Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The {not so easy} Transition from Cot to Big Boy Bed


The Easter long weekend is over already. We had a pretty full weekend, and it wasn't completely relaxing, but it was mostly pretty fun. We managed to go out on the boat, visit a new Church, have family time, go to the beach (the weather has been amazing), have an Easter egg hunt and watch some movies. Our biggest focus this weekend, the thing that has taken up a lot of our time, energy, exhausted our emotional state, stretched and tested our patience, and basically turned us into walking Zombies (maybe a slight exaggeration), was transitioning the little boy (at almost 20months old) from his cot, into the big bed. I picked this weekend because I figured Joel and I could tackle it together, in the hopes of tag-teaming and reducing stress. I wanted to do it with plenty of time to transition him before the new baby arrived, and because he can easily climb out of his cot, I knew this change was long overdue.

Night 1 in the big boy bed was amazing. It could not of been easier. I put it down to missing his day nap because we were out and about, I assumed he would nod off in the car in our drive home, but I was mistaken. When we put him into the big bed, he was already exhausted and fell asleep so easily, we didn't hear a peep until 7am the next morning when he wandered out of his room and clambered into bed with us. It was glorious. I found myself wondering why I was so tentative about this transition, it had all gone so well. Perfect in fact.

Day nap 1 was equally as glorious! I was elated and so impressed at my amazing mothering skills and what a perfect child I had managed to raise. This is great, he loves his new bed. I had heard nightmare stories about kids and moving to a bigger bed, I couldn't believe how easy it all seemed to be going. I must be doing all the right things, why hadn't I done it sooner?

That was until I encountered Day 2. When the little boy came to the realisation that he didn't actually have anything stopping him from getting out of bed. In fact, he could get up and play with his toys or open the door and walk out if he wanted to. And he wanted to, again and again and again. He thought it was hilarious every time I took him back to bed. Me, well I did not think it was anywhere near as funny. Eventually, after two very long hours, of dealing with the extreme over tiredness, tantrums, the hair pulling, biting and punching, he gave up the fight to be awake, and drifted off to a very,very short nap. Night time, was much less eventful and went relatively well mostly due to the lack of day sleep.

Day 3 was equally as bad, perhaps a little worse. My patience was tested to its limits, my emotional state was not faring well. But, I wasn't about to let him win. Joel was out, enjoying a lovely afternoon surfing, much to my dismay. I was in the midst of a strategic battle of the wills, and I wasn't going to be the first one to break. It may have only taken me 2 and a half hours, including a slight intermission for a banana and a glass of water, but he slept. I may have resulted to using every strategy I could possibly think of: lying next to him, sitting at the end of his bed, singing, patting, waiting behind the door, finally he fell asleep as I was lying next to him reading him a story. Very cute, I must admit, for a conniving little fellow.

Day 4, well I hand-balled day 4. Joel who was blissfully unaware the day before, was to about to go under trial by fire. It took him just over an hour! Yay, we were cheering for the small victories. An hour, only an hour, amazing. The night time sleep battle also was shorter than the evening before, I got him to sleep by 8.30 rather than 9. Like I said, it is the small victories.

But, as I write this, I have been visited by a certain toddler 3 times (make that 4, nope now 5). This is a new thing, middle of the night waking.

Its 10.30pm. He was fast asleep. My patience is waning. I need some down time. I could just put him back in the cot, but well, I'm not one to give up that easily, we are as stubborn and determined as each other,  and I know it will be so much harder with a newborn in the mix.

Welcome to a brand new trial in parenting.
Every time you have one thing under control, you get another challenge flung at you.
The next big challenge I guess will be dealing with two instead of one.
(I didn't get this post finished until the morning, lets just say the very eventful evening continued! Someone didn't want us to leave the room, but was up playing around in his bed at midnight. This morning he woke chirpy and early as usual, the adults on the other hand are completely wrecked)

How did your little ones transition to the big bed, or are you yet to face this fantastical challenge?

