Peyton (my 1.5 year old) decided to crawl out of her "crib" aka pack-n-play during nap time, so I knew it was time to transition her to a toddler bed.
I know what your thinking...a pack-n-play was her bed?! JUDGE me hard core, I DID NOT buy my baby a crib, I used a bassinet and pack-n-play for the first year she was born because we didn't have the room for a crib.
After she grew out of her "toddler bed" with a crib size mattress we decided to make her a new fancy bed with a twin size mattress! Check out the blog here and learn how to make one for yourself!
A few things to keep in mind/try for yourself
Make this super exciting for them! Buy fun sheets with their favorite animal/color/character
Add their favorite stuffed animal(s) to the bed
Start with the easier routine (nap or bedtime) If they like naps, maybe nap time is the time to introduce a bed to them. It will make the transition easier.
Also, let them know you are turning their old sleeping arrangement into a new one. Include them in the process. This will be less of a shock for them, and they will transition easier.
What if they don't like to nap or sleep alone?
Maybe now isn't the time to transition to a bed. Some kiddos need more affection than others so it's ok. Don't be hard on them or yourself!
Try giving your kiddo more attention/stimulation during the day so they will sleep better.
FOOD FOOD FOOD My kiddo will NOT sleep if she is hungry. Make sure they have a full belly.
Other thing to remember! Sleep cycles or patterns. Peyton used to go a couple days without a nap/refuse to nap and then she would go down easily for a nap. She was usually on an every other day and then she would go 2-3 days before napping.
Here is a great tool on how much sleep your kiddo should be getting.
What do I do if they don't stay in their room?
Get yourself one of these bad boys! Put it on the INSIDE of their room. A child lock will be your best friend. I know It may sound cruel but it will keep your sanity. Peyton learned quickly that she can just get up and out of her room during nap time so we implemented "quiet time" where she didn't have to "nap" but had to stay in her room and do whatever she wanted, for a minimum of 1-2 hours.
Once they learn to leave the door alone and enjoy their quiet/nap time/bedtime, you remove the lock and they have their freedom and have learned self control. Key word here self control!
So back to the transitioning to a toddler bed!
It took us 6 days and here's how it went!
Sunday - Crawled out of the bed and refused to nap and then fell Asleep on the floor. We moved her to her bed after she was asleep.
Monday at babysitters - Woke up at 6:30am and crashed at nap time (In a pack-n-play)
Tuesday- Refused nap. Fell asleep at 6:30pm watching cartoons. She woke up when I tried moving her to her bed and didn’t want me to leave.
Wednesday - Napped at babysitters from 2:00-3:55 and didn’t want to go to bed because she missed me. I laid in her room for about 30 minutes with her.
Thursday - Cried when I left for nap time and slept for 1.5 hours
Went to bed that night no problem, stayed in her room hanging by herself and playing with her toys.
Friday - I asked if she wanted to go to bed and she ran into her room and laid on the bed. She called me over and pushed my head on her pillow. Which was the sweetest thing btw!!! So we read a few books until she calmed down. After I tucked her in, she smiled real big and I walked out of the room and she was ready for bed. EASY PEASY!
We have had some terrible nights but for the most part, most nights ended like Friday and it has been glorious!
So whenever your kiddo is giving you signs or showing you that he/she is ready for a bigger bed with more responsibility, believe them!
YOU GOT THIS!! Mommin' isn't as hard as we make it seem. Good Luck!