Thursday, September 26, 2013

Henry's Big Kid Bed- Making the Transition

Sleeping Henry 4/11/12


You know that saying- "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" Well that exactly how I felt about the whole "big boy bed" situation. Although I felt size-wise he was absolutely ready to make the transition, he had never really climbed out of his crib or even attempted to do so. He seemed perfectly content, and I was perfectly content to have him contained in his crib.

But with Charlie on the way and Henry getting potty-trained, I felt like this was a big, important step in finishing up the leap into the world of being a big boy. We'd been talking about what being a "big boy" meant for awhile as far as potty training and responsibilities around the house (big boys do this, boys act like this, and so on), and Henry was very into the whole idea...while I of course, held back tears thinking of my boy growing any farther away from that baby self.

Although Henry's bed transitioned to a toddler bed, I didn't want to even deal with another move when we eventually switched to a twin bed, so we decided to just go directly from crib to twin. Hank and I talked about our bed, the "big bed," and asked him if he would like his own in his room, and we asked if he would like to pick out his own sheets, blankets, etc. The answer, of course, was "YES!" That weekend we headed down and picked up this bed from IKEA. We chose this particular frame primarily because it's a modern design we love without breaking the bank. Every other bed I gravitated towards was no less than $400 at best, and that was just not going to fly. I happened upon this IKEA frame while looking on Pinterest one night and fell in love. It fit into our aesthetic and was a cool $99. Awesome. I also knew that I wanted a bed close to the ground. One HUGE minus to this frame though, are the very angular and sharp corners. Henry sometimes forgets that the bed sits on and inside the frame, and we've had a few instances where he's went to run and jump onto his bed and rammed his shins. Other than that though, we love it.

The next weekend we went as a family to our local mattress store and let Henry try out all the mattresses and "choose" one to bring home (although we had already chosen the twin one he'd be getting). This was a really fun experience for him and gave him some ownership over his new bed. After the mattress store we headed to Target and he got to pick out some sheets, which only added to the excitement.

We got home before naptime, so Hank put the bare mattress on the ground in Henry's room and let him nap on it as a test. At this point we still had the crib up in his room, and although we didn't preface the nap on the mattress too much, we did tell him that if he didn't behave like a big boy (again, that term!), then he would have to make the move back to his crib. The nap went well and he didn't get up off of the mattress once. Once he woke up later, we put together the IKEA frame and we all made the bed and got it ready for his first night in it (again, still leaving the crib up and reminding him he could easily go back). Henry was so excited, and again, rather than make a huge deal about getting out, we just told him how proud we were, and reminded him once that if he got out of bed the crib would be waiting for him, and did our normal bedtime routine.
1st night in his big boy bed
the 1st night in his new bed
 
I think because we never made a huge deal about staying in bed, and just left the crib in his room for a week as a gentle reminder, he hasn't had too many problems staying in it. One evening about a month after the switch he was extra-excited about life and couldn't bear to stay in one place (let alone a bed!) but I just said "hey, the crib can totally come back if you'd rather sleep in there," and within a minute he was ready to calm down. Ha! Honestly though, he's so into his bed and being this big kid now, that the last thing he'd want to do is go back to his crib.

I wasn't too sure what to expect because hey, we've never done this before, but both Hank and I were pleasantly surprised by the outcome. And now, we have our big boy loving his big boy bed, and sleeping even better than he was before with all of his comfy pillows and blankets. It's been almost two months now, and it's definitely been a success.

 yesterday at naptime

Do you have any tips or tricks you'd add? I'm sure readers would love to read about your experience too, so feel free to chime in below!


36 comments:

  1. I have been a little worried about how or when we'll move Lulu to a big bed. Although I don't think we'll attempt it for awhile, I have picked up a few tips for when the time comes, thanks for sharing xx

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    1. Oh I'm so glad you found some of this helpful! Good luck for you guys and Lulu! <3

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  2. we did the whole "big girl" transition too. potty training and big kid bed all at once. it worked out great. we also waited until til was 2 and a half and felt like she was ready. totally depends on the kid! i've had friends that tried it super early and had a lot of sleep issues, but sometimes it's unavoidable if they are trying to crawl out of their crib, etc. looks like henry man is lovin' his new bed. so adorable!

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  3. success! good job henry! my boys always switched to "big boy" beds early because they were climbing out of the crib. as long as you have patience you are all set. we did the same, let them pick out sheets and few fun items to put on their new bed. because our bedrooms are upstairs we did install a gate at the top of the steps so we wouldn't have any accidents. i always had a fear of my little one nigh twalking and falling.
    xo

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  4. and jonas has the same comforter :) goes with his star wars room.

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  5. Great post Danielle! One reason you are one of my fav mommy bloggers is you actually share your experience ( the good and bad) with your readers and I always feel like I learned something to keep in my mommy arsenal or opened my mind to something. I think it depends on the child, we had a test run of the big boy bed when we are on a beach vacation and he preferred the bed to his pack n play.
    When we moved out of state a few months later we just went for a big boy twin bed and he went right with the flow, so I lucked out! Now potty training this 2 1/2 year old I think is presenting more of a challenge, we currently in a regression so looking forward to a post on any potty training tips too!

