Recently Bear had started to despise his cot. He would wake up several times in the night and after lots of failed attempts to calm him down, he would end up in our bed (normally laying horizontally or diagonally).
It was really starting to wear us thin and after another night of broken sleep – where I ended up sleeping on the wooden frame again – we decided enough was enough. So Mr. C and I sat down and started to think about ways we could stop this erratic sleep behaviour.
Eventually we touched on the idea that perhaps Bear had just outgrown his cot and perhaps a move to his very first, big boy, toddler bed would be the answer. I was a bit unsure as to whether this would be the best thing for Oliver as he is only 16 months, but I figured it would be worth a shot and so I set about trying to make sure the transition from cot to bed was as easy for him as possible.
While looking for a toddler bed online, we stumbled across one that surrounded a car theme and had some pictures of vehicles on the headboard and footboard. Bear is very much into cars, trucks and fire engines so we decided to purchase that one there and then. We decided against a safety rail and instead decided to just put pillows around the bed to help cushion any falls.
With our due date moving ever closer, we have paid a lot of attention to the nursery and so we felt that we could make the move to a toddler bed a bit more fun by giving Bear’s room a bit of a face lift too. Staying with the car theme, we decided to change the stickers above his bed to one of a road with different vehicles driving along it and then bought a car road map rug from IKEA.
We wanted to involve Bear in the process as much as possible and so Mr. C recruited Oliver to help him build the new bed. This obviously meant that building the bed took twice as long, but it was nice to involve Bear and he enjoyed helping his Daddy.
As soon as the bed was build and made, Bear jumped on with a big smile on his face. So we all played in his room for a bit and read some books on his bed. He was really happy that he could now clamber in and out of bed himself and within no time at all put himself down for a nap.
In the evening we kept the bedtime routine exactly the same. We all had dinner together, Oliver had his bath and then we all had our family story time before we put Bear to bed. As this was his first night in his new bed, I climbed into bed with Oliver and cuddled him until he fell asleep. During the night he woke up once for his 3am bottle. Again I climbed into bed with him and cuddled him until he fell asleep.
The next night we stuck to our bedtime routine and put Oliver to bed without either of us staying in the room. There was absolutely no fuss and Bear was asleep in no time at all.
I’m so glad we decided to make the move from cot to toddler bed and now everyone in our house is getting a much better night’s sleep. I think it just goes to show that all children hit different milestones at different times and sometimes we just need to read the signals and make that leap to the next one a bit sooner than we expected.