Whole Parenting Family

Moving to the Big Boy Bed

or how to survive letting your child move from a crib to a bed. SuperBoy is 2 years, 3 months and we’ve made the big move. Only for night sleep, not naps, but still. It’s a massive adjustment. Here’s how we did and what’s working so far. (Pictured here on the quilt I’m almost done with for my brother & new sister-in-law!)

1) Choosing a floor bed over a toddler or an elevated bed.

We opted for a mattress/box spring combined double bed. It sits happily on the floor. This way, there’s no concern about SuperBoy launching himself out of bed in the middle of a crazed dream and smashing his head. The flipside is that he can more easily get out of bed than if he were in an elevated bed with a guard rail.

I don’t understand toddler beds. I guess it’s a novelty thing and a training step for a real bed for the child. It seems like a waste of money, but maybe I’m missing something profound.

2) Setting up rules that are feasible.

The child, in my opinion, has to be old enough to understand the rules, and the rules have to be suitable for the child’s ability to comprehend them. We have one rule: you can’t get out of bed at night or you have to go into your crib. He repeats it back to me before he goes to sleep.

Does he get up and play in his dark room? I don’t think so, at least not until it’s like 7am and he wants to let me know he’s awake. When we leave him at night, he’s been read to, sung to, and maybe whimpers a little in protest, but is really pooped out and sleepy.

Does he call for us? Sure. And this is why it’s a bit of a pain to move your child from one sleep locale to another because along with the “don’t leave bed” rule comes “if you call we will come”–because he can’t get to us otherwise. I haven’t been harsh on him when he does wake up and cry–i.e., no “go to sleep NOW”–yet because I know it’s a tough change. So one of us snuggles with him and reminds him it’s okay to be in your big boy bed. There’s always the crib option. The snuggling and reassurance lasts about 6 minutes, with a bit of negotiating as to how many songs we’ll sing from the door.

3) Child-proof your child’s room. For real this time.

Like, what can my child get to that would maim him? What would he maim? Outlet covers are only the beginning. I removed all coloring utensils (duh) and sharp objects. But there’s only so much you can imagine.

4) Ensure child can’t wander.

SuperBoy can surely open his door and get out. That’s where the baby gate in the doorframe comes in handy. Because sometimes item number 2 (the Big Rule) isn’t followed. Before the baby gate was put up, SuperBoy woke me up in the middle of the night shouting “Where’s my baseball guys??” meaning his cards. Sigh. Baseball season is almost over, but you would never know it in my household.

Any room transition tips?