Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Great Toddler Bed Debate

Ever since I saw two little pink lines appear on that little plastic stick back in February, Matt and I have been going back and forth on one specific issue.  We have consulted parents, siblings, friends, books, doctors, and multiple websites on this issue.

THE BIG BOY BED.  Oh dear Lord...I tremble in fear.  Some people report nothing but praise for the transition to a big kid bed, while others haven't slept since the day their toddler realized they could now climb out of their own bed and play in the dark!

Jack seems perfectly happy sleeping in his night.  But for naps?  He sleeps in our bed.  Usually by himself, but every now and then I do nap with him.  Also, by the time Luke will be born, Jack will be just weeks away from his second birthday, which is right around when we had loosely planned to move him to a big boy bed.  We would like to move him a little sooner now, because we don't want to sack him with a new sibling AND a new sleeping arrangement. 

We don't see the point in buying a second crib for Luke, when it would most likely be a matter of months, if not weeks, until Jack is no longer using his, and neither Matt nor I really like the idea of converting Jack's current crib into a toddler bed.  We think we might go with a twin sized bed, one that he would then just be able to stay in until he is much older.  Something like this...
We like that we could add a bed rail to the exposed side, making it a little more like the crib that he knows already.  Also, this way we think we might be able to get around the 'napping in Mommy and Daddy's bed' issue, because if need be I can still lay down in there with him until he falls asleep.

Are we crazy?  What did you do?  Any magic tips?  PLEASE?  I am not afraid to beg.  Please share your experiences with us, be they good, bad, or ugly, we want to hear it all!


  1. I don't have any advice yet, but wanted to say good luck. We're making the switch in the next week or two to give Griffin time to adjust before the new baby is here in September. I'm horribly afriad too.

  2. I don't have any personal experience (yet) but from what I do know from my friends with toddlers and babies on the way (my there are a lot of them right now!), their toddlers transitioned very well into their "big boy beds" knowing it was a role they got to have being the "big brother" or "big sister" (the boys adjusted much better than the girls with my friends ... I don't know why but I think I know the answer!). The bed you've picked looks great - and the railing added is a good idea, for sure! makes the transition easier, especially until he realizes there isn't a railing there and he could fall out (true story, one of my friend's little boys rolled out of his during nap time the first day he was in the new bed ... no harm, he's good, he's tough!)

    Good luck!

  3. OMG i'm right there with you. I'm pregnant (haven't annouced it on the blog yet) and I want K to be in her toddler bed (got it for free) before the new one is here and OY thinking about this transition is killing me! I REALLY look forward to reading how you handle this and what happens so i can try it with you!

  4. I believe you are on the right track. The bed in the pic looks great and if you can add a rail, even better! Jack will be fine and if you make the transition a big deal for him, such a big boy, etc., he will be excited and want to show off his new sleeping digs!! You've got a tough little boy there and he will be fine! Go for it darlin'. Love you, Oukie

  5. Q decided to ditch the crib a month after Sprig was born, so we jumped into a big boy bed cold turkey! It went a lot easier than I had expected. Of course I HAVE cleaned up a lot of desitin and baby powder, but that's just part of growing up.

    We bought a toddler bed at a garage sale for $20, mattress and all, or else we would have gone straight to a twin size! I love the one you picked! We are getting ready to make Q a twin bed, and sell the toddler bed. He's 2 1/2 and already outgrowing it (what with his plethora of stuffed animals he loves sleeping with...) so I definitely think you're on the right track. I DO keep a walk through baby gate on Q's room. Mostly because we sleep at the total opposite end of the house, with everything in between and I just can't have him getting up whenever he wants because he WILL get into things and it could potentially be dangerous. We're working on leaving it open during nap time and teaching him to stay in his room. Good luck!

  6. Q started getting out of his baby bed last summer, he was 1 1/2. So we put up the toddler rail, because I was afraid he'd hurt himself eventually. Then in the early spring we got a twin bed since he was out growing the crib, and we needed it for Sister. He gets up in the night, but only to come to our bed.

  7. Every kid is so different. Asher was not ready to be in a bed until he was 3. We ended up with 2 cribs, which was fine. Do you have a spare room where you could try him in a bed before you make the decision one way or the other. The hardest part is first thing in the morning. Asher used to play in his crib nicely for a few minutes, but once he went into a bed he was up right away and got into tons of stuff.

  8. I think you know our experience. We were completely shocked that Kai did so well at 22 months. Now a few days away from 2 and he's getting out and will occassionally climb things or make a big mess of his room. We're planning on moving climbable furniture into our guest room and making it a playroom.
    As for the bed, baby will be in our room in a cosleeper for the first 6 months and then we'll transition Kai to a twin mattress, probably just on the floor and turn his converted crib/bed back into a crib for little brother.
    I think your idea of skipping the expense of a toddler bed and moving right to a twin bed is a great one!
    As far as the transition itself, we started with a naptime, but he napped in his crib so that might not be an option for you. Be patient and expect a few sleepless nights. That way, if he transitions easily it will be a pleasant surprise :)

  9. We chose a twin bed (rather than a short-lived toddler bed with odd-size bedding, etc.) and set up the box spring and mattress right on the floor to keep it nice and low. Eventually we'll set up the bed frame, but for the last 6+ months Drew's bed has been on the floor. We had two side rails but recently removed one. We've been SO lucky because he stays put, even when he wakes in the morning. (He calls out to us to come help him get up.)

    I WILL say that it's a good idea to do it as soon as possible so that it doesn't feel like Luke is stealing Jack's bed. ;)

  10. Lily was 14 months when my son Ben was born and I was DREADING switching her to a toddler bed! He slept in our room and in a bassinet near the beginning, but around 16 months we put a toddler bed and mattress in her room. She'd play on there, read books, and one night, she cried when we went to put her in the crib!

    Since then she's slept great and loves her bed, although we DID have to take all toys (and for a while books too) out of the room so that she would actually sleep.

    If I didn't get the toddler bed and mattress from a friend, I would have totally went straight to a twin! Love that IKEA bed, good luck! Hopefully your journey, like mine, works better than it does in your mind... ;)

  11. Did you do a follow up to this article? Just wondering if you for that bed or not and if it worked out.

    1. Yep!

      We did not get that specific bed, but it is a similar twin sized bed with a rail the whole way around. It worked out great, he never had any issues adjusting to sleeping there rather than a crib!


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