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Subject: misc.kids FAQ on Crib to Bed Transition

This article was archived around: 2 Apr 1997 04:30:40 GMT

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Misc.kids Frequently Asked Questions Crib to Bed Transition
===================================================================== Collection maintained by: Diane Lin, dlin@weber.ucsd.edu Last updated: 6/25/93 ===================================================================== Copyright 1995, Diane Lin. Use and copying of this information are permitted as long as (1) no fees or compensation are charged for use, copies or access to this information, and (2) this copyright notice is included intact. ===================================================================== To contribute to this collection, please send e-mail to the address given above, and ask me to add your comments to the FAQ file on Crib to Bed Transition. Please try to be as concise as possible, as these FAQ files tend to be quite long as it is. And, unless otherwise requested, your name and e-mail address will remain in the file, so that interested readers may follow-up directly for more information/discussion. For a list of other FAQ topics, tune in to misc.kids or misc.kids.info. ===================================================================== The following is an excerpt from the "call for input" article. If you are particularly interested in an answer to a specific question, you may simply search for occurences of the number, e.g. (2). ------------------------------------------------------------------ Please feel free to structure your response in any fashion you wish. However, the following questions might help you in formulating your comments: (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a bed at that time? (Aside from the obvious sign of child climbing out of his/her crib, what factors conspired to make you decide to transition your child when you did?) (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, and did you find that the preparation paid off? (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If so, how did you solve the problem? (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any changes to his/her sleep routine? (Specifically, my husband would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.) (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did you feel the timing was right for your child? ============================================================== From: lauraf@spanky.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Laura Floom) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Just after his second birthday. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? nope. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? I decided solely on the fact that he tried to throw himself out head first. The next morning I told him when he got home that evening he would have a 'big boy' bed. I knew the time for a bed was coming, but I wanted to put it off as long as possible. I would have rather waited until about 2.5. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? almost none. I showed him a picture in caclogue of the bed I was planning on buying (and was luckily able to find it). I cut it out for him, and we took it to grandmas, so he could show her. He was also getting the same bed at grandmas. she talked about it all day, but he seemed disinterested. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? surprisingly not. The first night he got our 3 times, and each time I just put him back. That was it for about 3 months, and then suddenly it started again. I just remained firm, and the deal was if he got out of bed, then I turned out the light - normally I let him keep it on to read/play. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? (Specifically, my husband > would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son > to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.) nope! sorry. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? We used a toddler bed. If Jeffrey had stayed in his crib longer, I may have considered a full size bed. It cost $70, and now I see them at many stores for more in the $30-40 range. A real good deal, and I didnt have to buy railing. I wqas planning on keeping him in until about 4ish, but now we are expecting another baby about his 3rd birthday, we need the matress. I could just buy another matress, but I think he will handle a bigger bed just fine. I saw this great bed at Easman West. It is a loft bed, with a tent underneath and a slide. It looks like so much fun, and it has a good railing on 3 sides. We are considering it strongly, but will probabky bolt it to the wall. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? it worked out much better then I was expecting. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- From: rick@dodge.Solbourne.COM (Rick Gillespie) We put our (now 25 months) daughter in a toddler bed just before she turned 2 (as part of her birthday present). We decided to move her to a new room, and bed, with enough time for her to adapt before our 2nd child arrives (due in a month and a half). We decorated the new room in "101 Dalmations" style, and let her help us with the placement of furniture and decorations. I think that helped her realize it was *her* room. The first couple of nights we let her decide if she wanted to sleep in the bed, or her crib. The first night she chose the crib, and since then it has been the bed. We now keep the door to her old room closed, so she doesn't even notice it, and the crib, anymore. When she goes to bed at night, we read some books and then she is free to play of sleep as she wants. She *insists* on closing the door when we leave; when we check on her later we leave it ajar so the pets (and her) can come and go. The only real change to her sleep routine is that in the morning she doesn't have to cry for us to come get her; she just wanders out carrying her "blanky" and saying "I wake up!". It makes the mornings less traumatic all around; she's in a good mood, and so are we. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Steve Bellovin <smb@ulysses.att.com> > (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? My daughter was 2.5; my son was 3. > (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? Yes and no, respectively. We moved my daughter out a while before we told her about the upcoming event; we didn't want her to think that the new baby -- a potential source of jealousy -- was ``taking'' *her* crib. > (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? It was time -- he was easily old enough. > (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? For my daughter, we built it up for a few weeks, that she was going to have a ``big girl bed'', and we let her pick out sheets. For my son, apart from the ``big boy bed'' line, he had the incentive that Daddy was going to make the bed, and he *loves* Daddy's tools... > (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No, and no. > (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? (Specifically, my husband > would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son > to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.) Sorry, no change. Curiously enough, it took my daughter a couple of weeks to realize that she could get out of bed by herself in the morning. Daniel had been wandering out of his crib anyway, at least on the days when we didn't have to drag him out... > (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? For my daughter, we got a twin bed. There was no reason to do anything else, and there was a much better selection of child-oriented sheets. For my son, I built a youth bed. I wanted -- and want -- to build him a twin bed, so that he can use the sheets he helped pick out, but other house-hacking projects intervened, and I had no time over the summer to build the fairly-elaborate platform bed plus bookcase that I've designed. The youth bed was a one-weekend project. (Hmm, I'm straying into rec.woodworking territory...) Here's a kid-oriented reason: there's much less volume of sheets, blanket, etc., to wash when he forgets to wake up when he has to urinate. > (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? We wanted to move Daniel earlier, but the bed construction contractor slipped his schedule... Other than that, things were very easy with both of them, and that's more or less the definition of ``right''. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Anne Paulson <anne@dolores.Stanford.EDU> We just transitioned Will (31 months) into a regular sized bed. We got a railing so he wouldn't fall out. Here's how it happened: He has been able to climb out of his crib since he turned two (which is quite late). We just always left the railing down, and he would happily climb in and out. He often slept on his bed (which has been in his room for ages) or in our bed for his nap. He had slept at night in beds several times, and had fallen out several times (without waking up!) One night he saw the cat sleeping on his bed, and asked to sleep there. I let him, but put a futon on the floor next to the bed in case he fell out. He did. The next morning I told him we'd get him a railing so he didn't fall out. A few days later, we all went and bought one with some fanfare. Since then he's been happily sleeping in bed. The crib is still up, but he doesn't want to sleep in it anymore, though he sometimes climbs in to play. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- From: dehring@erim.org (Marilyn G. Dehring) We moved our son, Drew, to a "big-boys bed" when we were expecting our second child. Drew was about 17 months old. We began by getting my husbands old twin-size bed from his parents. We set up the bed by putting a piece of 1/2 or 3/4" particle board on the frame, then putting just the mattress directly on top of that, not using the box springs. The reason we did this was so the bed wasn't so high up.....Drew could climb in and out with little or no difficulty.....and if he fell out, he wouldn't fall as far. We also put a papason cushion right next to the bed, on the floor, so if he DID fall out, he would land on something soft (we left that there for 4-5 weeks until he got used to being in the bed). Next, we bought dalamations and sesame street sheets and put one of them on the bed. We also got those "Priss Print" stick-ups in sesame street design to put up on the walls....we let Drew help decide where to put some of them. We made a big deal about this being "his" room now. We let the room sit there, all decorated, for about 2 weeks. Then one day, I asked Drew if he wanted to try sleeping in the big-boys bed for his nap.....he agreed. We made a big deal about how great it was that he could sleep in a big-boys bed, and how exciting it was, etc. Then, we put him in for nap and I put a childs-gate up at the door so he couldn't come out of his room. He cried for about 20 minutes, and came to the door, so we ended up just closing his door and he cried for about 10 more minutes and went to sleep. I was going to keep putting him in his crib at night until he got used to the bed, but my daycare provider said that that may confuse Drew if I switched him back and forth between a bed and a crib, so we just let him sleep in the bed from then on. The first couple of nights, he cried about 20 minutes or so, but then fell asleep. He had a lot more difficulty taking naps, and for about 4 weeks, he would fall asleep right behind the door, on the floor, but after this rough period, he did well in the bed. He only fell out once, but he just got up and climbed right back in and went back to sleep. We never used a bed-rail, just the papson cushion to help cushion his fall.... I offered to put the bed rail in for him and he told me he didn't want it, so we let him decide on that issue. Drew tends to stay in bed in the morning (although he doesn't "sleep in" per se, he just lays there and calls out for Mom or Dad). What is nice is that, if he is tired during the day, he will sometimes go in and lay on his bed with his minnie (blanket) and just rest. After about 4 months of putting the childs-gate up at night, we stopped doing that and Drew has only once gotten up on his own, and walked around looking for us (we were still in bed) and then he ended up going into his brothers room and talking to him until we got out of bed. As far as the timing of putting Drew into a big-boys bed, ours was a forced decision due to the new baby coming along. I felt a little guilty "making" Drew go into a big-boys bed to begin with, but I think he actually enjoys it more. Plus, Drew was always a big kid so the big bed gives him a lot more room without him running into the crib ends and sides. