We are so thankful that Liam's cousin Aiden out-grew his big boy bed right about the time we were in the market for one. We were also very lucky that the bed fit the Cars theme that Liam had already picked out. Before we got started, we both did a lot of reading about how to make the switch from crib to toddler bed an easy one. I also talked to several friends who had already made the switch to get any ideas that they had.
Here are the tips that seemed to work for us:
*Talk about the move from crib to bed before actually making the transition- We talked to Liam about the move many weeks before it actually happened.
*Let the child help pick out the bed/bedding- Although we were extremely lucky that what Liam wanted fit what we were given, we took him to Target and let him browse the bedding section. He just happened to pick out a sheet set that fit the bed!
*Have the child help with the assembly process- My husband, Liam, and I spent about an hour putting the bed together as a family. It didn't necessarily take that long to put it together, but we took our time and made it fun.
*Keep the crib in plain sight for a bit- We found this to be a big help! A child's crib is the place where they feel the safest, so taking it away the same time that you put them into a new bed can make it scarier for the little one. We left it up in the same spot it's always been.
*Once you make the transition, don't go back- We haven't had to deal with this yet, but I completely understand why this is an important step to follow. Even though we left the crib in the room, we used the crib mattress for the big boy bed. This way we won't be able to easily transfer him from one to the other. It's just as much for us as it is for him.
*Use a nightlight- Liam has never been afraid of the dark, but we were concerned that he would be nervous about the switch so we did it anyway.
*Be consistent- The first time that Liam got out of his bed, we took him back, laid him down, said goodnight, and left the room. The next time he got up, he tried to open the door (we are very lucky he can't yet) and after a failed attempt, went to bed.
*Think ahead- Look around the room and make sure that anything that could be unsafe to a wandering child, is put up or secured. A couple of examples are that Liam's dresser could be a bit unstable if it were to be climbed on, so we secured it to the wall. Also, his changing table was placed under the window. Knowing that he has learned to climb up it, we put it in the closet. Even picking up any toys that they could trip over and making sure that any cords (blinds, monitors, etc.) are out of reach.
*Follow the same bedtime routine- Liam has always been easy to put down. We read a couple of books while rocking, then give hugs, kisses, and say goodnight, we lay him down, turn off the light, and close the door. It has always worked for us, so we followed the same steps to put him to bed. I think that this helped greatly!
*Be positive!- When we discussed the big boy bed we always made it seem fun and exciting. It was always expressed as something that was a big deal and a huge step toward becoming a big boy. By the time the bed actually came out, he was jumping up and down with excitement.
We have only made it through one night so far, but already these tips have come in handy. If things change and more tips are useful, I will be sure to share them. But my fingers are crossed, that this will be one part of parenting that will be easier than expected. Here's to being hopeful!
|Sleeping 10 minutes after turning the light out.|