The Best Way To Make A Smooth Transition From Crib To Toddler Bed In A Shared Room!
When my oldest was 8 months old I found out I was pregnant with our second child. At the time Ally was still in her crib and I quickly realized that she was going to have to vacate the crib soon, because there was no way I was going to buy another one. Way to expensive for something she was going to grow out of soon anyway!
I started looking into ways to transition a young child into a toddler bed and guess what…I couldn’t find much. All I could find were articles about how I needed to wait till she was ready, wait till I was ready, get her excited about being in a big girl bed, make sure she was potty trained first, make sure she was old enough, and make sure she was mature enough. Yeah, right….She was too young for all of those things.
See, the thing is, I didn’t have time to wait for all those things to happen. I needed her out of the crib, pronto, and I knew I couldn’t wait till Ana was born to start the transitioning process.
Coming up with a game plan
After asking around family and friends and stealing some pieces from a few articles here and there. I had finally come up with a foolproof system for the transition and guess what…it worked great!
I had one rough night with her, but that was it. After that, I could put her in her toddler bed, close the door, and off to sleep she went. It was amazing!
Fast-forward two years and now its time to do the transition with Ana. I originally thought I would hold off till she was older, because she is a bit more “spirited” than her older sister, but when she started climbing up the side of the crib and falling out on purpose, I knew holding off wasn’t an option anymore.
The thing was…they were sharing a room. Oh, boy. This is going to be fun.
I ended up implementing the same process, but it wasn’t working like it did with Ally. I would put both of them down and five min later I would hear crying and screaming coming from the room. When, I would go in to check on them, Ana was usually in her older sister’s bed pulling her hair and climbing all over the place. But I noticed that my oldest was the one laughing and the youngest was the one crying which seemed odd to me considering the youngest was the one terrorizing the oldest.
So my husband came up with a great idea…he set a camera up in their room when they weren’t looking.
Turns out, Ally (the oldest) would get out of bed very quietly, walk over to her sisters bed, steal her sisters pacifier, and run to get back in her own bed and act like she was the innocent one.
A few timeouts later that behavior stopped and we could get back on track with the transition process. It did take longer with Ana, but it was still very successful.
I was also worried because I was still night nursing Ana, but it never ended up being a problem.
I bet your wondering what this magical method is right?
Here you go!
Make sure the room is as dark as possible. NO NIGHTLIGHTS!!!
This is extremely important. It makes them less inclined to get out of bed, because they really can’t see much. It’s best to do this with them as young as possible to avoid panic attacks when you take the nightlight out of their room. Besides, nightlights have been proven to disrupt sleep patterns which can lead to bad behavior in children. Our bodies are designed to be in total darkness when sleeping.
Put them to bed with their normal nighttime routine. Having a nighttime routine is always a good idea with young children. Children thrive on routine and tend to be better behaved when they know whats coming next. You can click here to see our nighttime routine.
Expect your child to get out of their bed MANY times for the first few weeks. You may get lucky like I did with Ally, but don’t count on it. Be prepared for a couple of weeks worth of long nights. IT WILL GET BETTER!!!!! You will thank yourself later, I promise.
When, not if, but when your child gets out of the bed. You go in and put them back in their bed. There are several rules for this though so pay attention. The rules are:
- Make any eye contact
- Turn on any lights
- Say anything
You literally go in and CALMLY place your child back in their bed. They will eventually realize that it isn’t a game and soon lose interest in playing.
Now with my first one, that first night was awful. She must have gotten out of her bed 300 times! NO JOKE! I literally stood outside her door with my ear to the door and was in and out ALL night. But the next night she didn’t even put up a fight and its been two years now and she still doesn’t get out of bed till morning. 🙂
I just did the same thing with Ana and it is now 2 months later and she is doing great!
What are some methods you guys used to transition your kids? And to those of you who are trying out my method, let me know how it worked for you!