You know what’s fun about cribs and babies: cribs have sides and babies don’t really move. Our kids are funny like that — once you think you can tap the bedtime routine cruise button and coast, they go ahead and switch it up by becoming nighttime ninjas and good morning gymnasts; somersaulting over the rails and bursting into your room like an explosion announcing the toddler years have arrived. And obviously we respond in the most logical way by ditching the crib and giving them even more freedom.
Are we insane?!
In theory, a toddler bed is a logical next step, but you go in blind not realizing this next phase, just like all phases of raising your kids, is going to be hard. And also bittersweet. Saying goodbye to the crib, or converting it into a toddler bed, brings on all the feels. Didn’t I just bring you home? Didn’t I just watch you roll over for the first time? But you pull yourself together and rise to the big kid bed challenge. The best you have to offer is winging it, so that’s what you’re going to do — you’re going to white knuckle your way through the toddler years. Here’s what I wish I had known about big kid beds.
Bedtime Is Suddenly Party Time
Yes, this should probably be obvious but the once peaceful and relaxing bedtime routine you thought you had will need a do-over. Once bathtime has finished and the stories have been read, where you once turned on the sleepy-time music and left the room to an angelic, sleeping child what you have now is a toddler who’s ready to party. He’s going to be in and out of his new toddler bed, everything that’s not nailed down will be thrown around. There will be bed jumping and drawer emptying, requests for water and, probably a sneak out where, in the morning, you’ll find a sleeping toddler, post-rager, passed out on your bedroom floor like a college co-ed.
There’s Going To Be A Some Hesitancy Around The New Bedtime Routine
The transition from a crib to a big kid bed is a huge change for your child and some reluctance is inevitable with all that newfound freedom. And at this time, my daughter was also fully potty trained and dry during the day, but she was still wet at night. So we stocked up on GoodNites Nighttime Underwear to keep her dry and comfortable. By making GoodNites a part of my daughter’s new bedtime routine, we eased some of her nighttime fears and anxieties by boosting her confidence.
Keep It Simple
Instead of considering an entire room overhaul of your child’s bedroom to match his new bed, keep it simple instead by only adding the bed with new sheets in the same position, if you can, as the crib. This consistency will help your transitioning child feel a sense of security within a big change. But do let your child pick their own bedding and fill their room with all of their comfort items they love so much like the stuffed animals that drive you insane and the lovey you once drove 45 minutes back to Nana’s house to collect.
Don’t Put On The “Big Kid” Pressure
I didn’t mean to put on the “big kid” pressure but I totally did, and it backfired. We’re all managing with the best tools that we have at the time, and what I thought was exciting turned out to be frightening for my daughter. She didn’t exactly like seeing her crib dismantled, and she wasn’t thrilled to jump on her “big kid” bed with its new cartoon sheets. My daughter’s new found freedom was far more scary for her than it was for my son. So I dialed the “big kid” talk down from an eleven to a solid zero.
This Too Shall Pass
Transitions are just slow moments in time that seem like you’ll be stuck in them forever. But just like everything else that you never thought you’d survive about parenting, this too shall pass. Eventually your child will decide partying is exhausting, the big bed isn’t so scary, and the baby phase was kind of boring so the “big kid” thing is pretty cool after all. And if your child is nighttime wetting, that’s OK too — GoodNites has your back so you and your child can sleep comfortably. Eventually the night before kindergarten will arrive just when you thought were ready to coast.
This post was sponsored by GoodNites NightTime Underwear, disposable nighttime underwear specifically designed to fit and provide outstanding protection for young children who are recently potty trained but still wet at night.