Toddler bed transition - tips etc

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jaimelr's picture
Joined: 01/09/10
Posts: 217
Toddler bed transition - tips etc

Anybody got good tips on how to work through the transition from crib to toddler bed?

We have started the transition out of crib and into toddler bed for 2yr old Will. (I am pregnant and due Aug 4 with number 2 - and we are doing up a new room for Will, but he doesn't have to move into it right away as I will use a bassinet for a few months next to where I sleep).
Anyway - the transition is going quite well. We started with daytime naps amd that went quite well. 80% of the time he stays in his bed the first time. 20% we have to do 2-5 return trips with him to get him back to bed. After a couple of weeks he wanted to sleep there at night so we gave in. Nights are about the same success rate. After about 2 weeks I would estimate that he made it only to midnight twice, 2am 5 times, and 5-7 the rest of the times before waking up and coming out to find us! If it is before about 3am I try and get him back in his bed. After 3am I just put him in with me. For the most part I am not getting fussed if he ends up in with me after 3am since by then he has slept 6 hours straight on his own. However we have implemented a 1-2-3 count for the going to bed routine - he can get out 4 times but the 4th time results in him being put in the crib - even if he screams his head off. Each time we count (say "this is #1 - if you don't stay in bed then you have to go to the crib" and point at the crib). This seems to be working - I have only made it past 2 twice. Any other tips / experiences!

I am not crazy about the idea of locking him in his room or putting up a baby gate -but we will see how things go.

oh yeah - and two funny / strange experiences;
Last night - DH was on DS duty while I walked / waddled the dog. Anyway he thought he heard DS walking around but then didn't hear anything further. (DH was on the computer in the kitchen which is at the base of the stairs). So after 30 minutes DH thought DS must have been asleep so he went to the garage to work on my car (new shocks and brakes) and found DS checking out the car sucking on his soother with his tiger under his arm! DS snuck past DH all the way to the garage! (Kind of scary!).

Tonight - DS got out 4 times so the 4th time I put him in his crib with his stuffies and he started crying - then I realized he was asking for his pillow (that we use on the toddler bed) and his blankets from the toddler bed. I gave him those and he laid down and went to sleep with no further fussing! It was like he wanted to sleep in his crib. (I checked on him and he is asleep with his back firmly against the bars).

zobi's picture
Joined: 12/24/07
Posts: 607

Ive had a really good run with all 3 of my kids and moving them into a bed...My eldest was just over 2, but she had been in her cot with the side down up against the bed (I was scared she was going to fall out) But she never once got out of her cot, NOT ONCE, so when I moved her into her bed, she never once got out of that either....She has always from very young fallen straight asleep once in bed though...
Number 2 Liam, he was moved about 2 as I had just had number 3 and would need the cot soone enough....Liam ALSO was so good!!! He too NEVER got our of bed....I dont know why, he just didnt....Also a very good sleeper....
Charlie.....NUMBER 3.....he broke all the rules in every way shape and form from birth, so I was expecting the worst!!!....I moved him quite early as we were having very restless nights with him getting stuck in the bars, because he just moved around in his sleep so much, also I had caught him trying to climb out of his cot!!!!....He was only about 16mnths old....AND he actually blew me away....First 3 nights, he didnt get out of his bed once....I did mind you make sure he was sooooo tired that he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, so it was NO naps those days.....They say it ony takes 3 days to form or break a habit....So they were my extremely hard 3 days, to get 3 fantastic nights from him....the nap the next day he got up 1 time, but went back to bed straight away....We had about a week of good, then we had our first night of him getting up....I was pretty firm with him and said in a stern voice "Get back into your bed and stay there" and he did!!!! Go figure, didnt see that coming....
Since we have had a handful of nights that he sneaks out of bed and sits at the end of the hallway watching us until we notice he is there, but its only ever 1 time then the stern voice talk and he stays put.....
We have had the odd occasion of him getting up in the night, one time scared me a bit as he went out to the lounge and we didnt hear him, then when there was no-one there he came to our room....SOOOO I hung a little bell above his door, I pulled his door too when we went to bed and if he got up the little bell dingled if he opened his was quite funny to hear in the night Smile
Now if he wakes he just wakes us up with his talking, he can do it for anywhere between 2 and 3hrs!!!!......Mummy get up, Daddy get up, LIAM get up.....UP DOWN OPEN SHUT HAHAHAHA.......this goes on and on, its kinda funny, but seriously frustraing when it goes on for hrs!!!....I never let him get into our bed though, I cant stand kids in my bed unless its after 6am....its one of my little rules (Ive got lots of rules haha)....

HAHAHA, that was a long story....opps.....Anyway only tips from me are routine, make sure he is tired and be firm....Its not called tough love for no reason Smile

Keep us posted on how you get on Smile

lizzib45's picture
Joined: 12/06/08
Posts: 957

I have no advice but wish you luck! I am holding on as long as possible at this point to transition. He hasnt attempted to climb out and we only started day PT. Please keep us posted what worked and what didnt work!

jaimelr's picture
Joined: 01/09/10
Posts: 217

Still not much to report on this front. DS is sleeping in his peeler bed for afternoon nap but choses his crib at night despite having been quite happy in toddler bed for all the first week or two.
On the plus side he is sleeping quite well through the night these days (a huge problem for us since he was born) which is refreshing.
We still have both his toddler bed and crib in his current room. I don't want to move the toddler bed into his new room until he is comfy with it. There is no rush since I expect the baby (due aug 4) will sleep in bassinet near me for first few months.

pickles07's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 175

I ended up doing both of my kids the same way to start. With my son, we needed the crib because I was pregnant. He was about 21ish months old. We went to visit my parents in the US and we put him on a little camper cot thing that was about 6 inches up from the ground and it was in a fairly narrow space so he couldn't really get out of it, other than at the bottom. And I just sat there at the bottom till he went to bed. I had DH take the crib apart and put it away so that when we came home it just wasn't an option for him and he went strait into a single bed. We did have a bed guard up for him for months, but he loved it. He never gave us any problems with going to bed for naps or bedtime until his sister arrived, and then he gave up naps all together and we had about a week of him getting out of bed a few times at bed time.
With Alice, again, went to go visit my parents and had her on the same camper cot. When we came home DH had taken the side off the crib for her. And she never once got out of that. I bought her a toddler bed, not long after that. And she had about 2 weeks of never getting out, because I don't think it actually occurred to her that she could! LOL! Then she figured it out! And after a week of taking 2 hours to get her to stay in there every night, I just shut the door all the way and she went to sleep! I would just go in there and leave it ajar after I checked on her before I went to bed. Now I can leave the door ajar again and she stays most of the time, unless she's up to mischief with big brother! (they share a room)