An update on our toddler bed transition

For all of you who are fearing for us, or for the boys, a little update. We stayed the course, though we wanted to crack on Day 5 and revert to cribs. It was already too late; they were propelling themselves over the side of the remaining crib and onto the toddler bed. No cribs would be safe anymore, and I don’t love the idea of crib tents. I imagined little hands and faces pressing and pawing against mesh for what? We would only prolong the inevitable.

This particular milestone is certainly made more complicated by the fact that they are twins. G suddenly understood he had a playmate for his antics. You would have thought we installed a jungle gym in their room. Opening and closing the door, jumping on each other’s beds, throwing any object not too heavy or bolted down out through the safety gate into the hallway. And for all his fuss, C seems to have made the transition to the bed faster. Then again, perhaps he is staking out the opposite position from his brother, as he often does. S spent one night on the tiny extra crib mattress in their room, gently chiding them to get back into bed every few minutes. It took two hours for them to settle down.

Naps are the worst, likely exacerbated by having to move the clocks forward an hour. Many days they have not napped at all, and I have been really, really worried that perhaps this switch would mean the end of the nap.  It was complete mayhem for several days. I would leave them and go and check and find varying scenes:

1. G asleep on the floor, clutching one of my shoes that I had kicked off before getting into bed with C. The top dresser drawer is open and all the socks are strewn about.

2. The two of them sitting together quietly, utterly destroying the push-and-pull board book we read before nap. Shreds of the book surround them.

3. G asleep in the bed, C sitting next to him, watching.

4. The two crib mattresses we have on the floor near the beds as cushions have had their sheets removed and thrown into a ball. The beds are askew. G partially under his bed.

We are all suffering the cumulative effects of lost sleep. When I picked up the boys at creche earlier this week, their teacher told me one day that mid-way through lunch, G stopped eating, pushed his chair back from the table and fell asleep sitting up. S told me he fell asleep sitting at his desk. Another day, C fell asleep on our walk home, and he was so out, I easily moved him into the bed. C is actually sleeping much better at this point. He drops off faster for naps and bedtime and he tends to sleep through the night. G wakes at 2 and/or 5, and we sometimes lay down with him or take him to keep him from crying and waking up C. Last night he was in our bed and he fell asleep with his head in the opposition direction from ours, and we were regularly pummeled by his little feet.

But there has been progress. S-L-O-W progress. The amount of time they are up before bedtime is getting shorter. There is no big battle over being in the beds. The other day they fell asleep before 3pm. The biggest issue to conquer is the night waking. I think what it boils down to is sleep training all over again, now that everyone has adjusted to the idea of the beds.

The upside? Such a rush of new sweetness and cuddling because we can get into the bed with them. And finding them like above.


9 thoughts on “An update on our toddler bed transition

    • I’ll be curious to see if you think they have had a growth spurt when you come. All of the sudden, they look very big to me. Even in their beds. Sometimes when I check on them, I tunnel out to some future vision of them sprawled across their beds as teenagers.

    • Well, we have a safety gate over the door, but at some point, that will have to go. I suspect at that time, we’ll be using “abracadabra” and “hocus pocus” and voodoo if that will work. And I spent last night in bed with G from probably about 3-6:30 (when C woke up), so I have created a new problem. We were rigorous with sleep training but now we have been laying down with them and they quite like that a lot.

  1. I’m following your progress on this particular milestone with much interest, as it’s looming large on my horizon (and I’m scared!) Our boy’s nearly 2 and a half but he’s still in his cot – mainly because I’m terrified of messing up his pretty excellent sleep habits, and particularly nap time. The thing that prevents him climbing out of his cot is his sleeping bag, with a complicated zip system that he can’t undo. But we can’t put off the move to a bed forever – so thanks for the positive dispatches from the road ahead!

    • I don’t know how positive my dispatches are, but hopefully you got a chuckle. I hear you. It is so painful to undo the hard work of sleep habits and the fragile balance of things with a toddler in the house.
      Leave for your son for as long as you can! We would not have transitioned except that our hand was forced with the broken crib (and the extra complication that the store we bought this from went out of business, so we couldn’t replace it with a duplicate–it would have caused a twin battle from which we would not have recovered. Hence running out for two entirely new beds.) Hopefully with your son it will only take a week for him to settle into a nighttime, and naps, two weeks. Perhaps you can use us as a “what not to do” case! Good luck.

  2. I love the picture of the boys fast asleep on the single bed. Isn’t it amazing how tranquil they look when they are asleep? It’s hard to believe that previously they would have been tearing around the house and ripping books. They don’t look to have a destructive bone in their bodies. I’m glad the sleep has got a little better. It will probably just improve from here on out, until the next big transition.

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