Well it’s emotional. I knew it was coming. I had bought the new mattress for his bed, new sheets and under-sheets and they were all stacked neatly in his room together with the duvet cover his Nana bought him a long time ago in preparation for this day. My 2 and a half year old is in his big boy bed for the first time ever.
This morning he woke up and was chatting away to himself, shouting something about getting out, the next minute we heard the little footsteps scurrying across the floor and his door opening for the very first time from the inside instead of the outside. ‘I get out myself I get out myself’, he was shouting. ‘I take my grobag off’. He had finally managed to climb out of the cot himself. When we spoke to Nana and Popa (Popa is not a typo, this is how son number one declares it must be spelt) on speakerphone later he was so excited to tell them ‘I take my grobag off’. So I shouldn’t really have been surprised at bedtime when he bounded into the new bed, lay down, asked for his dodi and got his kiss good night. We closed the door and haven’t heard a word since. That was 90 minutes ago. So the first night in his big boy bed.
The cot is like a symbol for their baby/toddler-hood and no longer needing it is like we’re embarking on a whole new stage. Both my boys in beds. Both with the freedom to run around first thing in the morning, at whatever hour they deem appropriate. We are leaving ourselves wide open to declarations of ‘I’m not going to bed‘, ‘I don’t want to go to bed‘ and to all kinds of shenanigans after we think we have safely tucked them up in bed. Our top five excuses from the older boy: ‘I’m a little bit more hungry‘, ‘I can’t go to sleep‘, ‘I’m too tired to go to sleep‘, ‘The wind is too loud’ and the latest: ‘I have nothing to read‘. The world is also their oyster in the mornings if we don’t happen to wake up. The possibilities for mischief are endless with sleeping parents they could get up to all sorts. I can see myself having to set an alarm at the weekends now.
Tonight will be night three of the big boy bed and so far he has slept through both nights, he is up earlier than normal but that was to be expected. While I am delighted, I am under no illusion that this will continue going so well all the time. His older brother was great at the start too. For now I am super proud of him, nearly as proud as he is of himself.
Tips for the transition from cot to bed:
Buy a nice duvet cover with bright colours that is special just for them.
Put bed against a wall and use a rail on the other side so they don’t fall out of bed. This has the added benefit of helping them feel secure like they are still in the cot.
Put a stair gate on the top of the stairs in case they get out of bed and are stumbling about half asleep.
Leave a nightlight on in the landing, or the landing light itself.
If your child keeps getting out of bed and coming downstairs, put a stair gate on the door so he/she can still open the door but won’t be able to get out and run around.
If your child has an older sibling, keep using them as an example and say ‘Now you’re big like Michael or Sarah’.
It is a good idea to have the bed in advance and leave it in their room with the cot (space permitting). Then you could read stories on it or refer to it so your child knows that they will be moving to it.
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