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  6. No tricks- I had to leave the crib in the room for BOTH my girls because neither one of them would STAY in their bed initially- even though they were adamant they wanted it. LOL I had some strong female personalities.....so you are lucky he did so well! :) YAY for an adorable bed and sheets, that pic of him in bed beaming is priceless. Such joy and pride. And yes on the gate -if you have stairs- that is a good idea. Onestepahead.com has some nice wooden gates or I've found them on craigslist for practically nothing for a new one. :)

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  7. Stop with that naptime photo! I can't handle the cute!

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  8. We're getting ready to move our girls (6 and 2) into the same room for the first time -- we picked out these super awesome bunk beds that are as low as possible with rails both bottom and top, but I'm still so nervous. Our girls are totally opposite when it comes to sleeping preferences, so transitioning them is giving me such anxiety!! I'm so glad Henry did so good, most kids are a lot more adaptable than we give them credit for!!

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  9. Our 17 month old recently made the switch to a toddler bed - we stuck with converting his crib so the change wouldn't be too drastic, and so far he's loved it. We did make the mistake in moving his rocking chair out of the room and moving his dresser, though, and I think that threw him off more than the bed. He really loves being able climb in and out of his own bed, though, and for the most part we haven't had too many sleeping problems. We moved his rocking chair back in his room and I think that helped lessen some of the change, so something to keep in mind for parents with really young kiddos making the switch. I think in a week or two he'll be fine, but in the meantime, we sleep a little more rough lately. )

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  10. Good job Henry!
    My 4 year old.. actually 5 year old now. (He turned 5 yesterday) Wakes up in the middle of the night to go sleep on the couch in the living room! He does not like his bed. He tells us to move the couch in his room and move his bed to the living room. Silly kid, we're working on it.

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  11. Hilarious! Soooo excited, obviously so loving all that space.

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  12. Henry picked out those sheets? Wow he is a big boy! I'd still go for ninja turtles or something. ha

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  13. This goes with my other comment, I was just browsing reddit and someone posted an album called "what happens when you let soldiers pick out their own bedding" http://imgur.com/a/ELhVF haha

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  14. I had a share a room with my baby sister when I was Henry's age .. she annoyed me. I hated her. She woke up every night, she was crying .. I would have given anything for my own room and a big girl bed. I still had my crib so couldn't even leave and wake Mum and Dad when she was crying and they didn't hear her ... My parents eventually took the bars off once I got to go to Kindergarden, but for a "big girl bed" I had to wait until my sister was old enough to sleep in a bunk bed, because my parents wanted the room to be a little bit bigger. It was horrible. I hated it, not only having to share with her, but also having to sleep in my baby bed until I was five and went to school :( So I will absolutely do what you did for Henry. And I will never make my kids share a room - at least not as long as one of them doesnt sleep through the night. I still can't figure out why my parents did that - we had lots of spare rooms. I got my own room when I was nine. Maybe they wanted us to keep each other company and bond. I should ask my Mum next time I talk to her :)

    Lots of love, I'm so proud of Henry (and envy him a lot! haha)

    Maria

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  15. That last picture slays me. Good job, Mama!

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  16. We had just about the exact opposite transition from crib to big kid bed. The initial and main reason why we chose to make the switch was because our daughter is a stealthy little toddler ninja and no method of keeping her in her crib (believe me, we tried EVERYTHING) worked. She was jumping in and out with ease by the time she turned 2. It wasn't long before we admitted to ourselves that trying to keep her in her crib would inevitably lead to some sort of injury if we didn't quit while we were ahead.
    Though our daughter's room is quite tiny, there was a pretty large, mostly-unused closet in the space, which happened to be the exact same dimensions of her crib. So my wonderful father-in-law outfitted the closet with a built-in toddler bed (creating an awesome little nook), which we hoped would aid the transition. Except no, it still took about 6 months of mommy or daddy staying with her every night before she proved herself able to stay in bed and go to sleep by herself.. like a "big girl".

    Now we're patiently (sort-of) working on the next step on the road to becoming a big girl.. potty training.

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  17. Aww- this is so sweet. Thank you for posting about Henry's big boy bed experience. He looks so happy and so perfect in his new bed.

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  18. So cute in his big boy bed. I'm glad he's transitioning to it very well.

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  19. Love this story and thanks for sharing it with us. Maybe you should write a book about it because it seems you have it down! LOL I love the colors and bed linens you picked out. Lisa

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  20. loved this post! so fun that you documented this! love your blog!

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  22. Oh, he looks so happy! :D The bed transitioning is always exciting for the kids as they can feel that they're already growing up. I'm pleased to know Henry's doing great at it!

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  35. First you have a very cute son.I too have a daughter but right now I am not thinking of going to transition. I know that eventually I have too.

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