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: "Amy Uhrbach" <AMY.UHRBACH@OFFICE.WANG.COM> We moved my son Alex to a bed when he was 2 1/2, because he outgrew the crib. Climbing out was never a problem. He never wanted to, and I know he could because he DID climb in! But he was cramped at night, and it was sometimes waking him up. The switch went very smoothly, and he doesn't even need rails so long as he is tucked in. Here's what we did: We have a house in Vermont that we share with 3 other families (BIG). There are 4 bigger boys out of that crew, so there is one big "boys room" We showed Alex how these big boys, his idols, sleep in big boy beds, would he like to next time we went? He was all excited, loved it from the beginning. Only problem was keeping him on the BOTTOM bunk! After that success, we asked would he like one at home? Again, he was all excited, could hardly wait the 2 weeks until it arrived. He's so proud of it! No problems still with him getting out. He never does at night, or if it's too early in the morning. We usually hear him playing and singing for at least 20 minutes, then he either comes out to get us or calls us in. This is much easier for us (and our backs), since we can sit on the edge, don't have to lift him out, etc. We DO still have a multi-song bedtime snuggle in the rocking chair, because I'd miss ending that at least as much as he would. Because Alex's height was an issue, we got him a full twin bed. That also played a part in his motivation. Paid $220 or so for an ash frame, really handsome, from Boston Interiors (Metro-Boston area). They had the exact same items for much cheaper than the other stores, and I checked quite a few. Unless you're very short on room space and rich, I see no need for the toddler beds - you'll just have to buy a bigger one in a year or two anyway. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Ephraim Vishniac <ephraim@Think.COM> >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Slightly over one year. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? After he dumped himself out of the crib twice, we were worried he'd injure himself. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? No real preparation, we just took apart the crib and brought in his new mattress. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Baby gate in the doorway. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? No change that I can recall. He still acted as though he were in the crib. He'd sit on the bed in the morning and call us to come get him. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? We went from the crib to a regular-sized mattress on the floor, then later to a regular bed. David didn't have any complaints. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I think we'll do it the same way again -- watch for a sign that the crib is outdated. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Diane S. ("B" = abbreviation for child's name) Here's how we switched our 20 month old son to a bed. Background: I was expecting our second child, who was due when B was 22 months old. We didn't really want to buy or borrow a second crib. Nor did we think putting the new baby in a bassinet for a few months, then switching B to a bed and IMMEDIATELY giving the crib to the new baby was a good idea. That seemed like a setup for jealousy and problems. So I really wanted to get B into a bed several months before the baby was born. We also switched B to a new room at the same time. His old room is decorated for a baby, and I didn't want to redo that one for a little boy and then decorate a new one for the baby. First we went and picked out the bed. We let B help pick it out, though at his then age of 18 months, he really wasn't all that interested. We got a standard twin bed, not a toddler bed. Those use the crib mattress, which would totally defeat my purpose! He did enjoy picking out new sheets for his big bed (Sesame Street). It was about a month before the bed was delivered. The day it came, my husband tried to put him in the new bed for a nap. He would have nothing to do with it. By this time he was about 19 months or so. At the time, we were doing a lot of interior painting, and were using his new room for temporary furniture storage every weekend, so we really didn't push the issue. We referred to the room as his new room. We moved his bookcase with all his stories in there, as well as his toy box. He liked to get up on the bed and play, or read stories. But every night when we asked if he wanted to sleep there, he said no. In the middle of the month, B got chicken pox and I had to go out of town for about four days. We decided that was DEFINITELY not the time to push the issue, but continued to read stories on the bed fairly regularly. Once he got over the chicken pox, I continued asking him where he wanted to sleep. Once he indicated he wanted to sleep on the bed, so I put him there at bedtime, but he got up crying within ten minutes so I put him in his crib right away, and he settled down. About a month after the bed was delivered, we were out late and B had fallen thoroughly asleep in the car. He stayed asleep as we carried him in, so we just put him in the new bed. He definitely was NOT thrilled to wake up there the next morning! The next two nights when I asked him where he wanted to sleep, he ran crying to his crib. So I was almost resigned to looking for a second crib. The next night, we read bedtime stories in the crib room. He got down, went into the other room, picked out more stories, and climbed up on the bed. So I read him more stories on the bed, then kissed him goodnight and left, closing the door behind me. (We have always kept his door closed). He fussed for about 5 minutes, just his usual I don't want to go to bed yet fussing, but didn't get up. Since then, he has slept in the bed every night! We moved all of his clothes in there about two days later, and now he rarely goes in his old room anymore. It was at least two months before he figured out he could get out of bed by himself. Up until then, he stayed in his bed once I put him in it, until I came and got him out. Of course, to enforce this, I had to get up and come right away when he called to get out! I really think the key was starting early enough to allow B to set the pace himself. He had to wait until he was comfortable enough with the room, and healthy, so he could give up the security of his crib. The only time he has really gotten upset was one time when he mistakenly went into his old room to get a sweater out of his old dresser, and the drawer was empty. I told him that this wasn't his room anymore, that it was going to be the new baby's room. He started to cry until I took him in his new room and showed him again where all his clothes were. Hope this helps someone else! --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: ann@alumni.cco.caltech.edu (Ann Terese Heil) My son transitioned from his crib to a bed sometime after his second birthday. The move was done entirely on his request. We have a futon on the floor in his room, and he just started requesting to sleep on the futon. Once he was on the futon instead of the crib, he could of course get out of his bedroom at night, but we didn't really find this to be a problem - instead of him crying if he needed something in the middle of the night, he simply came into our room and asked us for it ("more apple juice please"). We did not find that he slept any later on the weekends after the transition. Interestingly enough, he is now almost three and is sleeping on the couch out in the living room. I have no idea why he wants to sleep there, but he started asking to be put to bed on the couch so we let him (and sometimes we'd put him to bed in his room and he'd migrate out to the couch later). Kids sure are strange sometimes. --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: gbk@ihlpm.att.com (Gail B Karlovsky) > (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? We tried to move Adrienne to a bed at about age two. At first she was on a mattress on the floor (for a couple of weeks) and did fine. When we received the frame, and she moved off the floor, she woke up numerous times a nite, eventually asking to go back in her crib. She moved back to her crib until we took a trip to New York where she slept on a bed. When we went back home, she wanted to sleep in the bed again, so we bought a guard rail. This was pretty much permanent at age 2 1/2 (only 1 month ago). She no longer wakes up and she no longer talks about monsters (I guess the guard rail, just like the crib rail, keeps them out). > (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? Definitely not, it was very important for us to make sure the two wouldn't coincide... she is still an only child, although we are hoping to start on number two soon... that has to wait til the doctor gives me the go ahead. > (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? Our concerns were exactly those... she was trying to climb out and getting stuck, AND she was jumping alot and we were concerned the crib was going to break. > (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? The transition to the mattress meerly included her shopping with us. We had asked her first if she wanted to sleep in a real bed, and she did. Additionally, she already sleeps on a cot at daycare (low to the ground). With the bedframe, she "helped" us put it together. I think including her in everything helped ALOT. She doesn't give up things easily. > (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? I described this above.... Mostly, whenever she gets out of bed, she always comes to get us and wakes us up. Our concerns were never for safety, since she never did anything but come stright to us. Our concern was for our sleep and once we found the cause of waking up (whether it be falling out of bed or monsters) we were able to solve it with the guard rails. > (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? (Specifically, my husband > would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son > to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.) No... did not change a thing, except shortly after she moved into her bed, we told her we would not be allowing her to have a middle of the night bottle. We are not trying to wean her from the bottle, simply we are trying to get her to the point where when she does wake up in the middle of the night, it is to come get a hug and go right back to bed. This way, we all lose less sleep. > (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Adrienne is in a toddler bed, though I think she will outgrow it sooner than we want to. She could have just as easily gone to a twin size bed, but the smaller bed allows more stuff in her room, and we wanted that. > (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I think the only thing we would have done differently, is we would have gotten the guard rail for the bed the first time she transitioned. I also wanted to point out that when she went to the bed, the crib stayed. It was a much more major transition to take the crib out, and that was initiated by Adrienne. We had bought one of those chains that you hang stuffed animals on, but when Adrienne wanted us to put it up, we explained it had to wait til the crib came out because there was no room for it (this was not done to encourage her to want the crib out, it was coincidental). Before we got to initiate removing the crib, she asked me to take it out of her room. When the crib came out, the whole room got rearranged. She was with us the whole time, "helping" us decide where to put her furniture. Now she has a really neat toddler's room instead of an outgrown baby's room. Hope this helps... --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: stanzi@vision.wellesley.edu (Constance Royden) I worried about this transition too. For us it turned out to be easy. After a trip to visit grandparents, during which Caitlin slept on the floor, she refused to sleep in the crib any more. So, after picking out a bed (twin size) that I liked, we took her shopping to show her the bed and get her approval. Then we took her shopping for bedding and let her pick out her own blankets and sheets. We left the crib up for about a week, after the bed arrived, but it got no use. We then let Caitie "help" take the crib apart and put it in the attic. She's never asked about it since! This all occured when she was 2years 3 months old. So from our experience I would say this: 1) Wait until the child seems ready--talk to her about it if you're not sure. 2) Involve the child in the process--shopping for blankets and sheets, putting the crib away. I admit we had an especially easy time of it :-). ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: ICKAD@ASUACAD.BitNet (Karen Davis) I hope it's not too late to add our experience to the new FAQ file. I feel that our situation might be unique because, although we *did* have a crib set up for Jamie and used it occasionally, we actually had a family-bed up until June of this year, when he was almost 2-1/2. The reason why I *particularly* wanted Jamie in his own bed/room was that Jamie is an "active" sleeper, which caused me to lose sleep--as I would often find myself being kicked or pushed to the rail of the waterbed. Also, although I originally favored the family bed to facilitate nursing, Jamie continued to request nursing through the night, throwing middle-of-the-night tantrums if I was just too exhausted (or sick) to comply. So, the motivating factor was the necessity for *all* of us to get a good night's sleep on a regular basis. I spent a long time pondering how best to make the transition. I decided to re-do his room . . . to truly make it *his* room, and not what we thought it should be. Since he was fanatic about "101 Dalmatians" this summer, we bought him a "101 Dalmatians" comforter for the waterbed (already set up in the room from when it used to be a guest room). Since we had to take the crib down, we had to do something with the tons of stuffed animals, so I decided to buy some colorful (and decorative) hammocks (sold at Toys 'R Us), which we hung up on decorative plant hooks in the corner of his room. The hammocks now hold all the stuffed animals; it's decorative and functional. We kept the changing table, but since we were working on potty training, I moved out the diapers put the diaperaps into the pedestal drawers underneath his waterbed, and filled the bottom shelf of the changing table with all his books. The toys that he used to keep in what we call the "library" (den), we moved into his room, giving us our own space back. We still have some work to do on his closet, so he will be able to access his own clothes and encourage him to dress himself. All this we did while Jamie was taking a long nap one Sunday afternoon. When he woke up, he looked amazed--and especially latched onto his new comforter. He asked a lot of excited questions, like: "This . . . MINE?" And I told him that now he has his own room, his own bed, and his own toys and books . . . all in one place. And, to encourage sleep habits, I enhanced the bedtime routine I first started when we had the family bed. Depending on the time (*he usually starts pre- paring for bed anywhere from 8:30 to 9:00), I let him pick two to three books. I have his water ready is a "sippy cup" (to prevent spills when he reaches for it in the middle of the night) and sometimes a little snack (like crackers). Then I read him his stories--or, sometimes, he likes to hear about what it was like when he was born (almost 3 yrs. ago). Then, I tell him it's time to go to sleep. I turn out the lights (*we keep a light-sensitive nightlight on; it's the kind that doesn't work during the daytime), and ask him if he'd like me to sing to him. He usually does, and makes a request (usually "'Bye-Lo Baby", although I turned the tables on him one time and proposed "'Bye-Lo Mommy--so I had to make up a song like that, which he usually requests these days). I sing two rounds of the song while rubbing his back. When I finish, I kiss him goodnight and say a few 'goodnights' to some of his "friends"-- Woof, the Dog; Blue Bear,Bunny, and Blue Bunny (a family unit), Joey (a little pig in diapers which I gave him for Valentine's Day), and his little Dalmatian puppy he got at Disneyland. Then I close the door. He may call to me now and then to re-cover him up or kiss him goodnight (if he refused when I offered the first time), but basically he never comes out unless he asks first on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and he generally sleeps through the night, unless awakened by a bad dream. Without a doubt, I believe that his age (2-1/2 at the time) was the "right" time, and I am not sorry that we had a family bed. I have *many* good memories of that, and for the first week or so I missed having him with me. But sometimes, after he asks if he can come out of his room, I will say--yes, and he can come in our room--and I will briefly nurse him in my bed again if he asks. Basically, I "went with the flow" of things--his personality, our relationship, and . . . above all, what I felt in my own heart. This experience has been a valuable lesson to me, because so many older/experienced parents (like Matt's father and stepmother) would frown when they learned that we had a family bed, saying, "He'll never learn to sleep on his own or in his own bed," and I'm overjoyed to prove them WRONG!!!! If and when we have another child, I'll feel a *whole* lot better about ignoring outsiders and trusting myself! -------------------------------------------------------------------- From: xtkmg@blaze.trentu.ca (Kate Gregory) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Beth went from her crib to a mattress on the floor at 18 months, and at 3.5 has *just* (two days ago) switched to a real bed. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? She didn't climb out of her crib but she wouldn't go into it without a fuss, had a fit if she woke up to find herself in it, etc. After three nights of sleeping on just the floor we dragged a mattress from the spare room. After a while we took the crib down and ordered a mattress for her. A cheap foam one. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? No preparation at all. But it was definitely her decision so perhaps she should have prepared us :-). For the switch to real bed we have been telling her for a month or so that her bed is coming, and when it arrived she insisted we assemble it immediately and she wanted to sleep in it right away. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? In the night she used to lie still and cry for us. In the morning she would come to our bed. That was nice. Now sometimes she comes to our bed in the middle of the night. We deal with it fairly ad-hoc: sometimes we take her back, other times she crawls in with us. If one of us feels crowded out, we go sleep in her bed. It's no big deal. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? The mythical child who gets up and quietly plays with toys while the parents slumber on sure doesn't live at our house :-). But instead of frantic shrieking to be got from the crib, we're woken by someone climbing on us or kissing us. Much better. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? It was a twin mattress. Now it's a twin bed. Room for someone else to lie down with her. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? Yes, I like the way we did it. The room does look neater with a bed rather than a mattress, so I don't regret switching now. We never had to worry about her falling out. ----------------------------------------------------------------- From: watrous@cs.rutgers.edu (Don Watrous) We did this just seven weeks ago, so I'll give my comments. In misc.kids you write: >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 2 years, exactly. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? She never climbed out of it, but seemed interested in a "grown-up" bed (like her 5-year-old brother's). >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? Asked her if she wanted one. Then gave it to her on her birthday. It was a big hit and she wanted to go to bed right away. (It was given around bedtime.) >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No, she will lie in bed and call us - well trained by the crib! (We do have a gate across the (full flight down) stairs just outside her door, but that's been there for a long time. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? No difference I've noticed. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Crib to toddler with guard rails ("My Little Bed" from The Newborne Company). On sale, it was about $40, the same as two add-on rails her brother still uses (he's a violent sleeper). The rails cover about 1/2 the length of the bed. She's only fallen out once - and it's lower. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I liked the timing, though my wife was apprehensive, since Shaina hadn't really expressed any unhappiness with the crib, and she was afraid she'd wander. -------------------------------------------------------------------- From: sgauch@damon.ccs.northeastern.edu (Susan Gauch) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Age 2.6. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? Yes. Baby due in 6 months. Wanted Laura adjusted to the new bed (and new room) well before baby's birth. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We fixed up the new room, showed her the new furniture. It was set up several days before the move. She brought her own "special things (bear, blanket, toys) to the new room herself. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Laura sometimes comes and visits me at night, sometimes calls me to her. We average 1 visit every 2-3 days. Not a real big problem and I just carry her back to bed, rub her back, kiss her and leave. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? Yes. Laura woke during the night, had troubles falling asleep, woke earlier in the morning. I don't know how much was losing the crib, how much the switch in rooms, but we lost about 2 hours (one at night, one in the morning). Eventually (8 months later) she got so that she goes to bed at the old time, but that required eliminating the afternoon nap. She never sleeps as late. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Regular size bed. I wouldn't buy an extra toddler bed that would need to be replaced again - too expensive. