It's official. Alice is definitely a big girl, sleeping in a big girl bed! We finally finished our DIY toddler bed project last weekend and celebrated by trying it out right away. I hope to take some better photos soon, and we still need to finish organizing everything and transitioning the room into a shared space, but the bed is done and it's perfect!
We looked at the available toddler bed options and while there are lots and lots of cute ones, none seemed to be as functional as I was hoping for. I wanted to take principles of the Montessori floor bed (which is really intended more for infants) but with added function. So I told Jon what I was envisioning and he engineered it to perfection. It has cubbies for storage and enough room all the way around to allow us both to sit down and read to her, tuck her in, wake her up, or just hang out while she plays in there. Jon will share details on his whole process soon!
Alice was so excited to have it finally assembled and installed in her room. She climbed right up and spent the afternoon playing on and with it. I was busy all weekend finishing up the duvet and pillow case I was making and got them both done just in the nick of time. I'll post some better photos and some info on those projects soon, too!
|With duvet and pillow case!|
We put her down in the new bed on Saturday night. There was a little stalling but she climbed in without any trouble. Before too long, she was requesting assistance with a legitimate booger, so we dealt with that and went back to bed. There was some negotiating about different books, different friends, blankets over here, more orajel, etc. Then there was crying and demands for help with two boogers, which she didn't have until she started crying about it, so I cleaned her up and told her that she wouldn't have any more boogers if she stopped crying. I think there was some other issue, and I finally ran out of patience told her we'd try the bed again tomorrow and do the crib tonight. As soon I put her in the crib, she demanded the big girl bed. So I let her climb back in and didn't hear from her again until 1am. I think she woke in the night and was unsettled by the new view and unable to self-soothe. So I awoke to more booger drama. I took care of the booger, put her back to bed, and that was that.
We were afraid Alice wouldn't get the memo about Daylight Savings, but we woke at 6am (previously known as 7am) and were surprised that we didn't hear her chattering away in her room like we normally do on the weekends. We lounged around for a while until we couldn't stand it anymore and went in to make sure she was still alive (our video monitor can't see into that corner, and we aren't using an AngelCare monitor on the new bed, so we were flying blind). In fact, she was curled up, sound asleep and was pretty annoyed that we woke her. She prefers to have a good 15-30 minutes of reading time when she wakes up before she gets out of bed, and we were happy to oblige. We went about our morning ablutions and coffee routines while she read to her heart's content. When she was done reading and ready to get up, she was able to just hop out of bed!
On Sunday night, we put her to bed in the big girl bed and only had a few negotiations ("want other books, not these books, want different friends") and didn't hear a peep from her all night. She tends to go to bed earlier with the sun, during the winter months. Jon put her to bed early on Monday and Tuesday nights with minimal drama, and no wake-ups. Both mornings, she woke up and stayed under the covers reading until Jon and I went to get her, as is our usual custom. I was afraid she'd recognize her newfound freedom and wouldn't stay in bed once we tucked her in and would be up and out as soon as she woke up. So far, it doesn't seem like she's interested in getting out of bed at bedtime or when she wakes, even when she needs something from us. I don't want to jinx us, and who knows what might transpire in the future, but it's been an amazingly smooth and successful transition so far!
I was afraid she'd be too attached to the crib to make the transition, or that she'd be upset by the idea of baby sister sleeping in her bed. I casually mention that reality from time to time and she's surprised us by embracing the idea immediately and wholeheartedly. Sometimes, she says she wants baby sister to sleep in her big girl bed, either next to her or in the cubbies, but she's agreeable when I remind her that babies are too little to sleep in big girl beds.
We have a second video monitor camera on the way, so we'll be able to see both the crib and the big girl bed. I'm having withdrawals since I can't watch her sleep, I'm totally missing my healthy daily dose of cute sleeps. In the meantime, we have to settle for sneaking in before we go to bed and swooning over the unbelievable adorableness of a tiny two year-old sleeping her cheeks on a tiny pillow, tucked under a tiny duvet. Can't wait until we can tune in to that channel on the baby phone!