Toddler Fun: The Crib to Bed Switch

I really, really didn’t want to switch Jack into a bed. I imagined that as soon as we made the switch, my happy little sleeper would suddenly be having middle-of-the-night dance parties. I kept putting it off, but knew we wanted to do it in the spring/early summer. Our pediatrician suggested we make the switch a couple months before potty training so that it wasn’t too much change at once.

Then, my husband texted me a picture of Jack climbing our backyard fence.

If he can climb the fence, he sure as heck can climb the crib! Not that he had tried, but still I felt like if I KNEW it might happen then not only would it happen, but he will fall on his head and hurt himself too. Of course!

His room was mostly childproofed, but I put in an order for some better outlet covers that would snap closed if he grabs a cord out (these).

I also used a very classy trick to keep his closet doors closed:

Door childproofing

Yeah, that’s right. I knotted two ponytail holders together and looped them over his closed doorknobs. Just call me MacGyver.

The last change I made is that I added a gate to the doorway, so that if he does wander out in the middle of the night he won’t take a header down the stairs (we have this one and love it).

door gate

I had off work for 5 days straight, so I figured that would be a great time to deal with any non-sleeping shenanigans. So, I grabbed my screwdriver and took the front rails off of his crib, converting it into the “toddler bed” option. We are holding off on putting him in a twin bed until it’s actually necessary. He still fits in his bed fine AND I want to use the adorable Land of Nod bedding as long as possible!

Jack immediately got in bed and posed for “a cheese”… so I was pretty hopeful that he wouldn’t fight going to bed that night.

new bed

After his initial try-out, I added on a hand-me-down safety bed rail that we had sitting around.

At bedtime, there was a little whining – he likes to rock with mommy in the rocking chair as long as possible – but he went to sleep within a few minutes. When I went to sleep a few hours later, I didn’t turn on my fan (white noise) so that I could better hear if he got out of bed to throw every single item from his dresser on the floor and stomp on it. I woke up probably 6 times… to nothing.

Around 9:00am the next morning I hear, “Momma? Momma! Milk and Pancakes!” and I go in his room to find him sitting up in bed calling out his order. Um…okay.

crib morning

So, the first night was a success, but I was still super nervous about nap time… which was also a non-issue.

I’m not even kidding, this whole crib to bed switch was the most UNEVENTFUL milestone of them ALL. It’s been 2 weeks and he very rarely even gets out of his bed in the morning – he just sits in there and calls for us to come and get him.

After all that worrying and planning, he totally seems to not notice that he’s able to run wild if he wants to. Perhaps it’s because of the crib rail or maybe it’s just because Jack LOVES his sleep… but I’m thrilled that this didn’t turn out to be some sort of sleeping issue that regressed him to waking up every 90 minutes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays this easy!

Next up is getting rid of the pacifier…

Did your kid totally glide by with a ‘special milestone’ and make it a non-event? Did you switch into a convertible crib or go right to a bed with your toddler? Do you wish you could sleep for 13 hours straight without people thinking you’re a lazy butt?


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7 thoughts on “Toddler Fun: The Crib to Bed Switch”

  1. Totally happened to us, too. For the longest time, he thought he couldn’t get out for some reason. I won’t tell you about down the road because we have two different kids and my fingers are crossed for you that this remains problem free. So I’m sending all kinds of good Mommy vibes your way. Our other non event was the pacifier. Our little guy unfortunately had many, many ear infections and sucking on a pacifier is painful (according to our doc) so he gave up a pacifier at three or four months. Never had to deal with giving up when he was more cognizant of it. I count myself very lucky in that way.

    1. We’re about to go the beach for a week and I think the pacifier might disappear on the way home… 😉

      Jack only uses it at naptime, but doesn’t use it at daycare, so I’m hoping it’s another non-issue!

    1. I used it in our kitchen too, to keep a couple of the lower cabinets secure. Much easier (and cheaper) than the actual childproofing stuff! =)

  2. My lad was in a bed at 15 months – because his grandfather bought him a race car bed which we assembled straight away and he took an instant shine to as it is quite low and is easy to climb up on due to the shape of the sides…he refused to go near his cot after that, even when I took the side off and filled it with stuffed animals!

  3. The great thing about the switch is that kids are SO EXCITED to have something they can climb into on their own (as opposed to mommy and daddy’s high bed) that many times it just isn’t an issue at all. 🙂

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