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I'd have kept her in her crib until she was ready for college if I had to do it again. We lost so much sleep over so many months and had never had sleep troubles before. Whether it was the room or the crib, the change was traumatic for Laura and she simply would not stay in bed/her room. Even spankings (the first and almost only thing I've ever spanked for) didn't keep her there. Hour long bedtime rituals didn't keep her there. All that worked for us was to promise to check on her and return in 5 minutes (gradually increasing to 10 or 15 as the evening dragged on). Also, the tape recorder helped. Penelope Leach recommends buying a second crib for the new baby, and boy I wish we did. A year later, and the adjustment is made, but at what cost? The "5 minute check" routine was also a Penelpe Leach suggestion - great book! --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Pat Hoyt <pahoyt@neumann.uwaterloo.ca> I chose just to answer your questions. I have two boys, neither of whom experienced transition problems. Indeed, it never occurred to me that there might be until I read the thread on the net. |(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Both were about 2 1/2 years old. |(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. |(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a | bed at that time? It was time. Hard to explain but we just felt that they were ready to have their own bed. Of course, from what I've read on the net, they were older than the average. |(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, | and did you find that the preparation paid off? We did the same for both boys. Talked about buying a "real" bed for them, they went with us when we looked at some second hand beds, and they were around (and "helped") for the dismantling of the crib and the set up of the new bed. The older especially, was so pleased to be in a big bed. His first night he called us in -- he was so proud and there was a grin on his face from ear to ear. |(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of | his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If | so, how did you solve the problem? Not at first. The older boy, especially, didn't realize that he COULD get out of bed if he wanted to. We did have a spell with him in which it became a big game for him. Our solution was to "visit" frequently -- at first every 10 to 30 seconds. If he was in bed, he got a big hug and praise. If he was out of bed or came out of his room, he got helped back matter of factly. I can't recall how long it took (not a real long time), but soon every 5 and 10 minutes became the norm, and then we'd only do 1 or 2 per night and now a year later, we just visit if he calls us. We never had this problem with the younger, probably because we knew enough to nip it before it became a problem. I've read, and it is true for us, that if you expect them to stay in bed you have to do a certain amount of "waiting" on them -- i.e. get them a glass of water, blow their nose, etc. Another aspect to this problem, was that our son was just toilet trained at the getting out of bed stage. So, trips to the bathroom were never commented on as we had no desire to interfere with his toileting achievements. In some cases, it was obvious that it was a stalling tactic but there were a couple of occasions that I assumed that it was and I was proven wrong. I was glad then we had decided not to interfere with any trips to the bathroom. We never had any problems in the middle of the night or early morning. I don't know why, but even now when it is definately time to get up, my younger will lie in bed and call for me unless his older brother has gotten him up and going. (They share a room.) |(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any | changes to his/her sleep routine? Ha! No way! :-) Our second was a early morning waker. What fun!!!! But no, we didn't notice any change in sleeping patterns. |(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to | a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy | with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Made the transition to a regular sized bed -- twin size. We were and still are happy with that decision. One reason for doing it that way, is that we couldn't see spending money on a toddler bed and then more money when they outgrew it. (Our financial state is less than healthy) |(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the | transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did | you feel the timing was right for your child? We'd do it the same way. I think our younger son could have transfered a few months earlier but it took us awhile to find a bed. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: "Ginger Goral" <GSA@osnnov1.adp.wisc.edu> Our 4-yr. old transitioned to a regular bed at about 18 months. We were planning a long vacation/business trip overseas when she was going to be 20 months and we wanted her accustomed to a regular bed. I'll answer your questions: 1) 18 months 2) No, taking a trip. We do plan to transition our 14 month old soon, however, due to the arrival of his sibling in May. 3) See above. 4) We just got her excited about a big girl's bed, and she was very game to try it. 5) Only problem was she fell out of bed ALOT for the first 3 days and then never did again. It was as if her body and mind had to figure out that there were no borders on the bed. In her crib she had changed position constantly, but she seemed to stay much more in the same position once we transitioned her to a bed (after the 2-3 days). We did it cold turkey - no borders or chairs on the side of the bed, figuring she would learn faster instinctively to stay on the bed and this worked for us. Of course we cushioned the ground so when she fell out she wouldn't hit the floor. 6) No changes to her sleep routine. In fact, she still called to us rather than climb out of bed which she could easily do. You might try leaving a favorite toy on the bed - this seems to work for our son. 7) Crib to twin bed. 8) The time was right for our daughter. She was already waking up dry at night, although we did have a waterproof sheet on the mattress. She transitioned very smoothly and was very proud of her big girl bed. ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: biddleco@bmf.usc.edu (Susan Biddlecomb) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Up to 9 months old she spent about half the nights in a crib and half in our bed. Since that time (she's 3 now), we've all slept in a 'family bed'. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No (no siblings) >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? She started trying to catapult herself over the crib rail at 7-8 months! She seemed very trapped and very unhappy in the crib. And, her dad started using the crib as a 'time-out' place when she was crying so it had some negative connations to it. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We didn't really prepare her, it was very gradual. When she was 14 months old we moved to a new place and didn't set the crib up there. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Nope. Of course since we are all in the same bed we know if she wakes up before she has a chance to get up. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? Not really. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? To our bed (King-sized for two adults and a child) >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? If we had the space I would like to have put her in a toddler bed. ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: jane@apollo.hp.com (Jane Marcus) Both of my kids transitioned to a bed before 2 years old. Each of them was inclined to climb out of the crib, especially during a tantrum, and we transitioned them to beds as quickly as we could to avoid injuries. Preparation for sleeping in the bed included setting up the bed with a pretty blanket, pretty sheets, etc. so that the bed would be appealing. Then we would encourage playing on the bed during the day. Sometimes we would lie together on the bed for a few minutes in the dark. I would guess that this preparation was helpful, but I can't say for sure. Our older daughter transitioned quite easily. She was in her bed a full 6 months before her sister was born and didn't have any attachment to the crib leftover, so that was easy for us. The problems she had (and continues to have) are that she rolls all over the place and doesn't seem to be able to stay under covers. So she's almost 5 now and she still wears blanket sleepers to bed and we keep a full length bedbar on her bed. At first we also had to put pillows at the foot of the bed because she sometimes would roll off the end of the bed, but she seems to have outgrown that. Our younger daughter had a worse time transitioning. We had her crib in a small nursery room which was too small to put a bed. So the transition was from crib to bed and also into a new room. She seemed to want to sleep in the new bed (and would play on it during the day) and liked the idea of sharing a room with her sister (her older sister was really great about it too). Given a choice of sleeping in crib vs. bed, she'd always choose the bed. But once in bed, she would ask for her crib again and this would be disrupting the bedtime routine for both kids. So, finally I questioned the net for advice and I got some good ideas. I wondered if I should backoff from the transition because she was still quite young, but most people thought she was old enough, especially since she seemed to want to sleep in the bed. A lot of people advised me just to get rid of the crib (which I decided not to do). Some people gave me tips on how to make the crib safer so that the transition wouldn't be as necessary. Examples: --leaving the side down and putting a stool there for climbing in and out --removing the crib legs and leaving the side down so that the crib "nest" was still intact for the security but the crib was now down on the floor (for me, this would have ruined the crib though). Then leave the side down for easy climbing in and out --using just the crib mattress on the floor I decided not to use any modified crib ideas, and wanted to make the bed work (note that we were using a full length bed bar, which several people told me was essential). Instead we followed the advice of others to move the crib into the new room. It was really, really crowded in there, but we were pretty desperate to get on track following a few mishaps with climbing out of the crib. With the crib in the new room, I didn't ask her where she wanted to sleep, but would just put her in the crib. She eventually got used to the new room and after about 2 weeks, started asking to sleep in the bed. At this point, we started giving her the choice again about where to sleep. We left the crib in the room for about another week, and then took it down at the point that she didn't ask to sleep in the crib for several days in a row. I feel sure that her problem with the transition had little to do with giving up the crib and more was the problem of sleeping in a different room. In any case, she enjoyed extending the bedtime routine to include having mom/dad lie with her briefly in bed with the lights out, which was something that was not possible with the crib. -------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Stephanie Winner <winner@apple.com> >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 1 year >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No, although it was convenient since her sister was born 4 monthes later. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? We had to move her to a bed since she had climbed out of her crib. We had been considering moving her out soon anyway. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? Since it wasn't planned, there was not preparation. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? We had purchased a swing door gate and used that on her doorway from the first night she was out of the crib. That kept her from coming into our room or falling down the stairs. The swing door is nice since she will be able to open it herself when she is older (we plan to use it for a while since she shares a room with her younger sister) and we don't have to climb over a gate. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? It didn't change anything, probably because she was so young. The first two nights we spent some extra time tucking her in. If she wakes up too early now (before 6AM) we tell her that it is not morning yet and to go back to bed. If necessary, we put her back in bed. