little r is getting to be that age when there are so many questions about when the appropriate time to do certain things will be. More specifically, how quickly can I make him grow up? I'm full of questions such as, when should he be potty trained? When should he start school? When can he ride a bike? Should he know his ABC's yet?
Since potty training got put on hold temporarily, the bigger query in my mind has been when should I transition him into a big boy bed. There seem to be all sorts of reasons people decide it's time for their toddlers to make this transition. Probably the most popular seems to be a new baby and wanting to use the crib for the new arrival. This isn't the case here, and most likely won't be for a little while. So, I've been pondering what makes it necessary to take your little one out of a crib and train them to use a big boy bed?
My favorite advice on this topic came from the "Baby Whisperer". She's guided me through many of these first time mom questions, and I seem to identify best with her approaches to my questions. We probably all have a method or adviser we feel most comfortable with. The Baby Whisperer basically says there's absolutely no reason to rush. In fact, the child is more safe in a crib than in a bed for quite awhile because they tend to be such restless sleepers. It's not until they start crawling out that safety seems to mandate that a change is probably necessary.
Well, that milestone finally arrived... little r has been climbing into his crib on his own for almost a year now, and he launched himself out of his crib when he was about 18 months old. He didn't get hurt, but he scared himself and the fear seemed to be sufficient enough to keep him from wanting to try it again. For a couple months now, we've let him take his naps in his circus tent. Something so adorable about that, that I can't fight the smile coming to my face every time I see him curled up in it. I also love how he wakes up, opens his curtains, turns off his sound machine, and wonders ever so slowly out of his room and with the sweetest voice ever cries, "HI, MOMMY!!!!"
This past week little r has figured out how to carefully climb out of his crib. No more launching himself to the floor. He's got this task down. I've had several early mornings when I've run to his room as he's screaming for me only to run square into HIM standing in the MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR!
A few weeks ago Big R and I had purchased a safety bed rail for little r's crib. He has a crib that turns into a toddler bed, but the crib was discontinued and I can't find the hardware for the toddler rail anywhere. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing additional to little r's room, but it'll keep him safe until we decide what we'd like to do about getting new furniture for his room. Yesterday I decided it was time to switch little r from a crib to a big boy bed.
I wasn't sure how he was going to react to this change. Turns out I had nothing to be worried about. He was SO excited to sleep in a big boy bed. Here he is all curled up and ready for bed.
I thought for sure he'd be walking the halls all night long. I suppose he could have done this anyhow since his crib hardly kept him contained anymore. He slept like a champ. And again, I woke up to him standing in the middle of his floor crying out for me this morning. (It stays pretty dark in his room and the sun doesn't come up until 8:00 a.m. here this time of year, but we found out that night lights keep him awake and he doesn't sleep well...) Guess you could say that night #1 in a big boy bed was a huge success :)
Naptime would be the next challenge. Again, I'm not sure what the challenge is considering he climbed out whenever he wanted to. I suppose it's just the principal of the idea. Little r tends to nap well, but he can also fight it pretty hard. It has been a fairly regular thing for him to get up from his comfy tent, turn the light on, and play instead of taking a nap. My usual approach has been to walk into his room and encourage him as creatively as I can to head to sleepy land. Today I decided that I wanted to see what he would do. There's not really anything wrong with him playing quietly in his room as long as he's giving himself some down time. That is, as long as he doesn't wander out of his room fifteen minutes later.
He had a tough time deciding where to nap today - big boy bed or tent. Life's full of tough decisions when you are two :) He opted for the big boy bed and snuggled in. I could hear him playing in his room not minutes after I shut the door, and I fought the urge to go into his room. Sure enough, he quieted down and I didn't hear a peep for hours. I went to check on him after he'd been asleep for a couple of hours, and he was all snuggled up in his tent. Not only that, but based on the way the settings work, I knew that his sound machine had been turned off and then turned back on again. I guess he decided taking a little snooze wasn't such a bad idea afterall. Such a cutie pie :)
So, day 1 was a success. Hopefully he'll continue to enjoy sleeping like a big boy. Maybe this success will bleed over to potty training - hey, a girl can dream....