Wednesday, April 27, 2011

big boy bed


After much debating, asking for advice from message boards and facebook friends, talking it over with Ben  on numerous occasions and weighing all the factors against each other, we converted Malakai's crib to a toddler bed.


I started to get tears in my eyes while I was taking the front off of his crib. It just looked so...grown up. Malakai didn't even notice that I was in his room taking his bed apart until I was finished, which was actually very helpful of course.


It was really easy to do and I'm so thankful that our crib came with all the necessary parts to make the conversion. It's funny how I didn't even want a convertible crib when we were shopping. I assumed we'd just use the crib for babies and get a toddler bed or use a twin bed when the crib was needed by the next little one. Now, with Kai's surgery pending and money being so tight, spending just $60 on a toddler bed is out of the realm of possibilities. We have roughly 6 months until the baby is born and possibly another six before he/she needs the crib so we've got at least a year before we need to worry about another bed.

We ultimately decided to make the change when not once, but twice, Malakai had gotten close to climbing out. His mattress has been on the lowest setting for a few months now and I surely don't want any broken bones. Originally we were going to hold out until he recovered from his surgery, even after it got pushed back by 4 weeks. Kai's climbing changed our plans and we figure we have just under 3 weeks to make the transition before his surgery. Ultimately if it comes time for his surgery and he's not fully acclimated to the bed we can very easily put the front of his crib back on during his recover and try again once he's back to his old self. Nothing's permanent.

Part of the debate over switching him had to do with his ability and tendency to climb other objects. His dresser isn't fit for the traditional latch locks so he could open the drawers or cupboards and climb up it. He hasn't done this yet, but I don't want him to discover it in the middle of the night. We're thinking of trying the magnetic "tot locks" (if you have an opinion or experience with this, email me!).

He also has a tendency to want to play, and play hard. He has never fallen asleep while playing so I was worried he'd never sleep. I know that's silly, but with Kai it's possible!

So yesterday after another fail at getting Kai to eat some veggies at lunch, we got washed up and changed for nap time. I went through the normal routine of reading to him, but this time it was while he sat in his bed, that he climbed into himself. Then I told him goodnight and left the room (with a baby gate secured in his doorway). He started to whine for me, which is a new stage he's just entered into, but usually just when I'm leaving. I had to reassure him multiple times that I wasn't leaving, that it was just nap time.

Finally I just had to walk away and let him be sad for a minute. It was probably even less than that before he was fine. He got out of his bed and wandered around his room. Over the next two hours I went in several times to reset him, I tried adding a comforter and pillow (both of which he doesn't sleep with) but the novelty wore off quickly.

 I tried laying next to his crib and he kept whispering "mama steepin". He lay down next to me at one point and started naming the parts of my face, then he proceeded to sit on my hip and bounce up and down.

Next I decided to just leave him alone and let him play until he was tired. He emptied the sheets + towels out of a cupboard, discovered he could reach his alarm clock, and knocked over a shelf. I removed all these things and more toys from his room. About 15 minutes later I heard him fuss, I peaked in and he was tucking himself in to his bed! I walked away for 5 minutes, peeked back in and he was passed out!

{blurry because I wanted to hurry so as not to wake him!}

Ultimately it only took 2 hours, which would seem like forever but I just made sure to stay calm, get support from some friends on facebook, and dedicate all my time to the task at hand instead of trying to get a chore done and being frustrated that he wouldn't sleep so I could work. It could have been much worse and I'm so proud that he actually climbed into bed and put himself to sleep.

But this was just nap time...

P.S. come back later today for the winner of the Cutie Clips Giveaway!


  1. Sure it took 2 hours, but he did it! And he did it on his own terms! My fear is FORCING jack to get in his, and then its a scary thing in general! When I am ready to switch to a toddler bed, you will probably be getting emails from me! Haha!

  2. It will get easier with each nap & night time routine......not to mention he will have the hang of it by the time the baby arrives!! We just did B's switch about 3 weeks ago & I am due next Friday; at this point we are just hoping for continued success & for him not to revert backwards since it has been such a short amount of time once his brother arrives!

    Good Luck!


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