Karen xx



18 comments:

  1. Beck/craftypjmumApril 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I remember these days CLEARLY it gets easier though your patience is most certainly tried :) good luck and best wishes. Stopping by via IBOT

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  2. Hmmm. I don't ever remember having that trouble with Nick. Sorry :( How much can you reason with him? Does he understand bribery? A star chart? A sticker for staying in his bed every night and then a prize at the end of the week? Nick is almost 5, so these things work a treat, but might not with much younger ones :( Good luck with it all! can you put a baby gate across his bedroom door so that he can't get out? and move his toys to where he can't get them?

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  3. How to bad nights not seem to effect them? And yet they leave us totally wrecked and reaching for cup after cup of coffee!
    I am keeping mine caged in his cot for as long as possible!
    Good luck!

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  4. Oh my, you make me dread the upcoming transition. Miss 22 months is such a fabulous sleeper, but she's as naughty as they come so I know we are going to have some fun and games with the cot transitions to a toddler bed.

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  5. Oh no.. we just recently did the transition. Day naps have been hard, but only take 10-15 mins of me just sitting with him, with my hand on his back or head. Sometimes he really doesn't want to to sleep and will cry and cry, I just sit patiently waiting and then offer him a cuddle, we sit and cuddle for a few mins and he has so far everytime then lay down and gone off to sleep. Night time, I sit on the floor next to his bed until he is asleep.

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  6. We have just been having the conversation about making the switch with M and we are undecided. She needs to be in a big bed before the baby comes a we don't want to get another cot or have to do the transition with a newborn, but she's only 16 months so we are thinking of taking the side off the cot and getting a safety rail to start with and going from there. My only issue is that we are going away for a weekend in May for a wedding and so she will have to sleep in a cot and portacot at my Mim's and sister's places so it might be better to wait until then. I am really not lookin forward to it!

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  7. The transition wasn't too bad for us - but we still get an early morning visit from a certain little one - I quite like his morning cuddles though! Hope your little man settles out of his night waking/walking soon - mumma needs her rest xx

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  8. Took us 4 hours the first time we chnged over. Then 2 months to get it right. I swapped over early though. At 15 months because i figured if she can sleep in a bed/mattress at daycare she can sleep on a bed at home.

    We now have a child gate to stop her from coming out of the room at bed time. When it comes to bedtime at night she goes in without a fuss, and if she is not sleepy she can play in her room quietly but she cant come out because of the baby gate.

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  9. Thanks Beck! I'm hoping those easier days are not too far away, just trying to stick to my guns and not get sucked in to letting him do whatever he wants x

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  10. ha Aroha I wish he understood bribery. I'm trying to reason, but I'm not sure how much he understands yet, its so hard to know when they aren't really talking yet. A baby gate is a good idea, although he's a climber so that could be a worry!

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  11. I know, I know!!! I was so wiped out today, I napped longer than he did. It makes no sense!!

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  12. I hope it goes easier for you. At least she is a little older and can hopefully understand a bit better. If it makes you feel any better, today was a little easier. It seems each day gets a little better!

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  13. I think I would prefer the crying, he just laughs in my face, and thinks it is all a big game. I don't know why they fight sleep soooo much!!!

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  14. It is so hard to make the decision, I have been putting it off for ages. I think it would be better to leave it until you get back, the less interruptions the better! BUT I am so glad I am dealing with it now, and not with a newborn in tow. That would be horrendous.

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  15. I like the early morning cuddles too! Except when they turn into early morning sitting on my face, and body slams! I'm hoping it was a one night occurrence, time will tell! xx

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  16. She's not climbing out of her bed yet so I am waiting. For now she is content with the cot, so I might have a few more months hopefully. Toilet training might come first which is another one I am dreading

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  17. It is not easy! It is a whole new experience for them. I have heard many hard and challenging stories, like yours. It does get easier. They get used to it. Just keep remaining consistent in what you do. I was lucky with my little girl... who knows what challenges my son will give me in time....

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  18. It's not easy at all!
    One thing you can look at though, is work out if during the day he's making lots of decisions himself, such as what cup he will use, which toys he will play with and when. Sometimes little people think they are much bigger than they are, and so they will fight you longer. When you take out some of the choice work during the day, he may be better for you at night.

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