I can't believe I am already having to write about my two-year-old, Teddy, needing a big boy bed. It feels like I was just posting about him being born and singing the praises of the Miracle Blanket. It feels like I was also just posting about my 5.5-year old, Charlie, needing a big boy bed, but that was over two years ago.
Right now I'm about two seconds away from swaddling Teddy up in a Miracle Blanket and tucking the whole package into his big boy bed sheets. This transition to big-boydom has not been what one would call "smooth."
Teddy started climbing out of his crib a few weeks ago. For a week or so, we weren't sure what to do. He didn't always climb out during every nap or bed time, so we left the crib up and crossed our fingers every time we put him down. I considered getting a crib tent, but when I went to Babies 'r Us, it turned out they didn't sell crib tents anymore. I could've ordered one online, but then I would've had to wait several days for it to arrive and it seemed like after that many days of freedom, it would be cruel zipping Teddy up into a crib tent every night. Plus it just seemed a little wrong to use a crib tent for a 2.25-year old. If this had happened six months ago, I totally would've gone for the crib tent. But two and up seems like big boy bed territory.
Last week, Teddy started climbing out of his crib constantly, so I just decided to take it down. Now he's sleeping on a mattress on the floor while he awaits the twin bed we ordered for him. Incidentally we ordered matching twin beds for Charlie and Teddy (they share a room) on Overstock.com for half what they would've cost most places. Plus, the shipping was free. Plus, they can be turned into bunk beds should we ever trust Teddy to be alone in a room with a ladder.
Hang on, I have to go put Teddy back in his bed. He's "napping."
So, now Teddy has total freedom to roam around his room. He is using this freedom to pull books off the shelf and not nap. He is really living it up. It has only been about four days since we got rid of the crib, and none of those days has been alike in terms of sleep. Most days he hasn't napped, but he has gotten a lot of reading done. Yesterday he napped and then was up bugging Charlie until almost eleven o'clock at night. I really don't think he's ready to give up his nap yet because before all this big boy bed nonsense, he was a champion napper and equally awesome at going to bed. Right now, it seems as though he's not successful at going to sleep in his big boy bed unless he is absolutely delirious from lack of sleep. If he's not super exhausted, then the books on the shelf call his name.
Does anyone have a formula for how long it will take to get him back to being the fabulous napper I know he is deep down inside? How long until the allure of getting out of bed wears off? With my other two, I still was able to use the crib for naps until they basically didn't need a nap anymore, so this is kind of new territory for me.
Any other big kid bed training tips you can share? In a way, this feels kind of like potty training in that we are going to have to go through a few weeks of torture before he gets it. Is that true?
I thought of Teddy and his big boy bed when I heard this story on NPR yesterday. It's about how important it is to teach children self-control. Interesting stuff. Basically, a child's self-control is a big predictor of success later in life. It's much simpler to teach a preschooler self-control than it is a teenager or an adult. Maybe this big boy bed drama is an opportunity to teach Teddy a thing or two about self-control.
Last night Charlie came downstairs at around ten o'clock and told us that he had figured out why Teddy kept getting out of bed. "It's because his bed doesn't have walls on it anymore," Charlie said standing there in his snowman p.j.s. Charlie, ever the logician, was right. We need to teach Teddy to act as though there are walls even though the walls are gone. This would seem completely impossible, except that our other two children miraculously sleep in their big kid beds even though no one has chained them to their fitted sheets. There is hope for Teddy. I think.