Transitioning from the Crib to the Toddler Bed

oh my…this one has been quite the journey for our home.  we weren’t going to transition charlotte out of her crib until we were pregnant or until she could climb out of the crib…neither of which was happening when SHE decided she was a big girl and would only sleep on a big girl bed.  WHAAAT??  yea, cray.  mike was gone in india/puerto rico for two weeks and charlotte decided all at once that she was going to pee on the toilet and sleep on a big girl bed.  GAHHH.  it would have been awesome if these two things happened smoothly but, then there wouldn’t be a blog post about it right?  ;P

one night charlotte cried in the middle of the night and started screaming “no no no no no” while facing the wall.  it seriously terrified me.  i was convinced she was having a bad dream and still sleeping when i tried to soothe her back to sleep.  after that one bad night~ girlfriend never slept in the crib again.  EVER.  i can’t even put her in there for fun without her crying.  sad and scary right?

anyway, charlotte started sleeping in the big girl bed (the single mattress bed we had in the nursery) but it wasn’t baby proofed and we were just unprepared for her to be there permanently.  so i had to amazon prime a waterproof mattress cover, waterproof pad and a guard rail.  (i used dining room chairs until the rail arrived.  lol)

ok so now for the challenges and what has semi-kinda-hopefully will work for us.  lol  it’s kind of this really gray journey that we’re still figuring out.  (c mixes things up as soon as mike and i think we have a routine down.  awesome right?)

  1. we keep the same bed time routine and time.  we do bath at 7pm, read books, brush her teeth, have a few sips of water, turn off the lights and then sing songs in the dark.  we wanted to make sure she understood that even with the new bed, sleep time was sleep time.
  2. c was so used to a crib that she didn’t realize that she could slip out of the bed.  that was pretty cool for a while.  we could put her down and walk out like before.  she has figured this one out since then.  lol
  3. we got an extra long guard rail so that it covers the entire side of the bed.  that helps with securing her in there and preventing her from readily leaving during bed time.  and charlotte moves around a lot in the middle of the night and having the guard rail go to the bottom of the bed catches her from falling out.  (this is the one we have)
  4. bedtime FAILS: there was a REALLY hard time where we had to sleep with her in bed until she fell asleep, which would make us fall asleep.  then we make one step forward where we layoff the ground next to her bed until she falls asleep.  i would never recommend this routine to anyone b/c it was hard on us (the parents), but it was the easiest way for us to transition her and prevent her from freaking out.  it took about 2 months to get her over this stage of needing us in the room while she fell asleep.
  5. FINALLY we are now at the stage where after all the night time routine is complete, we say goodnight and tell her we will sit just outside the door.  she cries each time and then will calm down and call out for us once in a while.  we respond and assure her we’re still there and she should go to bed.  this new development is a freaking DREAM COME TRUE.  we get to chill outside the door (while on our phones) or walk out into the living room.  if we hear her call we kinda just run over and say “shhh” or “go to sleep baby”.  lol  this isn’t full proof and there are definitely some nights that she needs one of us in bed with her, but i kind of cherish those little moments so i don’t mind TOO much.

i’ve heard a lot of transition stories of where the baby keeps running out and parents having to lock the door or make sure the kids can’t open it from inside.  that was totally what i was preparing for, but so far it has been ok.  maybe b/c the guard rail is so long?  maybe b/c we did the slow transition?  i’m not sure… i also still think it’s very possible that in 6 months she’ll realize she can escape the bed and we’ll have to revamp this whole bedtime routine.  but so far this has been our transition store from crib to bed.

if you mamas are looking for an untraditional way, here it is! lol

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