Wednesday, February 25, 2015

a big boy bed

About a month ago Emerson started sleeping in a big boy bed. It wasn't entirely planned, but that's the way it happened. We knew that he was going to have to start sleeping in a real bed at some point over the next few months and I wanted him fully transitioned and used to his bed as much as possible before the baby came along and started sleeping in the crib [even though baby bean will probably only start sleeping in the crib around four ... or six ... months? So basically, not right away]. 

We talked about putting the twin bed we have for visitors in his bed room for him to use as his big boy bed and decided against it because:
1. Landon felt like it was too big a bed for him and he would be ready for it [the daddy - not the mommy! I was so surprised how protective Landon was about this].
2. Space in his room would be tight with very little room left to play, and that's were all of the playing happens.
3. We really do have visitors [family, but still] come and where would that leave them to sleep?

Because Landon wasn't ready for the twin bed I suggested getting another crib [expensive] or a toddler bed [the cheaper option]. I looked around and found a great deal on a bed for Emerson. Because we didn't want to pay shipping for the bed I went in and ordered it at the store and they delivered it to our house, for free. It came in time to be wrapped up as one of Emerson's birthday gifts. Emerson had looked at the beds with me and when I pulled it inside the house he was so excited and wanted to open the box right away. But we waited.

I also looked at a lot of bedding for his new little bed. I wanted something that would work with what he already had in his room decor wise [which is not much but still...] and something that would work with the baby bedding we had in case we were to have another boy. I even went so far as to look for girl bedding that would work with what I found for him, just in case. Turns out that wasn't even an issue. As I looked at dozens of bedding options for him and considered making the bedding for him, he looked with me and when he saw certain pictures would get so excited. I liked that he was able to play a part in picking out his new blankets and such. When it arrived in the mail he was so excited and wanted to open it right then. Poor little guy had to wait, again, to unwrap it on his birthday.

The weekend after his birthday Landon's parents came in for a visit and it was on the visit that we put his bed together and did some rearranging of all of our upstairs furniture, Emerson got to help put the bed together and make it up with his new bedding. I wanted him to be as involved with it as possible. We thought he would sleep in his crib for a few more months before moving him to the bed. But when nap time rolled around he wanted to sleep in his new bed, and oh, he was so excited about it. I laid him down in his new bed and walked out. He napped and then at bed time he wanted to sleep in his bed again. Good, right? I wasn't about to squelch his excitement about his new bed. So after stories and following our normal bedtime routine, he ran to his new bed and I laid him down in it. And he did great! He didn't fuss or cry or scream like he had been doing in his crib. He just laid down and cuddled up with his blankies and animal buddies. I didn't make a huge deal about it. I just told him, that he could sleep there and that I wanted him to, but he had to stay in bed until I got him in the morning. Could it really be that simple? That easy?

It was until he fell out of his bed a few hours later. That boy wiggles and moves in his sleep like none other. His head will end up at the foot of the bed or the side of the bed. He'll do whole circles in his sleep. It's kind of amazing. But it isn't a good thing for when he's in a bed without railing all around it. After his fall he had trouble going back to sleep. I didn't know what to do, he never sleeps well with us and I knew he needed to sleep, we all did. So I laid him in his crib for the rest of the night. Good? Bad? I don't know, but that's what happened. The next morning I turned his bed around so the head of the bed became the foot and then when nap time and bed time came I just wedged a pillow between his bed and the dresser so he had a little barrier all the way around. He hasn't fallen out since.

Apart from him falling out of bed the first night he has done really well. There have been a few rough nap times -he realized he could climb out of his bed by himself and then would not stay in bed for anything. He did that one day and then didn't do it for a few more days. They were not fun nap times -for him or me. Though probably he did have some fun running around when he knew he wasn't supposed to. A few times he banged on his blinds, a lot, or pulled the changing pad down on top of him, or climbed out of bed and dumped his humidifier out. Though, those are things that mostly happened on the days of the awful [nonexistent] naps.

In a lot of ways both bed time and nap time have become a easier since he's started sleeping in his new bed. Before he started sleeping in his bed he would scream and jump and scream in his crib for the longest time. it. was. horrible. I hated it and there was nothing that seemed to help him. He had his animal buddies and his blankies. We kept the same routine we'd always had. But he would holler like none other. When he started sleeping in his bed, it stopped. I was hesitant about letting him sleep in a bed because of that recent problem, but it turned out to be a good thing.

For the most part he's also done a really good job at waiting for me to go get him in the mornings/after nap. He has a little pile of books in his bed that he'll read before falling asleep and most mornings after waking up before I get him. His buddies also keep him company; it's so sweet to open his door and see him hugging his Pooh Bear or Cocoa. From the start I've been very intentional about cheering for him when I go get him -giving praise for staying in his bed. He loves to cheer with me and does it nearly every time, until he realizes I don't have socks on and then we have to remedy that problem right away. During one of those horrible no nap days, in a moment of desperation, I ordered a bunny clock for him. He was excited when we got it, but I'm not really sure he pays much attention to it now, because even if the bunny lights up for day time, he stays in his bed and waits for me. I like that he does that.

I continue to pray for good sleep for him and that he stays in his bed. I continue to tell him, "Stay in your bed until Mama comes to get you." I continue to praise him when he obeys.

Now, when I lay him down in his bed I'll sit beside him to pray with him or give a few pats like he always asked me to. Now, after he's laying down he'll open a book and then say, "Doo," for door, meaning, 'mama, please leave me alone in my room so I can read and sleep and. I ask for a kiss or hug and he says, "no. Cocoa." I kiss Cocoa and then him too. And as I walk out of the door I see him looking so big in his bed, reading a book to his little bedtime buddies.

Hopefully sharing how our transition to a big bed has gone/is going won't jinks us and will be of some help or encouragement to you! But I wanted to share just the same because I know I appreciated reading about this transition from other mamas and because it's something I want to remember.


Jessica said...

So glad to hear that Emerson is doing so well with the transition! Caleb has done surprisingly well too, and we have been so proud of him for it:) Teaching him to stay in his bed in the mornings is the one challenge we are having now. He gets up and comes into our room - sometimes as early as 5:30. So, that is something that we are working on. But, otherwise, it's been great!:)

tina bumblebee said...

That may be the cutest little toddler bed I ever have seen!

Amy said...

So glad to hear that he's doing so good with it! That gives me hope! I'm so afraid to put Cash in his big boy bed. We have it in the basement, but I'm just too afraid to wreck a good thing, you know?

LOVE his bedding by the way!

Lauren said...

So many blogs I read have recently transitioned their kiddos into big kid beds! And it makes me happy to hear how they are all doing so well. Elyse has handled it beautifully as well. She's actually in a full-size bed that is WAY off the ground...We have one side pushed against the wall and bed rails up on the other side--hopefully they keep her contained!