Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Big Boy Bed

For months now, Peter and I have been discussing the big transition for Malachi from crib to toddler bed. I have been much more eager at the idea of this transition than Peter has been. So the plan has been to buy him a toddler bed with our tax refund and get him in it. Then over the summer we will move Eli into Malachi's room with the vacant crib and put the new baby in the nursery.

I have become a little more panicked about everything lately as the weeks go by as I don't want to be doing this transition after the new baby comes. I had a wonderful plan where we would keep the crib up and also have the toddler bed in Malachi's room where we could slowly acclimate him and make the adjustment as easy as possible on all of us.

Well, that all went out the window when I walked into Malachi's bedroom yesterday morning and found him outside the crib trying as best he could to pull his beloved Stinky Elmo out of the crib. I didn't want to risk him getting hurt, so I decided it was time to do this thing cold turkey and get the boy in his big boy bed. I spent the morning moving the bookcase out of his room, converting the crib to a toddler bed, and doing some final baby proofing of his room (I did take a few breaks as to not completely ignore doctors orders).

I figured it would be better to have his first time in the bed at naptime than to have to wait for bedtime. I showed him his bed, played up how awesome it was that he was now a big boy with his own big boy bed! I pulled the covers up, handed him Elmo, took a few quick pictures, kissed him, told him it was time to go night night and walked out the door.

I sat out in the hall watching him with the video monitor. It didn't take him long to decide it was playtime. So I walked back in his room, put him back under his covers, kissed him, and told him it was time to go night night.

Again, I barely made it out in the hall before I was back in his room doing this again. I fully expected a battle with him, because this was all very new to him. After going in a couple more times, I couldn't help but laugh as I watched him slowly go to the foot of his bed. Slowly climb out of the bed, then jump back in bed. Then slowly climb back out, walk a few feet further from the bed before bolting back into the bed. He was definitely testing the waters. After about the 4th time going in I became more stern with my warning that he must go night night.

After 20 minutes of waiting and about 6 total trips in his room, the boy was out and stayed that way for 2 1/2 hours! When I went to get him up, he told me no that he didn't want out of bed.

I was worried we would be in for a bigger struggle at bedtime, but he did really good last night. I think the room being totally dark makes it much less appealing to get up and play. He didn't even try to get out of bed and was asleep within 5 minutes!

Such a big boy he is!

I don't think we could have asked for a better first day with his new bed. Apparently he is more ready for this transition than we had thought. I still fully anticipate some battles with him staying in his bed, but so far we are off to a great start!


Joy and Geoff said...

We did a cold turkey switch in early January with our 22 month-old, who dove out of her crib one night desperate to reach me (I had just come into the room as she had awakened and was upset). We took the side off of the crib, and tried her out for her nap a day or two later. She was just fine, and has been sleeping so much better at night since then, I can hardly believe it. She does get up now and play quite a bit during nap time some days, but I've decided not to worry too much as she still sleeps much of the time, and is doing so well through the night now. Amazing. I am wondering if the combination of slightly less napping (although she thankfully stays happily in her room even when awake at nap time) and feeling somehow more comfortable not being confined in the crib, has allowed her to settle on her own when she wakes briefly in the night. Dunno, but I'll take it!