Design

Transitioning Polly to a Big Girl Bed

October 29, 2020  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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This post is sponsored by Walmart 

Polly’s room was the only room that we brought every piece of furniture with us when we moved. The buyer of our last home bought most of the other furnishings but knowing Polly is a creature of habit–we knew she needed to keep room mostly in tact to feel settled here. And so, for the last year or so, she’s been perfectly content in her crib, surrounded by all of the same things…sleeping like the baby I was holding onto. Truthfully, she probably would have stayed in her crib another year, but she physically was getting too tall. When she turned 3 in August, we knew it was time but she was hesitant.


We started slow and just put a twin sized mattress on the floor in her room, in addition to the crib. Spoiler, every night for a month she chose her crib. I knew it was going to take her getting excited about a big girl bed to make the transition. I found this beautiful spindle daybed from Walmart and not only did the classic shape catch my eye, but I knew the three-sided bed might feel a little more familiar to her, transitioning from her crib. In one day, we pulled out her crib and sold it on Marketplace and put her new daybed in its place.


I found some charming little bud sheets that reminded me of her and a sweet scalloped quilt set specific for a daybed–because HOW DO YOU MAKE A DAYBED ANYWAY?! This quilt set made it really easy. The corners are cut to fit perfectly and the back is shorter to make it easy to tuck! And I really fell for the scalloped edge on the front. It’s heirloom quality, but very affordable.

Over the last couple days, we also added vertical paneling to her room–it’s not currently painted, but it is installed and I love the texture and height it added and it’s an element that we are repeating throughout the house–in our closet, bathroom, girls’ office and kitchen so far. Repeating design elements/textures and colors really helps a whole house feel more cohesive.

I haven’t decided on a color for in here yet, but I’m thinking something a little darker so her bed pops even more. I’ve also considered something minty like her new nightstand! Or that greenish color in the rainbow wall hanging that I had on her doorknob and she loved it so much I hung it on her wall so she could tell us all the colors before bed at night.

Psst. Those baskets come in a two pack and I’m going to buy another pair because they are SO GORGEOUS and functional for a bedroom. Books, toys, shoes! They’re even large enough to hold a toddler’s dirty clothes.

We have a long way to go in here. We’d love to do built-ins around her window and paint and add a new area rug and lighting. But, with just a few simple swaps we feel like we’ve come so far. And most importantly, Polly is loving her new big girl bed and we’re loving the confidence we can see shining through her.

How was the transition out of a crib for you? Since this is our last baby, I wasn’t in a rush and I probably miss the crib more than Polly now. Just because it marks the end of a very squishy, sweet, tender time in our lives of having a baby in the house. After a decade, this is the first time we don’t own a crib. It’s sad and happy at the same time and mostly I’m just really grateful we got to experience it and share so much with all of you.

Sources:

Spindle Daybed
Floral Sheet Set
Scalloped Quilt Set
Velvet Pillow
Cloud Pillow
Mint Pedestal Nightstand
Rattan Baskets
Rainbow Wall Hanging

 

What do you think?

  1. Kristen Eff says:

    My 5 yr old is still using a foam bumper because she’s such a mobile sleeper. Sometimes she ends up at the foot of the bed. It also makes her feel snug and safe. We went from crib to toddler bed with side rails, to full size bed. Still working on the night time potty training. She’s just not interested yet.

  2. mdtimes2 says:

    Please source your vertical paneling. How was the installing process?

  3. Mary says:

    One great tip I got is to take foam pool noodles and put one on each side of the mattress (one for your daybed) placed under the fitted sheet on the sides of the bed to create a small bumper that resists falls but small enough to crawl over.

  4. Angela says:

    It’s beautiful! With our daughter we switched to a big girl bed a few months before she turned two because we wanted the crib for her brother on the way. What a mistake! She wasn’t ready and it took like two years before she would reliably go to sleep on her own. We kept our son in his crib until he was three and a half (he would have kept it longer but he was getting too big) and the transition was so smooth! If I could rewind I would definitely just spring for or borrow a second crib instead of transitioning our daughter so soon. Now my son seems like he’s getting too long for his full size bed so I totally get the ???? part!

  5. Sue-Ann Rowley says:

    We took our Sophie to Ikea and let her pick her big girl bed….it wasn’t my first choice, but she absolutely loved it and took to it immediately.

  6. Cait says:

    I love how you take things slow when designing and decorating ???? it reminds me of Myquillyn Smith’s philosophy of it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

    Our 3 year old transitioned to a big boy bed when his baby brother was born this past April and he did very well! I think it’s partially because he shares a room with his big brother who is 5 and we got them new fun comfy bedding. Our only challenge has been in the last month he keeps getting our of bed right after we put him down to come ask us questions. He doesn’t do it every night but it is pretty frustrating when it goes on for an hour!

  7. Robyn says:

    I had a lot of luck using a bed rail temporarily to help the transition process. It gives the bed a four side feeling, yet they can get in and out independently. I also have ridiculously tall children so they are sort of forced into full sized beds earlier than some. The rail I used flipped up and down- then I started leaving it down for nap then slowly stopped putting it up at night until they had transitioned fully.

  8. Stephanie says:

    We have a similar daybed for my daughter (5yo) and she struggled at first. We added a body pillow to create a “4th wall” at night. During the day when the bed is made, we use the body along the back of the daybed like a couch cushion. Good luck!

