That there above is the nap time standoff. It’s a very pleasant, very regular occurrence in the Page house. But don’t let her fool you. Isla loves that bed. She just doesn’t always want to get in it at the same time I want her to get in it. From the second we set up her big girl bed it was as if her crib had disappeared into the abyss never to be heard from again. In reality, it’s still in that very room, right where it’s been since before she was born, awaiting the arrival of baby no. 2.
I’ve gotten some questions about how the transition from crib to toddler bed is going so I thought I’d share a little glimpse. Keep in mind, every day is different and there’s no telling how things will change in just a few short weeks when baby brother turns her world upside down, but here’s our story anyway. (Also, you can find the toddler bed here.)
It’s worth noting that Isla has been a stellar sleeper pretty much since the beginning. She was sleeping eight hours per night by three months, at which point we moved her from the bassinet in our room to her crib in her own room, and by five months she was sleeping 12 solid hours every night. So there’s that. (Cue her baby brother who is probably going to make me eat my shorts and be the worst sleeper ever.)
Before making the move to the toddler bed we talked to our pediatrician. She’s not just a doctor and a mom but also a friend so I seek her advice about much pretty everything. Then we came up with a plan: set up the bed at 19 months, tell her it’s hers because she’s a big girl and babies sleep in cribs and hope she starts to show some interest by the time the baby is ready to move in (hopefully around the New Year). About two minutes after we set up that bed Isla crawled right in and said “choo choo!” (our version of “night night”). That’s her in the picture below literally right after we removed all the boxes. So we just went with it. We went through the whole routine that night … books, milk, brushing teeth, etc., then turned out the light to sing our lullaby. At that point she pointed to the crib and asked, “choo choo?” so I replied, “this is your bed now,” and from that moment on it’s like the crib just poof, disappeared. She slept 12 hours that night. It was a Christmas miracle.
I’m relieved to say most nights are like this. We do our thing then put her in the bed, sing, exchange kisses and I Love Yous and then shut the door and walk out until morning. Sometimes she gets out of bed, but she almost always climbs back in once she’s found the toy she’s searching for. She’s fallen out about three times (don’t worry it’s a short fall so no injuries) but I just go in and give her some cuddles and then put her back in. In the morning she runs to the door yelling “MAMA!” and bangs on it very loudly (it actually sounds like she’s body-checking it) so there’s no mistaking that she’s awake. And that’s pretty much how nighttime in the new toddler bed is going.
Now let’s talk about naps. Oh naps. How I miss those quiet two-nap days when all I had to do was plop her in that crib and walk out only to return again to find a very happy, well-rested baby two hours later. It’s almost like those days never happened. Like it was all a dream. Sometimes I can put her in her toddler bed and walk out and she’ll fall right to sleep. When this happens though, I again feel like I’m dreaming. Typically nap time goes something like this:
put on PJ pants
tuck very sleepy child into bed
sing to or read to or shush child
repeat after me: “Stay In Bed, Isla. It Is Nap Time.”
no, it’s more like a smirk, a very mischievous one
close door behind me
immediately hear pitter-patter feet, crashing noises, guitar sounds and Elmo singing the alphabet
turn on monitor but can’t find child because she has piled her toys in the one and only monitor blind spot in the whole room
let child play for a little while
go in and try not to laugh as child runs as fast as she can and tries to throw herself onto the bed only to realize she can’t quite get up in time so she’s half on/half off pretending to snore and trying not to laugh
put child back in bed
“ISLA IT IS NAP TIME!”
close door behind me
Sometimes 15 minutes of playtime is all she needs and she’ll either put herself into her bed or stay there once I put her back in. Other times we go through this eight times. Sometimes eighth times the charm, sometimes I give up. If I give up twice in one day and this adorable child of mine does not sleep, dinner time is the loveliest time of day. On opposite day. And by 6 p.m. I’m ready to put her exhausted, miserable, whiney, defiant butt to bed for the night because I’m tired of cleaning up deliberately spilled (read: thrown) milk and bowls of whatever’s for dinner and scrubbing crayon off the walls. But then I remember it’s me she will be calling for when she wakes up at 5 a.m. so we suck it up for a little while longer and release a big sigh of relief when bedtime finally relieves us of the monster inside her.
And that, my friends, is how life with a child under two in a big girl bed is working out in our house. I might have forgotten to mention that we love her toddler bed. It’s adorably pint-sized and I can’t wait to buy cute sheets and a quilt. I love that she can get back in on her own (though it’d be nice if I could stop her from getting out) and that any kind of fall is more scary for her than painful. And I love that she loves it so much. She plays in it, tucks her baby to sleep in there and even brings “Tommy the Pain” (a.k.a. Thomas the Train) to bed with her.
Don’t forget to ask me how I’m feeling about that very same bed in approximately five weeks when baby no. 2 changes everything.
Now tell me your toddler bed horror stories … I mean success stories! When did you switch and how did it go? Oh, and bring on the tips for sharing rooms. These kids will hopefully be sharing in the New Year and I’m clueless about how that’s going to (not) work.
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