Oh my goodness – life was much easier before this event happened. This transition has been how should I put it… Stressful…. Or chaotic… Or ridiculous… Or well just plain Interesting. I can say it has definitely been hard on me for several reasons of which I will share soon. But I think also it is a big adjustment for my, I don’t take that lightly or try and overlook it. My 2 year old son has spent nearly every night of his life in the same crib… A safe place, his place, his little haven. He loved his crib! When it was nap time or bed time, he would gather a few of his favorite items and run down the hall to his room with glee where he would do his thing… Look at some books, drive a little car around his crib rails, feel the ribbons on his blanket and finally drift to sweet sweet sleep using his best friend as a pillow. This routine was easy for me because I could blissfully tuck him in… kiss his sweet chubby cheeks and leave him until morning… In his safe place – that little haven of his that he loved. Quite a while ago he did not want me to rock him anymore so his bedtime routine was pretty simple…
After putting him in his crib and making sure he had what he needed, I would walk out, shut the door and be thankful for another day with him and be off to do my dishes and pick up all his toys and cars off the floor. By the time I was ready for bed, I could peek at him and see him resting peacefully…. Which was like me taking a sleeping pill. When my little ones are resting for the night is when I rest.
About a month ago was our first day with his big boy bed… I somewhat eased him into it because I was not sure how he would react to it. They say it can be terrifying for toddlers or even cause a lot of anxiety or something but every kid is different. After really “talking it up” for a few weeks I first introduced it to him one evening. I simply brought it out into his room. We read books on it, sat on it, piled pillows and animals on it etc. And of course talked all about it. The next day I replaced the location of his crib with his new bed and left the crib in his room still. I thought – let’s do this thing and have him take his nap in his “big boy bed” – (and if we have a major issue I have a back up) I mean… I’ve been really talking it up to him for the past month or so and he has become super excited about it so this should be seamless. Right?
Well come to find out I had spent the last month pumping myself up and trying to get psyched for the fact that my “baby” (he is not a baby, he is 2 but should still be a baby because time flies, ok?) is about to go through a huge milestone. Milestones for mommy’s are a big deal and this one is not ready for him to be growing up. I am that mom that will probably cry the whole way to school when I drop him off when that day comes.
I realized that the weeks that I was really talking up his big boy bed to him was really getting myself ready. Ready for the milestone…. NOT ready for what on earth to do with a toddler with no defined boundaries in an entirely new environment. Same environment, totally different “cage” I guess. The kind of cage that is not a cage. It is like going to the petting zoo and petting the goats who climb all over everything and jump around and go crazy for 25 cents worth of pelets.
So when it came time for him to sleep on his bed for his first nap, I had him get on his bed and I read him a book… Made sure he had his little items – car, dog, blanket and then said something similar to what I always say…
“OK honey, go to sleep I will see you in a couple hours. Rest well sweetheart. I love you! Night- Night. ”
This really ended up actually meaning… see you every 30 Seconds for the next 3 couple hours because this whole situation has completely derailed. Ultimate mom fail on each and every level of mom fail. Have you ever felt totally and completely defeated?
Why can’t you just stay in your bed, or at least your room and just close your eyes? It is good for you! Don’t you understand that? And why do you need the light on? Is this really the time to decide that your dresser looks like a stair-way? I don’t care what color the neighbors house is right now because now we have to buy new blinds!
Needless to say, it has been quite an adjustment. We only had a couple “rough” adjustment days before turning a major corner. Once he learned his new boundaries and rules he did much better… We all did. I say we but mostly I did better. He loved it. I on the other hand felt totally and completely defeated and exhausted. I could not go to bed until he did and sometimes it would take hours for him to fall asleep. I may have done things a little slower than others but I still wanted him to like going to bed. So the first rule was stay in your room… This took a couple days to learn, then the other rules came immediately after like keeping his light off at bedtime and not kicking the wall. The one we are still working on occasionally is to stay in bed. 🙂 He likes to pretend he is in a tent by sneaking to his closet.
Why did you transition him you ask? He is only 2! Yes! Only 2, and we did not need his crib for another baby, his crib is even the fancy kind you can use “forever” – the whole “crib to college” stuff. This probably works great if you have a normal size child. My little man simply outgrew it. He has been above the 95th percentile since the day he was born.
There have been a handful of times he has chosen to sleep on the floor. Nothing accidental it appears because his animals and pillows and blankets are strategically placed around him. The first 2 nights in his big boy bed he fell asleep on the floor but we moved him to his bed both times and he did great! But at about 4:00 AM he decided to do a check around the house, luckily my husband heard him get up and tucked him back in bed! One naptime all was quiet after about 30 minutes… I heard no humming, talking or anything so I crept into his room to find this…
A bed, but no boy in sight…
until I looked in his closet…
But nowadays this falling asleep on the floor business is rare… He knows he is not supposed to be out of his bed playing during nap time and knows I come in and have him get back in bed but the times he has fallen asleep on the floor have seemed very strategic and intentional. His animals and things are usually placed just so… No accidently falling asleep for this guy.
I am so proud of my little man for making this large transition so well. I know, it may not seem to have gone well but from my measurements we have done well. He is after all only 2. He sleeps so much better now!
Can you believe my husband asked if we could cut my little ones hair in the midst of this huge milestone? Just a little trim!? NO WAY! The Day after introducing the toddler bed to my big one? He thought it would be a good time. I told him if we cut his hair today I may not live to see tomorrow. I can only handle so much at one time and 2 milestones within 12 hours of eachother?