Two weeks ago we had Reaghan make the big switch from her crib to a big girl bed!
This is the first of many changes coming up for her in the next few months as she becomes a big sister and loses her only child status. Honestly if there wasn't another baby on the way I would've left her in her crib a bit longer. I liked the idea of her being confined safely to a space when we were all sleeping, especially because I'll let her play in her crib for a bit in the morning while I'm getting up and dressed and I know she's perfectly safe without supervision during that time. Not to mention she was sleeping 11-12 hours at night and has just in the last couple months settled in to a 2-3 hour afternoon nap. I was so nervous that her sleeping habits were going to get all messed up! But there is in fact a new little one coming that will be needing the crib at some point and we wanted Reaghan to be well adjusted to her new bed before the baby comes.
We wanted the switch to the big girl bed to be more about Reaghan being a big girl and not too much about having to change because of a new baby. I've done a lot of thinking about all of the changed Reag will experience with her baby sister and while I don't think she'll struggle too much with the whole jealousy and resentment issues, I do think when adding kids to the family, going from 1 to 2 is going to be the biggest change with the most risk of emotional struggles for the firstborn. Reaghan's basically the center of our lives right now. I mean she's not, our world doesn't revolve around her, but at the same time she is. She is the only one we have to give our attention too, the only one we read books to at night or play with during the day. The only other seat at the dinner table. So when it comes to big changes that are just part of the natural progress of toddlerhood, we want to fit some in before the baby comes so we can avoid unnecessary conflict the first few months the baby joins our family.
Okay, enough of my justifying why we're putting her in her big girl bed!
Her room had been a bit of a hodgepodge of her toys and furniture since we moved in because I knew eventually she'd be moving to the big girl bed and losing the changing table etc so I wanted to wait to really decorate her room until all of the changes happened.
We also put her in the bigger of the 2 spare bedrooms knowing she'd more than likely end up sharing her room with a sister in the future. :)
We spent the week leading up to the big change talking about her big girl bed and trying to get her really excited about it. I think I spent 2 months leading up to this looking for a bed set for her that I loved haha I ended up ordering one from overstock.com so she didn't help me pick out the set. But that Friday that we made the switch I pulled it out and we opening it together and she helped me wash everything and it get it ready. She loves to help me do laundry!
She helped us break down her crib and move it into what will be the nursery. (We need to get on that by the way!) and she helped us set up her new big girl twin size bed!
The bed we have is a low slat frame that was actually Mark's dad's bed when he was kids. They had given it to us after we got married to use in our spare bedroom and I had painted the head and footboard white then. It's perfect for Reaghan since it's fairly low but because its a slat bed we couldn't do a typical side rail - we found out they only work with beds with box springs a few days before we were going to make the move! haha We ordered a foam bed edge from amazon though and it works great. Reaghan moves a lot in her sleep but this has been just enough to keep her in the bed.
We made a big deal about bedtime that night. Mommy and daddy both came in to read her books and say prayers and sing songs.
We bought her a new book about going moving from a crib to a big girl bed.
(She's a big Elmo fan.)
And made sure to give specific instructions about staying in her big girl bed once mommy and daddy said goodnight and left the room and also staying in her bed in the morning until mommy came to get her. We already expect and require her to be obedient throughout our days so, while obviously she is a toddler and doesn't always listen or do what we ask, I was hoping the foundation of obedience we had been laying would help make this transition a little smoother.
The first night she woke up several times. I was expecting this to some extent so went in each time and reminded her that she was in her big girl bed, it was still "ni-night" time and that I loved her. She went back to sleep easily each time.
The second night was only a 2-3 times and I still went in each time to help her back to sleep.
The third night she woke up about 2 times. One time I went in to remind her to go back to sleep and the other time I let her fuss it out for a few minutes and she was able to orient herself and lay herself back down to go to sleep. I think it was also that morning that she woke up at 5am and talked to her teddy bears for about 30 minutes before going back to bed! I just stayed in bed and watched her in the monitor. If she did that in her crib honestly I would turn her monitor down and go back to sleep - but this time I knew I had to stay up and watch to make sure she stayed in her bed!
We are now 2 weeks in and she is back to sleeping 10-12 hours without waking - or atleast without needing me to help her get back to sleep! AND she has yet to leave her bed at night or in the morning until I come to get her. I'd like to think it's because of our awesome parenting haha but I think it has more to do with her more reserved personality! Maybe a combo of both? ; ) I am wondering if this will become an issue as she gets more and more comfortable in her bed.
Even if it does, I am so proud of her for making this big change so well!
Some toddler days are hard and tiring but honestly, this girl is a joy to parent.
She still loves her big girl bed and we still let her know how proud we are that she is doing so well in her new bed because she is a big girl!
Our next challenge is potty training!
To commence in approximately 8 hours.
I have a feeling its not going to go nearly as well as the big girl bed.