View Full Version : Transition to toddler bed tips?

06-30-2004, 12:05 AM
Well, after a couple of days of walking in Joshua's room to get him up in the morning or after nap time, I have found him hanging halfway out/over the crib rail. I figure it's only a matter of days before I hear a "Thud!" and he's gone over board.

Our crib (by Simmons) has a toddler bed conversion option, where one long side removes, and it becomes a 3 sided toddler bed. I plan on getting some new sheets to go on it to look more like a big-boy room (Winnie-the-Pooh is coming down :(). I also have a safe bed side rail that is half as long as the mattress, so he won't fall out, but he can also get out (rather than climb over a rail and get hurt).

But, how do I make the switch to an open sided bed? I know that as soon as I put him in bed and walk away he'll just get right back out. I'm going to put a decently high baby gate in the doorway so he can't leave his room. But will he most likely be standing in his door way crying at night/naptime? Will he be playing with toys instead of going to sleep, and then fall asleep in a heap on the floor? What should I anticipate happening, and how do I deal with this big change?

Thanks for your advice!

06-30-2004, 12:27 AM
We just went through this - some people on the board recommended a crib tent. DH didn't want to go that route, but if you can I would highly adivse it. We had a really difficult transition and we're only just really getting back not quite to his sleeping as well as in the crib.

That said, my problem was not so much him getting out of the bed (although we still stay with him until he's asleep, so that may be why) but his waking up much more frequently (every two hours until I switched him from the toddler bed to a twin mattress on the floor). The twin bed had already been in the room, so I think it seemed familiar - the toddler bed was new to him. He does get up during naptime and cry at the door, although he runs to the bed as soon as he hears us (sneaky little guy). He really hasn't gotten out of bed to play, but he doesn't like to play in his room with the door closed (without us) when he's awake, so that doesn't surprise me.

Again, I would advise the crib tent if you can do it.


07-01-2004, 08:41 PM
Establish a good bedtime/naptime routine, and stick with it. Our routine turned out to be having mom & dad in there w/ him and play/or books for 1/2 hr. Then lights out, say our prayers, we loveyou, & goodnight!
And - be conistent. If he gets up 50 times, put him back down 50 times. He'll get the point. I promise it gets better ( sometimes worse before better).

07-02-2004, 01:30 PM
Hi...don't know if this will help, but here's how it was for us...I wanted my older DD out of her crib at 2 when our next baby was born,(Sept.) but decided I didn't want to deal with switching before then, since I had to do 8 wks. of bedrest with that pregnancy. So....we ended up buying her a toddler bed that fits a crib mattress and close to the floor and put it in her room with the crib...supposedly so she would be familiar with it. She would sit on it or play on it, but wanted nothing to do with sleeping in it. Meanwhile, she was climbing/falling out of her crib. So we put the rail down all the way so she could climb out safely. Since she was getting out of her bed (crib) anyway, at this point, we did as the other mom has suggested, and just kept putting her back in the crib, training her to stay in there. This slowly got better. Then, about March, we finally decided to just take down her crib and put the toddler bed where the crib was. We told her that the crib had to go bye-bye and that she would be sleeping in her big girl bed. The crib was no longer an option, then, and fortuately for us, she went with it and it was not a problem...she slept in it fine, although she still occasionally wakes up at night and will either just cry or get up and come to our door and wait for us to comfort her.

07-04-2004, 07:34 PM
When we moved DD to a big girl bed she did get up and walk around, but it was dark in there and she couldn't see very well so eventually she gave up. Only twice did we come in and she was asleep on the floor, but she always napped that way (falling asleep while playing) so it didn't bother us. Once she came out to the gate in the hallway and asked for us to come in the middle of the night. We ignored it and she got quiet. In the morning we found her asleep on the hall floor. She was sleeping and safe, so we weren't bothered.

In the long run she understood that her bed was more comfortable than the floor so she voluntarily decided to sleep there. The fact that the mattress was bouncy didn't hurt either. The point is not to worry if kids fall asleep on the fllor. As long as they're safe, so what?

FWIW, I'm in the same boat right now. Our very tall DS is itching to climb out of his crib and just today we moved a mattress into his room (on the floor). In a couple of days we'll put him on it instead of in the crib and see what fun ensues. :)

09-24-2004, 06:54 PM
OK, BTDT folks, I need your guidance.

How exactly do you keep your child in his/her room at night?

When Benjamin slept in his crib, we kept the doors open halfway, and could hear him if he needed us. Now that he's in a toddler bed (he started climbing out), he's waking up twice a night, coming into our room and waking up DH (reminder to self: I will not gloat :P ).

DH takes him back to his room, but Benjamin won't go back to sleep without DH there with him. The only way DH can get any sleep is to have the two of them go back to sleep in the guest room.

I *really* don't like the idea of closing the door and locking Benjamin in completely. But what else works? A gate (won't he just climb?); a screen door; a hook and eye to keep the door ajar, but not wide enough for Benjamin to get out?

Help please! It's getting cooler at night, and I'm tired of sleeping with the cats instead of DH!


09-25-2004, 10:09 AM
This worked for us (found it in 1.2.3 Magic). We put a chair outside Noelle's open door, facing outward. When she would get up one of us would escort her back to bed and then sit in the chair. She would repeat, we would repeat. The first night was mine and it took 12 repetitions before she went down. The second night was DH's and it took 10. The third night was mine and it took 4. The next night DH took her back to bed and she went right back down. The next night she went down and slept all through the night.

This hasn't kept her from waking in the night, but she will obey our instructions to go back to bed now (without us getting up any more). In the book the author stresses to NOT talk to the child and NOT turn on any lights. He also suggests that older children (those who are completely potty trained) should be first taken to the toilet before they are returned to their rooms.


Jen in Okinawa
Mom to a wonderful preschooler,
who is almost three, Noelle!

10-08-2004, 05:15 PM
When DS slept in a crib, we did keep the door ajar, and we have a monitor so we could hear him either way. When we moved him to a mattress on the floor, we decided to keep the door closed and we still have the monitor. This is partly helped by the fact that he likes to close doors, so that is part of his nighttime routine anyway.

One of is in there until he falls asleep. If he calls in the middle of the night, we hear him through the monitor and we go back in there and lay with him until he falls back to sleep. Right now, our bed is on the floor, so we can still lie on the bed next to him or on the floor next to him each time he is trying to get to sleep. I'm not sure if we are lucky, but at most he has gotten up 2x in a night, and after 4 weeks, it is really down to once or zero a night.