My feisty three-year-old was still in a crib up until a few weeks ago. I know that’s a little on the older side, but it was easier to stick with a crib because she didn’t try to get out. We didn’t switch Angel to a toddler bed until she climbed out at 2 1/2 years, and Lovebug was forced out at three years when we needed the crib for Sunshine. So I didn’t see any reason to move Sunshine out too soon. A crib is much easier in many ways, or so I thought.
But with a beach trip coming up, and her being too long for a pack ‘n play, we decided to give a toddler bed a try. I would have preferred to leave her in the crib a wee bit longer, but this seemed like a good time to experiment with a toddler bed. When Sunshine caught the first glimpse of her new sleeping arrangements, her face lit up! She was very proud of her new big girl bed. She happily climbed in as we read a goodnight story and prayed together. She was so protective of her newfound big girliness that she wouldn’t even let me lay my head on her pillow with her. She said, “No mommy, you too big. You need sleep in your bed. Dis my bed.” Well ok then, point taken.
I was concerned that the freedom of a toddler bed would give her the ok to come out of her room throughout the night. So I did what any self-respecting mama would do … I bribed her with a cookie in the morning if she stayed in bed all night. Doesn’t everyone do that? But as I closed her door, I was convinced we’d be up all night anyway. I held my breath listening for bumps and movements. But wouldn’t you know, there were no sounds. No kicking. No whispering. No playing. No rolling around in the bed like she had been doing every night for the past six months.
Almost a month has passed since we moved her to the toddler bed. She goes right to sleep every night, and has yet to fall out despite her interesting sleep positions. She never gets out of bed. This is a stark contrast compared to the shenanigans of the six months prior. I thought she was going through another sleep phase. She’s been through many of them since we brought her home two years ago. Too many to count. But the kicking, whispering, playing, and rolling around had been going on for a long time, and she was missing hours of sleep every night. Then she’d take shorter naps as well because she was overtired, creating a sleepless cycle. You get the picture.
I’m not sure why her behavior changed so drastically after switching beds. I could come up with multiple reasons, none of which may be correct, or all of which may be partially correct. Or, maybe she was simply trying to tell us she was ready for a big girl bed? Either way, the results have been wonderful and I am kicking myself for not moving her sooner. I don’t even need to bribe her with a cookie anymore before bedtime!