As part of the multi-step process I laid out with the Boo’s pediatrician on how to make a gazillion changes in his little life without making him batsh*t crazy, we instituted operation Big Boy Bed recently. He’s over 2 and, though he never really expressed a whole of of interest in leaving the crib, we needed to get the transition underway in preparation for the new baby.
My (evil? brilliant?) plan was to make this transition at least a few months in advance of the baby’s arrival so that the Boo didn’t feel like we stole his crib for the little one AND so that I could maneuver him in and out of bed with my big old belly. Ever try lowering a tank – I mean 2 year old – into a crib with rails while sporting a preggy belly? Yeah, not fun.
So we took advantage of the home time I would have over the holidays to put away the crib and introduce little man to little man bed. We took the advice of our friends and put the baby gate in front of the door so that, should he leave the non-confines of the bed to explore that he couldn’t get out of his room. This is about all that we did to ensure a smooth transition. These are the things we did not consider:
- We live in a 1 story house. He opens his door and is staring directly at us sitting on the couch. This makes for a really fun game for him. Open door. Hide behind gate. Giggle hysterically. Close door when yelled at. Repeat.
- All the fun ways he can entertain himself while alone and unencumbered in his room. Toys, clothes, drawer contents, diapering accessories all become fun things to either spread all over the room or turn into one big pile in the center of the room. This provides entertainment for hours. And hours.
- His desire to have a blanket on him but his unwillingness to figure out how to cover himself would not be solved by the toddler bed. Shouts of “cover me! cover me!” translated smoothly and seamlessly from crib to bed without missing a beat.
- That he would tucker himself out as quickly as he did while playing in the crib. Somehow, I figured getting in and out of bed repeatedly would actually tire him more and that he would fall asleep faster. Silly Mommy. Evidently the constant motion of the aforementioned activities only prove to invigorate the child, especially during nap time.
So, after a few days of learning the ropes of this new big boy bed world, we made a few slight adjustments to our proceedings. A hook and eye lock on the door (the doorknob itself has no lock) keeps him from playing the game outlined in #1. As soon as he falls asleep, we unhook it but leave the gate up, so please no calling CPS folks, we’re not locking our child away all night and day. A removal of most of the items found in his room (and, when he’s especially uncooperative, removing ALL items including stuffed animals from the bed) help counter the activities described in #2 above. The clever little bugger seems to keep finding stuff to toss all over the room though, so I’m thinking an empty padded cell might be the next step.
There really hasn’t been a good solution to #3 or #4, so its more of waiting it out, choosing our battles, and channeling as much infinite f*cking patience as we can until this little man is over the large amount of freedom we have recently given him. Its a good thing we are getting back to the work/school routine tomorrow, as the 3+ hours of fun and games before falling asleep for naptime has been quite tiresome.
So, yeah, I’d say its going fairly well…
“I am going to tear this place apart!!”
“But first, let me take my first header out of this bed!”