Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crib to Bed Transitioning Has Begun.

As I type this, my boy is sound asleep and going on two hours for his nap in his big boy bed. Had to come back to this post later that night because he woke up before I finished. That would be naptime day 4. See below.

We are so, so proud of him for being so brave. He will only be 22 months on Monday and he is making huge strides in all areas. Language is off the hook (and fascinating!). He's starting to recognize individual letters in words even! He's no savant and only uses two-word phrases infrequently, but it's incredible what he's capable of saying. He has new words everyday and many are words I had no idea he would even know.

On Saturday after Benjamin's usual nap, he woke up and wanted to spend some time in his big boy bedroom. We weren't pushing the issue much, but we do try to spend time in that room often enough that it's a normal room in the house he frequents and plays. We planned to transition just after the holidays, but that day he seemed quite interested in his bedroom and new bed. Ray asked him if he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed that night and he shook his head proudly and said yeah like he was certain. He was asked many more times that day and when it came time for bed, we tried things out. We also had a little help from enthusiastic grandparents always talking about his new bedroom and bed on Skype, sending a cool new truck lamp for his new room, having lots of his toys and nursery items moved into the room, etc. I felt it would be fun to document the first few days since there were so many comments on my post about crib > bed transition. Since we're in the thick of things now, I figured it would be interesting enough for people to read (or not?). If anything, I like the documentation for us.
Waking from his final crib nap. December 14, 2013

Night 1, 12/14: Tense and anxious with heavy breathing. He never once tried to get out of the bed or into Ray's arms, but he did need some hugs and hand-holds for about 20 minutes before he was calm enough to fall asleep. He held Benjamin's hands for a bit and then let go so he could slowly transition away. Then Benjamin moved his leg so it was touching him. Precious. Ray then kissed him goodnight as usual and left the room. He slept from for 9.25 hours. Not the most epic night of sleep, but not bad for a new room and bed!
Hugs from Dad during night one. Was super brave and didn't try to get out of his bed... but just needed extra cuddles for bravery.
Naptime 1, 12/15: I walked upstairs as usual at his 1 p.m. naptime and put him in bed like normal. No fighting. Slept 2+ hours. Woke happy.

Night 2, 12/15: Ray put him down as usual and laid on the floor near him for about 15 minutes before leaving. He mostly just wants to touch you and be comforted. Slept 10 hours with no wakeups or escapes.
Wakey wakey baby! Chatting away and waiting for us to come get him.
Naptime 2, 12/16: Not as easy of a transition. He started to hit once he realized we were headed upstairs for nap (which he occasionally does before being put in the crib, too) and wanted to be in my arms and not put down. So much hitting and finally I resigned to the crib. After he was not interested in going to sleep in there either, I went in and noticed he needed another diaper change. THREE poops in one hour, people. I think he was nervous... at least for the third one... because let's just say the consistency was not like the other two. I placed him in his big boy bed after diaper change and he still wanted me there. I hung out for about 10 minutes until he was calm; kissed him and left. Slept 2+ hours.

Night 3, 12/16: Dad hung out for about 10 minutes and left once he realized Benjamin was snoring. We try not to leave after he falls asleep so he knows it's an independent task to put yourself to sleep, but he must have been quite tired.
Naptime 3, 12/17: No issue. Went right down. Slept 3 hours.

Before bedtime, Ray went upstairs with Benjamin and some tools and they took apart the crib in the nursery together. Since Benjamin has been in his new room, he hasn't once requested to be in his crib and spends very little time playing in there... despite it being open and available. We decided that since he had been doing so well, it made the most sense to go all-in and commit to the big boy room and bed. If we stopped now, could we start again in a few weeks? And why if he seems to be fine with the transition? So the crib came down. At first he was apprehensive, but mostly because he wanted to jump in there and Ray took it away. I stripped the mattress of the sheet and stuck it on the floor so he can jump whenever he wants, but without the crib itself. It doesn't resemble a crib and is not in the same spot. Seemed to do the trick and he doesn't care it's in the closet away from his sight. Crib will return after a (hopefully) safe arrival of little sister. But by then, the association will not be that she is taking his crib, but that it went away and returned for her this time. Don't want him to feel like she's taking his things and his parents...
Night 4, 12/17: Ray spent about 10 minutes with him before leaving the room. He wanted to touch Ray's face a lot and just reach over every once in awhile. Once he was reassured, comfortable and calm, he received kisses and rolled around until he fell asleep. Slept 10 hours. When he woke up, he chatted to himself happily for 15 minutes before I went in and got him.
Naptime 4, 12/18: Had no problem being put down. Slept 2 hours, woke immediately, got out of his bed and came downstairs (after saying "Hi" quite loudly at the top of the stairs before making his descent). I watched the whole thing on camera and took a screen shot. Boy was that nuts! Considering next steps... mostly concerned about safety issue if he were to try and get downstairs during dark hours. We don't want him falling. Might be reversing the locks on his bedroom door or installing a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Those are generally more of a hazard for adults, so I'm leaning toward reversing door locks.

