Wednesday 12 July 2017

Big Girl Bed Advice

Pausing from our regularly scheduled programming: I have a few posts in progress; Kate's 2 Year Update, a review of her party, a situation involving a messy house and feelings of jealousy toward pregnancy announcements that I hope to publish before those babies are actually born. However, I could really use some guidance from my most trusted counsel right now.

As I've written before, I'd like to keep Kate in her crib a long as possible. Like until she starts Kindergarden. I fear bedtime will be much more difficult if she can get out of the crib, I fear her waking up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning... Yes, I know these fears will need to be conquered, but I was hoping to delay as long as possible. As Husband and I have observered Kate try to climb out of her crib while she is not in her sleep sack, we acknowledged that we should start researching toddler beds and ideally purchase it and have it ready to go for that day when she climbs out. I figured I would start the process after Kate's party. Well, the second morning after her party, I went into her room and found her leaning over the corner of her crib while trying to swing her legs over the edge. Yikes.

So here is where I need your help. I don't know where to start even doing research on beds. There is a Mom and Pop children's furniture shop near us, and although I'd love to shop local, I think this store mostly does fancy bunkbeds. What kind of bed? Low to the ground? A Day bed? Bed edges -yay or nay? Does using a swim noodle really work? Am I totally overthinking this?

Then there is the grandparent effect. My parents will be visiting during the first two weeks in August. I have been planning to remove the changing table from her room and replace it with the Ikea kitchen I got her for her birthday/finishing potty training. I wanted to have my Dad help me set up the Ikea kitchen, as I know Husband won't get around to it for a while, and I can bill it as a Daddy-Daughter project. Now I'm also thinking it would be helpful to have my Dad on hand to set up the new bed, as we may have to re-configure her whole room.

However, is it going to be harder to train her to use the new bed while my parents are there as a distraction? It is harder to get her to go to bed while we have visitors as she senses that everyone else is staying up having fun without her. Usually my parents attend to her when she wakes up so we can sleep a little longer (the benefits of having relatives who are early risers and are still on east coast time) Will this encourage bad habits? Where do you get that clock that changes colour when they can get out of bed?

So I'm feeling so overwhelmed by this, probably because a fellow blogger prepared me that it's going to be an emotional event. My baby isn't a baby and is officially a big girl. I'll be getting rid of the crib for good as I won't need it any more (I know it's my choice not to try for another baby when I have embryos available, but it still makes me feel sad) Anyway, thanks in advance for any words of wisdom anyone can share.


  1. I, too, am holding onto the crib as long as possible. My girl is a few months older (born in February) and is so good at playing in her crib before falling asleep or after she wakes up, and I'm scared of losing that glorious time!

    We are still researching, but one cool idea I found is a day bed turned around so it still helps keep them in and not fall out. They can still crawl out of it, but it would keep them from falling. IKEA also seems to have some good options.

  2. I have some thoughts about how we might try this BUT have no direct knowledge yet of course. Bowen's crib turns into a full size bed w/ headboard and footboard so our plan is to use that and maybe use one of those rail type things so he doesn't fall out. Who knows how this will actually go though. I am anxious to hear how it goes with Kate. You could read about Erika's transition although I think Millie is 3

  3. I’m only speaking from experience and I know all children are different, but here goes… the best advice I can give is to NOT go with a toddler sized bed and instead go with a twin sized bed. I naively thought it would be an easy transition from crib to toddler bed because they are the same size. However, the toddler bed was too small and my now 4 year old was never very excited about it. It was easy to get in and out of, which isn’t always a good thing (which I’ll explain later). We only had the toddler bed for a short time because it was so tiny and really just a piece of crap. I should have saved money and just went with a twin sized bed right away. We just transitioned my 2 year old out of his crib a week ago and so far so good. We went with a twin bed and made a big deal of it. Plus it looked a lot different from the crib and was bigger, which he was excited about. We use a railing on one side (other side is against the wall) and don’t intend to use it forever, but I was nervous about him falling out. I used a pool noodle for my 4 year old and that worked fine, but his bed was lower to the ground so I was less concerned. And here’s where we lucked out… because my toddler was used to waiting for us to lift him out of the crib, he now waits to be lifted out of the bed! I know this won’t always be the case, but right now it’s excellent. He seems to love being a “big boy”.

  4. I would also skip the toddler bed. My dd started climbing out of her crib at 13 months old, and I was not prepared at all. She has a full size bed. I tried the pool noodle trick along with a body pillow and about 20 stuff animals and none of it worked. She still rolled over it all. I ordered some bed rails from Wal-mart and they work great. I think the brand is Regalo, or something like that. They cost about $30.

  5. Noooooooo. Velcro? Duct tape? All of these seem like viable options to keep her in the crib.

  6. Here is what worked for us. Take Kate with you and talk up the big girl bed. Show her different ones and have her help "pick" her eventual bed. (I would also recommend a twin or full bed instead of turning the crib into a toddler bed.) All the while, talk up the "rules" of the big girl bed- #1 being that you can't get out of bed once you are in it. If you need anything, then you call for Mommy or Daddy. I was so nervous for the transition, but Izzy did GREAT.

    Oh, and we bought this bed rail which worked perfectly:

    The Ok to Wake Clock ( was something that we started after Izzy had been in her big girl bed for a bit of time. I think that you need to make sure that Kate is old enough to understand what is going on...I'm not sure Izzy would have gotten it at 2. But when I got it back in March (Izzy was 3 years, 4 months old), it worked perfectly.

  7. Interesting. No personal experience, as our toddler is still in her crib. It converts to a toddler bed with low rail and then to a full size bed (with the purchase of extra parts). We assumed that we'd convert to toddler bed next but after reading the comments here and considering (FX) a new arrival might need the crib, may change our minds about that....

  8. It may not be a good idea to introduce the kitchen into her room until she's consistently successful falling and staying asleep in the new bed. It would be a rather significant temptation. Many people keep bedrooms as barren as possible to make sure that is firmly associated with sleep and not play. I know, easier said than done, I live in California too, I don't have some huge basement playroom either.

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