Our youngest, Polly is 2, almost 3 (in August) and she’s still in a crib. But not just in a crib. Last year she tried to climb out of her crib and we got this crib tent that she absolutely loves and even asks “mom! zip me!” every night, but I kind of feel like we are even deeper into this crib thing when we should be going the opposite direction.
She’s getting very tall, very fast and I know we are going to have to make the transition soon, but I’m nervous she’ll stop napping and sleeping 13 hours a night! One thing that amazes me daily is how easily I forget how to do this. How I did this twice before. (How?!) With every milestone, it’s almost like experiencing it for the first time. Maybe it’s that our girls are each 4 years apart, or I just have a bad memory. But I also know that every child is different and every situation is different, so we thought today it would be fun to chat with 9 moms who are going through (or who have gone through) the crib to bed transition and have them share their experience. I’m taking notes and we’d love for you to weigh in with your experience in the comments!
1. Kim from Yellow Brick Home – THE CONVERTIBLE CRIB
After going into Lucy’s room to get her up from a nap and finding her playing with toys (and not in the crib!), we knew she was ready for the big move. Lucy has just turned 2 when we made the transition, and it could not have gone better. We warmed her up to the idea for a couple of days before putting the toddler rail on her bed, and she woke up from her first night saying, I love it!, in that sweet raspy way that ‘big girls’ talk. In fact, she enjoys sleeping in her big kid bed so much, that she no longer tries to get out of bed in the mornings. She lays there until we come and get her! Lucy’s room is very, very small, so once we feel more comfortable without a rail, we’ll transition her to a twin bed. Maybe this will happen within a year? Honestly, we look to her and follow her lead when it comes to these leaps, as we want her to feel comfortable and motivated by the changes.
2. Tiffany from Pretty Real Blog – No Rush!
We transitioned our kids as late as humanly possible. Ha. My children slept very well and I did not want to disturb that! It was around 3 years old for each of them. For my girls, we transitioned them into a toddler bed. They shared a very small room and other than bunk beds, it was the only set up that would work. I loved that I could still use a crib mattress and that they were close to the floor and protected by the side rails. Plus have you ever seen a shared room with 2 toddler beds? It’s pretty cute! For my son, I used a regular bed, pushed against the wall for extra security. I fought using a side rail (speaking of cute- they aren’t!) but after he fell out (#oops), I bought one.
My first tip is to make sure to have all the basics of kids’ bedtime covered before transitioning to sharing- blackout curtains, a nightlight, and a white noise machine (this is even helpful with older children who have trouble calming their minds) are all helpful in our home. I also suggest having little or few toys in the room. The fewer distractions, the better right?
Whether sharing a room is a necessity or because we want our kids to have the magical experience of falling asleep next to one another each night, it will be an adjustment for all. If it’s the latter, my advice is to wait until they are old enough to handle it, especially if you have a good sleeper paired with one who’s up at the crack of dawn [raises hand]. In that vein, a clock is a must-have to set limits on not only her wake time but when she is allowed to wake her sibling.
Another tip? Have a backup plan. For instance, if we’ve had consecutive nights of late-night talking (followed by hard-to-wake mornings!), we separate our girls for a few nights to re-set. It works like a charm. Lastly, don’t be married to the idea of sharing. It may work for years; it may work for months- you can always shift your plans, even temporarily! My daughters are 8 and 10 and I can already see that my oldest will need her space, soon. We can cross that bridge when we come to it. At the end of the day, my best tip is to remember that they are only little once, for a short time, but the memories they make and the bond they forge while sharing a room will last a lifetime. ♥
I think it’s assumed that once mom gets pregnant with baby #2, it’s time for baby #1 to transition to a bed. But that’s not always the case! If you need to hear it, it’s ok to have multiple cribs in your home! My oldest was 2 when my second was born- so many friends assumed I’d transition her to a toddler bed but I knew she wasn’t ready. I bought another crib and let my oldest remain peacefully in her crib for another year 1/2. So much was about to change for our little family- that one constant felt like some security for all of us.
