Transitioning to the “Big Girl Bed”

One day before nap time, McKenzie decided to climb out of her crib – while wearing her sleep sack. Brian and I were watching TV downstairs, and all of a sudden I heard knocking on the door. No one was at the front door, and it sounded like it was coming from upstairs. I checked the monitor and sure enough, it was McKenzie knocking on her own door. She was really upset, she had hit her chin which looking back it was good she got hurt because she never actually did it again. She tempted a few times but I think it was just to get a reaction out of us.

Brian, the proactive person that he is, immediately decided McKenzie needed a big girl bed. Usually when I make a decision, I sit on it a bit. He likes to jump into action. A week or so later we were shopping for a bed. My advice to you would be to wait until your kid jumps out 2 or 3 times, because I don’t think it was completely necessary for her to make the change just yet. However, I also don’t regret the change.

McKenzie was potty trained, we were calling her a big girl already, so why not keep up with the changes all at once. My original plan was to wait until Brian was home for a few nights to actually put her in the new bed, but she saw it and was excited so she kept asking to go in her bed and I didn’t want to tell her she couldn’t and confuse her. The first couple of nights were tough. She would run to the door screaming the second I would close it, so I ended up laying with her until she fell asleep the first few nights. One night I laid in the 90 minutes and thought to myself this is just not working. I use to read her a book and put her in her crib and she would fall asleep in 30 minutes.

The next night, I read her a few books and told her it was time for bed and I wouldn’t be staying in there that she was a big girl. She cried for 10 minutes and then was fine with it, eventually tucked herself in. We had a few more days where she would get out and run to the door. One day, my Dad was over and watched how brutal it was getting her down. He said “too bad you can’t talk to her through the camera”. I said “oh, I can” but when he suggested it she had already calmed down. That night I had the same problem again, so I decided to in a very calm voice say “OK McKenzie, it’s time to lay down and go to sleep. I love you”. She looked around very confused, but then went right into bed and fell asleep. I have been doing this every night since. She no longer gets out of her bed, she will just go to the edge when we leave. I also turn the blue light on from her monitor for 10 minutes which calms her down quickly as well.

We had originally planned to convert her crib to a bed once she needed it, but since I am pregnant we decided to just keep the nursery as is for the new baby and convert her playroom to her new bedroom. We went with a full size bed that I assume she will be able to use for years and years, and if you ask Brian she will use it until she goes to college. We splurged on the bed and got her cute pink accessories from Target keeping in mind that she will eventually want to change the theme in her room. 2 things that also make her love the bed even more, her new frozen sheets and then we also let her keep a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal in there so she plays with her before bed and then when she wakes up.

I can just tell McKenzie loved her bed. First of all, she looks insanely comfortable in it. She also will wake up in the morning and just lay there in peace until we go in and get her. I don’t know if she thinks she isn’t allowed to play with her toys when she wakes up or if she is just that comfortable that she just lays there peacefully and more important, very quietly in the morning. I love that she feels safe in there and we added some extra safety with a rail guard even though she never goes toward that side of her bed. This is why I definitely do not regret making the switch to the big girl bed.

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