Friday, March 22, 2013

Transitioning to the Toddler Bed

We are all about strategery in the W house these days. How can we utilize as many baby related things for Baby Boy without having to buy new ones for the new baby.  My ideal spacing between children would be 3 years, hopefully you have a potty trained, big boy bed sleeping, non stroller using child by then. That more or less worked out for us with Our Little Helper when Baby Boy was born. But infertility coupled with my advanced maternal age didn't lend us a lot of time to wait for that magical spacing so we will have 2 years and 6 months between our last two children. Not too shabby.

Partly because he has a speech delay which makes him seem younger to me than he actually is, I haven't really been encouraging much potty use by Baby Boy.  Mr. W packed the potty chairs during the move, in an unlabeled box of course, so I've been unable to locate them thus far. He has been so busy with work he doesn't remember to search for them, nor has he installed the 2-in-1 seats on the toilets. He has some interest in sitting on the toilet, but he doesn't gesture for it consistently so I have been putting my focus elsewhere.

I have been planning the bed conversion though. I converted Our Little Helper to the toddler bed a little earlier than most of my friends because he was shaking the crib so violently that the screws began to work themselves loose.  He also managed to use the too closely positioned changing table to climb out of the crib one day so I walked into the room to find him smiling on the changing table. That was disturbing!  One afternoon I took off the side rail and installed the toddler rail; Mr. W was quite surprised when he returned home that day. What we remember most from that transition was a bout a week of him running around the room like a crazy person playing with toys and venturing our of the room to come find us in the living room. We took to barricading him in the room with a baby gate, but he'd still stay up playing and would eventually fall asleep on the floor. We spent about a week gathering the sleeping boy off the floor and depositing him into bed. Then after about a week, the novelty of freedom wore off and he would just stay in bed.

In anticipation of another week of pandemonium, especially since the boys share a room and like to keep each other up late on occasion anyway, we decided to make the switch during OLH's spring break. That way staying up way past bedtime would not make for even less enjoyable mornings. The school schedule provides even more time off, with today as a teacher inservice day, all next week for spring break, and no school the following Monday in honor of Easter Monday. Yesterday after nap time I switched the side rail out, to maximize the amount of time we have for this transition.

It was, not surprisingly, chaos! Even though I had had a nice discussion with OLH at dinner time about the plan and what a good example we needed to set for our little brother, and he assured me that he would take good care of his brother, he was quite the adventure seeking instigator. Endless trips down stairs to the family room to visit us. Claims that they both needed to go potty again. We decided on this first night to not really enforce Super Nanny bedtime rules and just let them enjoy the freedom. OLH is happy to have a partner in crime, and Baby Boy is happy to do whatever his older brother wants him to do.  When we went to bed around 10:30 PM, they were still up. Stricter enforcement soon to come.

By converting him to a toddler bed now, he'll have 3-6 months in this set up before we need to move him to the matching twin bed. Our babies usually co-sleep, and sometimes bed share, with us for the first 3 months in a bassinet next to our bed. Then they mostly nap in my arms, I've never had much luck having napping infants transfer to a bed or bassinet. By the time the new baby is ready for the crib, Baby Boy should be completely finished with it, thus saving us needing to buy another crib. Hopefully we'll be able to execute this plan!

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