The Toddler Bed Transition.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Well, it's officially been 3 whole weeks since we transitioned Mason to his toddler bed and I am happy to say that it was... a success!

Let me start at the beginning....

It all started on Saturday, December 20, 2014. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Seth and I were sleeping peacefully in our bed when I slightly woke to Mason starting to make some noise in his bed in his room. I didn't really think much of it; it happens often. I checked my phone to check the time (7:00am on the dot) and just turned over to hopefully get just 5 more minutes out of him (it was Saturday after all). Then all of a sudden...


Seth and I knew exactly what that noise was. We have never been more scared, never gotten out of bed so fast and never run into Mason's room so fast in our lives. Seth managed to get there a split second before me and picked Mason up off the ground. He was crying hysterically but was surprisingly ok. Seth picked him up and comforted him and I sort of inspected him to make sure he wasn't bleeding, didn't bite his lip, didn't break anything, etc. He seemed to be fine, but understandably shaken (as we were too). We all stood in his room for a few minutes, our hearts beating a mile a minute.

When we had all finally calmed down, we went downstairs, watched some Disney Junior, went to Mason's makeup swim lesson, and made a plan of action to change his bed from a crib to a toddler bed. (We already had the side railing as we had bought it many (MANY) months before that because we were afraid that his crib would become discontinued and we wouldn't be able to find the side rail anymore by the time we needed it (or if we could, it would cost a fortune)).

After we got back from swim, Seth took off the crib side rail and put on the toddler bed side rail. We also added a pillow and a comforter. (Yes, he is two and a half and yes, we just now gave him these things. Honestly, we probably could have waited even longer to give them to him because he doesn't sleep on the pillow nor does he use the comforter and more often than not he chucks them and they end up on the floor).

To say Mason was excited about his new bed was an understatement. 
He immediately hoped on it and started watching his show on the iPad.

Seth and I adjusted the monitor the best that we could to get the bed view of the room. After I made him test it out pretty much all around the room, we ended up putting it back where it was and instead of facing it straight down and only being able to see the bed, we angled it slightly to be able to see where he was and what he was doing. It only reaches the half of the room where the bed and the chair are, but it's the best that we can do. We also added a gate to his bedroom door that we could close in addition to his regular door (because I am paranoid that some how he will be able to open his bedroom door and then fall down the stairs - our bedrooms are on the second floor).

We were happy that he was so excited about his bed and were hopeful that nap time #1 would go well.

But, of course, Mason had other plans.

We went downstairs, ate lunch, played a little, and then it was nap time. We brought him upstairs, explained to him that this was his new bed and he was going to take his nap there. We kissed him goodnight and then left... and watched on the monitor.

He ran around A LOT. He was in and out and in and out of his bed A LOT.
Day 1 was interesting. Though he did fall asleep eventually (on the floor), it wasn't as fast as normal, but I think that is to be expected. After all, it was only day 1.

Things got better and we were doing SO WELL with naps and bedtime and then... Christmas happened. He woke up around 7:30am, we opened our presents, we went to Seth's mom's house for breakfast and presents and then around 1pm-ish, we came home so Mason could nap before dinner. We put him down at 1:30pm and...

... no nap ninja struck again and he ran around his room slamming his dresser drawers, banging on his blinds, grabbing his door handle and pulling, trying to open the door, and throwing every book on his book shelf on to the floor. For TWO hours. He finally fell asleep at 3:45pm... just in time for us to have to wake him up at 5pm to go back over for dinner. Needless to say, we had a cranky toddler on our hands for the rest of the night.

The days went on. Bedtime was pretty easy and nap time got better and easier.

I was home with Mason on Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th during his break from school and nap time was going pretty well and I was enjoying watching the crazy sleeper on the monitor.

