The one thing I wish I’d known about transitioning from crib to bed

The crib is gone.

Well, it’s not really gone. It just got handed down to the new baby in our house. But as far as Russell is concerned, it’s a thing of the past.

Now, he’s got a big boy bed.

The decision to transfer my little boy from a crib to a toddler bed didn’t come easy. In fact, I was hoping to push it as long as I could. A new bed for Christmas? Santa likes!

A few months ago, I asked the pediatrician how long I could put off the crib-to-bed transition. Her response was, “When the top of the crib lines up to his chest, it’s time to move.”

I remember silently rejoicing, because shawty ain’t gonna be that tall for a while.

Instead of a car, he would receive a twin bed for his 16th birthday—it was the perfect plan.

However—like most of my plans—they fell through.

A series of events (taking placement of a newborn baby, receiving a trundle bed, and switching bedrooms around) prompted us to make the move—ready or not.

I researched all the things—make the new adventure exciting, ensure furniture is bolted to the wall, hide little things, cover the sockets, keep electrical cords out of reach, read a story in bed before turning out the light, secure the room so he can’t escape and fall down the cement stairs at two o’clock in the morning.

Like a stalker, I watched him through the video monitor in his room. Every few minutes, I impulsively checked it again. If I heard a sound in the middle of the night, I immediately reached for the comfort of that night vision screen.

And you know what?

He was fine. He was sleeping. In his bed. Every time.

I realized that after all of the research, the worry, the tears (mine, not his), there’s really only one trick for easing the transition from crib to bed:

RELAX.

Yes, that’s it.

Just relax. And trust your babies.

Believe me, I didn’t want to trust my toddler. Because doing so would be an admittance that he’s old enough to be trusted in the first place. And that’s not possible. Because didn’t I just give birth to him? I swear, the pain of those post-partum bathroom experiences are still fresh on my mind.

Besides, this is the kid who purposely stuffs his mouth with food after being told to slow down. He’s the kid who looks at me out of the corner of his eye, with a smirk and the promise of being up to absolutely no good. He’s destroyed things, said “no” more times than I can count, thrown himself on the floor of Target, and slapped his grandma while laughing.

(I’m so good at parenting.)

But, he’s also the kid who goes to bed when told, throws away his trash, picks up his toys, hugs his friends, and says “I love you” before bedtime. Who knew which kid I would get when it came to the bedtime transition…

As with all things in parenting, we roll the dice.

Our children are little people who are capable of big things. Sometimes transitions can be really difficult—for us, and them. Unfortunately, this is just the first of many more to come. Soon, they’ll start kindergarten. Then middle school. Then high school.

Before you know it, you’ll move them into their dorm room and worry about their sleeping habits all over again.

So for now, try to relax.

And if you’re like me and want to stare at your sleeping child all night, I highly recommend the trundle bed.


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