As moms, I think we all have said this once or twice during our lives: “I’m going to keep my baby in his/her crib for as long as I can (or until they climb out).” I, too, had this mantra about the inevitable toddler bed, and up until my daughter was 2-and-a-half, it was totally working. It didn’t happen overnight, per se, but I knew what was coming: The day she would have free reign over her room, our house and that she would no longer be confined to her comfy, cozy and SAFE crib.
We had a great bedtime routine: Milk, brush teeth, read a book or two, say prayers, and then I would rock her, sing songs, give kisses, put her in her crib and walk out. She would rustle in her crib and sometimes sing or talk (saying the sweetest things), but after about five minutes, she would be out cold, and I would stare at her through her monitor. She was a peaceful, sleeping angel! This was perfect!
Then one day, she wanted one more song and one more kiss. Then she was thirsty and needed water and a snack, too. Then there were tears. She was scared and held onto me tighter than ever. When I asked her why she was scared, she said, “Mommy there are bugs in my crib.” So, the next day, I called the bug man out and got rid of all the bugs (not literally, but you get it). I reminded her the bug man got ALL the bugs, but still she was absolutely terrified. It was so sad. She was fighting her crib, and she was fighting it HARD!
At first, we thought it was just a phase, so we turned her crib around to prevent her from trying to climb out (her crib was higher in the back). She just cried more. Then, we decided to move the crib mattress onto the floor, and the only way that worked is if one of us laid on the floor next to her.
After several nights and sore necks and backs, we decided it was time to say bye-bye to the crib and hello to the big girl bed. It is a very bittersweet moment to accept that your child no longer needs a crib, but, it is also very fun to plan for their big girl/big boy bed, and including your child is key, too!
After much shopping and deliberation, we decided to use a twin-size daybed from our playroom as Charlotte’s first bed. It has plenty of room for us to lay down with her (which happens every night), and we selected some fun new bedding for her new bed. She was so proud and even gets excited about her new chore every morning: helping mommy make her big girl bed.
It truly is bittersweet. Although I do miss the crib and the fact that she was safely contained, the big girl bed is pretty fun, too. I love when she simply walks out of her room on her own and says, “Good morning, Mommy.” I’ve talked to moms who’ve moved their babies as early as a year (because they have tried to climb out) or on the flip side, their child has stayed in their crib until the age of 3!
When did you move your child? Was the transition easy or difficult?