Big Boy Bed

Yesterday I shared Mitchell’s “big boy” airplane bedroom on the blog. For those of you who have been following along, when we moved into our house two months ago, we moved Mitchell out of his nursery and into a bedroom that will hopefully last him for years and years to come. This involved ditching the crib. I’ve heard a lot of advice from a lot of different people since I’ve casually mentioned transitioning Mitchell out of the crib and into a twin bed. The common theme was that I’m crazy and to wait until he was at least two, but we did it anyway. Here was my internal debate:

1. I’d like him to be transitioned into a big boy bed before I go back to work. Before Steve redeploys and I’m on my own. Before I am back on a night shift and we need an overnight babysitter. 
2. Julia’s still getting me up all night long so I’ll be up to check on him a lot anyway. 
3. When he’s tired in his play room, he falls asleep on his own, so why would his bedroom be any different? 
4. He sleeps 10 hours straight about 90% of the time. 
5. We moved the furniture out to North Carolina so we might as well use it – plus we only have one crib and I’m not buying another one just to use for a few months! 

1. Everyone looks at me like I’m crazy.
2. We were skipping a toddler bed, so would he be able to get in and out of bed on his own?
3. Would he actually sleep through the night like he has been in his crib?

The pros outweighed the cons so we went for it. And we’ve had complete success with the transition. For anyone wondering what worked for us, here it is. But I’m a huge fan of figuring out what works for you and just going for it. Our first concern was making the room completely safe. Outlet covers on all the outlets. Steve spent an afternoon strapping any furniture that could tip to the wall. The only things left in Mitchell’s reach were toys or things I wasn’t worried about him breaking. Everything else was stowed in the closet [which is kept locked shut]. Last but not least, I put a baby gate on the door. Basically it was a giant baby jail, and we all know how I feel about that 🙂 Containment = sanity and productivity people! Making a space safe for him to play independently is my secret to parenting. I realize some people are hugely against the baby gate on the door for safety reasons. But let’s be honest… if there’s a fire my 20 month old is not going to know how to call 911 or evacuate the house by himself, let alone make it past the three other baby gates between his bedroom and the front door preventing his escape. I’m more worried about knowing he’s contained in a safe place, and I can check on him as I walk by his bedroom door without having to open a whole door. Extra tall pressure baby gates for the win! We’ve had this one since he was just a crawler and have had huge success with it.  Once I was convinced Mitchell’s room was safe, I was content just leaving him in there. Since about four months, he’s slept through the night without a problem. But since about 13 months, he’s wanted to go to bed. I put him in his crib at night, and he’ll kiss me, then push me toward the door, and wave bye-bye. As if he’s saying, “see ya later mom – this boy is sleeeeepy.” He puts himself down for naps in his play area. Basically this kid is a rockstar sleeper [as long as it doesn’t involve cuddling with Mommy]. So my logic figured his bedroom was basically like his play area and he could put himself to bed on the floor if he crawled out.

Baby gates everywhere in the Martin house.

We started without the twin bed and just left the mattress on the floor. It was about 50/50 whether he would end up on the floor or the bed to sleep. 

But we tucked him back in until he figured out the bed was much comfier. 

And for a little added assurance, we utilized the video monitor. We can scan from the playroom downstairs to Mitchell’s big boy bed to Julia’s crib. These things are 100% worth it for my peace of mind. I love when I wake up in the middle of the night and I can scan the front door and check on both of the kids without even having to roll over. 

After about two weeks we put the mattress on the actual bed. He thought it was the best thing since sliced bread to be up on his own bed. The rails that came with the bed do just fine keeping him from rolling out. Originally I thought we’d need to find shorter ones so he could get in and out, but he climbed over them with no problems. He’s more grown up than I thought. And so the sleeping in the craziest positions that absolutely crack us up began. 

Or just not sleeping in the bed at all. 

Then I addressed the getting in and out of bed issue. He has been getting off our [quite tall] bed about eight months now. Seriously, the kid just grabs the blankets, swings his feet over the edge, and rappels down to the floor. But he needed a little better method. And the bed rail put a cramp on his rappelling style. I had this stool laying around and it gives him the perfect boost to get in and out of bed.

Since Mitchell is right down the hall, and his door stays open, we can hear him from our bedroom without a problem. So we put him down in his big boy bed for the first time, said a bedtime prayer, and hoped for the best. And we didn’t hear from that kid until morning! I am confidently saying he has graduated from his crib. Which is a good thing because we kicked Julia out of our room at one month and she has officially taken over the crib! [More on that later]. Our run with two under two has been manageable thus far, but Julia can’t move yet so I realize that makes things a bit easier, because I can put her down and she’s still in the same spot I left her. I can’t decide whether to be sad or proud of both of them, so I’m going to be a little of the first and a lot of the second. With both of them sleeping in their rooms and going to bed on a schedule, night time is PEACEFUL and I am so happy the bedtime transitioning is done. 
Now to the potty training. Wish us the best of luck, please. 

3 thoughts on “Big Boy Bed

  1. We've semi-skipping the toddler bed (the crib has been converted for the rest of this week), and come this weekend Marcus will be sleeping in a full size bed. Not once has Marcus shown any interest in climbing out of his crib, but we figured we'd like to have him fully transitioned to his big boy bed BEFORE his impending evection notice in July. Like you, I'd rather he be totally settled into the bed before I know I'm going to be up 1.4 million times a night. And, I'm simply not buying another crib. The one we have obviously works quite well. 🙂
    Way to go Mitchell! Looks like he's made the adjustment really well!


  2. Totally on the same page – why buy two cribs if you don't have to?! Julia can deal with her brother's little beaver marks until she gets her big girl bed too 🙂 I hope it's as easy for you! Looking forward to reading how it goes and seeing pictures of Marcus in his new big boy bed! Mitchell was just so proud of himself when he crawled up there 🙂


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