On Thanksgiving night last year we decided to make the leap and put our two-year-old into a “big kid” bed. It was honestly one of the best decisions we have ever made. Our daughter went from having trouble sleeping every night to sleeping through the night. Moving our daughter to a big bed has been such a good experience that I wanted to share the things that we did that made it so wonderful!
Toddler Proof The Room– Make sure the room is safe for your little one if they get up and wander the room. For us this meant outlet covers and making sure that older sister picks up smalls toys before bed and naps.
Skip the toddler bed– With our older daughter we transitioned her from a crib to a toddler bed and then eventually a twin. With our younger daughter we went straight from the crib to a twin mattress. It was amazing.
Her mattress is right on the floor so we don’t have to worry about her falling off and the best part? We often climb into bed with her to read stories or snuggle. Since our toddler has always been a rough sleeper I assumed that going to a big bed would make it worse but it actually helped most of our problems. If she wakes up scared in the middle of the night, instead of pulling her into our bed, we climb into her bed. We snuggle until she is a sleep and then slip out. If it is particularly bad night, I will just stay in her bed with her and since it is a twin instead of a toddler bed we actually both get a pretty good night sleep.
We were sent this Juniper mattress from Brentwood Home for our daughter and I really think making sure she had an excellent mattress has helped her sleep better. We picked this one because it is made with organic cotton and free of toxic flame retardants. It has a gel memory foam layer to help cradle her when she sleeps. Choosing a good mattress has helped make this transition easier. I have a awesome Brentwood Home Coupon for Housewife Eclectic readers, use the code: OURHOME to get 10% off.
Make it fun – I wanted my daughter to be excited to go to sleep in her new bed for the first time, so we bought her Finding Dory sheets and decked out the bed with her favorite fish friends. She was so excited to climb in bed the first time she could hardly stand it.
Keep the same routine while adding big kid bed friendly elements– We didn’t want to shake our daughter’s entire world with her new bed, so we kept her bedtime routine almost completely the same. We did change a couple of things like now we read bedtime stories in her new bed instead of on the couch.
Put both beds in the room for a couple of nights– We left the crib up for a few days after we introduced the new twin bed into our daughter’s room. We let her make the decision that she wanted to sleep in the new bed instead of the crib and I think it really helped that it was up to her.
Encourage nap time– One of my biggest fears about switching our daughter to a twin bed was that it meant nap time was over. She definitely isn’t ready to give up her nap and neither am I. For nap time every day I would tuck her into bed and put on a CD of lullabies. I usually tell her she doesn’t necessarily need to sleep but she needs to lay down and rest while the music plays. She falls asleep every time.
Don’t give in– The first couple of nights and nap times might be a little bit of a battle. If you child gets of a bed, immediately walk them back and tuck them in again. The first couple of nights is the time to set a good example of how nights need to go, the first night you might have to tuck them in 20 times, but you are setting a precedent for future nights so keep at it. I have a video monitor in the room so I can check in on her even if she is having a hard time falling asleep.
Try a night light– a night light might help your child sleep easier or it might be something that lets them see enough to play instead of sleep. Try it both ways and see what works for your kids. We have a pink lava lamp in our girls room because the soft pink light doesn’t keep them up.
Make a big deal of successes– The first couple of nights that my daughter stayed in bed and slept we told her over and over again in the morning how proud we were that she was such a big girl! It made her excited to do it again.
I have been so happy with how the transition has gone in our family. What have you tried that worked?