Indy’s been in his bed for just over a month now, and I’m still amazed at how well it’s gone… touch wood! Making the cot to bed transition now was mainly due to having another baby – we will need the cot for the baby in a few months and wanted Indy settled in his bed before then.
He’s a very adventurous and determined little boy, so we were concerned beforehand that not having a side penning him into his bed was going to be a nightmare for us, but i’m SO pleased to say this hasn’t been an issue so far. There seems to be a strange imaginary force around his bed, that is preventing him getting out and exploring – he hasn’t ventured to open the bedroom door, and the most i’ve seen on the monitor at nap time is a dart to get the Gruffalo from his book shelf and straight back into bed again! In the morning we have a few grumbles when he’s awake, but he stays in his bed until one of us goes in, so I can’t complain at all. There were a few things we did before the big move to make the transition as smooth as possible for us:
Transitioned to a Quilt a Few Months Before
I bought Indy a toddler quilt in November as he was getting too big for his sleeping bags – he started waking up in the night as he was getting tangled in it, and I just don’t think he had enough room! It took him a good while to get used to the quilt, so i’m glad I bought it a few months before the bed. Nap times were fine, but during the night he always ‘forgot’ he had to pull it up over him, so I had to go in and tuck him in again! I resorted to using the duvet horizontally and tucking it under the mattress on both sides, which seemed to help slightly, but he’s still a very wriggly sleeper so it always gets thrown off.
Gate on the Doorway
This wasn’t a special purchase as he’s always had a stair gate on his bedroom door, but something I anticipated would also come in very handy once he had free reign to get out of bed! It also ensured we knew he was safe if he was to ever escape during the night, which thankfully hasn’t happened… (yet!)
Safety Check the Bedroom
Indy’s bedroom is obviously a very safe space anyway, but after moving the cot out there were a few plug sockets and cables exposed that we needed to cover up, for safety and also for distractions! I also made sure that nothing heavy could be pulled off his drawers.
Don’t Move Straight Away
We waited a week before moving the bed into Indy’s bedroom and moving the cot out so he could explore the bed over a few days. We built the bed and kept it in the spare room for the week, where we sat and read together on it, so it wasn’t as strange a transition on his first night.
I’ve always been a sucker for a routine, and nothing about Indy’s bed time has changed due to the bed – apart from maybe getting a bit better now that one of us can climb in with him for his bedtime story! It’s still milk, bath, story and bedtime, so he knows all his cues for wind-down and sleep.
A Free Weekend
We found nap times were harder to get him settled (probably as he could see that it was daylight and that he could escape to read his books!), so we kept the first weekend completely free so we could be persistent in trying to make him sleep, as opposed to him being over tired or having to wake him up if we had plans. This also made it much less stressful for us too as we had no pressure on how much sleep he had or getting out somewhere with a cranky toddler!
Tuck in with a Teddy
Indy’s never been one for going to sleep with a soft toy or comforter, but we started tucking him in with a toy of his choice after moving into his bed. I suppose this is another bedtime cue we’ve now added in, but it’s a choice he can make, and fills some space in the bed so it’s not as open!
So i’m going to keep my fingers crossed that Indy doesn’t go backwards and get rebellious at bed time now i’ve written this blog! And if you have any other tips to share, or tips to conquering a tricky transition, please comment below! xxx