Charlie climbed out of his crib for the first time 2 months ago when we let him sleep without a sleep sack. At the time he was 25 months old, and I was hoping to keep him in his crib a little bit longer so we wouldn’t have to worry about him wandering around our apartment making mischief at night. His sleep was also the worst it had ever been, so we thought that we should wait until his sleep was better to make the transition to a big boy bed. Mrs. Hide and Seek shared some awesome tips on her toddler bed transition, and we’d planned to take it slowly and implement a lot of the same ideas.

But Charlie made the decision himself this weekend.  He woke up yesterday morning, climbed out of his crib while wearing his sleep sack, opened his bedroom door, and stood at the top of the stairs calling out for Daddy. The sleep sack had been preventing him from climbing out of his crib all this time. Now it was dangerous to keep him in a sleep sack since it limits his mobility, and makes him more likely to fall while climbing in and out of his crib. We had to switch him to a big boy bed asap, so I went out and bought the toddler bed conversion kit for his crib yesterday.

We had to replace one side of the crib to convert it to a toddler bed.

After picking Charlie up from daycare, we made a really big deal out of Charlie’s big boy bed to try to get him excited about sleeping in it.

Charlie usually doesn’t care too much for stuffed dolls, but he loved the dolls I put in there to keep him company.

He kept saying, “It’s open!” and climbed in and out of his new bed. I was cautiously optimistic that he would sleep in it last night.

Of course that’s not what happened. It was the absolute worst time to transition Charlie to a new bed because:

1) he was sick with a fever
2) he was extra spoiled by having my mom and aunt here last week
3) his sleep has been up and down for the past two months, and it was in a down spot
4) because his sleep hasn’t been great, he’s been more tired and generally crankier
5) we didn’t have a transition plan since we had to do it in one day
6) Mr. Bee and I have been so exhausted that we usually fall asleep on the floor before Charlie does, so we’d been semi-cosleeping and we needed to transition away from that first

So what happened last night? Charlie climbed out of his bed and started wailing the moment we put him in there after his bedtime routine. He said that he wanted sleep on the floor and that we could sleep in his bed. There wasn’t much we could do since he had a fever, and threw up from crying so hard.

I started reading to Charlie, which usually calms him down. Then I turned off the lights, and fell asleep on the floor with Charlie next to me. I woke up two hours later and left the room.

Charlie woke up in the middle of the night whimpering that he wanted to play (his phrase du jour lately), but he went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 6:30am this morning. Overall it was a big toddler bed transition fail.

Perhaps we should have transitioned Charlie to a toddler bed before Olive was born when he was 21 months old, and wasn’t able to communicate (aka challenge us) as effectively as he can now. But we were afraid of making any big changes before she was born, and no parent wants to mess with their child’s sleep when it’s good! I also know many parents that didn’t transition to a toddler bed until their child was closer to 3, so I thought that we had more time. In my next post, I’ll share what we’d planned on doing if Charlie hadn’t figured out how to climb out of his crib!

When and why did  you decide to transition your child to a toddler bed?