How To Transition Toddlers Into A Big Bed
Want to know how to transition toddlers into a big bed? It’s a good question isn’t it. Don’t ask me though, I failed miserably three times.
Let me start by saying, not much has phased me so far with motherhood. I had the sleeping, feeding, settling thing going pretty well. We still struggle with a dummy but hey, you’ve got to pick your battles.
But when it came to the idea of Big Beds, and largely thanks to my eldest son giving me anxiety about them the first time around, I saw it as this big hairy shit scary thing.
For the first 2.5 years of their lives I kept my little angels trapped in their sleeping bags and cots – which really are much more like cages don’t you think? I knew they were safe, and I knew that they couldn’t get out. I even knew I could duck into the shower quickly if they were in their cots. It was freedom!
Then one day, the bags were off (and unfortunately not of my doing). Holy hell, there they were – standing at my bed in the middle of the night. So although I had pretended for a while now that we weren’t yet at this point, I finally knew the time had come to transition to a big bed.
In preparation for this, I decided to do some reading. WHAT THE – they make it all sound simple. It was all about going shopping together to buy the bed and linen, talking about moving into the big bed, and reading books – yeah, yeah, yeah. But what happens when all this doesn’t work?
When it comes to my experiences and methods for transitioning toddlers into a big bed, I’ve tried them all.
How To Transition Toddlers Into A Big Bed
I don’t know the best way to transition toddlers into a big bed, but here’s what I tried.
> The Super Nanny Method
I tried the Super Nanny method with my first son – when they come out, no eye contact, pick them up and put them back in. Let me tell you, after 37 times of that one night, I was forced into drinking.
> A Child Gate
Put a child gate up? As if! My son could push that down with one finger.
> Kill them with Kindness
Sit at the door quietly and gently tell them to get back into bed? Hmmmm – great, after two hours he was still telling me to sit down!
When you’ve just got the one child, these tactics might be just the trick (providing you’re blessed with a bucket load of patience). But let me tell you this, when there’s two – it gets worse! The two screaming babies did not appreciate the two hours I spent sitting at their door.
You can see why I have been in total denial about this transition and I was bloody right to be.
Before the transition into a big bed I posted a lovely picture of their beds on Facebook, all ready for the big change. Not long after, I posted (whilst still shaking) the state of their room, including a tipped over tall boy and clothes all over the place. This was at 10pm. They finally fell asleep after lots of ‘cranky’ mum talks.
I was shattered the next day, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I tried to keep them up during the day so they would fall straight asleep (which sort of happened). I also moved any climbable pieces of furniture out of their room – this way they can’t put the light on.
After consulting my ‘twin mums group’, I realised that most of them had the same issues. They also shared photos of the destruction that has taken place during their efforts to transition toddlers into a big bed.
Lots of them had separated their twins at this stage and also removed most of the furniture – to avoid injury.
You see, with my first son, after dealing with the above, we moved houses. It was the perfect opportunity to set the standards. I put a cover over the door knob (yes – I know I am mean) but with newborn twins, this nightly fiasco, could not go on.
My eldest son had three chances before the door got shut each night. Of course he took all of the chances. Some excuses included forgetting to give the oven a kiss, missing me soooooooo much, needing water, needing to wee, needing to ring nanny and poppy, needing to get his bag ready for school and you name it. Once the door was shut after the third chance, it only took two nights. I have found him in his room in all sorts of positions, but he’s always asleep.
With twins though, they gang up on you, they work in pairs, they egg each other on – at sleep time the saying ‘double trouble’ is so true.
In saying this, we’ve been doing ok. The other day they were in each other’s beds, even the blankets, pillows and dolls were swapped over. I’ve also found them both in completely different pj’s.
For me, being strict and sticking to a routine is working (sort of), but it has me on edge each bed time. Transition toddlers into a big bed (especially twins) is a constant battle.
>>> Would love to hear your battles on bedtime and the ‘big bed’ transition and how you overcame it. If you have any tried and tested tips, send them my way!