Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Transitioning to the Toddler Bed

A few weeks before his second birthday, JD started climbing out of his bed with incredible ease.  He wouldn't even stay in it 2.5 seconds, so we started putting him to sleep on the bean bag in his room.  My fears about putting him in a toddler bed started coming true.  He fought naps & going to sleep at night, walked out of his room a kazillion times after we put him in there, and surprised us in our bed at 3am.

Our temporary solution was to lie next to him until he fell asleep, and I thank Hubby for spending a lot of time doing that during those first couple weeks (although he did get some naps out of it himself).  On nights that Hubby worked late, it was a circus trying to get both O and JD to sleep!

Right away, Hubby suggested that we put a door knob lock on the inside of his door so he couldn't open it, but I was really hesitant.  I didn't want him to be banging the door down screaming when he realized he was trapped, and I didn't want him to feel like going to bed at night was some kind of punishment.  But, after realizing that it wasn't safe for him to have free reign of the house while we slept, I agreed that it needed to happen.  He freaked out the first couple times, but over time he has stopped trying to open the door and just calls for us to come get him.

He received awesome new monster bedding for his birthday (custom ordered from Trouser), and we converted his crib to a toddler bed.

Adorable, right?!  And you can't see it in the picture, but the blanket is soooooooo soft!

We made a HUGE deal about the big boy bed, and tucked him in for a nap with high hopes.

And when I checked on him, he was back on the bean bag.
 This went on for a few days.  He would get out of bed at some point during the nap/night and fall asleep on the bean bag.  While we were happy that he was sleeping, I really wanted to get him sleeping in the bed, so we took the bean bag away.

This is what we found the next morning:

He built a nest out of pillow pets and story book pillows.  Gotta give the guy some credit for that!
So once we took those things away, he did start staying in the bed.  We'd sneak in to see him like this:

upside down
 and this:
feet hanging off

Over the past few days, he has started snuggling up under the blankets and putting his head on the pillow.  He's really getting it!  He loves reading books in bed, and he always asks me and hubby to "nap" next to him. 

We LOVE seeing this on the monitor.

And the reading in bed melts my heart.

A major bonus to the toddler bed is the morning!  Now when he wakes up, he plays for a while before he calls for us to get him. It's even better when O plays in the exersaucer next to our bed, and I get a bit more sleep! 

The only small issue now is that JD is still up a long time after bedtime playing in his room.  I watch him on the monitor, and it's hilarious to see him get up, get a book or a toy, play for a bit, and then snuggle up under the blankets and close his eyes, and then the cycle starts again.  

As I write this, I'm seeing versions of this on the monitor:

jumping on the bed
 And now, almost 2 hours after bedtime, he seems to be down for the count.

So do I need to worry about the playing after bedtime?  Is there anything I can even do about it without staying with him until he falls asleep?  What did you do to transition your toddler to a bed?

PS- We've put the bean bag and pillows back, and he is still choosing the bed  :)


  1. I think the playing after bedtime is totally normal, or either my kids are abnormal. As we speak mine are in their room, reading books, an hour and a half after they were put to bed. I think as long as he is getting the recommended amount of sleep for his age (through naps/bedtime) you are fine. Plus? If he is staying in his room instead of constantly coming out and asking for things or having problems? You're ahead of the game. :)

  2. oh man, i am already nervous for this stage with parker. but the pictures of JD sleeping & nesting & cuddling up to his bean bag & pillow pets are the cutest things EVER.


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