Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Toddler Bed Transition - the latest in parental punishment

Toddler beds look so cute, in theory.  Then, when you actually have to use them in practice, they look like parental torture devices.

We have/had a good sleeper for 2 years.  For the first 6-7 months of his life, Calvin fought sleeping hardcore and I was willing to go along with it because he was my "baby."  After 7 months of sleeping 3 hours/night and trying to nurse him back to sleep, I threw in the towel and we consulted books and the internet on how to convince our child that sleep was oh so sweet.  We did 8 nights of some exhausted derivative of "cry it out" and whatever happened,  transformed our horrible sleeper into a fantastic nap and sleep-lover.  Calvin would pull himself towards his crib at night, put his head down and say "night night!"  We would close the door and walk out. Easy peasy.  We did that for about 2 years.  And then...

...comes baby #2.  At some point, your toddler needs to leave the crib.  "But we are all so happy with him in the crib! He loves it and he sleeps so well!" pointed out my ever-observant husband.   Yeah, but you know what? I'm NOT buying another crib for our new baby when we have a perfectly good one sitting there and when we already have a toddler bed, sitting empty.  I wasn't about to put any pressure on Calvin to transition.  I was going to let it be up to him completely.   The baby can sleep in the bassinet for a few months, so Calvin would still have time after the baby arrived for his crib.  No pressure on anyone.  However, he did something I wasn't planning on and made the leap himself...

One night I asked him, "Calvin, do you want to sleep in the crib or the big boy bed in the other room?"  "Big boy bed!"  Ok...he chose this.  He wants this.  Or so I thought...

Flash forward 5 nights now and our previously simple routine of "night night!" and lights out, has turned into a re-do of the toddler version of crying it out.  It takes 1-1.5 hours to get him to go to sleep now, regardless of our method.  FORTUNATELY, and let me emphasize this greatly, he does NOT get out of his bed.  Most articles are how to keep your child in bed, but we don't have that issue.  We have the scream-for-hours-on-end issue.   I think the only reason why he doesn't get out is because Jon met him at the door when he opened it the FIRST time ever and that set the tone early on. Even still, the hours of crying are extremely difficult to endure.  And we aren't the only ones to struggle with toddler sleep.

So for now, we are rubbing his back, reading books in the dark in soft voices, putting on white noise AND a music box, (Edelweiss), and nothing seems to work.  The only thing that does work is letting him scream, "Momma momma momma!" for about 45 mins-1 hour and he is so exhausted that I can sit there with my hand on his back for 8 minutes and he passes out.  Again, he has to be exhausted and emotionally drained.  Everything else is not working.

Tips? Anyone?  We had hoped to only have one screaming child in our house at a time but it's looking like we may have two.  How long did it take your toddler to transition? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!

1 comment:

  1. Our oldest fought the transition form cot to big bed for a day but we just put him in the travel cot next to his new bed, new bed was so much more comfortable he just adapted. Our older two went into full size singles so we could cuddle them if they were upset and that helped. They now have doubles (come with the house) which they love although they hanker for bunk beds. Our baby will be the first to be in a toddler bed if we get a new house with a room for her as we will just take the side from the cot, unless she wants to go straight into a double. If we stay in the current house we will put the double bed in our older daughters room in storage and get the girls bunk beds. Then the older can sleep train the younger ;)

    If he is really struggling check out the flexa system. Grows with your child and can be made into something very exciting. We had these in the UK and the children were gutted to have to put them in storage.


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