Toddler Transition From Crib to Regular Bed

Why transition now?

This past weekend my husband and I transitioned our 2.5-year-old out of her crib and into a regular bed. We decided to do this for multiple reasons:

  1. When travelling, our daughter slept in her PlayPen, but recently she learned to climb out of it. Therefore, we needed an alternative.  
  2. She has learned how to climb out of her crib. 
  3. We have been hearing her hit her arms and legs on the crib throughout the night, which was now causing her to wake up. Another indication that we needed a bigger sleeping arrangement for her.  

Truthfully, we wanted to keep her in her crib for as long as possible, the crib made our life much more comfortable, but we knew it was time to make the switch.

Preparing for the Transition:

Our daughter is good at napping for extended periods and sleeping right through the night (we are fortunate, she is a good sleeper), BUT she always throws an absolute fit when she realizes it’s bedtime. The only reason she stays and eventually falls asleep is because she can’t get out of her crib. She loves her sleep, but she doesn’t love going to sleep. Therefore, we knew that this transition could be a tough one for us. We knew we needed to have a plan for how to transition her so that she stays in bed and goes to sleep. I turned to my friends and did a bit of research to get some tips for this transition.   

 Below are the tips we followed and seem (so far) to have worked for us:

  1. Getting ready for the transition: We began talking to our daughter about her new “big kid” bed. We also read her a children’s’ book about a little elephant transitioning from his crib to a big bed. The book was called “A Big Kid Bed is Coming” by Liz Fletcher. She loved the book! I think this step is pretty important; they can visualize the change and understand it a bit better.
  2. The excitement factor: Many people suggested enticing her to her new bed by adding lots of stuffed animals and colourful bed sheets with some of her favourite books. This will hopefully convince her to go to bed and stay there. We did this, and she loved it! She lined up all her stuffed animals and put her new sheets over them so they could sleep with her.
  3. Getting the room ready: Babyproof the room, like REALLY baby proof it. They will be walking around enjoying their new freedom and wanting to check out their surroundings. We took out lamps, toys and anything she could climb. We basically left her books and her dresser (which we bolted to the wall). We also added a night light because I didn’t want her walking into anything when she got out of bed.  
  4. Protecting her from rolling out of bed: I had bought one bed rail but realized once the bed was constructed, I needed two. I panicked a bit, but a friend of mine gave me an excellent tip. Take a couple of towels, roll them together in a long roll and put it under the mattress sheet along the side of the bed to help them from rolling right off the bed. So far it has worked just as well as the baby rail, so big win! Since this is a new transition, though, I have added lots of carpet and padding on the floor just in case. 
  5. When to begin: I was told to start this process during her afternoon nap; I was a bit weary because I love her nap time and my break time but, it was definitely a good idea. She walked out many times before falling asleep, but she was more prepared for bedtime that evening.   
  6. Make bedtime a bit earlier than usual: I started bedtime about 30 min early because I knew she would be getting up and walking around at the beginning. She left the room many times, but each time we held her hand and brought her right back to bed, reminding her it was bedtime, and she had to go to sleep. On night 1, we did this about six times. By the last time, she realized she couldn’t come out, stayed in her bed and eventually fell asleep. This was about 1 hour after her usual bedtime.

Some other things to consider:

  • Putting the video monitor back into the room to keep an eye on them as they explore their new freedom.
  • Lock the bedroom door if they don’t stop leaving their room. I know this is controversial, but they couldn’t get out of their crib before, so I don’t see a difference with locking their door now. 
  • If they don’t stay in bed for nap time, try quiet time. Tell them they still need a rest and can quietly read books in bed until mom/dad gets them. There are two reasons to do this: they are tired and need a little rest, and mom still needs a break.  
  • I haven’t nighttime potty trained my daughter yet; I am not sure how I will add this to the transition, but if you have any hints/tips, please let me know!

One final piece of advice:

Like everything with our little ones, you’ll have to be patient. Some toddlers may fight this change, and their sleep may get negatively affected for a while; some may love this new change and go right to sleep; there is no telling how our children will respond, so don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t going as you anticipated. With these transitions, I have learned never to have any expectations, just make the change, and roll with whatever happens. Changing your toddler’s routine is hard on your little one, but it is also hard on you. Make sure you give yourself a break from time to time, eat a slice of cake, go for a long walk, whatever it is you need to do to reset. Also, if my tips aren’t working, then ignore them and make your own. You know your child better than anyone, and there is no perfect process! 