3. Molly from Almost Makes Perfect– THE WAITING GAME
Arlo turns 3 in june (*or this month) so obviously it’s on my mind but i’ve always been one of those if it ain’t broke type of moms instead of the moms who are obsessed with milestones (that also might just make me lazy lol). Since he still sleeps so well in his crib, I’ve just kept him in it since I’ve heard horror stories about them suddenly getting out of bed all night once they’re “free”. I know I’m going to have to transition him eventually but I’m totally dreading it hahaha.
I am leaning towards a daybed because I had one as a kid and I loved how it felt like a big cozy sofa. He loves all his stuffies so he could set them up on there and he loooves to cuddle with us so it seems like the best type for that versus those tiny little toddler beds. I am thinking a rattan one! I was also considering a bunk bed so my dad can come have slumber parties with him since he’ll be out of a guest room if we decided to have another baby, but he’s probably too little for that–arlo, not my dad.
4. Anna from In Honor of Design- BUNK BUDDIES
For most of them we first transitioned to a small trundle bed that can slide under a bunk bed. It was a great way to see if they could sleep in their bed without falling out. Since it is so low to the ground, and usually on a rug or carpet it is a safe landing if they do. It also is a good solution for room sharing since it is a space saver. My daughter Azelie is the 5th child though, and she was just born ready for life;) She transitioned to the lower bunk bed straight from her crib because she wanted to be just like her big sister. She was motivated to do everything right so she could stay in that big girl bed at 2 yrs old, and she did! It is so important not to worry about different milestones taking longer for some children than others. Kids are all so wonderfully different, and trusting your gut as the parent to know when they are ready is the key!
5. Ashly from Alice on Sunday – Every Child is Different
I would have loved to transition the kids from cribs into their “forever” beds. I don’t believe in cycling out furniture for the hell of it so, even though they have their separate rooms now, I plan to keep them in their twin beds until they get too big and then transition them again.
6. Jessica from Garvin and CO– OK to Wake
Our oldest two were two years old when we transitioned them and both of them did great right away, they always stayed in their beds! My youngest was three, and got out of her bed to come to ours every single night, in fact, she still does and she is almost five now. Each of them went from cribs to twin beds, I think it really helped them feel like they were big kid status. A twin bed is also something that will last them for years, rather than a convertible crib or a toddler bed. Our girls have always shared a room & we love it for so many reasons! Obviously they feel safer when they are in there together, but also it makes traveling so much easier since they’re already used to sleeping together. Yes they keep each other awake chatting & giggling before bed often, but that’s what childhood is all about!
7. Bri from @burtsbrisplease – Transition Before it’s Too Late
Thinking back to Amos, what worked the best was keeping as much the same as we could. Nothing changed about his bedtime routine or life in general except the place he slept. They’re little creatures of habit and I think keeping as much the same as you can is a kindness for them! We’ve also had a lot of success with them sharing a room, which we started right when Amos was out of his crib. It was great to have everything modeled by his older brother right beside him and everyone’s bedtime could happen all at once, all together. We love it so much, in fact, that Jude will be heading into the same room soon to share with his brothers. 3 peas in a pod!
8. Andi from @andiandreastudio – Finding the Sleep Cure
Within a few months, we felt like he was struggling to get a good night’s sleep in general. He would wake up a couple times during the night and was getting up around 6:00am, instead of 7:00. When he would nap at my sister’s house, he seemed to have the best naps of his life in a queen sized bed. She would have to wake him up when he was going on a 3 hour slumber. David is so tall he’s commonly mistaken for a four year old. We knew he just needed more space to snooze. Because of the size of his little room, we upgraded to a twin and there has been little to no transition going from a toddler to a twin bed. The main differences are, the height off the ground, and no half rail on the side. I especially love that I now FIT in a bed with him for story time! With his toddler bed, he didn’t have “bedding” per se. He had a two-sided comfortable that just went on top of his fitted sheet. Now that he has a sheet, quilt, and extra blanket, I think the added weight also helps him sleep better. We’re happy to report he’s back to sleeping 12 hours a night!