I transitioned my 18M old from his crib to a bed a few weeks ago and I have to say that was one of the hardest things I’ve done as a parent so far. I’m sure there will be many harder things later on like potty training (I’m not too excited for that though), but I’m so glad that he is finally get used to his new bed. First of all, we needed to be sure he was ready to transition. The reason why we decided to move him to a toddler bed is because he was beginning to try climbing out of his crib and the lowest setting for his crib didn’t seem so low anymore for him. Sleeping in the crib became unsafe. We are also expecting another baby in a couple months so we thought there was no better time to switch him to a bed.
1, Prep for before the Transition.
We moved the crib out from his bedroom and bought a twin size mattress and a bed frame for him. We also bought new footie sleeper that allows him to walk better because we know that he will likely jump out of his bed and walk around his room. He is so attached to his old sleeping sack so we let him keep it in his new bed like a comfort blanket.
For the first few weeks, I recommend removing everything distracting in your kid’s room. We removed the book shelf and toys out of Finn’s room because we know that he is going to play with them instead of sleeping.
We bought a toddler bed rail bumper guard to prevent him from rolling off the bed (We only bought one, and just used our body pillow for the shorter side) This really helps him feel more secure but he still can get down and get up to bed.
2. Progress leading to Finally Sleeping in Bed.
Finn has always slept in his own room since he was 3 weeks old, so we thought that the transition wouldn’t be as hard, but we were wrong! He struggled a lot for the first 5 days.
The first night, we did the same routine. After a bath he plays a little, we brush his teeth, read him a book then put him to bed at 7pm. He cried a lot and got out of the bed many times. He kept sitting in a corner, which made my heart ache so much looking him through the monitor, but I knew that we had to do this. A lot of times we had to go in to put him back into his bed and comforted him. He took advantage of us staying with him for a few mins to comfort him and he screamed even more and just wanted us to hold him and play with him instead. At that point we knew that it wouldn’t help if we kept doing that, so every 15-20 mins we would go in to his room and put him back on the bed and just left the room. We did that probably 20-30 times until he finally fell asleep (it took him 2.5 hours to fall asleep). He slept until 4am and woke up crying and screaming, and of course he got off his bed and sat in the corner of the room near the door. We continued to go in to his room and put him back. He fell asleep again and slept til 6:30am.
The second night got a little better. He cried for 30 mins then fell asleep on the floor near the door. We had to go in and put him on his bed. He woke up at 4:30am and cried then fell back to sleep again til 6:30am.
The third and forth night were worse than the first 2 nights. He screamed and cried even more. It took him forever to fall asleep. He woke up crying every 3 hours and he kept sitting in the corner of the room nearest to the front door. As a mother, my heart hurts so much seeing him like that. I felt like I abandoned him every time I left his room. I was so tempted to put the crib back in his room but I kew that the crib is no longer a safe place for him to sleep in so we just pressed on.
The 5th night is when things started to get much better. He only complained when we first left the room but didn’t try to get off his bed. He played on his bed for about 10 mins then fell asleep until 6:30am in the morning. When he woke up he got off from his bed and played with his stuffed animals until 8am.
Let’s talk about nap time. Before, he used to take naps around 11am, but the first 3 days of the transition when we tried to put him to nap at that time, he wouldn’t take a nap at all, which made him so fussy during the day. So we decided to change his nap time to to 12:30pm after his lunch time. This slight adjustment helped him take naps on his bed.
Now after almost 2 weeks since the transition, he gets excited to sleep on his bed. He doesn’t cry when we leave the room. We are so glad that we did this, and are so proud of him. Again, only transition them when they are ready and when you are ready. I chose to let him cry it out on some days but each child is different. Do whatever you feel is best for your child and you. Let me know if you have any questions.
Links for the products/items in Finn’s bedroom
Twin mattress: Use this link to get $250 off lull.com/sky
Linen Bedding: https://glnk.io/qvw6/skyaprille