How to Transition a Toddler to a Bed
It’s here. What’s that? It is time to transition my sweet boy, who was an infant a minute ago, to a big boy bed. I can hardly believe almost two years have passed since my life changed and I became a mommy. I love hearing my little man say “momma” or “dada” amongst other things, but when he started climbing out of his crib recently I wasn’t so thrilled. I started to become concerned about him getting injured in the middle of the night. So, my husband and I looked at our options and decided the best idea was to transition him to his big boy bed (he is 22 months old after all). Some of you may not agree with our decision to transition him out of his crib, but I didn’t want to go the crib tent route, so this was the best alternative. We already had a bed for him so all we had to do was take down the crib.
Last night after work my husband did the honors of taking down little man’s crib. I realize now I should have taken one more picture of him (little man) in it. Silly me. I should have let him have a few more minutes in what has been his sleeping place for the last 2 years, but I guess we live and learn! I can tell you this much so far, transitioning a child from a crib to a bed can be trying and frustrating, but I think I learned from last night and will be able to “do better” tonight.
This is what I have figured out so far:
1. Stick to the routine you have been using with your little one and make sure it is a SOLID routine. We like to get him in his jammies, read a book (or a few books), put on his soft music and then give kisses before bed. He also has a few “babies” (stuffed animals) he likes to join him at night, so those should be there too.
2. Tell him that it is “night night time” and that we love him, but we need to stay in bed. Then leave the room. We typically would close little man’s door at night, but tried leaving it cracked open last night, not sure which is better. I have read from several parenting websites you should leave the door open and then tell your little one before leaving if they get up then you’ll have to shut the door. If they don’t listen then it is time to shut the door. From what I’ve heard it doesn’t take many times of that and the little one stays in bed.
3. The first time your little one gets out of bed after good night’s have been said, put them back repeat to them “night night time” and “I love you” as your doing it.
4. The next time they get up repeat what you told them before but a bit more stern.
5. Any time they get up after this return the child to bed without saying anything and without making contact. This is the part I failed at last night and from what I’m reading is SO important. I tried this for awhile, but decided maybe he needed to be “consoled” and tried rocking him. Although he loved the rocking and to be honest mommy did too since I don’t get much of that anymore, it was not the smartest move. This lead to a much LONGER amount of time to get him down than if I would have kept returning him to bed.
I know this may sound a bit harsh, but the sleep technique (often seen on Super Nanny) has been highly recommended by SEVERAL people both online and in my day to day life. Parenting is an adventure and is a learning process so a little trial and error is fine. We won’t “ruin” our children by doing something “wrong”. We just have to do our best to care for and protect our little ones. As long as we are doing this then in the end it will all work out.
Last night, as I rocked with my little man, I realized exactly how quickly time passes. I realized there are so many moments we’ve had that are gone now. He used to be so tiny and sleep on my chest so soundly and now he’s such a big boy. Before I know it he will be going to school, getting his first car, going to college, getting married…you get the idea. Yes, this transition may seem brutal at times (from the crib to a bed), but this is a time I won’t get back. I need to cherish the fact my little boy is growing up and my husband and I get to help him do that. It’s a transition for us too! In ways I think it is almost harder for us than it is him. He is learning independence, freedom and decision making while we are learning how to show him love, but at the same time help him to see who is in charge!
How did you transition your child from a crib to a bed? Did something work well for you?! I’d love to hear! Share below Don’t forget to share the love and pass this along to anyone you think would enjoy it. They say it takes a village to raise a child!