Posts Tagged ‘toddler bed’

Going Back to the Crib

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

going back to the cribOnce a child hits a milestone, the world of parenting seems to look down upon regression. It’s often seen as a moving back instead of a part of living.  With each child we’ve “stepped away” from something. In the case of our first, it was the transition to the toddler bed.

Our oldest was 19 months old. We were ready to transition his infant brother to the crib. By ready to transition I mean, boy howdy, it’d be convenient if we didn’t have to invest in another crib. Older brother hiked his leg atop the crib in my presence and I took that as the catalyst, or rather the excuse, to transition him to a toddler bed. We talked it up. He helped us put the bed together.

The first week in his “big boy” toddler bed was a success. Then came the reality underneath the illusion of success. Each night endless tears began when he used go to sleep with just a book and a song. By the time he fell asleep he lost two hours of his typical sleep pattern. We were up multiple times in the night walking him back to his bed. Again, more tears. We stayed firm. We were consistent. We tried offering incentives. We tried ignoring. We tried comforting. We tried… everything. Believe me, we got plenty of advice from those who knew of our struggle. With every passing day I was more determined that our efforts not be in vain.

Six weeks after the transition to the toddler bed we moved him back to the crib. Sanity instantly returned to our home. He went to sleep and stayed asleep all night. We all looked forward to evenings again instead of dreading them. He was comfortable. He still needed the secure confines of the crib for whatever reason. I spent all of those nights trying to force something when it served all of us better had I tried to listen.

Back to the Crib 3Of course, some were highly critical. “He’s manipulating you,” they said. “Way to let him win,” they said. We were all cranky and sleep deprived and uncomfortable–I’m sure no one was winning.  One night I set the critics aside and listened to the heart of my child as he softly asked to sleep in the crib again. Up until that point he mostly had tears and excuses. Had I opened space for him to communicate, perhaps I’d have heard his underlying fears earlier.

Wouldn’t you know it, three months later we tried again with great success. We didn’t do anything different really. One day he asked about the big boy bed we temporarily placed in the corner of our bedroom. That day, he initiated the interest. No one called that manipulating, as they did when he tried to express his interest of staying in the crib, but I digress. That night he transitioned easily to the toddler bed. We all won.

Lynette is a mom of three children from newborn to age four. She appreciates the idea of staying connected but also that some seasons of life, like this one, leave her sleep-deprived and some days without shower. 

Crib Climbers

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

IMG_0593The first time my son lifted a leg over the rail of his crib, my heart panicked.  I was hoping that the day would never come and that he would want to sleep in a crib forever.  I just wasn’t ready, but is anyone ever ready?

I tried not to react, but was nervous none the less. Nervous that he would fall out in the middle of the night or even scarier, never nap again.  It was an exciting challenge to him. He couldn’t wait to get to the other side and worked so hard to find out what it would be like to get there all by himself. The first time he fell out, I’m not sure who it scared more, me or him.  I heard a loud thud and then a cry. Luckily, the only thing that got hurt was his ego. That first fall took the mystery out of the adventure for him and bought me some time before his next attempt.

Putting a sleep sack on him in bed is the other thing that prevented him from making a climb again for a few months. I often wondered if it was because he couldn’t see his feet or legs that he may have forgotten that climbing was an option. Whatever it was, that sleep sack did the trick. When he figured out how to unzip and take off the sleep sack, I took the next step and put it on him backwards before putting him in his crib. That worked for a while, too, until I couldn’t find a sleep sack large enough for my growing toddler.

The reality is that many toddlers are curious and take on the challenge of the climb, while some never take the plunge.  Some people lower the crib mattress to the floor,  some people add extra padding to the floor outside of the crib, and some people jump to transition to a toddler bed.

My son transitioned to a toddler bed very well. My 17-month-old daughter keeps us on our toes all day long, but has yet made the move to climb. I’m hoping that her short little legs will buy us time.

Sarah Cole is a writer and a stay-at-home mom of two busy toddlers who keeps her on her toes all day long.

 

Escaping the Crib

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Some children never do it. Some children are born knowing how. But once they’ve done it, there’s no going back.

The first thing you need to know about cribs is that if your child can stand, the crib needs to be set all the way down, and you need to make sure all blind cords, curtains, furniture and décor is at least three feet away from the top of the crib. You will be absolutely astonished how determined they are to reach anything dangerous. If you don’t believe me, watch this video:

There are a few ways you make the transition to the big-kid bed, but one thing is sure: once they can get out of the crib, they can’t sleep there anymore. I know it sucks. It was safe, they could play themselves to sleep, and it was guaranteed worry-free naptime. Sorry, but that’s over. Grab a glass of wine and mourn it properly, and then get over it.

Escaping the Crib

Toddler rail: Many cribs either come with a toddler rail or have one you can buy separately. This screws right into the crib ends with hardware—it’s not removable. While it won’t keep your child in bed, it will keep them from rolling out while they sleep.

Toddler bed: A toddler bed is a mini-bed that your crib mattress will fit in nicely. This isn’t the best option if you are trying to clear out the crib to make way for the next child though, because you’ll be out a crib mattress. The benefit to these is that they offer the feel of a big kid bed while staying low to the ground.

Big bed with bedrail: If you don’t want to have to transition your child twice, or if you already have a big bed ready to use, there’s no need to get a toddler bed. Bed rails run about $30 and you can get them at any store that sells baby furniture. They also come in a variety of sizes, including extra long. I liked that you can fold them down during the day to avoid injuries from kids playing on it, and also to keep your child’s room from looking like a hospital suite, if that matters (for me it did). There are also double rails if you need them for both sides.

You may have also seen crib tents or crib canopies for sale online or in stores, but Consumer Reports lists them as a strangulation hazard and also reccomends removing baby from the crib as soon as they are able to get out.

No matter what option to you chose to transition your child, going to bed will not be the same. There is no more putting baby down and walking out of the room. We did have issues with our kids getting up. With our first, we chose to keep putting her back to bed over and over and over and over until she fell asleep. With our second, we’ve chosen to cuddle her to sleep as a more efficient option for both time and our patience levels.

Many parents I asked advised me to reverse the locks on my child’s door as a way to keep them in bed when I was having issues. This guy even says it saved his marriage after six months of sleeplessness (he threatened to leave his wife if she didn’t do it, so make your own judgment there). The fire department will recommend against this as a fire hazard. If you have stairs in your home, you will want to make sure you have a reliable and toddler-proof baby gate in front of them in case your toddler does get up in the night. It’s also wise to keep doors to the outside baby proofed as well.

TV is the bedroom is another solution I heard often. I would rather snuggle to sleep than try this because of the fact that light in the form of nightlights or TV disturbs the child’s circadian rhythms. Although it may help in the short-term, in the long run it can lead to lifelong sleep issues. I don’t know any adults who still need their parents to sleep, but I know lots of adults who need the TV on.  Not to mention it being a hazard if your toddler gets curious and tries.

My kids still get up some nights. Rather than do bedtime over again in the middle of the night, we just let them get in bed with us. My oldest has already outgrown this need and sleeps through the night most nights. Not because anything we’ve done, but because she feels secure going back to sleep when she does wake up. I am confident the same will be true of our three-year-old. The baby has been sleeping through the night since she was about 10 months old. She’s just weird.

Whether it’s nursing to sleep, waking at night, or during a meltdown, when my children need security, I don’t hesitate. To me it’s important that my kids know that I am there when they are scared and they need me, even at night. It’s my most important function as a parent. And if I do my job right, one day they wont need me anymore, because the security I have given them will be inside them. It will be confidence.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls who lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.