After only 2 years, 2 months, and 3 days in her crib, my daughter has moved on up to the big girl bed. We have had the room set up for a while now with the bedroom set from my own childhood, pretty purple walls, and moved all of her toys and clothes over. Since last night, however, she has been sleeping in the crib that will soon become her sister’s. The transition actually went pretty well, with only an hour or so of tears, talking, and cuddles until our little big girl fell asleep and stayed asleep until 7:30 this morning! So, here are the steps we took to transition our toddler to her big girl bed.
- Talk it up. We have been talking about this transition for months. We spent time playing in the room, sometimes pretend sleeping in the bed, and just talking about it during dinner.
- Space it out. If you are moving them over to make space in a crib for a second child, like we are doing, make sure you space it out. We didn’t want Aubrey to feel like she was being kicked out of her crib, so we transitioned her last night and are going to wait a few weeks to a month to transition the baby to the crib.
- Buy bumpers. Instead of cumbersome and unsightly bed rails, we decided on bumpers that go under the sheet and have non-slip pads on the bottom so that they don’t slip on the mattress, and they worked like a charm. She didn’t fall out of the bed, and she actually used them to cuddle so I think that’s a win-win. Also, the bed is full-size and not a toddler bed, so this step was super important for us. You can purchase these bumpers through THIS LINK.(note, this is an affiliate link and I do receive commission from purchases through this link.
- Let your child pick out their bedding. I took Aubrey to Target- one of our favorite places- and let her pick out her sheets and comforter so that she would want to sleep in her big girl bed. She picked out precious sheets with unicorns AND deer on them(two of her favorite animals) and a pretty pink comforter.
- Follow your normal routine. Josh normally reads a book to Aubrey before bed and prays with her, so last night he did the same thing but in her bed with her, before saying goodnight. This was tricky though because it was new for her and she did shed some tears.
- Give them time. After Josh left the room and the tears started, he waited 5 minutes before going back in to comfort her. Then 10, then 15, and we continued to space it out. We would comfort, tuck back in, and then leave again, which leads me to my 7th point.
- DO NOT CAVE. There will be tears. There will be some screaming probably. There will most likely be some getting out of the bed. Do. Not. Cave. If you cave, it will just continue and you are postponing the inevitable. We watched her monitor and wanted to cry with her/crawl in bed with her and sleep there all night, but we would’ve been doing her a disservice.
- Congratulate them! After a full night of sleep in her big girl bed, we let Aubrey know how proud we were of her and we were so excited that she slept ALL night in her bed!
Now, I’m not saying these steps will guarantee an easy transition, but they worked for us. If you’ve done something differently, and it’s worked, then that is AWESOME! I would love to hear more tips so that I can mention them to other mothers! I’m always open for suggestions 🙂
Good luck! You’ll make it, mama 🙂