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Since we didn't plan to move her out of the crib so soon we just used a full sized mattress and boxspring that we had. We just put it on the floor and it worked great. She did fall off it a few times early on, but since the floor is carpeted she didn't hurt herself. When she was about 18mo I got a comforter and sheet set (very bright colors) with fish on it which she liked a lot. I also got some of the post-it type room border in a fish theme which she is wild about. She like to peel the fish off it and move them around. It is right next to the bed. She also has a fish tank which she can see from her bed (she couldn't touch or see them well from the crib). >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? We wanted to make the transistion around 15 mo, so we could use the crib for her sister. 12mo turned out to be great since she was too little to get very upset. She also was too young to try and escape, so having a gate put up didn't bother her. She probably doesn't remember not having a gate up. ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: riggle@adobe.com (Kathleen Riggle) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 28 months old >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? Well, many, many months ago, we caught Rachel with her leg over the side of the crib. She's not really a climber, but I started thinking about "big girl beds." We mentioned it to her. I'd talk about it on and off. Now, usually, if I mention something to her, I follow through. But, the time just wasn't right, she hadn't really climbed out of her crib, I was unsure if she would like it, etc, etc. Then, one day we were reading a book ("Twinkle, Twinkle" from Chinaberry books; wonderful!) and at the end of the book, Rachel pointed to the bed and said, "Rachel gets a big girl bed, soon, soon." It sounded to me that she wanted to get one, so we did. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? Well, we just talked about it a lot before we actually did it. I had scoped out the stores earlier for beds I liked and we took her with us to pick it out. Boy, that was a disaster! She went non-linear in the store; climbing on beds, wanting to jump on them. We had to drag her out of the store screaming. I went back and got the bed on my own. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Not really. In fact, she sometimes still calls for us to get her; other mornings, she appears in our room with blanket and animal friends in tow. I'm not going to say night time wanderings never happen; sometimes she comes in because she is cold and we just go tuck her back in. It's not a problem. The other night she came in and ended up sleeping in our bed. Dave asked her the next morning what had happened; she had heard sirens and they scared her. We probably could have put her back in bed that time, but I think we were too tired to bother. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? Forget that! Rachel is waking up earlier! However, she is also eating like a horse; she can't eat enough. I looked at her on Thanksgiving when she had a dress on and thought how skinny her legs looked. We measured her and she's grown an inch and 1/2 since summer! When she wakes up early, she usually asks for breakfast. We are trying to feed her a little more in the evening. But, other than waking hungry, we really haven't noticed any sleep changes. However, putting her down to sleep is a lot harder. She stalls more; she wants water, she wants to say goodnight to the cat or mommy or daddy (whoever is not trying to wrestle her into bed), she wants another story, etc. We are trying to make a firm routine to handle this. The first week, she seemed a little scared. She was happy to have the bed, but it was a big change. So, I sat by her bed and we listened to music in the dark and I would hold her hand. After about 3 minutes, I would say I had to go and she was to sleep. She would protest, but she never got out of the bed. As soon as the door closed, her protests stopped and she went to sleep. A couple of times at nap time, she has gotten out of her bed and done something (we've never looked; just heard her.) After a few minutes, she would crawl back into bed and sleep. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Toddler bed. I'm happy with it and Rachel is too. It's small enough that she can climb on it herself and that really gives her a feeling of accomplishment. She likes to sit on it and play with her dolls, tuck them in, etc. The first night, she fell out twice. We put pillows and blankets to cushion the fall and the other side of the bed is backed up to the wall, so she can't hurt herself when she falls. This made me feel a lot more comfortable. Laura Floom pointed out to me that since children are still potty training durning this time, that since they are using their crib mattress, they can wet on it and if it's ruined, hopefully by the time they move to a larger bed, they are night-timed trained. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I thought the timing was fine. A couple of other points: Rachel always had a night-time and nap-time bottle. I've wanted to phase these out for awhile, but the timing never was right. Well, we put the transistion bed up and that night, she refused the bottle. It was as if she knew that she was a "big girl" now and didn't need bottles anymore. Boy that was great! I was afraid that it was going to be too much of a change for her all at once, but it was her decision. Sometimes she will ask for a bottle, but it's a stall tactic and Dave just tells her that we don't do bottles anymore. She's okay with that. ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: elliottt@cis9.b10.ingr.com (Terri Elliott) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? About 18 months. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? He had begun to try to climb out of his crib. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We talked to him about it a lot and took him with us when we shopped for another bed. He was there when the bed was delivered and watched it being assembled in his room. We really made a big deal about it being a big boy bed. For about two weeks, we let him sleep on the floor beside his new bed on his old crib mattress. We wanted him to get used to sleeping without the sides of the crib. We moved him to the bed after that with no problem. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Not for 2-3 months. At first he didn't understand that he could get out by himself. Then he started climbing out only when we were there. We used a gate in his doorway until he was about 22 months (when he began to try to climb over it). A couple of months ago, (at about 23 months) he started coming into our room in the middle of the night to get in bed with us. We have had no other nighttime wanderings yet. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? I don't think so. If anything, he is sleeping a little longer because he can come in and climb in bed with us in the mornings and sometimes goes back to sleep. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? We bought him a This End Up twin bed. This bed is wooden with lift out wooden rails. It can be made into a bunk bed just by getting another of the same bed. We have been very happy with it. He can now climb down the rail and side like a ladder. (We did initially put blankets and quilts around the rails and ends of the bed to pad it in case he fell down and hit his head on the wood, but we took that off at about 23 months with no problems.) >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? I think it was great for him. He really took to the new bed right away without problems. --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: cathy@octelb.octel.com (Cathy Kearns) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Just past 2 years old. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? At our weekend house she had a twin bed in her room. She had more or less decided she liked that bed better. She also had this terrible habit (caused, of course, by us parents letting her get away with it) of refusing to fall asleep in her crib. We decided if we got her a big bed, we could lay with her until she fell asleep. For our weekday home we got a full size futon, which had two advantages over the twin bed. 1) it was close to the ground, so if she fell out she only fell 6 inches, 2) it was big enough for a parent to lay down with her. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? Well, we were letting her help us set the bed up, until she ran off with all the hardware and wouldn't let us have any bolts, so then we put her in her crib (the first time we used it for a jail) until we finished. At that point she was mad at the crib and wanted it out of there, so we took it down. She had no problem adjusting to the new bed. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Okay, so she wanders out of her room into our bed quite often. If she does it two days in a row, we talk to her about it and she stops. We did have to make her room "friendly" by removing all the things she thought looked scarry, but now she falls asleep in her bed alone after we read her a story and tuck her in. Just recently, now that she turned 3, we have heard her in the middle of the night wander out to the kitchen and get a glass of water, but then she goes back to bed. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? Actually, in our case, she did sleep longer in the morning. No clue why. But she does come in a wake us up when she gets hungry. (Around 7, or even 8 sometimes on weekends.) (If she's not up by 7:30 on weekdays we wake her up.) >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? I highly suggest a full size bed so an adult can lay with the child, especially those chilly nights, or scarry nights, or nights when she is sick. It's worked great for us. (On the other hand, that twin bed at the beach house is a pain.) >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? It worked out well for us. -------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Patrick S. Clark <SLB3Y@CC.USU.EDU> >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 18 months, maybe 20 >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? In part. We decided to move him to a bed before the birth, so he wouldn't associate the two. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? He fell out one night, despite normal anti-climb precautions. We thought a bed would be safer. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We put the bed together in his room with him "helping." We left it there, and put him in the crib normally. A few days later, we started asking him where he'd rather sleep, crib or bed. He took to the bed right away using these steps. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? He still does. If he's still sleepy, he climbs into bed with us. Some nights he remembers his pillow, others he asks us to get it for him. We don't really think it's a problem, as long as he goes to sleep in his own bed. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? He had trouble falling asleep on his own for a few months. We got him back to the routine with a little patience and a lot of repressed irritation. And no, he doesn't sleep longer. He gets up a little earlier now. We think that's partly because he's getting older, and so needs less sleep. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Toddler bed. Yes, we're happy with it. When we need to move Sarah to that bed, Michael will be ready for a "regular-size bed." We don't know exactly what size that will be, though. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? Worked just fine for him. Each child is different, of course, so we don't know how Sarah will handle the transition. But that's a year or two off, anyway. