Much to my dismay, it happened the last week…Sydney escaped from her crib. When I opened the door of the girls room, I discovered her wandering around with a confused expression as she repeated, “I bump my head…” I was momentarily befuddled as I began to process the scene. My two-year old was not in her crib. She escaped. How I’ll never know.
Albeit unrealistic, I hoped to keep everyone contained in cribs until three, and then they would magically transition to toddler beds without any mischief whatsoever. When I broke the news to George he replied, “It looks like I’ll be converting their cribs tonight.” What??? I was NOT ready for this. I feared the ramifications of toddlers free to wander in the night. I thought naps were a thing of the past. We’ve seen plenty of America’s Funniest video clips of twins shimmying out of bed then wreaking havoc on the house. No thanks.
Yet, I knew George was right. Since Sydney knew she could climb out of bed, and Rylin witnessed it, it could reoccur. If she climbed out again, she could be injured further. When we purchased cribs, we carefully selected convertible cribs allowing us to keep our cribs as toddler beds. This was good thing since we weren’t expecting to make the transition.
The night after the great escape, George pulled out his drill and removed the front of the girls cribs, creating toddler day beds. Once the front was off Rylin’s bed, Harper clamored up and began jumping wildly. Rylin immediately waved a finger as she proclaimed, “NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!” Oh boy. I had to conceal my face and stifle laughter. George managed to convert both cribs relatively quickly as I ushered the boys into their own rooms. Since toddler beds weren’t part of our plan just yet, we didn’t have bed rails. We improvised using duct taped pool noodles to the mattresses.
Once we put the mattress cover and sheets over the pool noodle, there was a soft surface with a nice raised edge to the bed. It’s small enough the girls can easily climb into bed, but raised enough to help nudge them back should they begin to roll.
Thankfully toddler proofed the kids bedrooms months ago (anticipating the day would arrive). We covered all outlets, removed door stops, cut blind cords, secured dressers to the wall, mounted video monitors and secured cords, latched the closet doors, and used packing tape to secure the door knob. We were armed! Aside from a small basket of books, there were no accessible toys.
After the girls beds were ready, we spent time talking about how big they were and admiring their beds. Both girls beamed at this rite of passage. Then the rules were laid out clearly 1. They were only allowed to get out of bed to switch books from the basket (they’ve been sleeping with books for months and recently began tossing books to each other for trades) 2. They were to stay in their room 3. If they needed something they could call for us, but not yell. They nodded in understanding. With established boundaries, our bedtime routine proceeded as usual. Multiple bedtime stories were read as the ocean beckoned from sound machines. When the final story came to an end, we tucked each girl into her bed with their familiar bedding, favorite animals, crib soothers, and pillows. Together we said bedtime prayers and gave goodnight kisses. It seemed to be going quite well.
When George and I thought Rylin and Sydney were settled we retreated to the den with our baby monitor in hand. For a few minutes, the girls took full advantage of their new-found freedom by getting in and out of bed to get new books. However, it wasn’t long before both girls drifted off to sleep in bed. Much to my surprise, it was extremely smooth. Until fevers spiked. A hitch free transition was a bit too good to be true. For the next 5-6 nights we found ourselves summoned to the bedside of two sick little girls through the night. Everyone was miserable and sleep was elusive. It was rough.
Thankfully once everyone was on the mend, toddler beds proved much more successful. With the girls back to themselves, they are sleeping through the night most of the time and go to bed without much trouble. When they wake up, they happily chatter to each other or pursue books just like in the days of cribs. I’ve spied one or both girls sleeping on the rug a few times (usually with a pillow and blanket), but it’s not a big deal. As long as they are sleeping well and comfortable, I really can’t complain. As nap time approaches, they often climb into bed independently and say they are tired. Some days they spend more time than I’d prefer chitchatting or reading, but they remain quiet and don’t disturb the boys, which works.
Despite the girls success in toddler beds, I’m reluctant for the boys to make the transition. They’ve been rather rowdy in the girls beds already. I can only hope the novelty of toddler beds will wear off as they visit their sisters toddler beds. In other news, it looks as though potty training is on the horizon, and it’s another major transition this mama is not ready to tackle.
P. S. This is a fun little clip of the girls pointing out where the cameras are located in their rooms. While I want them in their beds, obviously, it’s fun watching them interact with each other.