Talk to Me of Big Kid Beds

I'm starting to think about a Big Girl Bed for Zora, since we're going to want the crib for #2 (we'll have her in a co-sleeper with us for the first several months), and I'd like to hear your thoughts on a couple of things:

1) Toddler bed - anyone use one? I've heard they're a waste of money since the kid outgrows them pretty quickly, but a twin (or other size) bed seems soooo big. I kind of like the idea of something that's low to the ground that she can easily get in and out of.

2) Regular Ol' twin bed - did you just skip the toddler bed and go to a bed with rails? If yes, did you do a mattress with no box spring or work out some other way for your child to get in and out? Zora moves around a LOT at night and even with rails I'm a little nervous about even a twin bed.

3) Advice on best time to make the transition whichever we go with? Around the time baby 2 arrives we'll also be moving, so we either need to move Z well in advance of those events or a few months after them. Are there "readiness" signs kids give to show they're ready to give up the crib? Anything you did that made the transition easier?

4) My biggest worry: How to ensure that Zora actually goes to sleep in a Big Kid bed. She's SO easily distracted, has such a hard time getting to sleep, and would rather do ANYthing than sleep, that I am envisioning her getting in and out of bed to play with toys and look at books for HOURS after we put her to bed, or in the middle of the night. Basically, sleeping even less than she already does. Is this a valid fear and if yes, what can I do about it??

Sigh. I wish I could just keep her in her crib till she's 16
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Here's what I did with my kids to help transition to a "big" bed - I took the crib away but put the crib mattress on the floor, and against a wall, for them to sleep on for a few weeks. Then the big bed was put up so that a wall would be on one side. Either a bed rail was put on the open side for a few more weeks, or we skipped that step and left that side open. But the crib mattress was kept on the floor beside the bed for a week or so to be a soft landing spot if the kiddo fell out while sleeping. I don't think that any of my kids actually fell out, though.

As far as the timing goes, I knew that my kids were ready for the big bed when they started to climb out of the crib. Make the transition when it is most convenient for you, either now or after your move. It might be easier to wait until you move to set up the new bed - one less bulky thing to take down to move.

Whether Zora actually sleeps in her bed really isn't a big deal. My nine year old son starts out in his bed but usually moves to the sofa sometime in the wee morning hours. (He shares a room with an older brother.) It used to bug me, but I decided that it really didn't matter where he slept as long as it wasn't in MY bed! Some kids do take a little longer to wind down at night, so as long as Zora stays in her room with the lights out, eventually she will fall asleep, if you leave her alone.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents worth.
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Last edited by ewenique; 12-12-2007 at 06:46 PM.
Any size bed will work. I've put my toddlers into twin, full and queen size beds, all without problems. I think toddler beds are a waste of money...unnecessary, and you'll need the crib mattress anyway for the crib and who wants to buy a second one of those?

Toddlers don't need rails. They will learn where the edge of the mattress is quite easily. I never used rails, although I did put the crib mattress on the floor next to the new bed for a couple week, just in case. They didn't fall out very much.

Transition is not bad...just move her whenever is convenient for you. Kids are usually quite excited about sleeping in a new big bed. Staying in bed is another story. I usually just told my kids they weren't allowed to get up and play and they (mostly) complied.

I forget how old your daughter is, but if you can wait til she is over 2, it really helps for the staying-in-bed part of the new big bed. You can use a bassinnette for the new baby for the first few months while to try to hold her off til she's a bit older.
I have also been advised to skip the toddler bed - a girl I know had a VERY difficult time moving her daughter from a toddler bed to a twin.

A couple of weeks ago - DS slept in my friend's daughter's twin bed without any problems. The only problem was me constantly checking on him.

He moves a lot in his crib, but for some reason, he didn't move an inch in the twin bed. I guess he's close to ready for a big boy bed - it's really just a matter of when I am ready for it.
Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

One toddler bed problem is that you (especially pregnant you) are too heavy to sit on it. So if your toddler requires cuddling/back patting before bed, you'll have to sit on the floor next to the toddler bed.

We went straight to a Ikea twin bed. I wish we gone with a full sized bed instead since we have the room and often times DH and I are lying next to DS in bed.

I have no advice on when to start - we had multiple false starts over the last few months (we started at around 20 months) and he still occasionally wakes up and appears in our room in the middle of the night. For the last 2 weeks, he's been sleeping on the floor next to his bed. Not sure why, but as long as he stays in his room, I don't care.


We bought a convertible crib. The crib breaks down into a toddler bed and then into a full size bed.

I plan on leaving my son in the crib as long as possible.
I just ordered my 3 year old "big kid" furniture because her brother will be getting her crib (which happens to be a 3-way convertible crib) and infant furniture.

I bought a regular twin bed w/ the matching dressers and night stand. No rails. She's been cosleeping w/ us for a long time, and she's fell out only once. So I don't think falling is a big problem...and her room is carpeted.

Timing isn't really a choice. She needs to give up her infant furniture and I want her out of my bed! It's just time!

But yeah, now you've got me worrying that she'll start sneaking off downstairs in the middle of the night and getting into mischief.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

We bought a convertible crib. The crib breaks down into a toddler bed and then into a full size bed.

I plan on leaving my son in the crib as long as possible.
Originally Posted by inheritedcurls
This is also what we have. We dont' plan on breaking it down to a toddler bed until after she turns 2. She's not trying to climb out or anything.

I don't think that Roo was in a big boy bed until he was three, he never tried to climb out of the crib either.

SP, I would suggest doing just the mattress on the floor for a while, unless you're moving to a place that gets REALLY cold, then she might get cold on the floor. Other than that, just a twin with the side rails would be fine. I personally woudl do the side rails, the thought of not having them and knowing my kid might fall out scares me. Roo used the side rail for a short time.
Max climbed out of his crib and appeared downstairs the night of his second birthday party. Sadly, everyone was amused, but as a result, my mother bought him a toddler bed as she insisted he was too young for a twin sized bed. He only used it for about 6 months, then we moved and borrowed a twin bed. It was fine, I used a rail for a while, but not for long.

Maya was in the crib until a month or 2 ago. I moved her against her wishes to the toddler bed as she does not adapt to change well, and I didn't want the new baby to also be the evil crib theif. She is using the toddler bed and will for the forseeable future as she is quite petite and has plenty of room.

Ultimately, I will move the (not yet born) baby into the little bed, move Maya to Max's loft bed, give my bed to Max (he's tall and a twin won't work for him forever), and get a new bed for myself. (Selfish, I know). It will probably be nearly 3 years before I get to that, though.

The advantage of the toddler bed is that it can be relatively inexpensive. Since you are going to be needing the crib mattress anyway, though, you might as well just move her into a big girl bed. For me, it is more cost effective to purchase an additional crib mattress and not worry about beds again for a few years as there will be no more babies after this one.
Thanks everyone, very helpful thoughts. We actually do have a convertible crib, but it will probably be cheaper and easier to just buy a regular bed for Z than it will be to buy both the conversion kit and a new crib. She's not ever tried to climb out of her crib - I'm not sure she even realizes such a thing is possible! If it weren't for the new one coming, I'm sure she could stay in there for a good while longer. But it does sound like a regular twin bed is the way to go; you've all convinced me to skip the toddler bed idea. I just wish we had access to an Ikea down here. I desperately miss it.

But yeah, now you've got me worrying that she'll start sneaking off downstairs in the middle of the night and getting into mischief.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Well, we won't give Zora access to downstairs, but there's plenty of stuff to get into in her own room! She really would rather do anything at all than sleep. If yours isn't as inquisitive and curious, maybe it won't even be an issue!
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)

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