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- From: jeana@sco.COM (Jean Antisdel) I used a technique described in a magazine article written by Ferber on how to move a toddler from your "family" bed to their own bed. (If I can find the article I'll post it). We used this technique with our son when he was approx 2 1/2 years old. He had been sleeping in our bed since he was 1. (note that this was over a year ago so this is only what I can recall :-} ). One thing that Ferber stressed in the article is that you can't expect the change to occur overnight. It will take some time. It took us about 3 weeks to transition our son. This is what we did 1st week (a) Reduced cuddling in our bed. My son had gotten to the point where he wouldn't fall asleep unless he was tucked next to me with my arms wrapped around him. So I spent a couple of days weaning him from requiring that. (b) Bought a new bed, etc. He helped to pick out the sheets/comforter/etc. We let him spend a couple of days adjusting to the new bed's existance. Everytime I read him a book, I would take him to the new bed and lay on it and read. My son loves to read so he thought this was great. We bought a trundle bed with the extra bed underneath (by the way - i think these are great... when we put James to bed at night we pull out the trundle. The few times he has fallen out of bed ... he has fallen right onto the other bed and kept sleeping :-} ). 2nd week (c) I put him to bed in his new bed and slept in the trundle bed. Ferber indicated that it was important to provide your presence in the room but not to be IN the same bed with them. You could do the same with another mattress or sleeping bag on the floor. Don't let them come down and sleep with you. I slept in his room for approx 1 week. This does NOT mean staying there until they fall asleep and then sneaking out. By this time he was ok sleeping by himself in his bed with my presence. He was no longer waking in the middle of the night to reassure himself that I was there. 3rd week (d) Put him to bed and indicate you have to do a few things first. I saved my laundry folding for this time. I would fold the laundry in his room and sing him songs. You start building up the amount of time you are gone. Leave for 5 minutes (oops got to pull some clothes out of the dryer be right back), next time 10 minutes, next time 15 minutes, etc. The concept here is that you reassure them that you will be back and they are ok for a short while without you. By the time we got to the 15 minutes he was usually asleep. This was enough for us to transition him to his own bed. The few times he tried to get up out of bed, I would indicate that if he stayed in bed then I would leave the door open. If he got out of bed and left his room then the door would close. He didn't threaten this to many times. He is still welcome in our bed. He often wakes up early in the morning 5-6 am and wakes up and comes and snuggles with us. So we still get our morning smiles and cuddles :-}. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: mhn@cs.brown.edu (Marian H. Nodine) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Tim -- 2 1/2 >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? Yes >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? We are soon planning to move Anna into a bed because she *really* wants one. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We took Tim out shopping and let him pick out some sheets. We got a bed rail. Yes, it did pay off (he loved his sheets!) >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No. We had about two months before he figured out that he could get out himself. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? No changes in the sleep routine. But once Tim learned he could get out, he wanted to come to us instead of playing quietly in his bed after he woke up. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? We went from crib to twin-size bed. In retrospect, I think the new bed was a bit tall, but Tim got used to it. I like the idea of a trundle ged -- it would have been useful, I think. With Anna we are planning to go to a toddler bed (no room for a big one yet). >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? We thought it was just fine. Tim had about five months in his bed before Anna came, and was more than happy to give her his crib. I think if the switch had been quicker, he would not have wanted her in his old crib. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: jbv@IMD.Sterling.COM (James B. Vacanti) Our son Christopher was 20 months old when we started the crib to bed transition. We were expecting our 2nd child 4-5 mos later and wanted plenty of time for Chris to get used to his new bed, and not feel that he was being displaced by the baby. He had not yet climbed out of his crib but we wanted to make the whole transition a positive situation and not a reaction to something. We started by taking him shopping to several places to look at beds and kept explaining to him that we were looking for his very own "big boy bed". We decided that a toddler bed was a waste of time and money, and bought a twin size standard frame, mattress, (but no boxspring), a chest and dresser. We put a piece of 3/4" plywood under the mattress to keep the bed low (planning on him falling out), and got a safety rail also. We can get the box spring in 1-2-3 yrs, whenever it seems like a good idea. So far we are very happy with this decision. Most of our preparation for the transition was in telling Chris that he was getting to be a "big boy" and was ready for a big bed of his own. We kept all of our comments positive and encouraging ('you'll like your new bed, lots of room to roll around, a big pillow of your own' etc.). We got him Mickey Mouse sheets and pillow case, but no comforter (he was still small enough that his favorite blankie was plenty, plus he can't help but stay warm in his footed blanket sleepers). We just got him a comforter at age 29 mos, but so far he refuses to get under it (except to play and hide). This preparation seemed to work pretty well. Even when we did have problems he never wanted to go back to his crib (mainly he just didn't want to be in bed - he wanted to be with us). We had seen a TV special (20/20 I think) about how to handle bedtime with small children, and had applied it with greast success while still in the crib. This definately helps the crib to bed transition. 1. Have a ritual. Ours is (optional bath), getting pajamas on, fixing a snack (Chris has to get the apple out of the fridge, watch you cut it up, carry it out on a dish), pick out a book, sit in a designated spot (ours is a recliner chair - which also happens to be his "time-out" chair), eat snack while being read to (max of 2 books). Don't be surprised it s/he picks the same book night after night after night .... After snack/book we brush our teeth (he does not me). We started this at about 2yrs with just a toothbrush and water. Added bubble- gum flavored toothpaste at 28-30 mos. After brushing it's "Time for kisses time", and Chris goes around and gives everyone a nite-nite kiss. Then off to bed. 2. FOLLOW THE RITUAL ! Make sure baby sitters, grandparents, etc. know what the ritual is and that they follow it. Kids at this age THRIVE on consistency! If you do things in the wrong order you will hear about it. 3. Settle into bed (for a 2YO this is a relative term). Make sure we have our blankie, favorite stuffed animal, favorite car (don't laugh - whatever works), most recently received toy (you just can't stop grandparents), but keep it to 1-5 minutes. Usually the "parent of the night" (whoever is doing the ritual) gets his/her nite-nite kiss in bed, talks about what fun they had that day (special outings etc), what may be going on tomorrow, and says goodnight. 4. The whole ritual is done in a matter-of-fact manner. You expect it to be done and you "create the expectation in the child" that it will be done. There is no pleading or asking (I'm talking about the parents here!). You are TELLING your child that s/he will be following this ritual DO NOT ASK, SAY PLEASE, BEG, BRIBE, etc. You are the adult, s/he is the child. S/he does what you say "BECAUSE I SAID SO" (yes, I have read a lot of John Rosemond). 5. Our rule is "You must stay in your room". Note that is is not "you must stay in bed". "If you don't stay in your room then we will close the door". Yes s/he will scream his/her head off if you actually do this, but you will only have to do it once or twice. We have had to resort to sitting in his doorway, reading the newspaper and IGNORING him. S/he will fall asleep on the floor numerous times but will eventually stay in bed. I knew one parent whose son slept in the closet after she closed his door. If you have to close the door wait 1-2 minutes then go in and calmly, patiently explain the rule again, ask for understanding, (give comfort of course, hug, but don't let it turn into too much clinging - I've heard of parents who cannot get their kids to sleep unless they are rocked with specific music playing until they fall asleep). 6. The child must learn to "put him/her self to sleep". If you lay with him/her or rock or whatever, you may get him/her to sleep but s/he has not learned how to do it themselves. It really won't hurt them to cry while you sit in the doorway. But you must IGNORE them or they will learn that they can control you by crying. By adding the teeth brushing to the ritual you kind of have a built in "drink of water" that they sometimes ask for right after going to bed. Things went pretty well for a few weeks then all of a sudden Chris did not want to stay in bed. It was a real struggle and we had to sit in his doorway every nite until he fell asleep. I think the solution was to buy a cheap table lamp that we put on his dresser (right next to the head of his bed. Then we added "turning on the light" to the bedtime ritual. We have no rule against staying awake (just staying in his room). Some days if Chris has a good nap he will stay awake until 11pm, "reading" books, and playing with toys/animals. And NO! he does not sleep in any later since being in the bed. We feel very comfortable with the single bed decision, and the timing (Chris wasn't too old that he was too entenched in his perceived bed or bedtime ritual that the switch was not a big struggle). ------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: laedlein@jpmorgan.com (Mark Laedlein (X6-4468)) My wife & I have a 2 year 11 month year-old boy and a six-month old girl. They share a room. (1) We transitioned our son to a "crib-sized" bed at about 2 year 3 month then to a regular sized bed at 2 year 10 months. The Right Start Catalog has a great "crib-sized" bed. $80. (2) The first transition was motivated by the new arrival. The second was because he was getting to big for the small bed. (3) The second transition was motivated by his sleeping movements as well, he tended to "rotate" while sleeping and soon he would be off the bed. (4) We talked to him about it a lot. We found a book "Davin's new Bed" which described a boy in the same position and how he felt about it. This was very useful. (5) He is at a stage where night fears are very powerful and he has been wandering into our room at all hours. We try to get him settled back in his bed. The bed he has is a trundle bed (or is the one underneath it called the trundle?) anyway one of use sleeps on the trundle bed. By the way, having a trundle bed is a great way of preventing harm from falling out of a big bed. We just pull the bottom bed out a bit and we know that he'll fall onto that instead of the floor. As it happens, he hasn't fallen on either, but it relieved our anxiety about it. (6) No change in sleep routine. Sorry, but he'll get up at the same time as always. (7) see above. (8) just right, actually. