The other day it hit me- there are no more babies in our house! No highchairs, no more baby toys, we're winding down the last bit of stroller time…and Charlie's about to be out of diapers. It’s weird how fast it goes, especially when you have more than one child hitting milestones all of the time. And over Christmastime we hit a big one with Charlie- the big kid bed!
It’s a funny story- my family and I were all sitting around in the living on Christmas day, talking and catching up. This year we hosted Christmas at our house so everyone was over, and we were all trying to be quiet so Charlie could finish up his nap. Suddenly we see a little blonde head peeking around the corner with the most mischievous smile and we hear: “Nee na nee na nee nee, I got out of my criii-iiib!” That little stinker had climbed right out of his crib and come into the living room! I think a lot of parents wouldn’t think this was anything crazy, but Charlie has never ever done this, or even tried to put a leg up over the side so it was such a funny surprise. We asked him to show us exactly how he did it, and he showed us how he easily hopped right up and over and onto the ground.
So…it was time for the transition from crib to bed. We had his 4Sleep mattress waiting for this day to come, so we quickly opened the box and set it up on his floor. We had Charlie help us set it up, then started the process of convincing him the new bed was a major privilege and ONLY for big kids who earn it! Haha. But seriously, this works for us. We left the crib up and that night told him that he could choose to sleep in the crib, or if he wanted to be BIG KID, he could sleep in the big kid bed. But only if he understood what it meant. We told him that if he didn’t follow the rules of the big kid bed it was back in the crib for him, and that we would be leaving the crib up until he showed us he was fully ready to leave being a baby behind! Cue the Mom tears.
This technique has always worked so well with us, and I think it would work even better if you planned ahead and put the bed in before you even wanted your child to transition. Having them see the bed, and work each day to earn it would be great. Then the bed isn’t just something new and potentially scary, it’s a very exciting prize! Looking at things like this as something to earn has always been very successful with both boys, and this was no different. Charlie was SO excited to have a bed like Henry, use his new Thomas sheets and stretch out. That first night he stayed in bed and didn’t get out once which was VERY surprising, and probably just pure luck...but I do think having the crib in there still, as well as framing it the way we did helped a lot. As that first week went on we had some incidents- especially in the beginning of the night- but overall the transition went very smoothly and I would call it a success for sure! It's now been over a month and although some nights we find ourselves having to tell him to get back into bed a few times, it's been getting better and better as time goes on.
Do you have any tips or tricks for transitioning from a crib to bed? It’s still crazy to me that we don’t have a crib set up anymore, but it’s also so neat to put both boys to sleep in their BEDS. No more babies, and that’s okay…big kid life is pretty great too.