View Full Version : Bunch of questions on the transition from crib to bed - pls help!

08-12-2004, 07:46 AM
Hi all -

Not sure how many people are over here in toddler land, but I have a bunch of questions on the transition from crib to bed. Can y'all help me find answers? Maybe you can just answer any of them that you have advice beneath the question. And, should I post this in BB too? Thanks!

OK, here goes:

1) Is it better to just take the plunge and go crib to bed for all sleeping instead of trying for naps and then letting her go crib at night? She has slept in the bed for short periods but always with us and generally then prefers to back in her crib. Everyone always suggests the nap then overnight, but I worry that this gives her an "out" and it will drag on (I'm afraid of this in potty training too! I have no time limit, but we have an infant and it would be easier when we travel to not find two portacribs).

2) I don't understand how a crib becomes a toddler bed (we have a Ragazzi). If you take the sides off and just use head and footboard as they are now, isn't it just open on both sides which is harder in transition than a bed with rails or snugtucks?

3) My daughter is the most active sleeper. She can sit up in her sleep and then flop to the other side which is why I got the snucktucks instead of a rail. I don't think a toddler bed would work for her at all, do you? Fortunately, her big girl bed is a full, so it will allow for the flopping.

4) I don't think there is anyway she'll go under a sheet and doesn't have a blankie, so do I just go blanket sleeper almost all year round (we have strong AC in the summer) and just not worry about it?

5) We have to go on a trip and it is likely that they will not have a full-sized crib, and she's 95% percentile in height at 25 mos so she'll never fit in a portacrib. There is a king option which would then allow one or both hubby and I to sleep in the bed with her, but is it going to be a nightmare to just force the transition? Or, could it be a blessing in disguise?

6) If we start in the bed with her, are we going to create a dependency on that or will we be able to wean her from that later? She's a pretty good sleeper, but I don't want us to sleep in there forever with her AND we both work during the day so we can't nap with her, nor can the sitter. Plus, I don't want to make bedtime take hours b/c she's in the phase that she'll do anything to delay going to sleep.

7) Has anyone heard of putting the crib along side the bed with a secure tie to the mattress to allow the child to climb back in their crib for a while to ease the transition? I am talking about having no ability for the crib to slide, but I don't know if that would just keep her wanting to go in her crib.

8) Any other suggestions?

I'm SO, SO, SO glad that we've had a video monitor all this time because I think it will be a godsend in terms of watching her for the early period to make sure she is safe. We are night people are often up until 1 am which is a big chunk of time and can sleep with it next to our bed to be on top of any situation where she isn't sleeping and unhappy.

Wait til I post about potty training - whooey, the toddler transition is fun! :) Thank you in advance!


08-12-2004, 11:23 AM
Hi Alexa!

There are quite a few Moms over here on the toddler boards and certain hot topics (pottying, big kid beds) do get lots of traffic. I'll try to answer as many of your questions as I can. Keep in mind that there are MANY schools of thought on how to do the bed transition and what works best will depend on your child's temperment.

With my kids I started out with just the mattress on the floor. This meant that if they fell off they wouldn't be seriously hurt (especially since their rooms are carpeted) and it wasn't intimidating. At first I put the mattress in the playroom and they ran on it (enjoying the bouncy feel) and eventually lay down on it voluntarily. Since my kids don't nap in their bedrooms I left the mattress in the playroom for a few naptimes and honestly they moved there voluntarily realizing that it was more comfortable than the floor (where they had been napping previously). Then after awhile I put the mattress on the floor in their bedrooms and let it sit there for a week or so while they still slept in the crib. Then I put them down on the mattress one night (crib still in the room) and left them there. I did not start out with full sheets, blankets, etc. on the bed: just a fitted sheet, so it was very similar to the crib only bigger and lower. They used the same pillow and baby blanket that they had in the crib. My DS is still sleeping this way (we only transitioned him about a month ago). With DD, after a couple of months we started putting sheets and a comforter on the bed and put them on her. At first she would just kick them off and go back to her old blanket, but eventually she liked having a bed 'like Mama's'. After about 3 or 4 months of sleeping on the mattress on the floor (and not rolling off) we felt comfy enough to put the mattress on the bed frame. She has been fine and sleeing in a real bed ever since.

I will state right now that co-sleeping does not work for my family and we have NEVER done it. This will color my views, but I think if you are not co-sleeping now then it will just confuse your child to start and make her angry when you try to stop. However this is a personal decision and I know there are strong co-sleepers out there who might have better advice if you are seriously considering that route.

I believe that every crib converts to a toddler bed in a different way (assuming that yours even converts). You should check the instructions that originally came with the crib. However if it does not convert I think a toddler bed is a waste of money. They will only sleep in it for a short time (and since your DD is so tall that time will be even shorter) and if she is moving around a lot while she sleeps you will appreciate the extra space a full mattress gives.

As for the hotel, you may just want to keep your options open on that and see what sleeping stage she is at during your trip. My DD did very well in a full sized hotel bed (by herself) at age 27 months but she had been in her own bed (frame and mattress) for a few months at that point.

Good luck!

Kimberly H
08-12-2004, 09:07 PM

Saturday morning we caught Mia with her foot half over the rail of her crib. I sent DS #1 to WalMart to buy the little plastic toddler bed I'd eyed the last time she hinted this (about 2 months ago), then got to thinking it might be easier for her to use her crib as a toddler bed.

DS returned the toddler bed and went to storage to grab the day bed/toddler bed boards for the crib, while I took the side off the crib. I added the side boards - neither of which come over the top of the mattress - and that was that.

Mia cried and screeched when we first put her in the bed, then finally nodded off about 20 mins later. That night I did find her on the floor once but she didn't cry going down so I figure she climbed off instead of fell off.

2 nights later, she goes to bed willingly and doesn't get up at all.

With DS #1 and #2, they had twin mattresses/box springs on the floor on top of 2x4's to let air circulate around the box spring. For a couple of weeks, I also used the Fisher-Price side rail that tucked under the mattress. It was a waste, but I felt better.

We went straight to the "big kid bed" for all things because we thought it made more sense.

Good luck!!!