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I know many, many people who transition their children from the crib to a bed at much younger ages than when we made the switch for Britt. For Kye, we transitioned him closer to his second birthday. You can read my post about that experience here!
The year from age 2-3 is a BIG year filled with many changes for a toddler. Both of my kids were day trained with the potty prior to turning two so that wasn’t something we really had to deal with at the age of 2. With both kids I started working on getting rid of the paci/finger sucking right at two years old. The next big switch for them both was the move from the crib to the “big kid” bed.
We waited longer to make this switch with Britt for one reason: crib storage. Kye was still using the room that would become the nursery so we couldn’t put the crib in there yet and didn’t want to have to drag the crib somewhere to store it only to be moving it back into the nursery! Silly to do all that extra work! So once Kye moved upstairs to his new room, we decided to tackle the switch for Britt!
Originally Zach had planned to build Britt’s big girl bed. Then we visited Ikea and happened to see pretty much exactly the same bed Zach had planned to build for her…only it was cheaper than the materials would have cost him to do it himself! Perfect! Both of my kids have Pottery Barn Kids Bedding. Which, I know, is crazy expensive. However. I got their credit card and charged both of the kids furniture on it. You get awesome rewards for using their card so I paid the furniture off in full and then used the rewards to purchase their bedding. Kye’s bedding (for both top and bottom bunk) was completely FREE and Britt’s only cost me around $50 total (having the full size bed stuff was more expensive! And I always buy an extra set of sheets to have for laundry days!). I lucked out and really LOVED the mermaid bedding and thought it goes perfectly with her room!!!
My BIGGEST tip with moving from a crib to a bed is the build up. Talk it up BIG TIME. It worked great because Britt saw how excited Kye was about his new room so we used that as a way to also talk about her big girl bed. Kye got a big boy room, she got a big girl bed. He also helped build the excitement for her and she ADORES him so I think it made a big impact. We also showed her the mermaid sheets and used them as a way to build up the excitement. Hello. MERMAID SHEETS!?!?! I mean it doesn’t get much more awesome than that 🙂
I was actually very nervous about how this transition would go. One reason was that Britt was VERY resistant. I remember Kye being eager about the big kid bed. But Britt would say “no, this is my bed” when we’d talk about it. She also would say that she wasn’t going to be a big sister and that the baby wasn’t going to sleep in the crib. I thought it might be an issue. The other reason I was concerned is that Britt is SO ACTIVE. I was worried about the boundaries with the bed. Would she get out 1,000 times? Would it be a hassle to deal with discipline?
We moved her from the crib on April 30th. My goal was to have it done sometime in April and we did it the very last day of the month 🙂 I wasn’t really prepared to do it that day but Zach said it was a good day so I rolled with it! We had church that night so she stayed up later than usual (usual bedtime is 7:10 but we don’t get home from Wed night bible study until 8:30). He had good logic in thinking that she’d be nice and tired!
A big part of the building up about the bed was also talking about the rules about the bed. The big rule? You don’t get out of the bed until Mommy or Daddy come get you. We still have that rule with Kye (he’s 5!) but have allowed him more freedom by having a lamp on a timer that comes on so he knows when he’s allowed to get out of the bed. He’s also allowed to get out to use the bathroom if needed since he’s upstairs and we don’t want to have to go all the way up there when he calls out to go to the bathroom. Right now with Britt though, she must stay in the bed!!! We had the same rule for Kye when he was downstairs and it worked out great. So we’re sticking with what works for us 🙂 Here’s a video of Britt going over the rules!!!
When Kye moved to his bed it had sides where I wasn’t worried about him falling off. I did the whole Pinterest trick for Britt’s bed with the pool noodles. But y’all those were a JOKE. Maybe they work for some people but they did NOT work for us. I put them under the fitted sheet on her bed but they were annoying and in the way so we didn’t leave them for long.
I was also interested to see how Britt would do going from the limited space of her crib to the BIG full size mattress. Kye went to a twin but a full is much bigger! Also up to this point she had never used a pillow. We went ahead and made it a legit bed. Sheets, comforter, pillows etc. A regret I have with Kye is allowing him to get attached to his special blanket and special pillow. We aren’t doing that with her for sure! She sleeps on a standard pillow with standard sheets 🙂 When we travel we have to get FOUR sleep objects for Kye (pillow, blanket, monkey, Smyrna) for Britt we have to get one (Mimi her lamb). Trust me…it was a lesson well learned after Kye 🙂
I love how TINY she looks in that huge bed!
I was fully prepared to have to get onto her that first night. But nope. She never once got out. So I thought FOR SURE she’d get out at nap the next day. No again. It’s been 6 weeks now since we moved her and she has only ever gotten out of the bed ONCE. I went in and said “what are you doing?” And she started crying and got back in the bed so I didn’t even discipline her for it. She has dropped Mimi and her pillow and will yell out and cry to us to come get it rather than get out of the bed herself. Which may sound like a pain…but I’d rather have the consistent rule and have to go in to get something for her, than to start changing things up or allowing exceptions to the rule when I know she can’t handle them yet.
Views of her sleeping on the monitor!
I have been SO proud (and honestly surprised!) with how amazing Britt has done with this transition! It has been a BREEZE!!!! It’s so much better tucking her in at night and getting to cuddle with her in the bed rather than laying her down in her crib. I love me some bed time snuggles for sure! She is funny about it though because she does NOT like to cuddle for very long. She’ll tell us to leave! Child LOVES her sleep (thank you baby wise! She’s my first from birth Baby Wise baby and it’s LEGIT)! It’s also super cute because she sleeps on one side of the bed every time. She sleeps on the side closest to the door. You’d think she’d sleep in the middle? But she likes that edge! She has yet to fall out of the bed and has yet to jump on or be crazy in it either. She will stand up and turn on the fan since the switch is right above her head. I don’t mind the fan, but the one time she turned on the light we got onto her about it and she hasn’t done it again. She also opened the door one time since she can also reach the doorknob from the bed. Same thing, we told her not to do it again and she hasn’t!
I love having both of my big kids in their special big kid rooms and beds and am ready for our baby to get here to fill the crib again 🙂