  9. Kate F. says:

    We just got rid of the crib after a decade, too. With our first two kids, they slept in the crib as a toddler bed until they were about 4, but at 3 our youngest ended up sleeping in a twin bed with a little inflatable when we rented a house in Maine for pet of the summer, and when we came back we took the crib out the day we got home so she wouldn’t get ideas about going back to it! (She’s a creature of habit, too.) She went right to the bottom bunk of the bunk bed she shares with her sister, and when the inflatable bed rail died after a couple weeks, we took that away and she doesn’t even have a rail anymore! (If Polly does seem a little nervous still, a rail might make her feel cozier in that big bed!)

    I felt a little pang as I gave the crib away, but mostly relief at moving towards the freedom that comes with the growth from 3 to 4. Out of diapers, out of a crib, barely using the stroller…I love it!

  10. Linda says:

    Oh sweet little Polly! With a sweet room to match. I love the mint green of her little table… the walls would be so pretty in that !
    Glad she’s transitioning well. I love her spirit!

  11. Gemma says:

    We added a daybed to our boy’s room when he turned 2 and did books and snuggles there then went to bed in the cot. One day I suggested he tried sleeping in the big bed and he agreed. He was about 2y 2m. I totally agree daybeds are brilliant for transitioning – the sides are so similar to what they know. We have a guard on the open side that goes up at night but folds down for the day and can be disguised by the coverlet. He only realised he could get out himself a couple of weeks ago (6 months later)!

  12. Gemma says:

    We added a daybed to our boy’s room when he turned 2 and did books and snuggles there then went to bed in the cot. One day I suggested he tried sleeping in the big bed and he agreed. He was about 2y 2m. We continued naps in the cot for a few weeks and then removed the cot altogether. I totally agree daybeds are brilliant for transitioning – the sides are so similar to what they know. We have a guard on the open side that goes up at night but folds down for the day and can be disguised by the coverlet. He only realised he could get out himself a couple of weeks ago (6 months later)!

  13. Such a beautiful space to make some amazing memories! We actually skipped the crib and went straight to a floor bed! It’s been an amazing experience, but that means I don’t have any advice. It’s been so sweet to follow along with all your babies, end of an incredible era but the start of a new one for you guy. Much love.

  14. Sarah says:

    Thank you for the beautiful inspiration! We are about to transition our three year old too. We luckily were able to start by converting the crib into a toddler bed, but since she’s so tall we need to move her to a larger bed. I’m finding it difficult to create an age appropriate space for her while also making it something she can grow into a little bit. I’m so glad Polly likes her new bed!

  15. Kate says:

    This is so adorable! However, I’m pretty sure that wall hanging is a direct rip-off of Mandi Smethells’ work. You can see her Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/mandismoothhills/ and her Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mandismethells. It seems to happen more and more often that large corporations replicate artists’ work in developing countries and then sell it at a much, much lower cost. I’m all for the democratization of art, but I also think the artist should get credit/give permission.

  16. Lani says:

    Looks lovely! Where is the little white cat (lamp or toy, I assume) from? I’ve been looking for something like that for my son.

  17. Megan says:

    My baby (4th child) just turned 4. Still in her crib. She gets in and out, no big deal. She’s my most independent so I’m not worried. We have a bed an everything. We tried it for a bit and she did fine. BUT her nap disappeared. Both she and I need her nap time still. So she’ll probably be in it til she goes to kindergarten ???? I love Pollys room, my girl would love that rainbow!

  18. Colette says:

    My son is 4 and he’s in his his crib converted to toddler bed. I just told my husband last night that I think it’s time for a twin bed because he’s getting to big. I love the idea of the daybed!

  19. Hannah says:

    So sweet! I live seeing walmart decor being used in stylish homes!
    We have 3 1/2 yo twin boys, who we moved into their big boys twin beds a full year ago. It felt a little early, but we had baby #3 on the way, and I refused to be a 3 crib family! It helped a ton that one of them already had decided on his own to start sleeping in the twin bed that we had in the room (for lounging). They transitioned miraculously easily, but it was a little teary for me. :-( Moving our 3rd child out of his crib eventually will probably not be as rushed, but he also seems to have a mind of his own, so who really knows :-)

  20. Maya says:

    We moved our twins to toddler beds when they potty trained at 2 1/4 years old. It. Was. ROUGH. They share a room and were just soooooo excited to be able to get out of bed anytime they wanted. They destroyed the room at nap and bedtime, and naps basically went out the window for a while. We moved into a new house a year later and finally decided to set up their separate rooms because it was they were getting into the habit of playing together at bedtime again instead of sleeping! So they have their own rooms, with real twin beds, and their own styles (one soft lavender/rainbow, one navy/lion). Getting to choose their colors and themes softened the blow of being separated and moving into big kid beds. Now everyone is back to normal bedtimes with no antics, and we are ALL happy about that!

  21. Brandi says:

    I have a 6 month old and this makes me teary-eyed just thinking of phasing her into a big girl bed in… 10 years or so haha. Thanks for sharing your family with us!

  22. Carrie says:

    We are on the verge of transitioning as well…this is so helpful! Did you have to put anything on the open side of the bed to help her learn where the edge was where sleeping?

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