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: Julia Rodriguez <juliar@hpclbis.cup.hp.com> (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 2 years 3 months (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? NO (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a bed at that time? The 1989 earthquake. After the quake my daughter was very upset. We continued to have many aftershocks. She refused to sleep in her own bed, although she had always done so before the quake. I figured that the crib felt very shaky during the quake. My husband and I sleep on a futon close to the ground. (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, and did you find that the preparation paid off? Yes, preparation paid off. We took her to the store to pick out the bed. She helped put it together. It was a cotton futon on a low platform like ours. There was just enough room for her to get under the platform in a quake. (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If so, how did you solve the problem? Never. It just didn't occur to her to get out of bed without calling us. She calls us if she wants a drink or to go to the potty. She called us in the morning when she woke up until she was about 4 years old. (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any changes to his/her sleep routine? None. Although now if she has a nightmare or is sick, we can lay beside her in her own bed if we want to. This has the advantage of disturbing only one parent. (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Regular size futon on a low platform. She has only fallen out of bed once or twice in 3 years. (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did you feel the timing was right for your child? Without the earthquake we would have waited longer. But there was no problem doing it when we did. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: CLARK_B@CHO000.dnet.ge.com (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 2.5 years (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a bed at that time? Child didn't seem like a baby anymore, just seemed like he was ready to sleep in a "real" bed, we were ready to trust him with the freedom a bed would give him (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, and did you find that the preparation paid off? Asked him if he wanted to well before getting serious about it, let him go along while we shopped for furniture, talked about it Yes, I think it helped (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If so, how did you solve the problem? No, even 1.5 yr later he still is good about this (At first he didn't realize he could just get out of bed when he wanted to - in the morning he would wake up and call for us!) He has fallen out of bed twice. (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any changes to his/her sleep routine? No, nothing noticable. He cried 5-15 minutes the first week of nights because of the excitement and also because we did not allow the pacifier to make the switch from the crib to the bed. To your question - your child will have the opportunity to amuse himself in ways not available to a child in a crib when he wakes. Having toys, books, etc (a TV?) in the room (maybe even special toys that you get out after he's asleep just for morning wakeup play) might buy you some time. On the other hand, childproofing must be revisited at this stage, too. Some net.parents talk about using their baby gates or a screen door to keep their child from wandering too far. (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? To twin size bed - we were hoping to need the crib mattress 1-2 years later and there didn't seem to be much benefit to having to do two transitions. We put the mattress on the floor next to the bed frame for the first 3-4 nights (got this idea from the net) which worked well in terms of everyone getting confidence about the situation. It worked fine. (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did you feel the timing was right for your child? Time was fine. We were moving him to a different room entirely, so we had the opportunity to leave the crib up in the nursery, and offered him the choice to go back to it when he cried or wanted the pacifier. Apparently the internal desire to "be a big boy" took precedence over his apprehension because he never went back to the crib. (Now the nursery is in use again for little brother, and the older one loves to climb in and out of the crib, pretending to be a baby and playing with the younger.) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: betsy@auroch.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Betsy Mandrus) > (1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? 20 months > (2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. > (3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? Climbing out plus baby was coming at 26 months. These seem to be the only good reasons to do it besides the child's size. > (4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? No preparation. > (5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No, but we had problems getting him to sleep in it the first 2 nights. We stayed in the room with him and kept bringing him back to the bed until he stayed in the bed himself. > (6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? No. Always was a good sleeper before. Was a good sleeper after. The one difference was that he would get out of bed and come get me. Oh wait. We used to keep the door shut tight and at the time he couldn't open doors, so he would bang on the door when awake (I think that was mostly after naps). > (7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? We used a youth bed which uses a crib mattress and only cost $60. Where Michael was sort of on the young side for the transition, we thought this was better because he got to use same, familiar sheets and blankets. He also couldn't get hurt falling out (my husband's crazy concern; he never fell out) because it was lower to the ground. > (8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? For my child it worked out very well. We would not have done it so early if it weren't for the climbing out being so apparently dangerous. But I don't think it caused any problem in the long run. > Also, we got advice to take the crib out of the room so that he wouldn't be upset and confused by it. I think this is very important. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: reid@metis.tti.com (Reid Kneeland) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? We've never owned a crib. Sarah slept with us until she was two, at which point she moved to a real bed of her own (a full-sized futon/platform bed that was somewhat lower to the ground than average American bed). >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? I asked Sarah if she wanted to sleep in her own bed, and she said yes. YMMV, to say the least. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? She'd been taking her naps in her own bed for several months. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No "problem", but... >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? Sarah still wanted to nurse during the night, though Ellen soon phased that out after Sarah made the switch. The new rule was no nursing between bedtime and sunrise. Sarah would often come join us after dawn for a nurse and a bit more sleep. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? See above. It worked great. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? It was right with the child, except for the part about wanting to sleep down the hall AND have mom come nurse on demand. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: GeraldR@sunfish.ratsys.com (Gerald Ruderman) >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? Two years, 5 months, 13 days. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? We moved and we decided that was a good time. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We spoke about it quite a lot. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? No. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? No. >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? Regular size double bed at first, then to a regular twin bed about 6 weeks later. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? It was a good time to do it. She started falling out of the bed a few months later. This happened a few times per month. She never hurt herself. Once she tried to climb back in bed herself, but fell asleep as she was standing up! We got a bed guard which solved this problem. This stopped being needed in less than a year. Part of the transition included changing the routine. We started singing more songs to her and then reading to her and then telling her stories. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: mani@crl.dec.com (Mani) Our elder daughter always slept with us as a child, we never got her a crib at all. When she was three, we had another baby and had quite a time with both the kids in bed. This was the time we were moving into another house and we sort of got the elder one excited about having her own bed and that she was now grown up enough to sleep in her own room (being with us is only for babies.like your sister). This did the trick and we had no other problems. With the second one, we used to put her in the crib after she had fallen asleep in our bed. She used to wake up in the night and we would pull her back again. We generally kept this up till she was familiar wiht the crib and could fall asleep in it. The elder one still wakes up early in teh morning and comes into bed with us, we like this and see no reason to have this stop, it gives us a chance to cuddle with the kids and play with them before we get going wiht the day. --------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Randall Morey <RMOREY@utrc.utc.com> >(1) What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed? We have 3 kids in beds and 1 still in a crib. Each was between 2-3 years for the transition. >(2) Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling? No twice, yes once. We were able to borrow a second crib for the first two, but not the third. >(3) If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a > bed at that time? To put it bluntly, the bed was a bribe for potty training. Normally we don't bribe, but we thought it was a good incentive, and they were going to get a bed anyway. It was just a matter of when. We didn't mind the child being in a crib longer. In fact, we taught the escape artists how to get in and out safely without help. We told them that they could have a big bed if they could stay dry through the night. This worked great for the older two girls, but not my son (#3). He was harder to bribe, and train. He didn't want to give up his bed to his new little sister. Eventually, he liked the idea, and _finally_ (whew!) trained himself. His room was too small for a crib and a twin bed, so we got him a youth bed that uses a crib mattress. He's almost 4 and still likes it, and still fits in it. We will be moving into a bigger house shortly, and he'll have his own room that can fit a twin bed. He can decide when he wants a bigger bed. >(4) How did you go about preparing your child for the transition, > and did you find that the preparation paid off? We just showed the child the new bed in the next bedroom and told him/her that they could sleep in it when they could go potty by themselves and stay dry through the night. My son still has accidents, so we limit his drinks at supper and get him up around 10:30-11:00 pm to take him potty. He also wears terry-lined plastic pants over his big-boy pants. I think the bed really helped potty training sooner. We frequently mentioned how nice a big bed is, and how big the child was getting. >(5) Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of > his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning? If > so, how did you solve the problem? Other than the lack of sleep (!), we didn't mind them coming in to tell us they had to go potty in the night, or if they were scared of a noise. But we made it very clear that they may _not_ get out of bed until I finished my shower (around 6:30 or 7:00). The penalty was sitting on a chair, like for any other offense. We were firm, and very positive and complimenting every time they stayed in bed. My son still yells, "Can I get up now?". Being a sound sleeper, he's always the last one up anyway. We gave the older ones a clock and told them they had to stay in bed until the 1st number was a 7. >(6) Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any > changes to his/her sleep routine? The only thing that makes them stay in bed longer is HAVING to get up early for school. Then they want to stay in bed longer. They could stay up all night, and still wake up at 6:00 during the summer. For my 3YO, skipping the after- noon nap makes him tired at night, so he will stay asleep