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Reasons Our Transition To A Toddler Bed Has Been A Success

As we attempted to wind down this evening, I realized it was a month ago I wrote about our daughter receiving her Gold Medal for Perfect Dismount From the Crib into the toddler bed.  So, I wanted to keep you all updated!  Believe it or not,  the toddler bed (aka BIG GIRL BED to her) transition has gone great!

LUCKILY, I have not had many nights like the pic to the right when I am denied access to cuddling with my husband by BOTH my cat and child.

Ever since we have switched to the bed, I feel like my daughter is evolving from my baby into my little girl-which I am having a tough time with. A few nights I’ve ended up in tears looking at her as I lay next to her on the floor because it has hit me, my “little nugget” was no longer in her crib and looked like a BIG GIRL…for real!  It brought me back to the first night she slept in her crib when she was 5 weeks old.  She was so sweet, happy, and proud to be in her new bed.  She actually cries less in the toddler bed than in the crib.  She does not like to be tied down or trapped and I think this has a lot to do with it.

What has worked for us over the past month:

Be persistent and consistent:  The first 3 nights were tough and I would walk her back and forth to her bed numerous times and lay there with her until she fell back asleep.  My husband was about to throw in the towel on nights 2 & 3, but I refused because then we would have to start all over. I listened for the monitor closely subconsciously all night and would run in to meet her before she could make it very far.  Before I would go to sleep, I would check her.  The first few nights she would be half off the bed.

Make a big deal out of the“big boy/girl bed: She feels special in her new bed. If someone comes to visit, we ask her to show off her big girl bed, and we have Skyped with my family to show them as well.

Start a new routine (or add to your existing one): Most nights she picks out her pajamas, gets ready in her room, we play a little, read, and lay together.  We kiss each and every stuff animal she chooses to have in bed with her (which is a lot) and say sweet dreams. Some nights I get conned into tickling her arm until she falls asleep…yup I know, don’t go there, right?

Spend more time in “big boy/girl room”:  In the evening (if we were not outside), we typically played or spent more time in the living room or our bedroom.  Once we switched the crib to a bed, we started to spend more time playing in her room to make her more acclimated in her own bedroom.  We moved some toys from the living room in there  I knew she would play with.  I had to baby proof her room a little better by moving some trinkets I was afraid she would mess with.  Of course she we wanted to go through her clothes which was rough; but she is learning only to go through her pajama drawer luckily.

My initial concerns:

In my eyes, 18 months was too soon for a child to be in a bed , so I was a little worried about a few things, but honestly…I wish I didn’t get so freaked out about it

Bottom line: If your child jump ship/falls out of their crib then guess what-no matter WHAT age, it is time to make the transition and you will all adapt. 

Falling out of bed: Our toddler bed did not transition into a bed with a piece that served as a rail that was part of the furniture. I decided not to waste the money to purchase one.

First night went AMAZINGLY…as displayed to the left.






You can’t tell by the picture below, but Night #2 was a NIGHTMARE- she fell out of her bed every half hour on the hour, it was rough!  I devised my “toddler rail” out of a king size pillow tucked into/under her top fitted sheet.  I have 2 fitted sheets with 2 waterproof mattress pads alternated in between in the event she pees/pukes/poops in bed.  This way I can just remove the top layer and not have to stress about doing laundry that very second.  {Great tip for a new mom so when you are exhausted in the middle of the night and you have a blow out or a shifted diaper with pee everywhere}.







Night #3 you can see below that I replaced my king size pillow with my body pillow I cuddled with when I was a gynormously prego and switched the top fitted sheets with one that would stretch more.  It wasn’t too far off the ground but I had already piled some large throw pillows from the couch and pillows from the guest bed.  That worked fabulously. Nights 4 and 5 went so-so.  She only got up 2 or 3 times.  Since it has been a month, I am tempted to remove the pillow; however, she moves around so much and does get out occasionally so I hate to as of right now.






Roaming the house:

Luckily we only have one floor so I didn’t have to worry about stairs and gates. Thankfully, the nights she gets up she beelines it for our bedroom.  I thought for sure she would be raiding the pantry for Dora fruit snacks or prunes, opening the fridge to get a cheese stick, or eating the cat food!  Luckily so far…so good!!

Sleeping in our bed: 

As you all know, my cat is in love with my husband-if you missed that post click here: I really did NOT want to have to compete with both my daughter and cat every night like the picture below.






We are not the co-sleeping kind.  I love my husband and our alone time and feel it is important to have our space. As much as I would love to cuddle with my doll baby, she does NOT sleep very still like a doll baby and is constantly is moving, grooving, and karate kicking.  Is it possible a 1.5 year old has restless legs syndrome?!?  My husband on the other hand sleeps like a bear hibernating on a king size bed.  When he is sleeping, he is O-U-T for the C-O-U-N-T.  My insomnia and tossing and turning envy him and his sleep patterns!  Regardless, we are both petrified that he would roll over on her and smush her.

Initially, I was very nervous that she would take after me as a child and not like her bed at all and we would live sleeping uncomfortably for the rest of our lives.  I was anticipating a kicking, screaming, crying ordeal and my hubby giving in and in our bed she went from the get-go.

At first I was really strict when she would come into our bed and take her right back.  They are only young once, so I do let it side if she scurries to our room past 4am to stay and cuddle.  I usually hear her on the monitor and just watch her as she enters the room.  I’m not going to lie, I love hearing her little tip toes running to our room-well as long as it is after 4am!  During the day she climbs up on the bed from the sides.  In the middle of the night she is smart and climbs up the end, army crawls up quietly right between us, fluffs the pillow by patting it twice and snuggles up next to us.  It’s SO stinking cute.  Then I’ll ask her Laney, where’s your big girl bed and she points to the pillow on our bed.  I’m just thankful she stays in her bed for the most part.  She actually removed the door stop the other night and closed the door behind her as if to say, sorry but I’m not going anywhere!

Was I doing the right thing?

Having a child is scary and nerve-wracking.  You hear advice from everyone…she’s too young to be in a toddler bed…just get a twin mattress and put it on the floor…just put a gate up in the door…just shut her door…just buy a bed rail…just transition it to a full size bed to save you time…oh that means it’s time to have another baby!  I’ll admit, I am so mad at myself that we did not switch her to the toddler bed the NEXT day she jumped out the first time.  GOD FORBID she got hurt the second time.  I went with my gut, into the toddler bed she went and I said if it does not work we will re-evaluate at that point.  I get SO far ahead of myself sometimes worrying about the “what-if’s” when I really need to be “who-gives-a-shit-just-wait-to-see-if-it-happens”.

Life lesson learned…the big girl bed transition was not half as bad as I thought it would be, and I wish the same for you when the time comes!

  1. just keep swimming Reply
    I'm so glad you found a way to make it work. People think parenting is all about the parents, but kids have a surprising amount of say in how things are going to work. It would be annoying if it weren't kind of cute.
    • Marissa Reply
      Thanks-yeah I am glad it worked out as well, thank goodness!

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