as usual. Bath, milk, pjs, bedtime story, prayers and lights out. She tried to get up a couple of times, but we just kept laying her down and saying it was bed time. She eventually got it and stopped trying to get up. I stayed in the room with her, sitting on the floor, facing away from her with one hand on her. I swear I was only there for two minutes and she was fast asleep. She woke up once during the night but just sat up for a few minutes, then laid back down and back to sleep. She did however wake up at 5:50am and ran to the door wanting to be let out. But hey, not too bad. I’ll take it!
Night #2: I was worried that night #1 was just a fluke and it wouldn’t be that easy again. I was so wrong. We did our bedtime routine, then I sat with her for a minute like the night before. She seemed to have dosed off, so I slipped out of the room quietly. A few minutes later her door came swinging open and she came running up to me with a big huge and a scared looked. Honestly, that was the first time I’ve ever snuck out on her like that. She has always gone to sleep on her own. So I just brought her back to her bed and laid her down, where she happily laid down and went right to sleep. She slept the entire night, but did wake up at 5:50 on the dot again. I’ll still take it!
Night #3: She wouldn’t sit still or lay down while we were in the room. Eventually she basically shoved us out the door and laid herself right now and went to sleep. She slept through the entire night until she woke up around 6am and played quietly in her bed, until she got up and came to door 20-30 minutes later. No crying or fussing. It was truly incredible.
The evenings have been going so well, but what really surprised me? The following day during nap, when all I said was “It’s nap time”, and she ran right into her room, plopped herself in her bed and laid right down. Napped for two and half hours. It was completely shocked and amazed. She was doing so much better than I could have ever imagined or even hoped for! I am so proud of my little girl!
I will give most of the credit for her amazing sleeping skills to our bedtime routine, which she has had since DAY ONE. I have always made it a point to get changed, read a bedtime story, and say prayers before lights out. I really do believe she knows what’s coming when we go through the routine. She’s ready for bed because she knows it’s coming. You can read all about our bedtime routine here.
Also, the Dockatot Grand (read all about our experience with it here) has made a big difference too. It’s really given her a sense of her own space and security. We started letting her just play and lounge in it to get use to it, then started to bring it with us while traveling. She got so use to being it, when we took the crib bar off, it didn’t really make that much of a difference to her cozy little sleeping spot. Without it, I’m not sure if the transition would have gone so smoothly. But who knows?
One of the main things I’ve felt strongly about throughout this transition is helping Lucy feel more independent and able to make her own decisions. I always want to push her limits and comfort zone so she can grow and become the most incredible woman, but you also have to be careful that you don’t push them too far, too fast. I don’t want what should be a positive experience to make her feel lost or out of control. With that said, I’ve made it a point to always make sure to be on the other side of the door when she wakes up. I don’t ever want her to feel trapped, scared and alone in her big girl bed.
Overall, I think the dreaded Toddler Bed Transition was a complete success! It went more smoothly then we could have ever asked for! I was so worried for so many weeks, when really I had nothing to be worried about. Lucy was so ready for this transition, more so than even her own parents!
Have you made the transition into the toddler bed for your little ones? If so, when and why did you decide to make the transition? How has it gone? What are some of your tips and tricks you had to helping them stay in bed all night? I love hearing from you! Like, comment and share!