Naps were going well again after Christmas Day when we headed into New Year's Day. We went to the Rose Parade and Mason fell asleep on my lap during the last half and slept for almost an hour. We left the parade around noon, got home around 1-1:30pm and wanted Mason to nap. We put him down and he stayed in his room for a good hour or so and thrashed it again when we realized he probably wasn't going to nap. Normally, we just leave him in there to eventually fall asleep but it was getting late and he had already napped (he is AWFUL at napping at home after he's fallen asleep for even a short period of time somewhere else - i.e. the car - so we knew it was pretty hopeless) so we went in and got him.

Naps once again got better and we rarely, if ever, have to go in at bedtime. (The exception is when he decides to take off his clothes and we need to go in and re-cloth him (he's been unzipping his onesie jammies and taking them off and as recent as yesterday decided to take his shirt off but that's a different story for a different day.))

Most days still look a little something like this at nap time :

in, out, in, out, in, out, run, in, out, run, in, sleep

And some days end like this :

But things are getting better and more consistent. Bed time has gotten really good where we change him into his jammies, brush his teeth, tell him to turn off the bathroom light, and he runs into his room and into his bed. He lays down on his own, we kiss him goodnight, and we leave. Bed time used to be reading time and we would read between 2-4 books a night but right now we are soaking up the honeymoon period where he wants to run into bed and go to sleep. Ideally, we will get reading time back, but if not, we may need to start reading downstairs before we start the night time routine instead.

As for advice? I'd say...


Seriously. If your child doesn't climb and doesn't show signs of needing to be moved to a toddler bed (and/or you don't need to transition the toddler to be able to use the crib for baby #2), DON'T. It is SO much easier when they are confined in the four walls of their bed and don't have free reign of their room. We lasted two and a half years and I am SO glad it lasted that long. He showed us he was ready and when we transitioned, it went pretty smoothly.  Please please please don't hate me. I know this isn't as easy as I made it sound. We have our good days and we have our bad days, but overall, the transition was pretty easy and smooth (though now that I admitted that on "paper", I'm sure Mason will start protesting his bed tonight). It definitely went a lot better than I anticipated (I was TERRIFIED I would never sleep at night again) and maybe it was because we waited until he was ready (aka fell out of bed and scared the cr*p out of Seth and I). We seriously had that side rail in our hallway for MONTHS, just waiting until the right time. I also think consistency is key. Even when he is banging and thrashing his room, we leave him in there (except New Year's Day). He never cries, he's just mad because he doesn't want to nap so he tries to get our attention to have us come get him. Sometimes it takes longer than others to fall asleep but he always knows that when he is put in there for nap time, he needs to nap.

So, that's our story! Hopefully I haven't terrified you of the transition with my crazy toddler room thrashing pictures. I swear it wasn't as bad as the pictures that I posted on Facebook and Instagram made it seem. I only posted the funny ones :) I am definitely no expert on toddler sleep or toddler bed transitions, but if you have any questions, ask away!


  1. I couldn't agree with the advice any more. I don't understand why people switch their kids when it isn't needed! I held out with Emily til she was over 3 making the transition a piece of cake.

    But you gotta do what you gotta do :).

  2. That's great the transition went well! I'm that crazy mom who rocks Noah to sleep still and gets him as soon as he cries so for all I know Noah is capable of climbing out!

  3. My son will be 3 next month and we haven't transitioned yet bc he still sleeps fine in his crib. Baby # 2 is also due next month and we have decided to put him in a pack n play until we finally transition our 3 year old maybe in the summer. I don't want to have too many new things going on with a new baby. Plus, my thought is if it ain't broke don't fix it!

  4. Yay glad Mason is doing well with it! We didn't stay in the toddler bed stage for long since there was no room for Conor or I to lay down with him, so we are in full bed status!

  5. Henry climbed out of his crib before he turned two. I agree, though, hold out for as long as possible! Glad it's going well!

  6. We're only at 16 months (so a ways away), but I'm scared about the transition! Jacob doesn't like to nap so I'm sure he'd be standing at the door (his door is also a baby gate) crying for naps and even some bed times haha.

  7. I am DREADING this transition so much! We are in a bit of a sleep regression right now, and if it weren't for the crib our naps and nights would be EVEN WORSE. But, come August Marcus will officially be evicted from the crib (the horror!!). The last few weekends we have spent at furniture stores looking at "big boy beds," and I cringe just thinking about the transition that is inevitable.

