Well, we finally did it. At 2 years old (or, 29 months), we moved our baby out of his crib and into a toddler bed.
If you didn’t see my last post on the subject, check it out here!
It happened sooner than I thought it would, honestly. He was sleeping just fine in his crib, no trying to climb out either. My husband and I had been talking about the idea of a toddler bed and when I showed him the ones I liked (the house frame beds…so basic) he of course said “I can build that!”
I kept that idea in my head for a month or so and then decided to look up building plans for one of those beds. Since my husband isn’t really into woodworking, not only would we need the supplies, we would need the tools! I showed him my findings and explained that building one would probably cost more money in the long run, and end up taking 6 months. Honestly, we are no good at home improvement projects because we both tend to procrastinate.
After I explained that it probably wouldn’t be in our best interests to build, he said “well, let’s go to Ikea tomorrow!”
UM. YES. I will never…NEVER pass up a chance to go to Ikea. Especially when my husband is the one to suggest it. The Ikea Kura is a bed I’ve been daydreaming about since before I ever had children. Yeah, I’m a strange one…I know. It’s just so simple but there are so many possibilities! I love the concept of floor beds, but I don’t really like the ‘unfinished’ look of a simple mattress on the floor. Using the Kura for a toddler bed was a perfect compromise!
This bed can be used as a loft bed for children 6 and up, and it can be flipped upside down for anyone younger. Even when it’s used as a loft bed, it’s still very low to the ground. There are only two or three ladder rungs to get to the top!
We left off the slats, and put the mattress on the floor. We got our mattress specially made for us by our friends at Best Mattress in Columbia. It’s SO comfy!! They made it just the right height so that there is still a little edge which makes it harder to roll out of bed. We also left off the ladder rungs so Leopold would have a little ‘doorway’ to get in and out if he chose to.
I let Leopold pick out his bedding (he was grumpy so I only really gave him two choices). We got a colorful house duvet and pillowcase set from Ikea. We also got fitted sheets that match but they just barely fit his mattress. I need to hit up Target clearance for some cute sheets!
I keep telling people that the real reason we got him a bigger bed was so we could fit all of his stuffed animals in there with him. The animal thing was getting a bit ridiculous in his tiny crib. I always hoped he would eventually get into stuffed toys but I mean…come ON.
After we got the bed set up in his room, we left his crib up while we waited for his mattress to be delivered. We probably had the bed in there for a solid week before we even tried getting him to sleep in it. I think this helped him to be more comfortable with the idea.
I bought some striped fabric and yarn at hobby lobby and made him a canopy (attached with Velcro) and a pom pom garland. He’s pretty funny, he keeps telling me that he can’t play with them, they are decorations! That’s something he learned around Christmas that I’m glad he has grasped.
I’ve also taught him ‘no toys in the bed’ which he repeats to me on a regular basis. He hasn’t snuck anything in there yet!
I also placed an order to Amazon for toddler room essentials.
I got doorknob covers to keep him in there (cheaper than a baby gate). Some blackout curtains which I really think have been enormously helpful, furniture anchors, command strips, and a light switch cover. I had no clue light switch covers existed but since he’s recently been fascinated by turning his lights on and off, I thought it wise buy one. They are apparently made for Jewish families, but they work well in this case too! I haven’t actually needed it yet, luckily, but I’m glad we have it just in case.
The first time I tried him in his big bed was at nap time. I thought it would be a good way to ease him into the new environment. Nope. He got up immediately and came running into my room (this was before the door knob covers). I tried briefly for two days with no luck (I’m not about to spend the entire 2 hours fighting him). The night we got his new curtains, I wasn’t planning on putting him in the bed yet, but my husband wanted to try it. We put him to bed, told him the deal, closed the door ran over to the baby monitor. He fussed for only a second, rearranged his stuffed animals a bit, found a comfy spot, and went to sleep.
I was IN SHOCK. Was it supposed to be this easy? I’ve heard all sorts of stories about switching to a toddler bed and how it can be so difficult. I thought it must be a fluke…but it’s been a few days now and every nap and night time have gone off without a hitch. How did I ever doubt my clever boy?!
It really seems like he sleeps a lot better in his big bed! I’m not sure he realizes he has the freedom to get out of bed, because he hasn’t even tried. He cries out for me in the morning and after his nap and I go and get him. I like it this way! I think the longer we go without him realizing his freedom, the better! It also probably helps that it’s so dark in there now.
We use the Hatch Baby rest night light and I want to start working with him soon to understand that when the lights and sounds change in the morning, that means it’s okay to get up. He already understands that when it’s dark outside, that means it’s bedtime, so I’m fairly certain that will be an easy concept for him.
We planned to use his Dock-A-Tot to help ease the transition, but honestly we haven’t even needed it for that! I have it on standby, but right now it’s just used as a lounger in his tent.
I took his crib down and stored it away after the 2nd successful night in his big bed. At night he would say “I wanna sleep in my crib” but after a gentle reminder that he was in a big boy bed now, he forgot about it and went to sleep. I felt like eliminating the temptation would make things easier. I am using his crib mattress in his teepee too. It’s super cozy in there!
I added photos for a personal touch. We don’t see a lot of our family as often as I’d like so I wanted him to see them regularly! I used command strips to hang them so they are on there REALLY well and won’t fall easily. Plus I put them high enough up so he won’t smack his head on the edges. He loves pointing out his loved ones!