longer. The girls are 7 and 5 and have learned how to read, so they keep a book ("Sweet Valley Kids" series) on their nightstands so they can read until 7am on the weekends. That's our only hope for staying in bed late, if you call 7am late. We've given up on ever staying in bed later than that. (Sorry!) >(7) Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to > a regular sized bed (please specify what size)? Were you happy > with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)? The 1st one got my old twin bed after our second one was born. After a while, we decided to get a set of twin beds that can be bunked. They loved that. It has rails for the top bunk. My son got a toddler bed and accepted it, but he's pretty easy going. He liked the idea of his own little bed. He never felt any rivalry. Had he been in a larger room or his own room, we would have saved the expense of a toddler bed and just gotten him a regular bed that he would always have. >(8) If you had it to do over again, would you have made the > transition earlier, later or at the same time? That is, did > you feel the timing was right for your child? The timing in our case was determined by their timing of potty training. Their ages at that time were 28, 26, and 40 months. While my son was training, the baby slept in a Graco portacrib. We think it was a good reward and incentive for 2 out of 3. I think that anytime between 2-3 years is fine. Our biggest fear was having them wandering around playing when they should be in bed. A child should be old enough to understand these kind of rules to follow them. Our rule was having them sit on a chair or stool in the hall if they got up after bedtime, but praise and reward (pshchological more than material) always works much better than punishment, no matter what the desired behaviour is. A consistent bedtime routine is a must. Exactly the same routine, every night. We do potty, baths, teeth, hair, a story, 2 prayers, and 2 lullabies. My son likes to say goodnight to all the Bambi characters on the wall. For the kids who can read, we have a morning list and a nighttime list. That way we don't forget anything, and they can do everything without parents constantly hounding them. They were involved in making the list, and were very receptive to it. Excellent idea. Preschoolers can have a list of pictures. We need all the help we can get railroading 4 kids to school and to bed! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: dlin@weber.ucsd.edu (Diane Lin) Shortly before his second birthday, our son climbed out of his crib, thus necessitating a frenzied search for a new bed. While we waited for the bed to be shipped and delivered, he slept in our bed. We knew fully well that this would add a new wrinkle to the transition, since most kids are loathe to leave their parents' bed once they've gotten a taste for it. (I should preface this by saying that prior to climbing out of his crib, our son was a great sleeper. We used the Ferber method when he was about 9 months old and he's never had a problem readjusting to sleeping in his own bed after we come back from trips. During trips, we use the family bed approach towards sleeping.) We re-read the section in Ferber's book about sleep associations, and we psyched ourselves up for some hellish nights. After we set up the bed, I took my son shopping for sheets, and let him pick out his own sheets and comforter (Dalmatians). He was very excited about the prospects of having a big boy bed, and we talked about it a lot. We decided that it would probably be easier on Dylan if we did a gradual transition from our bed to his new bed. (His new bed has storage drawers underneath, so it's pretty high--much higher than our platform bed!) We would put him to bed but if he called out for us in the middle of the night, I would go in and sleep on the floor next to his bed in a sleeping bag placed atop a comforter. For about a week, I would routinely go in to sleep on his floor when he called out in the middle of the night, and that would be fine with him. He could handle the fact that I wasn't sleeping in his bed; in his room was enough. Finally, I woke up one morning and my back was stiff, and I realized that sleeping on his floor wasn't the greatest thing for me. So, I explained to him that sleeping on the floor hurt me and that I would no longer sleep on his floor. He readily accepted that, and we put away the sleeping bag and comforter. For about a month after that (we had a set-back at the holidays, visiting for several days with his grandparents), he would call out at least twice in the middle of the night, and I would go in and reassure him that everything was OK. It finally got to the point where it was clear that he wasn't scared or anxious about his new bed, but that he wanted to see me at 3 in the morning! (He would actually *toss* a toy out of bed in order to get me to retrieve it.) We took the following steps: no more toys or books would be allowed in his bed aside from his two comforters and his Cookie Monster, which had all resided in his crib. Also, any calls to us when it was dark out would not be responded to quickly. If he was persistent (and there was no emergency), we would close the door to his room. He really hates having the door closed, so this became a great incentive for him. Finally, we talked to him during the day when he was in a good, receptive mood about how we were so tired because we weren't getting enough sleep. I explained how cranky I was getting during the day (I'm an at-home mother) and how much better I would feel if I could get uninterrupted sleep. Dylan was very receptive to that, and promised to try his best. After two weeks of re-Ferberizing him, he no longer called out in the middle of the night. However, he generally woke up between 5 and 6 in the morning (usually closer to 5) and called or cried out for us. Since he used to sleep until 6:30 or 7 in his crib, we wanted him to return to that more civilized pattern in his new bed. We tried reminding him that it was dark out, but it didn't seem to matter. Finally, I thought of a plan that has worked out really well for us. Dylan helped me pick out a radio alarm clock for his room. Then, we set it for 6:35, and put it on the music setting, so classical music would play at 6:35 instead of a buzzer. We then told him that when he heard the music, that would be the sign that he could come out of his room. If he came out of his room before he heard the music, we would bring him back to his room and shut the door. We also let him know that he had two choices when he heard the music: if he was still sleepy, he could come into our bed and sleep with us, or, if he was awake and ready to start the day, he could call for Daddy and they would start their day together. (My husband always wakes up early and is the "morning parent.") So far, it has worked wonderfully well. A couple of mornings, Dylan has actually been heard to be stirring in his bed talking to himself, or leafing through some books quietly until he hears the music! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Successful Crib-to-Bed Transition Thanks for the FAQ on crib-to-bed transitions. We read through everybody's story, and took ideas from quite a few. You can add our story to the FAQ if you wish: Erik was 26 months old when we started the transition and it took about a week. We transitioned because a friend wanted to purchase our crib and it seemed like a good idea although he had not shown any signs of crawling out, etc. We made a big deal of purchasing the bed with him, buying some colorful jungle animals sheets, drapes, and bedspread (beautiful--Cannon "Save Our Earth" series) and talked alot about Erik's "big boy bed". We then set up the bed and left it in the room for 5 days with the crib still set up. We asked at bedtime where he wanted to sleep, and he always chose the crib. So, we took the crib down with him present. That night, as we put him to bed, he saw the bed and said "No!" but then realized he didn't have a choice anymore. Erik never really put up a fight or tried to get out of bed and leave the room (except now in the mornings he cheerfully and noisily barges into our bedroom to wake up his lazy parents ;-} ) My husband was especially surprised it was so easy. As for furniture, we chose a twin bunk bed set, and we use the railing from the top bunk on the bed to prevent rolling out and store the other bed for now. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: lorinda@HQ.Ileaf.COM (Lorinda Brandon) We are expecting our second in October and both my husbadn and I did not want Ben, our first, to feel in any way ousted by the new arrival. So we transitioned him to a bed a little early. It worked out great though, because he had not gotten old enough to develop any attachment to the crib. He was about 15-16 months when we bought him a twin sized mattress for the floor. And of course some Sesame Street sheets. He was perfectly delighted and we have never had any problems. For his second birthday, we will probably get him the rest of the bed and by then he will be so used to the size and shape of it that he won't fall out (too often, anyway). He already doesn't crawl off of it at night anymore. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: salvaggi@alnitak.Kodak.COM (Nanette Salvaggio) We moved Philip to a twin bed from his crib this last weekend. He loves the bed. He does not want to get out of it. Any time we go upstairs for anything he wants put in bed. He is not a climber so has not gotten out once and has to be lifted into it. I thought the first few nights would be rough, but I layed him down, covered him up and did not hear from him till morning. For the past month or so he has been waking in the night at least once and has needed help getting back to sleep. He was never like this before. He has not woken up during the night all week. Why didn't I do this sooner. Philip is almost 19 months old. To add some more info he has two bed rails, one on each side. We had to attach them together because when he rolled on to them they would start to slide out and he could fall through. We also got him Mickey Mouse sheets. Mickey is his favorite. He has Mickey pj's and a Mickey stuffed animal he sleeps with. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- [sorry--attribution for the below was inadvertently stripped] We decided to move our daughter into a toddler bed when she was just over two years old. Up until that time, she was perfectly happy with the crib, and she seemed quite secure in it. However, one night, she put up a particularly bad fuss at bedtime (which was unusual for her, since she normally LOVES bedtime). I put her in the crib and left her to cry it out a little, thinking that she just wanted to stay awake a little longer. She was still screaming ten minutes later, so I went in to check on her. As I walked through her bedroom door, I saw her take a head-first dive over the edge of her crib. I managed to catch her before she hit the floor, but I realized then that she had decided she was tired of being caged up at night. Since we didn't have a bed for her yet (although we had been talking about getting one), and I didn't want to put her back in the crib, we just put her crib mattress on the floor. She slept there until the next weekend, when we went shopping for a 'big girl' bed. Bedtime became even easier than it had been before, since she was so happy about not having to sleep in the crib anymore. We took the crib out of her room a couple of weeks later, right after I found out I was pregnant for the second time. We just put the crib back into her room a few weeks ago, in preparation for the coming baby, and she claims that she doesn't remember ever sleeping in it herself. I presume that's a good thing, since she's not at all likely to feel like the baby is taking her old bed away from her. ------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Diane C. Lin "For these are all our children... dlin@weber.ucsd.edu We will all profit by, or pay for (Dylan's mom, 6 years) whatever they become." James Baldwin