Yep, I know you're watching me.
We went back upstairs after he came down and ran into my arms (quite proudly) to turn off the air purifier we use as white noise in his bedroom. When up there, he wanted to jump on his former crib mattress-- and required I do the same. Try not breaking the springs on that bad boy and jumping at all at 8-months pregnant. These toddlers can be very demanding with their stern points and commands to "sit" or "jump". I tell ya.

Night 5, 12/18: No issues. Ray went in and put him down and he was calm. Left after a few minutes and Benjamin didn't need the reassurance. That's tonight. Let's see if we have a baby at our bedside in the wee hours of the morning...

Overall, we're really pleased with how things are going and surprised they are going so well (which means potty training will be an utter nightmare and failure). Hopefully I'm not jinxing us, but luckily, Benjamin has always liked his sleep. I was talking with my mom after naptime today and telling her about Benjamin sleeping in his big boy bed so well. He smiled and said yeah quite loudly. When asked this evening if he was excited to sleep in his big boy bed again tonight, he once again said yeah enthusiastically. Never once has he met that question with anything but positive words and actions.

I noticed a few things about the whole process: naps are generally easier because he can still see a bit of light in the room from daylight outside. Nights are harder to transition because he can't see as much and knows this is the long sleep.

And if that doesn't work, we have a backup plan (other than just making it work). We bought him a personalized Daniel Tiger pillowcase for his new bed. We're keeping that baby in our back pocket just in case. And if you want to order one from the PBS website, be informed that it's quite Kmart quality... but whatever. The kid is 22 months. What does he care about thread count?


Marianne said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for documenting this!!! My daughter is 24 months and still in the crib...hasn't cliimbed out yet and her sleep is sooooo fabulous that I am scared of the transition. You've given me courage maybe soon(ish).

Sneaker Teacher said... [Reply to comment]

We are contemplating the same move to the "big girl bed" (we are actually planning to use two twin mattresses we already have from an old daybed on the floor for a first big bed). Our baby is due in May and Grace turns 2 in April. We're not sure when we are going to make the switch or how we'll go about it. I'm nervous for it though. I like how you created the big boy room and let him get used to it without any pressure. That seems like a great way to ease into it. We may end up doing the same and just switch Grace to the room that we planned to be the new nursery and keep her room the nursery for the new baby. Then we don't have to move any furniture.

PS My husband wants to know how you like the dropcam.

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Boy genius, that's what he is.

And he's so cute to want to hold onto his daddy to comfort himself. <3

Nick & Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

Way to go, B!

Wouldn't worry too much about nighttime wandering out of the room and down the stairs. Just leave your bedroom door open; he knows where you sleep and you'll likely be the person he wants in the night, not a downstairs toy.

If it helps, we did put a gate at the top of our stairs once little bro was crawling (upstairs laundry room), but closed it at night only if we had evening visitors. Big sister is so social, she would lay awake listening to us, or try to come visit with the visitors. Closing the gate meant a climbing challenge - and she did safely climb over - but it stopped my heart to think about a fall. So, the gate was mostly for when I was with the noisy laundry machines and needed to keep the crawler safe upstairs.

Calmly repeating the bedtime kiss routine, and saying the same boring "Night night" kept escaping from escalating into a game of wills.

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

What a gangsta looking at you - in a hoodie, all bad ass - while leaving his room. Love it

Ok so I *wont* go ahead and order one that says "Veronica" because thread count and Pima cotton are VERY important to me...

What monitoring system do you use?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! The twins are nowhere near this stage yet, so I'm living vicariously through you!! I love the pic where he is looking at the dropcam- priceless!

Her and Her and Him said... [Reply to comment]

Yay Benjamin! So glad the transition has gone smoothly for you. As I said before, I think these transitions are so much harder on us parents then our kids. Love the pic of Benjamin taking apart the crib.