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We are about six days into Toddler Bed Life, and I have to say it has not been all that terrible. Sure there have been a few middle-of-the-night awakenings where L realizes she’s not in her familiar crib and needs some help going back to sleep.
But last night she actually fell asleep in the bed ON HER OWN and STAYED ASLEEP UNTIL THE MORNING. I wanted to jump for joy when I woke up at 6:45 and realized we all had slept through the night!
So obviously now I am an expert on this topic (kidding!)…but I do want to offer some tips on what worked for us to make this a smooth transition.
Once you decide to switch to a toddler bed, stick with it. My husband came up with this one. He had to completely dismantle the crib in order to get it out of the bedroom, so he decided at the beginning that “This is it. She WILL sleep in this bed, because I’m not moving the crib back into her room again.” You can’t be wishy-washy about it. Now L knows that the crib is in the nursery because it’s for the baby. No matter how much she whines, she’s not sleeping in it anymore. There hasn’t even been any whining, though.
Keep the routine (mostly) the same. Our usual bedtime routine is reading books together in the glider while L drinks her milk. Then we put on her lullaby music and I put her in her crib, and now her bed. She used to just go right to sleep, but the first couple nights in a big-girl bed were rough. She cried for me and fought laying down in bed. While I wanted to “keep the routine the same,” I figured she was probably just nervous about a new bed. So I rocked her to sleep the first few nights and then all of a sudden, one naptime she was fine to put herself to sleep. And now she goes to bed awake without a fuss, also.
Talk it up. We talked to L a lot about how fun it was to have a toddler bed and what a big girl she was, etc. I’m not sure how much of it she understood, but it could have possibly helped.
Hit the books. Awhile ago, we bought some books about switching from a crib to a bed. L’s favorite (since she loves Elmo) is Big Enough for a Bed (Sesame Street). The book tells the story of when Elmo moves from a crib to his big-kid bed. We must have read it 100 times by now. I feel like there’s a book to help kids with every situation imaginable…you just have to find it!
For more books on this topic, check out my post “Helpful Books for Transitioning to Toddler Bed from Crib.”
Read Part 1 of “Switching to a Toddler Bed.”
How did you transition your child from crib to bed? Any tips worth sharing?