Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transitioning to a big girl bed

Recently, we took the side off Ellie's cot, in preparation for moving her into a 'big girl bed' sometime down the track. We did it on a weekend, so she had time when we were home to get used to it. We laid pillows on the ground just in case she fell out, and made a fuss so she knew it was an important and fun milestone.

The cot, minus a side
It's worked out pretty well considering it was a random, spur of the moment decision. For maybe the first week, there were no falls out of the bed. Ellie would wake up around 2am and the only thing that would console her would be moving into bed with us for snuggles. Mr Fork would fall blissfully back asleep and I would have a toddler breathing into my neck and kicking me in the ribs until the alarm went off.

After that, we re-evaluated the change and helped her to manage it better:
  • We reinstalled her nightlight in her room. Previously she would have one that switched off after 15 minutes, but the new setup gives her an additional light that stays on all night.
  • Instead of closing her door all the way, we left it cracked a little so if she wants to, she can get herself out of bed and come to us.
  • Instead of lifting her into bed at nap and sleep time, she was a big girl and encouraged to climb in and out by herself.
We've had two falls since then, as she gets more confident with the new boundaries, but she fell onto the pillows and no harm done. She also sleeps right through and loves that she can get up and bring a favourite toy into bed with her if she wants to. 

Her abacus is currently toy of the moment
On the down side, I've learnt to dread the little pitter patter of her feet as she slides out of bed and runs into our room. I hear a little voice say 'mama?' before a smelly security blanket is thrown on me and my determined toddler tries to hoist herself onto the bed for cuddles at an ungodly hour of the morning.

To be honest, though, I treasure those early morning cuddles.

How did you start to move your child to a bigger bed?

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