A few weeks ago, I shared plans for our new corner twin beds in the girls shared bedroom, so I thought it might be fun to share the actual transition. Just a bit of background. I wasn’t expecting to move them into big girl beds for another year. During my pregnancy, I avoided parenting books like the plague. I was anxious enough with the idea of twins that I didn’t need books to help me feel even more inadequate and unprepared. I read What to Expect When You’re Expecting (you typically get a copy from your doctors office) so that I could follow along in the development and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins (there’s a singleton version, as well) on the advice of my supermom bff. The ladder was my saving grace. In fact, it’s the only advice I give to expecting parents. Get your baby on a schedule. A happy, scheduled, well-rested baby changes the game. With sleep always at the forefront of my mind, I couldn’t imagine babies being capable of sleeping in big kid beds.
I have been hard core about schedules and sleep training. I still am. To this day, the girls have only stayed up past their 7PM bedtime on 2 occasions and I regretted both of them. We definitely had a few hiccups. The girls stopped sleeping through the night for about a week, while Jeremiah and I were away on our honeymoon (sorry mom) and we had a few irregular nights due to developmental leaps and teething, but if I’m being honest, in the last 2 years you could count the bad nights on one hand and even those nights weren’t really that bad.
We know how lucky we’ve been.
So, imagine our surprise when our 26-month old twins started climbing out of their cribs. Well, let me rephrase that. The girls have been able to get out of their cribs for about a year now, but it hadn’t been an issue. They stayed in their cribs when expected and we just kept hoping for the best. Then, one day about 6 weeks ago, the wheels fell off. I’m not sure what triggered it, but I think it might have something to do with Hadley’s sudden fear of the dark.
In any case, I fought the transition. Like I said before, babies aren’t mature enough to sleep in big kid beds. They’re too young. This will never work. They have to sleep in their cribs until they’re three!! The next day, I put their mattresses on the ground inside their cribs and used a 1x2s to add another rail around the base. They managed to climb out of this new “jail” in 15 seconds. Joke was officially on me.
So, then we bought large sleep sacks thinking that might prevent them from climbing. Nope, not my Ninja-warrior babies. Hadley climbed out of her crib, ran to the door and screamed for 15 minutes, before falling asleep with her hand peaking out from under the door. The sleep sacks combined with the on-the-floor crib mattresses made the climbing a bit more dangerous, which is what finally scared me into submission.
That day, I disassembled their cribs and that night they slept on the floor on their crib mattresses. Needless to say, it was a rough night — the first in almost 2 years.
But, now almost 6 weeks since the transition, they’re back to their normal sleep routine. It takes them longer to settle down, because…well, freedom. But, I’ve learned not to fight them. We’ve made a few adjustments to their routine, as well. At night, they still do bath, book, bed, but I no longer close the door when I leave the room and I keep their star night light on a timer, so it stays on for another half an hour after I leave the room. Once the light goes out, they almost always fall right to sleep. We’ve also started playing music. The music stays on until about a half hour after they’ve fallen asleep.
The final change might be somewhat controversial, but it keeps them safe. We put a lock on their door. Our bedroom is on another floor and we did not childproof our house, so we’ve decided this is the best way to keep them safe and secure. Before I head upstairs at night, I close the door and latch the eye hook.
This was the hardest transition we’ve faced so far, but now that we’re though it, we can laugh about it. How did you transition your toddler?