It is wild to me that I’m even writing this blog post! A month ago I hadn’t even picked out a bed for Ryleigh and now she’s been sleeping, loving (and staying!) in her big kid bed for over a week!
I feared this transition. Will, and Ryleigh tbh, have been hounding me for this transition for a few months now. My main hold back was how good of a sleeper she is and I didn’t want to rock the boat. But with the new baby on the way and Ryleigh begging me for a big kid bed (thanks cocomelon) I gave in and said we’d transition at the beginning of the year.
When we bought Ryleigh’s crib, we bought the toddler bed attachment (just incase it was discontinued by the time we needed it), but once it came time for the transition, we decided we rather just go all in with the big kid bed. We thought it might be easier for her to get used to one bed instead of getting used to the toddler rail just to take it down in a few months when we switch the crib over for baby boy.
I knew that I wanted to have all of her bedding complete as an incentive to get her excited about this new transition. I asked her what kind of big kid bed she wanted, thankfully for her neutral-loving mama, she responded, ‘a white bed mama!’ So there I went, on the hunt to find her ‘the perfect’ bed frame and knew I could handle it with one requirement like that 🙂
Needless to say the last night she spent in her crib (at a few weeks shy of 2.5 years old), I was 10000% more emotional than she (or Will) was. She couldn’t wait to wake up and have her big kid bed delivered, meanwhile I documented every moment and
sobbed at watched the nanit most of the night as I reflected on the first night she spent in that crib and how much she’s grown since.
November 5, 2018
January 20, 2021
This is what we ended up with and I couldn’t be happier! As I noted on my stories, the following are still on my to do list to complete her space : swapping out the wall art, moving the nanit into baby boy’s nursery (we now have a ring set up that spans the entire room), swapping out the rug and replacing the glider with a new fun reading nook!
So now that it was all set up, it was time for her first nap 😐 I was instantly nervous. She was instantly excited. She walked in and couldn’t stop squealing ‘my big girl bed! my big girl bed!’ She climbed up and saw people she recognized on her sheets : mermaid (Ariel), tangled (rapunzel), belle, jasmine, the whole crew! She also noticed a few new friends : a fox and a cloud pillow! We read her a few books and told her it was nap time! We closed the door and the gate and fully expected to be back in there within 60 seconds. It was silent. We kept refreshing the camera thinking it wasn’t updating, nope she was asleep. We couldn’t believe it.
Not her longest nap, but not her shortest either. After an hour and a half, she climbed out and walked over to her door to open it. She stood there (because we also have a gate up) and waited for us. Didn’t cry, didn’t call out for us, just waited. We went to get her and the smile on her face was contagious! ‘mommy and daddy, come see my big girl bed!!!’
So now that its been a full week, I’d say its been nothing short of impressive and unexpected! We’ve only had one occurrence where she got up after we tucked her in and I talked to her through the ring camera’s two way talk feature and told her to go get back in bed and close her eyes, FULLY expecting it not to work…BUT IT DID!
I almost feel like a fraud writing this post since it seems like Ryleigh transitioned exceptionally well, especially for what I was preparing myself for, but you guys asked for tips/tricks, so I wanted to at least share what we did and how it worked for us.
Other than being a very very good sleeper, I think we can attribute the following to easing us into this transition :
- Hype It Up : We’d been talking about a big girl bed for a few weeks, if not months. ‘do you want a big girl bed like your friend??’ ‘look that little girl in this book has a big girl bed!’ ‘JJ on cocomelon is getting a big kid bed!’ etc. She loves doing things like us or other kids, so we took that and ran with it!
- Ask Their Opinion : Kids this age thrive on independence and making their own decisions. We asked her opinion, ‘what kind of big kid bed do you want?’ While we didn’t give her full reign, we relinquished a little bit of control to her and it went a long way, imo.
- Go All In : My husband really wanted to push this process before having any of the new bedding or new pillows etc, but I felt like she needed it and while we didn’t try it his way, I do think it helped to surprise her with a complete package! Find sheets or pillows of something they’re into and familiar with! We also decided to nix getting the bed rails, again one less thing to transition away from.
- Keep a Gate on the Door : I didn’t think this was that big of a deal until I got a ton of messages from you guys after seeing one of my stories telling me that you thought this was genius! So we’ve always had a gate on Ryleigh’s door, our stairs are super steep and I just kept having nightmares of her putting her weight on the gate and it giving out, so we opted to have a gate on her door instead. And now that she can open her door on her own, she can see out, but she can’t get out and tbh I think that’s made this process a heck of a lot easier. Some people mentioned locking their kids in, which is also an option, but I think being able to open the door allows her a bit of freedom without giving it all and letting her roam the house. This is the one we have.
And honestly that’s it, I’m sure it won’t always be this easy and I’ll be doing a ‘part two’ letting you know the actual ‘tips and tricks’ we’ve had to try out to get her to stay in bed, but until then, I hope this helps or at least sets your mind at ease. Its hard watching them grow mamas, but trust me its so damn fulfilling watching their eyes light up at trying new things! And remember, no matter how old they are, they’ll always be you’re littles. You’ve got this!