A Very Belated Transition to the Toddler Bed

Yes, my three year old just transitioned from her crib to her toddler bed this past Christmas. We have been very fortunate in that none of our girls have been crib escape artists. None of them have ever shown the slightest inclination to want to leave their cribs, other than vocal objections. It has been SO nice. But since Ruth is finally reliably potty trained during the day, we decided to go ahead and see if she is ready to night train.

We have twin bunk beds that we will most certainly eventually put to good use, but we decided to buy a toddler bed for her at first, since she will soon be sharing a room with Wren, and we didn’t want to make it any more cramped than it is already. Once Wren is ready for a big girl bed, we’ll go ahead and put Ruth in one twin and Wren in the toddler bed, and then eventually bunk the twin beds for them. I was cautiously optimistic about putting Ruth in her bed, and for the most part it has gone swimmingly. I will list the pros and cons of transitioning to the toddler bed (when your child is pretty much a preschooler) just for you, my dear readers. I know your anticipation has been killing you.

Pay no attention to the fact that we have yet to paint the poor girls’ rooms from the terrible “neutral” color the former owners painted THE WHOLE HOUSE. They have been very patient with us as their rooms sport the Dickensian orphanage look.


Night training: Well, Ruthie isn’t quite ready to fully night train. She still wakes up with a very wet diaper, even if I wake her up. Apparently, this is more of a physical milestone than a cognitive one. She will most certainly get up to go # 2 (or throw up, apparently) in the potty in the middle of the night (which is amazing!), but other than that, she mostly just uses the bathroom as an excuse to get up and run around in the middle of the night. However, I am infinitely grateful to have one less dirty diaper or vomit filled crib to clean up in the middle of the night.

Staying in the bed: Other than the occasional false alarm potty break or that one time we found her playing with my shoes in our closet, she really stays in her bed quite well. She doesn’t even wander around her room, as far as we can tell. She gathers a few books and her favored stuffed animals and entertains herself in bed until she falls asleep. I’m not sure whether to credit this with the fact that we waited so long to transition her or she is just naturally good at staying in bed. Either way, we’ll take it.

Falling out: We really like the toddler bed because we don’t have to worry about her falling out of it. She sleeps in regular twin beds when she naps at my mom’s or my Abuela’s houses, and she has rolled out of them a few times. (Luckily, she hasn’t been hurt.) She is pretty much right near the floor in her toddler bed, so we haven’t had any problems.

Wake up calls: Really, the only con to transitioning her to her big girl bed has been the time that she wakes up in the morning. She is waking up a full two hours earlier than she used to wake up in her crib. This is understandably very inconvenient for me, but also has been adversely affecting her. She usually goes down for her nap shortly after lunch, but lately she has been having epic I’m so tired I could die meltdowns right before lunch like clockwork. I can’t move her nap time up because she naps for a solid 2-3 hours and she would sleep right through lunch (or even worse, wake up early from her nap because she is hungry, and have yet another sleepy meltdown right before dinner). And with being pregnant and having three children three and under, I really depend on them all napping at the same time in the afternoon. We have tried sending her back to bed in the mornings if she wakes up too early to no avail. We have also tried adding a late morning nap, but that just ruins her afternoon nap. This weekend, Scott hung up some blackout curtains in her room to block out the sun in the morning, but she still woke up at the exact same time. Maybe she is just accustomed to waking up at that time now. My next plan of action is to give her some late morning protein to try and ameliorate the symptoms of the sleepiness meltdown before lunch and do all I can to get her to power through until her regular nap time. Wish me luck.

So we have yet another milestone under our belts! I’m so proud of Ruthie. She is destined for great things. Next up on the Bass itenerary: Potty train Rosie before Baby Lady comes! Wish me EXTRA luck.


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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13 Responses to A Very Belated Transition to the Toddler Bed

  1. I can never get my husband to let me wait this long. Sounds like a dream!!! We just transitioned JD too, but he’s 18 months, and we just wanted less junk in our garage. We also had to hang black out curtains. It took a few days, but now he’s sleeping until 8am …..um wow……the boy used to wake up at 5. I hope they will help you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      My husband was actually the one who wanted us to wait this long! (He loves his sleep too). She gave us an extra 30 minutes this morning, and a cheese stick at 10:30 am spared us the meltdown, so I am hoping things will continue to improve!


  2. We only moved the boys early because they climbed out of their cribs! D1 actually slept a lot better once we moved him though. And don’t feel bad about the paint, we have been in our house over 2 years and we just painted the kid’s bedrooms right before that 2 year anniversary 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Boeta says:

    Oh can relate to the need the afternoon nap, we also have a 2 to 3 hour afternoon. We found that changes have knock-on effects, early evening or changes, effect morning, afternoon, mood and so on. Daddy is a stickler for routine, always adjusting when needed, sometimes pushing harder in morning to get afternoon back on track, or afternoon, be it keeping little man going or playing tiring activities for longer periods to release more energy built-up in those young legs. Glad you talk about “late” big bed too, it gets annoying after a while when people ask, so when potty training, big bed time? When this or that….grrr. Kids differ and as parents you spend 100% of your available time with them, you get a good feeling of when is the right time to add new adventure. Congrats to Ruthi, she is doing so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I am the only person I know who waited this long to transition to the big kid bed, but we don’t regret it one bit! People do seem to be really rushing the big kid bed and potty training things these days. Kids do things when they are ready and it has absolutely no bearing on their future success.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boeta says:

        Think it is parenting competition that show it ugly head. Said to someone, he can say it yet, how can you potty train, just puts unnecessary stress on everyone, least of all a baby who currently thinks it is just how it is, doing the diaper thing. Our neighbors girl showed all the signs, wanting to be alone, talking about it and they did potty training in a week. That is what we are waiting for. It will be interesting to see if the other girls change sooner, now that big sister shows the way, she will be such a important factor in all their lives for all their years, was like that for my mom, youngster in big family of 8 children.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sylcell says:

        I totally agree! And I am hoping that will be the case. Little sister seems very eager to be doing what big sister is doing, that is for sure.
        And one of eight! That is so wonderful. What a blessing for your parents. (Most of the time, anyway;p)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Boeta says:

        That’s why 4 – no biggy, whahaha. They were actually 12, but 4 died early, which was common in the early 1900’s. Her sister had 8 as well. We were 3 and no I have 1…bad trend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • sylcell says:

        Oh whoops, I was a generation off. My great grandmother was one of 14, but only 7 survived to adulthood. Makes you really appreciate the advances in modern medicine!!

        Liked by 1 person

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