Transitioning to a Toddler Bed | Tuesdays with Jacob

Transitioning to a Toddler Bed

February 1, 2018

Once upon a time, Jacob turned 3 and we started talking about moving him out of his crib. Or rather, we started talking about taking the front panel off his crib to make it into a toddler bed. Then we shelved the idea for 7 months. He was happy in there, we reasoned. Loved the security of four panels around him and never tried to climb out or play in there. Plus, it might make things a lot harder at night. What if he didn't like having one side of his bed open to the room and had trouble falling asleep or was scared? Maybe, once he realized he could get out of bed, he wouldn't sleep through the night anymore. He might get up 37 times to come back out. (He's cheeky enough to try that, we could totally see it happening.) So we left his crib how it was and didn't give it another thought. 

Then, he passed 3.5 and something started happening. Slowly, then all at once it seemed other kids his age (and younger) were transitioning to toddler and big kid beds and it was all over my social media feeds. I figured it was as good a time as any to take the leap, at least I'd have other moms to commiserate with. So one Sunday, while Dan was at work, I got out the tool bag and took the front off the crib. And you know what..... bedtime has been totally fine ever since. Here's how it all went down.... 

The day I took the crib apart we made a trip to the store and picked up a toddler bed rail, new toddler bedding picked out by Jacob, and we picked up 10 prizes and some stickers. We kept the prizes small, but all things Jacob was super interested in to keep him motivated. I got to work on the computer and made an incentive chart (I got this idea from a friend and it worked like a charm!). Then, I let Jacob help me get everything ready. He handed me the tools as I took the front panel off the crib. He helped me make up the bed with his new bedding. He watched me wrap all the prizes, and he sat diligently and listened as I explained the chart. For each night that he went to sleep and stayed in bed without crying or getting out of bed at night he would get to put a sticker on his chart in the morning and open a prize. 

The first night went off without a hitch. He went to sleep right away (no longer napping helps with that a lot!) and stayed asleep all night in his bed. He was beyond thrilled (as were we) to put a sticker on his chart and open a prize. He felt and shook each prize until he knew was the one that had the playdough kit we had picked out. 

The second night we ran into our first (and only) small hiccup. Jacob had fallen asleep on the couch before dinner and had a hard time falling asleep. He tossed and turned for a while then sat up and threw his blankie out of the bed. I was watching on our monitor the whole time (I always do until he falls asleep) and made the decision to go in and get it, rather than risk him getting out of bed to get it. After giving it back to him we immediately amended the rules: no crying, no getting out of bed, and no throwing things out of bed. And every night has gone swimmingly since! Last night was his 10th night, so we'll see how he does without the promise of prizes. If we need too, we may continue just the sticker chart portion. 

You can grab the one I made (in both girl and boy colors) by clicking on the picture below: 

Good luck Mommas, you got this! 
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