Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Girls and Beds

Lucy has been able to climb out of her crib for a while. No big surprise there - Lucy is as tall as all the three year olds we know and she's a spider-monkey incarnate.

In the beginning, I was able to convince her that "We don't climb out of our bed." But then that stopped working, and she would climb out occasionally to get a book or a toy and bring it back into her bed. Which, actually, I thought was ideal. I mean, she's happy and staying (mostly) in bed, right?

Now. Now, she knows that she can climb in and out at will, she DOES NOT STAY in the crib. We pushed the arm chair right up against the crib so that she wouldn't be risking life and limb any more by launching her little self over the railing to the floor (she had been doing this crazy bounding-leap-to-one-arm-drop maneuver that stopped my heart every time). She can now just hop onto the arm of the chair and down. I think you will agree, though, that this is less than ideal. Even more so since Parenting turned into Bed Policing, and I am not a fan.

Every bedtime minutes after I have tucked her in, I have to decide if she's just getting a different book to read or if she's up playing and not going to bed, and then go into her room, get her settled and tucked, etc. And then do it over again in five or ten minutes. The Bubba and I are constantly barking "Get back in your bed!" or "It's time to go to sleep!" On top of that, instead of going to bed at 7:30 or so, she will finally fall asleep when exhaustion grips her at 9 or 9:30. Oh! And the morning! At around 5:30, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep until 7 or so? SHE GETS UP. Presumably because she can.

There is not a whole lot sweeter in this life than waking up to a little face that belongs to a little person who crawled in to share my warm spot in the bed whispering "Hi Mama." But not at 5:30. I mean, come on.

So! Two things: 1) I'm going to buy a Big Girl bed very very shortly, and 2) HOW DO WE MAKE THAT TRANSITION? Especially if Lucy has a medium to low adaptability quotient (see here for example)? I'm going nuts now, so it can't be any worse, but I need a strategy.

Suggestions, please! Aaaaaand go!


Carrie said...

Ethan helped Daniel put together his big boy bed and we really talked it up a lot. And we got him new bedding with his favorite cartoon character on it, which he loved. It was a super-easy transition- and he wasn't much older than Lucy is now. I think he went back to the crib once after we got the bed, and then that was it.

Good luck!

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

When we transitioned my daughter to a big girl bed, we also put a child gate in her doorway to help her learn that when we put her to bed she needed to stay in her room. She tried to climb it a few times, but ultimately it set a boundary for her when she was learning about what bedtime meant when she wasn't trapped in her bed.

Dr. Maureen said...

We did the child gate in the doorway as well. I can't really remember the transition otherwise, nor can I remember when we stopped putting up the gate. Maybe when he was potty training? Huh. But we had to put him in the bed suddenly because he started climbing out of his crib using the classic technique of pitching himself over the railing onto his head. For us, it turned out to be one of those things I worried about and worried about but then was easy and painless.