November 14, 2013 by Ellen V
We made it through Night #1 out of the crib and into a toddler bed! I’m so proud of Jane–she handled the switch like a trooper. Eric and I were way more nervous about the whole thing than we needed to be!
While she mostly stayed put last night, I expect Jane to test her limits a bit more over the course of the weekend and into the next few weeks. We’ll see how it all shakes out! Here are a few of the ways we attempted to set ourselves up for success for Night #1:
- About a month ago we initiated a few simple changes that encouraged a smooth transition. We started putting a pillow and a comforter in her crib. We started talking about big girl beds and where Mama and Papa sleep a little more. We bought her an inexpensive board book featuring one of her favorite characters, Elmo. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that at about that same time she started daycare where she sleeps on a cot for naps.
- We chose our date carefully. We had planned to make the switch last week, but when the plague hit we knew we’d have to adjust. On the other hand, we’ve been very motivated to get this transition out of the way before the heavy travel season we have lined up. Jane is very, very tall for her 22 months, and has long ago exceeded the height limit of her Pack ‘n Play. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have 8-10 nights out of town. We want her to get some sleep on those nights!
- After much discernment, we’ve decided to continue to keep the door to Jane’s room closed. I had considered advocating for a gate in the door frame, instead, but she sleeps better with it shut and hasn’t yet attempted to turn the knob to get into or out of any room in the house.
- While I’m slowly making some changes in her room, they have been gradual. I knew Jane wouldn’t adjust well to a “brand new” looking room. Everything stayed mostly the same.
- We all hung out together in Jane’s room while Eric transitioned her crib into the bed. He let her “help” with a few things (which happens to be one of her new favorite words), and we read the Elmo book a couple times, too. We let her see what was happening and try it out, attempting to make the experience a positive one but also nothing too out of the ordinary. This is what big girls do!
- Finally, we decided against any additional guard or rail. This might change depending on how the next few nights go, but for now we decided we’d rather have her get used to the short lip from her bed to the ground. I put the pillow bed I made her on the ground next to her, and while I don’t actually have any evidence of her falling last night, I’m pretty sure she did given where her stuffed animals and comforter ended up this morning. Regardless, it didn’t seem to phase her and she was in her bed when I woke up this morning. I consider that a resounding success.
After a lot of anxiety, I’m relieved that little milestone has been (so far!) not even a bump in the road!