When I created this blog space, I wanted it to be a place where I can talk about all the things that go on in my life. Motherhood, marriage, army life, fitness, etc. Motherhood takes up 100% of my time and focus. All while getting a million other things done and filling many other roles. But Marshall is amazing and I wouldn’t change one thing! Marshall hit a big milestone a few weeks ago! He moved from a crib to a big-boy bed! So I’m going to blog below all about our experience with the transition and pass on my tips and tricks. Obviously, I am no expert, this is just what worked for us!
So I had no intention of moving Marshall to a big boy bed until age two. It wasn’t even on my radar. I just figured at age two, we’d cross that bridge. I honestly thought it was going to be a very grueling process, with lots of sleep regression, so I had no intention to start that any earlier than I had to. But back in September we noticed Marshall crying in his sleep for no reason. He would just wake up crying for no apparent reason multiple times through the night. At the height of our sleep deprivation, we would just pull him into our bed and he’d sleep like an angel. After a few weeks of this pattern, it started to click to me that maybe he felt restricted in his crib. He is a pretty tall boy and loves to stretch out when he sleeps, so I started to track whether or not I thought that was the culprit for his multiple wake ups.
Flash forward to Thanksgiving. We spent the holiday in San Antonio. During that time, he would NOT sleep in his pack-and-play. Absolutely would not. But he slept in the king-sized bed just fine. On our two-hour trip home, Adam and I thoroughly discussed just pulling out the twin sized mattress we already had for him. Ultimately, we made the decision to just go for it.
That first night, we pulled out the mattress, made a mad dash to Target for sheets (again, was NOT expecting this), and we laid it on the floor opposite of his crib. We wanted to leave the crib up just in case this backfired. We also toyed with the idea of getting a video baby monitor. We have never had one, but thought maybe we should invest in one just in case we could hear him playing or crying in there, but did not want to go into his room. We decided not to invest in one at that moment, but said we’d get one later if we needed it. (Spoiler alert: We have NEVER needed it!).
That first night, he did great. Only woke up once. (Adam and I were very grateful for this!!!). And every night since has been about the same. He has been sick a lot lately, so he still wakes up occasionally for those reasons, but not ever “just because.”
So here are my tips if you are thinking of transitioning your little one.
- Start early. Obviously not when they are too young, but 18 months seems like a good age. That’s when we first started noticing his waking up for no reason. I’ve also heard a few of my friends talking about how they transitioned their kids early and never had issues.
- Put the mattress up before taking the crib down. I liked having a back-up option/security net if needed. I was really anxious about the transition, so I liked knowing I could always put him back in the crib if needed.
- Put the mattress up on the floor before installing a bed. Again, this allows you to have the crib and mattress up at the same time. Plus, if the transition doesn’t go well, you don’t have to de-assemble the bed after just assembling it.
- Clean out all drawers in your child’s room. I honestly thought Marshall would be running around like crazy in his room. So I thought for sure he’d be rummaging through his dresser drawers. We made sure to clean them out. We removed things like baby nail clippers, vapor pads (for the plug-ins), diaper cream, ear drops, eye drops, etc. On this note-we moved his piggy bank up to an un-reachable level. I could just see him opening it up and eating pennies. HAHA.
- Anchor your child’s furniture to the wall. This is SO IMPORTANT. It is very real for furniture to topple over on toddlers. I had already witnessed Marshall climbing his bookshelf once before, so I made sure to get it anchored before we made the move to the bed.
- Invest in a video monitor if you want, but think about just going cold turkey from the monitors. I knew he was safe in his room. (See above steps). I knew that anything in his room that he could play with were books or stuffed animals. I also knew at some point he would fall asleep, even if it wasn’t on his mattress. My thought process was: if I knew he was safe, then there was nothing I NEEDED to see in there.
- Skip the whole toddler bed thing. I’ve never really understood that. Marshall had a custom crib made for him (thanks, Dad!), therefore his crib does not break down to a toddler bed. Even if it did, I am not sure I would even use it. We went right to a twin. And he’s done perfectly fine with it. Right now the mattress is still on the floor while his bunk beds are being built (again, thanks, Dad!). But even when we get the bed installed, he will still be on a full-sized mattress at age 2. If needed, we may put the plastic safety rails since he will be higher off the ground. That’s to be determined. I just feel like skipping the whole toddler bed thing allows you one less transition. Just my opinion.
What’s your experience with this milestone? Was it any easy transition, or did we just get lucky? Do you have any other tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them!!