Transitioning to the toddler bed

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Over the festive period, A and I were forced to reevaluate Willow’s sleeping situation. Namely, we needed to transition her to a toddler bed.

I knew a change would be coming soon, but my timeline was rushed up quite a bit. The first indication as that Willow started unzipping herself out of her sleeping bag. I would often walk in to get her after a sleep and find that she was out of the bag either partially or completely.

Then I started finding her in the process of climbing out of her bed. Her bed has quite a drop to the floor and I was getting worried that she would hurt herself. She never completed the climb, but it was enough to get my mommy brain worrying in a big way.

Then came her second birthday. She was given a baby doll (which she is obsessed with). She was playing quite happily, pushing the doll about in her trolley. Then things got very quiet. I went looking for her because a quite toddler is usually up to no good. I found her in her bed in the process of putting the baby to sleep. She had climbed up into the bed all by herself and I’m pretty sure that if I had not gone to look for her that she would have climbed out as well.

I sent A straight away to take the side down. Luckily, because I knew we would be taking this step soon I already had one of those mesh guardrails on hand. So we were able to take the side of her bed down, put up the guard rail and transition her in one day.

I changed nothing about her bedtime routine. I just explained to her that the side of her bed was now gone because she was a big girl now. I showed her how to get in and out safely and that was it. I still zip her up in her sleeping bag at night and so far this has helped to keep her in the bed at night. We haven’t had any issues with her not wanting to stay in bed or with middle-of-the-night visits to our bed. I don’t think she’s realised that that is an option. During the day she happily climbs in and out of the bed to play with her dolls.

I worked out ages ago that with Willow it is best to do things in stages. This method worked like a charm when I transitioned her out of the swaddle and when I stopped breastfeeding. It looks to be working well for transitioning to a toddler bed. I would prefer to get more use out of the sleeping bags because then I don’t have to worry about her getting cold in the middle of the night. So I’m going to keep using them while I can.

I do admit that seems to have been a little too easy and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe Willow was just ready for the change, maybe we will have a bump in the path still to come. In the meantime, I’m glad the side is gone for safety reasons and I am grateful for each full night of sleep we each get.

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