As my baby boys approach their third birthday, yes, the time has definitely come to graduate these little guys from their safe, comfy yet restrictive cribs to the adventurous world of “being loose” in big kid beds. I placed crib tents upon their cribs back when they were around 14-months because they began to demonstrate their frightening abilities to lift one leg over the side not knowing what would result could be a terrible fall. At one point, Benjamin nearly fell directly on his head, and would have if not for the cat-like reflexes of his mom catching him. Of course, it took this mom several minutes to recover from the use of her cat-like reflexes and sudden rush of adrenalin.
For the last couple of months, there’s been evidence of the attempts of a prison break from their tented cribs. Ben’s tent began to show his efforts of his trying to escape, as if he’d stashed a spoon from the prison cafeteria up his sleeve … I detected little holes in the white netting here and there that became bigger and bigger. Sean decided to pull at a corner seam along the inside of his crib tent and was able to push those wet diapers out and onto the floor that he so often would shed, only to then wet his crib sheets!
So here we are. We’ve taken down the twin cribs for the third and LAST time, and set up the twin bunk beds that double as individual single beds against two opposite walls, each having its own bed rail. We’d bought these beds when I was pregnant with my second set of twins so that my eldest twins (4-year-olds at the time) would no longer have to share a full size bed together (which they graduated to from their cribs), and would finally have their own big girl beds.
As most of us who’ve been through this transition have experienced, the BIGGEST CHALLENGE now lay with KEEPING THEM IN BED once nap or bed time arrived. It was so bad with our first set, that we, out of desperation, would take “bed-time drives” around our neighborhood. This drive would begin after jammies were on and teeth were brushed so that the girls would fall asleep in the car after about 10-15 minutes, after which we would lift them out of their car seats and lay them down in their shared bed. We gated their bedroom into the hall so that if they awoke and we didn’t hear them, they couldn’t leave their room and get into any trouble/danger in the rest of the house while we slept.
REFUSING to resorting to this method with my second set, I simply told them to stay in bed. When they got out to play some more, I’d go right in and threaten them with “toy taking”, “no playground the next day”, or something to that effect. The family room was just off the kids’ rooms hallway, so I could hear every sound and could quickly zoom in there. Eventually they would settle down. Sigh. Yes, their room was gated as well.
This time around, well, the kids rooms are upstairs. My biggest challenge is that when I believe they’re settled and quiet, I leave to return downstairs, only to hear the “pitter-patter” above me! I make many runs up the stairs, and find that they’d heard me coming (no matter how quietly I believe I’m prancing) and quickly jump back into their beds, slyly now resembling the little angels I’d left only minutes before. Yesterday, I realized that Sean had reached up and TURNED OFF the baby monitor because the monitor I keep in the kitchen suspiciously began to emanate that static-y sound of when the main unit is OFF! Rascal!
At night, I’ve developed a fantastic system called: The Patrol. One of the two 11-yr-olds (usually Brandon, whose room is just across from Ben and Sean’s) will be recruited to patrol and report the status of the toddlers who should be in bed. Bruce and I can resume our evening duties of laundry folding, bill-paying or simply TV-watching while Brandon gives us a regular report from the top of the stairs every few minutes. If one or both toddlers are “being naughty”, he’ll startle them with a quick, “GET BACK IN BED!” order … following which they quickly scamper back into their beds! It’s an AWESOME arrangement!
What stories do you have about that wonderful transition from crib to bed? What challenges have you had? What suggestions to you have for the rest of us? We’d LOVE your input …