We’ve been debating about when is the right time to put E into a big girl bed for ages. Did we do it before G arrived? Did we wait until we needed the cot for G? Or did we wait until E was ready and buy a second cot if needed?
Well, E (in her normal delightful way) pretty much made the decision for us when we caught her trying to climb out one day! She never actually got out, purely as she didn’t piece all the bits together, but she was definitely making an attempt.
So then the big question….what kind of bed? I knew that I wanted a toddler bed, something close to the floor so that if she did fall out, she didn’t have far to go. But there is so much choice out there. It’s ridiculous.
In the end, we went for a wooden bed from Argos. For no other reason than it fitted all of our criteria (and has a draw to put stuff in underneath!). I liked the fact that it had small sides, protecting her slightly from falling out and giving that extra bit of security.
And so the big night came. I had shown her her new bed once I had built it and tried to explain it to her in an exciting way. Bedtime came, she went to bed with her normal routine and then the fun began! In, out, in, out, in, out (repeat what feels like a thousand times). I never spoke to her, didn’t make eye contact, just kept putting her back in, but no such luck. She thought it was hilarious. So in the end, we gave up and she went back in the cot. Perhaps she just wasn’t ready.
Two weeks later we decided to try again. The first night it took 2 hours to settle her off and in the end I did sit in there with her. But the second night, she was off to sleep within 20 minutes. There was a couple of small instances in the night (and a very early morning) but she slept reasonably well.
The next day, we put a stair gate across her door. Much better. And so far, she is doing really well. She has only fallen out once, and normally settles within 20-30 minutes.
So here we have it – the Mrs Flash top tips for a successful transition (although I put it down to fluke more than anything else)
- Don’t make a big deal of it. There really was no point. Just explain that this is where they are going to sleep now
- Keep the routine the same – that way the bed is the only thing that changes and they still have the security of what they normally do
- E has a nightlight and is allowed to take a book to bed once she has had a story. Normally, she will just drift off looking at the pictures and it saves her getting out of bed
- If E persists on getting out, I go in and explain it’s bedroom and she needs to go to sleep so she has energy for all the fun things we have planned tomorrow. If this fails, we work on the timed comforting (2,4,6,8) theory. We rarely get to 6 minutes
And so that is the next chapter of my big little girl growing up.