Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed

Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed

Our son was 2 years and 8 months old when we transitioned to a big kid bed. It was actually a little bit earlier than we had planned to make the switch, but he had gotten into the habit of bringing water to bed (I know, I know…) and ruined his crib mattress. We didn’t want to buy another crib mattress, so all of a sudden we were in the market for a big kid bed.

I have to say, we were really nervous. We value our sleep so highly given we both work full time and then want to have energy left over to spend engaged with our toddler. We had also heard so many stories from friends with kids who had gone through real challenges making the transition from a crib to a big kid bed. In some ways I am glad our hand was forced. We may not have ever done it!

I have to say though, it was easy- especially at the beginning. We laid out two rules from the get go: no water on the bed (the water bottle must stay on the bedside table- we had learned our lesson there!) and no getting out of bed without a grown up. You have to stay in bed and call for help if you need something. Note, he is not yet nighttime potty trained so that removed one major complication.

The first night, he went to bed and slept through the night no problem. Wow! And the next. We actually (knock on wood) haven’t had challenges with him getting out of bed in the middle of the night.

I do think bedtime has gotten harder though. When things are going south (which they sometimes do when you are trying to get a toddler to get something they don’t want to do…) you don’t have the barrier of the crib to keep him put. We have our routine and there are nights when things go smoothly, but there are also nights when he fights bedtime with all the tools he’s got - including getting out of bed. Most nights are somewhere in between - a series of stall tactics impressively deployed to extend bedtime, although to his credit, while sitting in bed. These are those final requests for yet another refill of water, one more snack, one more book, just lying down for a minute…one more minute.

What do you do to keep your kid in their big kid bed at bedtime?

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