I got a few requests from you guys to talk about the crib to toddler bed transition. Rather than waiting to move Pea-pod to her future twin-size bed, I figure I’ll cover our journey this far.
First, let’s back up a bit. The reason that we decided to remove the rail on Peanut’s bed – cuz it’s kind of a long story. We’ve been talking about the whole one to two babies transition for a while now. We talked about purchasing the same crib, about buying a toddler bed, about leaving Peanut in her room, about transforming the guest room…the list goes on. I think our indecisiveness is what led to us being here today – I’m entering my third trimester and we haven’t started any of the room changes.
Any-who, months and months of going back and forth and here is where we landed – we’re going to set up our guest room as Peanut’s new “big girl” room with a twin-sized bunk bed and convert Peanut’s room into the new baby room. The baby room won’t get much changes – just some new wall decals. The big girl room will be set up for Peanut to grow into with bunk beds that can convert into two twin size beds when the girls are ready to share a room. The twin bed we selected has a bed rail that we will install on the bottom bunk and we will keep the ladder for the top bunk off until the girls are old enough to safely climb on and off the top bunk. For now we’ll use the top bed as a stuffed animal safe-house (parents, I know you’re with me…those things multiply like bunnies overnight) and it will be nice to have in case someone is visiting us or in the future if the girls want to have a sleep over.
So here we were – we decided on a twin bed for Peanut, but she was still in her crib.
Peanut loves her crib. She does occasionally show us that she wants to get out by just putting one leg over the rail but never actually attempting to climb out. We knew that we didn’t want to convert her from the crib to the twin size bed and with time running out, we decided that it would be best for her to make small changes rather than 1 large change. First we all kicked the nunu habit (trust me, this one’s harder on us than it is on her) and with about 3 months until the new baby’s arrival, we removed the rail from P’s beloved crib.
Peanut loved participating in taking the rail down – she handed daddy the tools, she held the rail as we unscrewed it (she even tried to unscrew the rest of the rails, lol). When the rail was down (about 10 minutes worth of effort, including walking down the stairs and finding the right tools for the job), Peanut kept climbing on and off the bed exclaiming, “wow”! The mattress is at its lowest setting so she didn’t have any trouble (to put it in perspective, it’s about 1/3 of the height of our couch which she climbs up on). We gave P a new pillow and a blanket (thanks Gigi!) and she couldn’t be any happier.
The first night went spectacular. P fell asleep without getting out of bed and never fell off. The following couple of nights didn’t go as well – poor Pea-pod fell off about once to three times during the night. It didn’t hurt (we had a ton of blankets and her changing pad and some pillows on the ground next to her) but I suspect it surprised the heck out of her. We didn’t want to get a rail that didn’t come manufactured with the crib for safety reasons that bug my busy little mind and with no pool noodles on hand, we rolled up a blanket and tried again. She hasn’t fallen off since.
As for the transition itself.
I was worried…so so so worried about the changes being too close to one another and to the fact that Peanut would be roaming the room in the middle of the night by herself. But both of those were unwarranted. Peanut stays in her bed (in fact, when she doesn’t want to go to bed at night and wants me to stay and rub her back, she just stands at the side rail as if she’s locked in the crib and cries), for the most part. Bed times are a little different – Peanut doesn’t go to bed as willingly as she once did. We stick to the bedtime routine but she comes up with excuses not to fall asleep. Jon and I stay relatively strong – we put her to bed, kiss her goodnight, tuck her in and leave. Most evenings she’ll whine or cry for a minute until we come back in, tuck her back in and then she falls asleep on her own. There have been a couple of nights when she cries for 5 to 10 minutes because she wants water, wants a book, wants to get a back rub, wants mommy to lay down next to her…you know, toddler things. We stick to our guns – we walk in, tuck her in and leave the room. We repeat every 2-3 minutes until she gives up and she always does.
Mornings are a little tougher. I think it’s the transition to less sleep as well as all the changes. Peanut has been getting up a little earlier than usual. Most mornings she turns on her glow worm and lays in bed. Other mornings she whines for mommy over and over again until I give in and get her out of bed. In either case she never gets out of her bed on her own. She waits for me to come in. She’s also started crying out in her sleep (nightmares?) once or twice a night every couple of nights. I am not sure why this is happening but one of us usually walks in, tells her things are ok, covers her back up and leaves. She doesn’t seem to have any problems falling right back to sleep as quickly as she woke up.
Naps are a slightly different story – Peanut used to LOVE nap time. But without her nunu, she doesn’t want to go to bed as much as she did before. She does, however, do so willingly with a little encouragement. We usually change and then close the shades and tuck her in, then leave the room. At first Peanut whined or cried for a minute and then fell asleep. Lately she’s been getting out of bed, grabbing a couple of books or a toy and bringing it to bed with her. We watch on the monitor as she pretend reads or plays with her doll for 5 or so minutes before falling asleep on her own.
All in all, the entire transition has gone extremely well – better than I ever expected. Peanut is a trooper and although I’m a bit nervous about the next step (moving to her new room), I’m sure she’ll handle it much better than I.