Moving from a Crib to Toddler Bed at 20 Months
Rowan first tried to escape her crib in my mom’s presence (clever girl) when she was over one day helping us out. Mom went to get her up from a nap and reported that Rowan could lift her leg up over the top rail (um, what?!). Totally news to me. So we watched her very closely and sure enough she did it not once but twice more within 24 hours. I’d been thinking about when would be the right time to transition her out of the crib, but figured we had time to make the decision – apparently not anymore.
Originally I had wanted to move her into a floor bed (read more about this Montessori concept here) because I liked the idea of giving her more freedom and being closer to the floor meant less risk of falling out. Then I saw this adorable house bed on Pinterest (because of course I did) and fell in love with it. I had actually spent a few hours searching for plans to make our own (since we own power tools now, dontcha know) but eventually decided that after my failed attempt at building a toddler tower, maybe making a bed was a bad idea.
So I was back to the original original plan of just moving her from the crib to our IKEA Hemnes day bed that we have in our 3rd bedroom for guests. Why not, she can handle it! But then my mom brought up a good point (she does that a lot) – that might be too big and too scary of a change for Rowan. “Why not look at toddler beds?” she said. I suddenly remembered that our crib is convertible and we could buy a toddler rail for it – genius!! Immediately I called Snuggle Bugz/Nestled in Burlington to find out if they had it. Apparently it would take 14-16 weeks to order it in… um, what? Seems like a flawed system if you ask me. Most people aren’t planning to move their kid to a new bed 3-4 months in advance. Or at least I didn’t have the luxury of THAT kinda time.
Google it is! I searched Babies R Us which seemed like the natural choice but only turned up lots of those plastic car beds, not my style. Next up, good old trusty Amazon – and ta-da! The bed of our (my) dreams. We settled on the Delta Children Toddler Daybed which is actually similar to the design of our crib and matched the room. It’s low to the ground and comes with a rail that can be mounted on either side. Plus the daybed design means there’s only one side for her to (potentially) fall out of. Check it out here.
Fortunately we had a planned sleepover for Rowan at her grandparents’ house the following weekend which we would need to finish up the flooring in her room and do some baby proofing. After all, a new bed means total freedom in her room so we couldn’t leave anything to chance.
We finished the flooring by adding quarter-round trim around the baseboards and painting. Then attached her dresser to the wall, added extra plug covers, tied up the cord for her blinds, added an extra pressure-mounted baby gate across her door, and enclosed an outlet that couldn’t be covered with furniture. This thing is pretty handy actually.
Finally we were ready for her to come home and have her first sleep in the bed. We were both nervous and fully prepared to have a terrible night. Again, she surprised us and stayed in her bed the whole night – ha! I don’t think she realized that she could get in and out on her own which was fine by me. This went on for a few days until she discovered her freedom. By about day 3 she got out of bed halfway through the night and decided to take her blankets to sleep on the carpet on her floor. We debated moving her back but figured she wasn’t being hurt so we just left her. The next day I needed her to nap because we had a family BBQ to go to and of course she didn’t want to. She kept getting in and out running over to the door and peeking out. She stood at the gate and whined for a awhile and eventually (after texting my mom and asking what to do), I went up and told her to get back in bed and to stay there so she could sleep. I had to wait outside the door for about 10 minutes because she would keep coming back to check if I was there (surprise, here I am!). Eventually she got it, stayed in bed, and fell asleep. She does pretty well now (it’s been about 2 1/2 weeks) and usually stays in bed.
Except in the morning when I go in to wake her up. The first thing that happens when I open her door and say good morning is she says “Daddy”, immediately climbs out of bed and runs to our bedroom to find her Dad. Thanks kiddo, I love you too.
Do you have a kiddo ready for a toddler bed soon, or have you moved one recently? What was the transition like and at what age did you make the move? Which style of bed did you settle on? Comment below!