Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big Girl Bed???????????

I've mentioned before that my life lives along an academic calendar.  Therefore, this time of year (i.e. the last week of classes and finals week) I tend do (have to!) focus more on work, classes, preparation.  Then I have a few weeks off to enjoy the holidays with friends and family, before work becomes busy again (preparing for the start of the next semester).

I didn't realize how much I planned around this calendar, until my little one came along.  Sure, I've always said that I'll clean out that closet over fall break, or I'll get the guest room organized when I'm off for the summer.  And then I rarely do those things when I plan to.

But I'm finding that it works, especially for issues with my little one that involve (a) my undivided [relaxed] attention, and (b) sleep.  Our sleep training wasn't going well at all, so I decided I wouldn't worry about it until I was "off".  Then if a night was bad, I could nap in the afternoon.  Once I could de-stress from a particularly busy semester, I'm sure she sensed that I was more relaxed overall.  Within a couple of weeks, she was sleeping in her bed and sleeping through the night, MUCH earlier than my little "plan" had predicted.

Next summer's project will be potty training.  I think that will go much better (a) when she's home most of the time, (b) when I or my mom are with her alot of the time, (c) when it's warm and I can have her naked if that's part of our plan, etc.  Again, I'll be more relaxed, able to focus on her, spend time with her, etc.

The next milestone I've been considering?  The big girl bed.  My wee one still sleeps in a crib.  Her crib at my house is huge, so there is still plenty of room for her as she gets taller.  (Her crib at Nan's is too small, but we haven't spent the night there in a while, so it's not a pressing issue.)  I've heard it's okay to keep them in their crib as long as they want.  I've heard to only move them out of their crib if they start climbing.  I've heard the older they are when you transition, the harder it is for them.  I've also heard that if you transition them when they're old enough to understand, you have better luck with them staying in bed.  I'm not sure what to make of the conflicting advice on when to move to a toddler bed.  And OF COURSE I forgot to ask her doctor.

Here's what's percolating in the brain:
1.  If I'm going to do it "when I'm off" that either means starting Dec 15th, or starting May 15th.  She'll be two years old at the beginning of April.  Is it okay to transition her after her birthday?  Should it coincide with her birthday?  Some mommy bloggers that I follow, whose girls are around the same age as C, transitioned months ago to their big toddler bed.

2.  Her crib is one that is supposed to become a toddler bed.  However, I bought it used, so I don't have the cross-piece that is needed to make it into a toddler bed.  Her crib has been recalled (because it's a drop side that could come loose, and I'm intelligent enough to check it periodically and not DUCT TAPE it back together if it comes apart).  So I don't even know if I call the company if I can get (i.e. BUY) a new side for it to become a toddler bed.  If I can't, that makes the decision for me, because I can't afford a decent (non-recalled) toddler bed with everything else on my Christmas List.

3.  When you transition them to the toddler bed, you're supposed to make a big deal out of it, supposed to make it into a huge positive step, take them shopping for new bedding, etc.  If I take her shopping for new bedding, I doubt she'll understand what we're doing.  If I give her a choice, I'll end up with some pink Dora crap that will make me shudder every time I walk into her room.  So I'm pondering that piece of it as well.

4.  She's not really climbing out of the crib.  If I'm standing next to the crib and the drop-side is down, she has put her foot up on top of it.  I told her we don't put our feet up there, and she put it down.  So that's not giving any sense of urgency to the matter.  The mattress is in the lowest position, and the side comes up to her armpits, so if she hits a growth spurt we're in trouble.

5.  I've heard there's alot of sleep disruption when you transition them to a different bed.  Getting up, not sleeping well, etc.  I'm TOTALLY not looking forward to that.  My parents had a rule that I could only get up three times.  If she starts getting up three times before finally going to sleep, I'll go insane. 

So, these are all the thoughts I'm considering as the subject of "am I doing the Big Girl Bed thing now or in May?" floats through my head on occasion.  I'm thinking May.  I hope I don't get stuck doing it mid-semester.  That could be bad.


Candace said...

I keep debating about when I should put Braxten in his own room! I am so nervous to do that :S He sleeps perfectly through the night.. but its more for my sake I like having him near me! Grr I hate making so many decisions ha good luck

Laraf123 said...

Are you near an Ikea? For my son, I actually transitioned him from his dropside (second hand) crib to an inexpensive but solid Ikea crib. There were only two positions for the mattress--the lowest being only a few inches above the floor. It converted to a toddler bed, but first I just used it as a crib (maybe 3 months). Then I took the fourth side off. Wa-La! Easy transition!

Jellybean Mama said...

Every single mother I've talked has said wait as long as you can. Married ones, too (ba dum bum). I wanted to do the bed switch prior to starting to potty training (in case she was going to start waking up and peeing, because I didn't realize that's not how some kids operate), so that's how I worked it into our timeline.
It sounds like you're fine to wait. Some kids get up, some kids don't. Some kids have bed trauma, some don't. You just never know. I did not make a big deal with sheets etc. (have @#$% Dora curtains but plain pink sheets/comforter) but did make a big deal talking up the 'big kid bed'.
Good luck deciding.

Serifm said...

I have two friends with four year olds still in their cribs. The moms say it's the only way they ever get to sleep in peace and not worry their kids have taken off in the middle of the night, to play in the backyard.

Sarah said...

Maybe we just rushed into it, but honestly Henry is a TERRIBLE sleeper, and we thought it may help. So far he has really taken to it. We had to buy the toddler bed rail, but I know they have generic ones at walmart you can get and use until she is ready to go without. For now we put a chaise right beside his bed that we lay on as he falls asleep. This blocks the opening so he can't just fall out of bed, but he can climb out if he wants. THe first night we found him sleeping on the chaise but last night he stayed in bed the entire time.

Good luck!