  8. I love all the pictures you took, especially the monitor ones :) Glad that it went smoothly for the most part though. One thing we've done is use a sleep sack with Reese. The design prevents her from getting her leg up enough to climb out, so we don't have to worry about it! She wears it over her jammies and keeps her cozy at night. I'm hoping we won't have to transition for a long time!

  9. We switched lex before she was 2 and before she showed signs of escape and it worked like a dream! She STILL doesn't get out of bed and waits for us to come get her after naps and mornings! So it fully depends on the kiddo. BUT I think she has a slight fear of the dark which I swear helped ;) I'm so so happy mason adjusted easily and you guys hung in there and let him figure it out himself! Seriously muy Bueno!

  10. I am bookmarking this because we will be doing it soon!! Cam hasn't climbed out of bed yet, but we are using the crib for Baby #2, we are moving very soon, so I thought it would be a good time to transition AND I want to be able to lay in bed with him while we read or when he wakes up. I got him a full sized bed, so hopefully he will think it's like our bed and want to sleep in it. ;) Fingers crossed!! Good job, by the way!! This is some great advice!

  11. So happy ya'lls transition went so smoothly. Sometimes I feel weird for not transitioning Lily, but I honestly don't want to visit that situation until we have to. I think we might even just purchase another crib instead of transitioning her for baby #2. You give some great advice though. I also worry because she does time-out in her room and I don't want the effect of that to wear off because she is free to roam around during nap time. Plus she just sleeps so peacefully. haha

  12. We had to do Sydney's really early! She started looking like she was about to fly over, and I wasn't about to risk it. Lol. But she was so young that we didn't have too many issues. She wasn't even two. But she also didn't sleep through the night until she was three. Lol. That is do funny that he was stripping his clothes off, because Sydney has to sleep in nothing but her undies! She has always been that way because she runs warm.

  13. Mia hasn't climbed out of her crib since that once video I posted on IG a couple weeks ago.... thank HEAVENS! I am dreading the transition! I pray it goes smoothly, but I'm not expecting it to.
    When Mason played and played (and banged) instead of napping, did you ever go in there and tell him no? Or talk to him over the monitor? I just have no idea how I'm going to handle that when it's our turn. I LOVE having Mia confined in her crib, ha ha! She's currently waking up from her nap as I type, and I know I've got another 20 minutes of prime blogging time while she just plays in her crib (and I don't have to worry about her messing up her room, ha ha!) I will be so sad to give that up!

  14. Again, I'm taking everything out of her room and gating that door and praying for the best! I'm glad it isn't going terribly =) We all end up sleeping in bed like a normal human, right? So I mean it is bound to happen. I rather enjoy sleeping. I'm sure that will kick in too.

  15. Awesome - so glad it was a good transition. It's one of those, you just don't know what to expect but it's always nice when you're pleasantly surprised!! I totally agree, don't rush it. Honestly T might still be in his crib if we didn't need it.. Congrats (to you all) on the big milestone. Love that he was so excited/proud, as he should be!! Cute bedding too. :)

  16. Thanks for this - so very helpful!!!!! I am nervous but excited (I think), hoping our transition is as smooth!

  17. We are thinking of moving Connor to his toddler bed when we move since the crib has to be taken down anyway. I don't know if it's a good idea or not. he isn't all that great of a sleeper as it is now so I'm worried that it will be a horrible transition.
    But on a more important note... where did you get his pillow and comforter? Connor would love both.

  18. Oh my gosh... I was laughing so much at this post!! I guess we really did get lucky with Scarlett's transition! He looks so proud of his big boy bed though, so darn sweet! Haha I love the ones of him sleeping on the floor, books sprawled everywhere. too funny!

    I'm glad he was ok when he fell out of his crib, that must have been pretty terrifying for you guys!

  19. I love that you took all of those pictures of the monitor! They will be so fun to look back on! Glad the transition is getting somewhat better and easier.


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