The Big Girl Bed

I long thought that I would keep my kids in a crib until they could physically launch themselves from it (which Kendall did at 20 months), or they broke it from being too big. Why mess with a system that allows you to legally cage your kid for the purpose of sleep, right?

Truth is, I expected Leyna to break free of her cell long before now. She’s much more of a climber than Kendall ever was, and has climbed INTO her crib more than a handful of times. But never out.

We started preparing for the big transition when we set up her antique rod iron twin bed that my mom salvaged and refinished for her late last summer. But she kept right on with staying in the crib. Not so much sleeping in it, though. More like cat napping and whining and throwing her paci from it.

The last few months have been pretty brutal when it comes to her sleep patterns. She was constantly flopping around the crib, crying out and waking herself. Several times we had to go in and rescue a frustrated arm or leg from between the slats.

Now, I know if it ain’t broke, one shouldn’t fix it. Which is exactly why I wasn’t all that hesitant to go ahead and boot her from the crib and into her “big girl bed” this weekend. Because that situation was busted. I didn’t think it could get much worse.

And you know what? It didn’t! It actually got better. Granted, it’s only been 2 nights and one nap, so THIS IS NOT ME BRAGGING, UNIVERSE. Just pleasantly surprised. That’s all.

She’s always been great at falling asleep. It’s just the staying asleep she has problems with. She goes right to sleep when we lay her down, just like she did with her crib, and we’ve only woken once each night to help her. To our knowledge, she’s only wound up on the floor (atop all those fluffy throw pillows) once, and she just fell right back to sleep there.

I was most worried about nap, but she slept for 3 hours without ever getting out of bed, and called for us when she woke.

Again, NOT BRAGGING, UNIVERSE. Just, you know, documenting.

Because maybe it will regress once she realizes she can get out of bed… but maybe it won’t. Kendall transitioned to his big boy bed by this age, and it was smooth sailing after the initial adjustment period (which included a nap time where I found him standing on top of a 3 foot bookshelf).

A small part of me is selfishly looking forward to putting that crib away for a bit, and making some room in there for the kids to play. It’s been so crowded with both beds set up. And, of course, I loved picking out new bedding that coordinated with all the pieces I made for her nursery (Pottery Barn Kids Elephant Organic Cotton duvet and sham found on eBay). Tiny elephants! The cute!

So we’ll see how it goes.

If the transition this week isn’t torture, we’re going to pack the crib away and go with it. I’d like to give it a little bit of a break before the next baby anyway.


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  1. Yay Leyna!

    And I just realized that E’s room has a similar theme…not quite PBJ but purples, pinks, orange, chocolate, and she’s somehow got an elephant thing going on…it started even before we knew her name was Ellie. So fun. 🙂

  2. So happy for you! Elena transitioned quickly (at 16 mths) and easily too. We did have a regression when her baby brother was born (18 mths) which resulted in temporarily moving to a pack and play for all naps and bedtime. Her pedi said that is normal.

  3. I can’t let Clint see this. He wants to transition Hannah’s crib to the toddler bed. When we first bought the crib when I was pregnant with Madison we bought the rails to do the toddler bed AND full size bed.

    And Hannah is like Leyna, she falls to sleep like a champ. And at daycare, she naps on the floor… in a room full of children and does so for 2-2.5 hours. So I think she’d be fine but ugh. Hannah is adventurous. While Madison was in a bed by 19 months, she didn’t realize she could GET OUT OF THE BED until well after 2 years old. I think it would take Hannah 8 seconds before she figured out she could get out of bed and that poses a whole new set of problems.

    But here we are, waking up 3-4 times/night minimum to recover pacis and arms out of slats and I’m just wondering if we should make the plunge too and just rip that bandaid off.

  4. I love the antique bed! We also just transitioned our 18 month old to a toddler bed last night. He is an adventurous little boy, so we took everything out of his room except the crib and bed. After 30 mins of struggling he fell asleep and stayed asleep until he fell out, head first. Thank God for low to the floor toddler beds! But then was good the rest of the night, we’re currently attempting nap time. Our poor crib will only get less then 2 months break before another baby enters it! Good job Leyna!

  5. You’re right; go with what works for you at the time and throw away the pre-existing “gonna do it this way”‘s. May the Universe realize you were only telling about current happenings, not saying I Got This And All The Things Together.

    Zaid stayed in his crib until he was three. He never tried to climb out or in. For the first four months after we converted to a toddler bed he’d still call us rather than get out on his own. Now though, he’s into the whole I’ma sneak in on them and just stand there staring like I’m Damien crap. Children of the world: STOP DOING THAT; IT’S CREEPY.

    I love that shade of purple.

  6. She looks so itty bitty in that bed!

    Our son doesn’t like to sleep, period. Which has led us to bed sharing. he’s now three, and I know it’s time for him to transition to his own “big boy” bed, but I do love the snuggles!

  7. Danielle Greb on

    Awesome! We have the opposite problem (stays asleep, but doesn’t like to GO to sleep), so I foresee our baby girl staying in that crib forever, lol. Fine with me. 🙂

  8. I am running to buy a twin bed. Mary, 2 1/2, sleeps horrendously! Maybe this is the change she needs! Fingers crossed for you and that we follow suit over here.

  9. Ugh, I’ve been co-sleeping with BG2 for the longest and seriously need to switch her to her own bed soon. Maybe it’s time to get the girls bunk beds, lol. Props to Leyna for making it in the big girl bed! Yay!

  10. Claire shares a bed with me but I’m so ready for her to start sleeping in her own…this gives me hope. I’ve been night weaning her for over two weeks now (she’s been sick this week, but really, she just refuses to believe I’m not going to nurse her and would rather scream her displeasure at me than go back to sleep…) and as soon as I get her to where she’s actually sleeping and not waking up every couple of hours yelling at me, I’m going to start moving her to her own bed. Maybe. I hope.

  11. Aubri Shauger-Haley on

    My son (now 16) learned early on that baby monitor had more power than it ever should. When he transitioned to his big boy bed he’d grab the monitor and announce he was up, and sometimes “order” a drink. Yeah, my friends always got a kick out of that. “Did he just seriously order a milk from his room”? Yeah- now at 16 he uses his cell phone and texts or calls… too bad my phone drops the call! LOL

  12. Our Emilie transitioned to her toddler bed not too long ago. We’ve had ups and downs. She too loved her crib and would play happily and sleep just fine. She would climb in, but hardly ever out. I finally made the decision to transition because my husband was out of town and I was 6 months pregnant and just could not lift her in and out any more… at first it was smooth sailing, then for some reason she would bawl if we left her in her bed alone. She had to be asleep before we could leave… that lasted maybe a week… Now she almost can’t wait for us to leave because she gets up and brings toys and books to her bed, which is fine, except a couple of times she hasn’t even had room to sleep for all the stuff in her bed!

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