Good luck!

If you have any additional tips or would like to write about your experience with your baby and their transition, please comment below! 


Oh Crap! Potty Training- Book Review

By: Jamie Glowacki

Please refer to my post “Potty Training…Ugh” for more details regarding the selection of this book.

My review of the book:

Oh Crap! Potty Training is a very easy read, which is perfect for this topic. I really didn’t want to sit for weeks reading an overly detailed and complex book about potty training. Glowacki breaks down each stage of the potty training process and provides helpful tips if things go wrong. Many of the advice and steps she describes make a lot of sense, and I will absolutely follow her method when beginning this next stage of my daughter’s life. Also, although there are 20 chapters in this book, Glowacki advises all her readers not to read past Chapter 5 or 6 until potty training has begun.

Chapters 6-20 are written to help parents overcome any challenges they are having with potty training. These chapters are based on common questions/concerns she gets from her clients. For example, my daughter has always had issues with constipation or holding in her poop so I knew that I needed to skip to chapter 10 to read her section on poop. As well, my daughter is in daycare part time, so I read chapter 12 on how to approach daycare about potty training. Lastly, my daughter can be well… spirited… to put it lightly. She can be stubborn and has recently begun to have crying fits over the smallest thing (hoping this is phase). I know that this will become a more significant issue during potty training, so I also read Chapter 13 Behiavour vs Potty Training that speaks directly to my concerns. Everything she wrote was constructive and made me feel much more prepared for potty training.

There are also a few things that I didn’t really like about the book. Unfortunately, Glowacki repeats herself A LOT, and I mean A LOT. Sometimes I would be reading a paragraph, and it felt like I had already read that same paragraph in every other chapter (like the exact same paragraph). This happened numerous times so I felt that was a bit tedious. I also feel this book could have been summed up in far fewer pages. It seemed to become a bit redundant after a while. However, these minor annoyances did not take away from her potty training method, I am convinced she knows what she is talking about, and I will surely use this method.

Things I learned from this book:

I found the first six chapters really helped me understand how to prepare for potty training and how to make it a success for my daughter. Glowacki was veryspecific about what needs to happen in the house and how parents are to act throughout the first couple of days. I knew I would need to be home initially, but I didn’t realize how important it was until she laid out all the reasons why. I also learned it is important to begin talking about this upcoming change for my daughter before potty training actually begins. For example, saying things like, “We’re almost done your diapers, you will be using the potty soon.” This allows your toddler to begin to register what will be happening in a couple of days. I found her first six chapters to be very informative.

As I mentioned, pooping has been a bit of an issue for my daughter. This has been an issue since she was four months old. She has frequent constipation episodes, and sometimes we’ve had to use kid suppository’s to help her. So naturally, I am a bit concerned about how the poop in potty training will go. After reading Chapter 10 though, I do feel more prepared for what could go wrong and less anxious about how she will overcome this.

Chapter 12 was also beneficial because sometimes daycares are not interested in helping with the potty training process, especially before 3 years old. Glowacki goes over what to do in almost any daycare situation and how to handle this obstacle. She explains how to deal with daycares who are not willing to follow the potty training plan. Luckily, after speaking with my daughter’s daycare, it sounds like they are completely on board, fewf!

Chapter 13 went into some behavioural obstacles you may encounter, depending on your toddler’s attitude. I found this helpful because, as I mentioned, I am finding as my daughter gets older, she is becoming more stubborn, and despite my efforts, this doesn’t seem to be going away. This chapter helped ease my anxiety on how her behaivour would affect this process.

Final thoughts:

Overall I think this a great book for moms who are getting ready to potty train their toddlers. It is a quick and easy read that will help ease potty training anxiety. Her method is proven to be effective and successful. She has been doing this type of work for many many years, and I would definitely consider her an expert. She also offers courses through her website to help parents through this process.

Information about the Author:

http://www.ohcrappottytraining.com – Jamie Glowacki’s website

On this website you will find:
*Blog
*Potty Training Courses
*Certification to be a potty training consultant
*Podcast