There are many reasons you may be starting the transition to the toddler bed and saying good bye to the crib. It may be because you’re expecting a new addition, maybe your little one is just getting to big, or maybe it is to prevent your little from trying to climb out of the crib like Jace used to. No matter the reason, this transition takes a lot of patience.
We have had it pretty easy with Jace during this transition but there are nights (like tonight for instance) where your little may have a different agenda to the plan you are thinking. In other words… bedtime, what’s that?
These 5 tips for transitioning to a toddler bed are here to help you out with the process to make it a little less painful for us Mama’s (and Dad’s to of course).
1. Stick to the same routine…
Don’t change to much at once and stick to one transition at a time. Change can be very hard for our littles to comprehend and because of this it is going to make it a lot easier if you keep everything else familiar and don’t change the bedtime routine.
When we switched Jace over to the toddler bed we didn’t change anything other than removing his crib and bringing in his new toddler car bed. We kept all of his bedding the same, we still used his noise machine for bed time to play music, his humidifier was still all set up. We simply shifted his book shelves over a bit to make room for the toddler bed and that was it.
We have always had the same general bedtime routine for Jace so I knew it was best to keep it the same as that is what he is used to it always being. For more on the bedtime routine we use check out my post “Bed Time Routine – FUN!“.
2. Make sure all the toys are hidden…
A big distraction to little ones are their toys. They do not care how tired they are, they do not care how early they have to wake up, all they care about is having fun – and playing with their toys is lots of fun.
We knew in advance we were going to attempt the transition to the toddler bed and because of that I made sure we had the means to “hide” all the toys at bedtime (out of sight out of mind, right?!). For us I found the easiest way to do this was getting cube shelves and having drawers in them to put all his toys in. Jace does not have closet doors on his closet but instead has a curtain and his closet is used for all his large toys to be put away at night time.
As Jace got older, we implemented “clean up time” into his bed time routine and because of this he is used to helping us clean his toys up before bath time or PJ time. By the time Jace goes to bed, other than his stuffies, all his toys are put away out of sight so he does not think about them.
3. Have PATIENCE…
This is the key to transitioning your little ones but please remember some days are going to be harder than others and there will be some days you may not have as much patience as the good days, and that is okay.
Our littles pick up on our feelings and temperaments and this is why it is so important to try and stay calm in the transition. Obviously make it clear that they are not aloud to get out of bed and need to go to sleep but the calm approach seems to work better to calm them down when they are upset and crying. Remember, if they are crying there is usually a reason but they just don’t know other ways to communicate that to you yet.
After the hour mark approaches of trying to get your little down you may notice your patience wearing thing, but figure something out to keep yourself calm as well and before you go into the room to deal with your upset little one – take a breather.
This may seem like a pretty obvious tip but let me tell you, on those hard days it can be hard to remember what patience is.
4. Start bedtime earlier…
Now this tip is the key to everything because during this transition you will notice it takes them a lot longer to actually fall asleep, and remember that is normal.
Jace’s bed time has been 7:30pm for quite a while and because of this when we started the transition to the toddler bed we started to try and put him to bed around 7pm because we knew it would take him longer to fall asleep. To our surprise some nights he would fall asleep no problem and still sleep straight through the night, other nights (most nights) it takes him generally about half an hour to 45 minutes to fall asleep, but then there are nights like tonight that took him an hour and twenty minutes to fall asleep.
Doing this little tip helps with the whole patience thing to because I have noticed a lot of the patience start to wear thin when I am looking at the clock thinking okay, he has been sitting here for ____ amount of time and now he is only going to get “x” amount of sleeping hours. However, when he goes to bed that tiny bit earlier, by the time he has his “moment” he has fallen asleep at or close to his actual bed time, therefore, causing no further stress or worry.
5. DON’T give in…
This is a very serious tip; don’t give in! At the start of the transition it will feel very easy to just say we’re bringing the crib back but I warn you now… don’t do it. Stick to your guns and don’t give in because as soon as you do you will make the next time you try a million times harder.
Our littles are smart and if they figure out a way to make you give into what they want once they will try and try again, making the second… or third… try that much harder.
So, please, don’t give in!
It is now 8:30pm and I finally having a sleeping Jace – thank the lord! So this mama, is off to have a nice warm shower, grab some tea, and head into bed for some Netflix. Make sure you let me know how the transitioning of your littles are going and what techniques are working or not working!! I love to hear from you Mama’s so comment, send me a message through the “contact me” page, or check out my Instagram “adventuresofthegroots” and personal message me there. Make sure you share, share, share ladies for any other Mama’s you know that may be looking for some fun tips from the Working Mommy!
Stay tuned for some more struggles, chaos & fun from this Mediocre Mommy! ❤