You read that title right. We've moved Evie into a toddler bed. Been thinking about it for a while now and just made the leap, crossing our fingers for success. I'm going to chronicle my experiences for the first few days :) We decided to go ahead and transition her to a "big girl bed" once Graham started back at school for the semester (last week) that way her bedtime routine would be more normalized. (When he is working full time in the summer she is up late 3 nights a week so that she can see him before bed, and we didn't want to mess with a wacky schedule and trying to transition to a new sleep situation for her.) I'd read lots of articles featuring pros and cons of when to move your child out of their crib, but this felt right for us at the moment. Also she is 26+ pounds, and I am tired of lifting her in and out of her crib ;)
Day 1 Nap: We took the side off of Evie's bed today. She loved that she could climb into her bed and play "night night." Also, she was so cute pretending to do like Graham had done earlier. She would lay next to her bed, put her hand up to the rail and say "work," (we told her earlier that Daddy was working on her bed). We did this before her nap. At nap time she ran in and climbed into her bed going "night night" over and over just cracking up laughing. She wasn't too happy with me when I pulled her out to change her diaper. We read her a story in her bed, then I sang to her in the rocking chair (like we always do). I put her into her bed, covered her (she all the while just ecstatic to be in a "big girl bed") and went to leave her room. As I headed to the door she sat up and started saying "close it! close it!" (wanting to be the one to close the door), so I let her come close the door behind me and told her to go back to her bed after she had done so. For a while I could hear her talking to herself, but she never cried for me or made much noise. Then about 45 minutes after I put her down for her nap, I heard her try to open her bedroom door. I went in to check on her (she was headed back to her bed as I opened the door) and saw she had been reading some books. A few were on the ground by her bookshelf and she had one in her bed. She had also pulled some of the wall stickers off the wall and they were on the floor as well. I tucked her back into bed, she said "close it!" and sat up, but I told her she got to close the door earlier, and that now it was time for her to lie down and go to sleep. She did so and I left the room. I could hear her talking faintly to herself for a few more minutes, and then she was asleep!
Day 1 Bedtime: When I put her into bed for the night, she was crying for me and got upset that I wouldn't let her close the door. I had let her close the door before I tucked her in, but apparently that wasn't good enough for the poor tired little girl. She normally doesn't cry when we put her down for the night, but I think we got her to bed a little too late (8pm rather than 7:30pm). She was also sick yesterday so I think she was extra tired. I went in after a minute to give some snuggles. She asked me for some "med-sin" (medicine) right when I picked her up (we had given her Tylenol the night before because she was having a hard time getting to sleep with her fever). She calmed down fine and I put her back into bed. She still fussed some after that for a minute or two, but it wasn't full on crying. We didn't hear her up out of her bed at all. Again, Graham and I agree it was more due to her being overly tired than changing beds, because she stayed in bed as she was crying.
**Wake-up the next morning: She woke up around 7:15am and was fussing for me. I went in to find her still in her crib, snuggling with her "Beeboo" (special bear).
Day 2 Nap: Today we were down at my in-laws house so she took her nap in the pack-n-play like she always does there. No problems with being "confined" after having exposure to her "new" bed.
Day 2 Bedtime: She went to bed totally fine tonight and didn't cry about not being able to close the door. She did wake up around 11pm or so (I was already in bed asleep and Graham was just coming to bed, having stayed up later to play a game). When Graham went in to check on her she was by her changing table (which is directly beside her crib) with her special bear, just crying. Maybe she had been sleep walking and couldn't find her way back to bed? No clue. After she calmed down she did just fine.
**Wake-up the next morning: She did, however, wake up early (bleh!). I went in and gave her a drink of water (she was still laying in her bed going "Momma! Dink!" (drink) so I thought I may as well go in to her). I explained it was still time to sleep and tucked her back into bed. Since it was already getting light in her room she was totally awake though. I got back into my bed to rest a little longer and could hear her playing with her Zany Zoo and talking to herself. She did fine until 7:10am when she started calling for another drink.
Day 3 Nap: Today she was super tired by the time I was feeding her lunch since she woke up early (around 6:45am), so I put her down for her nap around 12:30pm I think? Normally we shoot for 1pm. Again, she was super excited about getting into her bed and almost didn't want me to read her a story! She said "no" to a story at first, but then changed her mind. After tucking her in, giving a kiss, and getting her some lotion (her new favorite request), I said goodnight and left the room. I heard her for maybe a minute or two talking quietly to herself, but I know she didn't get out of bed at all because I peeked my head into the room about 45min later and she was in bed with her blankets still on, with nothing out of place in her room. I'd call that success!
Day 3 Bedtime: Again, she was pretty tired when we were eating dinner, so we skipped bath in order to get her in bed by 7:30pm. She went down without so much as a little peep! I love my sweet baby girl.
**Wake-up the next morning: She woke up just before 7:30am, after a restful night on her part (I have been fighting off a cold so my sleep wasn't so restful).
Conclusion: Well, I would call this experiment a success! I will for sure keep you all posted if she goes through a phase where this does not seem to be working, but for now it is going fantastic. *Knock on wood* A shout-out to all of those blog posts I read (thank you Pinterest for putting so many fantastic ideas/articles in one convenient location) that suggested transitioning to a toddler bed before your little one can crawl out of the crib. I know what I will be recommending to other moms!