Toddler Beds, Take Two

big boy beds

At the start of the year, Sydney forced us to transition the girls from cribs to toddler beds.  Being a daredevil, Sydney escaped from her crib, which meant keeping the girls in cribs was no longer safe.  Since the boys are rather mischievous and had not attempted such an escape we kept their cribs intact. I was absolutely content with this arrangement.

Since moving the girls to toddler beds, they’ve done well, but naps are sporadic at best.   They tend to gab to each other as if it’s a constant slumber party.  Recently, Mason began trying to go to bed in the girls rooms and occasionally asked for a big boy bed.  He really tugged at George’s heartstrings on this one.  After some thought, George and I decided spring break week would be best for this change.  It meant I’d be home all week as we eased into toddler beds.

The day prior to the big change, George inspected the boy’s room for final toddler proofing measures.  All furniture was secured to the wall, latches were installed to the closet door and cabinets, electrical cords were secured, outlets covered, blind cords clipped, and the chair removed.  George then removed the front panel on both cribs.   We introduced the OK To Wake! Owl, and explained that the boys were to stay in bed until the owl illuminated green in the morning.

George read bedtime stories to the crew before tucking the boys into their new beds.

George read bedtime stories to the crew before tucking the boys into their new beds.

Following story time, both boys scrambled into their respective beds as if they’d done it a million times.  It was so easy.  Too easy.

toddler beds

toddler beds

Once prayers were said, I flipped off the lights and both boys snuggled under the covers.  About 30 seconds after we left the boy’s room, they both came charging into the playroom.  I’d forgotten to secure the door knob cover.  Once I wrapped it in a few layers of packing tape, they were set for the night.  George and I retreated to the den for some television watching and braced ourselves for protest.  I checked the baby monitor multiple times, and instead of finding distraught boys, I found two sweetly sleeping boys.   Much to my surprise, we didn’t hear a peep out of them until 7:30 am when Mason proclaimed, “It’s okay to wake!  The owl is green!!!”    I was even more surprised when I found their room totally undisturbed.  Though the room was toddler proofed and immediate hazards were removed, I anticipated a few trouble spots.  Fully expecting these things, I begged George to install latches on EVERY drawer.  His reply, “Let’s see what happens.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.”  While I want them to learn independence, sometimes my sanity is worth taking extra precautions.  I had a little side of crow for breakfast the first morning after toddler beds.

The first day they went down for nap without too much trouble, except they never actually fell asleep.  Instead they had great fun swapping beds and playing all sorts of imaginative games.  At the end of nap quiet playtime, everything in their rooms was in order.

When I went to get the boys up the second morning, I was greeted with a light citrus fragrance trailing from their room.  Undeniably familiar…GermX hand sanitizer.  Inside, I found Harper squirting the last few drops of a once full bottle of GermX all over the dresser.  It was one germ-free dresser that’s for sure.  Aside from the sanitizer, things looked good.

When I opened the bedroom door, I found Harper squirting the last few drops of a once full bottle of GermX all over the dresser.

On the third morning, I discovered socks in the diaper champ and diapers/ swim suits strewn about the room.  I was fed up with these shenanigans especially considering at least one was preventable with a strong latch.  I shot off an angry text complete with pictures for George to see.  His reply, “Mismanagement???”  Oh no, mister!  I was NOT pleased with this response.  I wanted some serious latches.

toddler bed mischief

The boys were different size diapers, which meant I had to sort through each one.

toddler bed mischief

On day four, the morning went smoothly even though George hadn’t yet installed any new latches.  I crossed my fingers for nap, but it did not go well.   About an hour into nap, I heard something suspicious.  Harper managed to dismantle the diaper champ and shredded the garbage bag inside.  Thankfully I emptied it just prior to nap so there were no diapers inside.  I suspected they may put things in the Diaper Champ, but never thought they could take it apart.  I ended up locking the Diaper Champ in the closet, scolded the boys, and put them back to bed.

diaper champ dismantle

The rest of nap did not go any better, the boys finagled a cabinet door open where George had installed a latch.  Once inside the cabinet, they had a hay day scattering undies, socks, and pajamas everywhere.  Harper informed me he was making a train.  To his credit, he lined the baskets up and it did resemble a train.   The only good thing about this mess is that it forced me to do a little spring cleaning.

toddler bed mischief

Despite the now daily shenanigans, George didn’t see a need for additional latches just yet.  On the fifth morning of toddler beds, I woke up to find all of the dresser drawers pulled out with pants scattered about the room.  The drawers aren’t terribly big, but for toddlers are slightly heavy so George finally agreed to latch them.  AMEN!!!!

toddler bed mischief

During nap on day five, Poppa stayed home with the boys so I could run errands.  According to Poppa, the boys sounded rather rowdy.  When he checked on them, both mattresses were off the beds and the boys were jumping wildly.  After a stern talk from Poppa, both boys fell asleep.  (I think I need a recording of Poppa telling the boys to go to bed.)

Today was the first morning when things were not in shambles.  Instead of trouble, I found Mason holding the owl so it would cast light on the door as Harper created shadow puppets.  That charade warmed my heart. The morning was smooth, nap not so much.  This time time they removed the sheets from their beds and got into the diapers again.

toddler bed mischief

Desperate for the boys to take a nap, I settled them onto pallets and rubbed their backs to settle them.  It worked like a charm!

sleeping on pallets

After a full week of toddler bed mayhem, I harassed George enough for him to install latches on the remaining accessible drawers.  Of course, these guys are a clever pair so I’m sure they’ll discover more mischief.  At least I can rest knowing we really exhausted all toddler proofing options available, and George can rest knowing I won’t pester him anymore.

toddler proofing

Even though the boys have created far more messes than the girls could ever imagine, I have to give them kudos for going to bed easily and staying asleep through the night.  The girls keep their room tidier, but getting them to bed is a bit more problematic.



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The Great Escape

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.

toddler bed transtion with twin girls

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.

duct tape a pool noodle to the mattress of a toddler bed to help prevent your child from rolling out
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.

toddler bed transtion

toddler bed transtion toddler bed transtion

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.

A basket of books has always been part of the girls room.  They seem to relax from "reading" before bed, much like me.

A basket of books has always been part of the girls room. They seem to relax from “reading” before bed, much like me.

toddler bed transtion

Both girls sleep with Build a Bears from the NICU, and they both named their bear, “Mom Bear”.  It’s a nice homage to mom, haha.

toddler bed transtion

In addition to Mom Bear, both girls sleep with a dream lites pet, which casts stars on the ceiling as they fall asleep. They are really enjoying their dream lights since fear of darkness has surfaced.

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.