Parenting Problems/Tips

Bunk Bed Baby Steps

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Bunk Bed Baby Steps

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So, um, yes we got the bunk beds and set them up and love them. But there’s one small problem…I can’t get my toddler to sleep in his bottom bunk. 

When we switched my daughter from a crib to a bed, she was almost two years old. My son is only 19 months old, which I’m guessing is part of the problem.

So why the rush? 

Well, I’m due with Baby #3 in two weeks. So I kinda need the crib back. I’ll keep the new baby in the bassinet in my room for a few weeks, but that’s it– then it’s crib time. 

To be fair, our efforts to get Nate into the bunk bed have been random at best. It’s not like we developed a master plan and it’s failing us.

We have tried once at night time to put him to sleep in his bunk bed.

Result: He got out of bed and came to find us three times in a row. (Of course this coincided with him learning how to open closed doors. Of course.)

I have tried a few times at nap to put him in the bed awake and the result is the same. He hops out of bed, opens the door, and comes to find me.

Now I have had “success” when I place him in the bed already asleep at naptime. (Go figure!)

Yesterday I found this article by Dr. Laura Markham: “Easing the Transition to the Toddler Bed.” I’m a huge fan of Markham and her website Aha! Parenting, so I plan to use her tips. 

Unfortunately, Tip #4 suggests moving a child out of his crib two months before a new baby will be using that crib. Oops. I’m just going to have to overlook that suggestion. (Also ignoring Tip #7 which advises starting with the mattress on the floor.)

Tip #8 says to make the bed cozy like a den. My husband claims that the guard rail we have is going to mess up the wood on the bunk bed. Instead, he tied the breathable bumper we were using in the crib across the open end of the bed. Yes, Nate can climb over it (and he does), but hopefully it still makes him feel snug.

I guess the most helpful part of Dr. Markham’s advice is the strategy for what to do to prevent the child inevitably crying or getting out of the bed. She says to either sit close by or lay down with your child, so he doesn’t get into the habit of getting out of bed to look for you.

I’m confused as to whether to continue just with naps or just go all-out and do naps and bedtime starting today, no excuses!

…and we just got back from the doctor’s office with a diagnosis of “allergic to penicillin” for my son. Meaning the angry red rash all over his body is going to continue itching and get worse before getting better in a few days. 

So now I’m hesitant to even continue with this transition from crib to bunk bed. I think I’ll let him sleep in his crib until the rash clears up. 

Right decision or am I just procrastinating again?!


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  • charlene
    January 22, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    I’ve had 6 boys, I’ve always waited until baby arrived and let the older sibling *give* his crib to baby. The night visits were always there. Good luck!

    • Lindsay
      January 23, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Six boys! Wow! Still figuring out what we are going to do :/