For some parents, a toddler climbing out of the crib is the sign for transitioning from crib to big kid bed. Sometimes the transition comes hand-in-hand with potty training. Others may have had to transition, not from a crib, but from cosleeping in the parents' bed. And I'm (wildly) guessing that in a few cases, it's the child that asks for a big kid bed.
Whatever the reason, the transition is necessary at some point. Timing varies for everyone, depending on circumstances and child and whether the parents are brave enough.
Lucky for us, Matthew had never attempted to climb out of his crib. We're still in the (loooong) process of potty-training but that isn't a consideration for us since Matthew is in a pull-up at naptime and a night-time pull up at night. He's in underwear the rest of the day though. And at his current language processing level, he would ask for ice cream (he says "I want ice cream please) but it is unlikely that he would ask for a big boy bed. He likes his brush teeth-read books-sleep in crib routine.
Like many parents, we had many questions before the transition.
Is he ready to be out of his crib?
Will he transition well?
Should he go to a toddler bed or twin?
Should we take his toys out of his room? And books?
How much are we spending on a new twin bed, mattress protector, and sheets? What if he gets up in the middle of the night and wanders out of his room? What if he wanders into Elizabeth's room and wakes her? Or downstairs? Or outside?
The Big Boy Bed
After much deliberation and making phone calls for quotes on twin beds, we finally decided to transition him to a full bed. We moved the full bed from our guest room to his room. We have an extra queen mattress that will go into the guest room.
The big boy bed was extremely well received. Both kids were very excited. Initially, all the jumping, playing, and rolling on it make it seem like it wasn't going to work. Was Matthew going to be playing all night on his new bed? Oh boy!
Since transitioning on Sunday, he has taken 2 naps and had a good night's sleep on his big boy bed without incident. So it's looking like we won't need to buy a new twin bed, saving us at least $250. We just needed an extra mattress protector and extra sheets. His new big boy bed is on the floor with no safety rails. If he rolls off, it's only a 7 to 8-inch drop. The box spring and bed frame will be added on when he's older.
The toys and books stayed in his room.
We have a Summer Infant Best View Handheld color monitor set-up in Matthew's room. We like to be able to see how and what he's doing in his room.
To address the issue of potentially wandering, we installed a door knob safety cover on his door to prevent him (or at least slow him down) from opening it from inside his room. It may not be the best solution but it works at this time and it is temporary until we find something better. A door knob safety cover is also on Elizabeth's door so he can't open her door. A third door knob safety cover is on the inside of the front door.
We're also considering installing an extra lock out of his reach on the front door and the door leading to the garage.
The gate on the stairs is not easy for him to move. But it's not impossible. He's still not totally steady walking down the stairs. Maybe a bell on the gate at night will help as an additional "alarm system" that would probably have less chance of waking Elizabeth.
I still remember sleepless nights when Matthew was an infant. As a first-time mom with him, I learned to sleep with my ears on alert for every cry that needed my attention. Having him in a big boy bed certainly adds new meaning to "sleepless, restless nights".