Hubby and I have been going back and forth lately about when to put Little Man into a "Big Boy Bed". Although he hasn't been trying to get out of his bed, except the one time that he teetered a little over the railing but scared himself so much he never did it again, we know the time will come sooner or later. Especially with a second one on the way, we wanted to make sure that Little Man was transitioned prior to the new arrival so we didn't have a newborn and a toddler to fight with at night.
I have to admit, I was extremely hesitant about it. You hear horror stories from other parents of their children waking them up at all hours of the night because they have free range once the lights go out. I don't want that, no matter if I have only one to worry about or two.
We did our research and read that some people, especially if the child likes their bed and have no issues with climbing out, stay in their crib until three years of age. I also read that with some children it can be a huge transition, one that seems exciting at first, but then really scary once the lights go out and Mommy and Daddy go to bed. I knew I wanted to take it slow, but I wasn't sure if it was because Little Man wasn't ready or Mommy wasn't ready.
Lately, Little Man has been asking us to read his books while he sits in his bed. Although it's a great way to end the night because he's already in bed once we say no more books, our arms kind of get tired of reaching over the railings to read him his books. We started looking into all of our options, like a Toddler bed vs. a full size bed with a railing or trying to use his current crib without the front railing. IKEA also has a great option of an extendable bed, going from a toddler bed to a full size bed in one. Since money is a little tight right now, and we want to hold out for the IKEA extendable bed option, we opted for the less expensive option right now. We removed the front of his crib to make it into a day bed, then add a $20 bed railing to prevent him from falling out. My only concern was that we couldn't lower the bottom of the bed any closer to the ground, but 14 inches really isn't that far to tumble compared to Mommy and Daddy's bed. And besides, there is only 6 inches or so on either side of the bed railing for him to fall out from.
To our surprise, he loved it! He was so excited to have a "new" big boy bed!
That night, Daddy tried reading to him while sitting in his bed, too. Little Man had a different idea though. He still wanted the bed railing up. So unfortunately, our arms still get a little tired from hanging over the railing, but at least it's not as high as his crib used to be.
And to our delight, the first night was a dream! We made sure to tell him that only Mommy and Daddy can take him out of the bed, since he really wanted to climb on the railing when it was down. He was asleep within 15 minutes and didn't even mess with the railing. And on top of that, he slept until 8am! Wahoo!
Then, double bonus, no problems during nap time either. And I was nervous why? I'll shut up before I jinx myself.