Tales from the Crib (toddler bed transition)

*this is one of those posts that I write more for my personal memory/ for Hazel to know someday when she's a parent and interested in all the details of her babyhood.

Time and time again, I meet parenting questions and changes by doing RESEARCH.  I love to read.  I love books.  I love experts.  I've spent a lot of years (and money) learning how to do research.  It's inevitable and IT'S WRONG!

I've said over and over again on this parenting journey that I'm going to trust myself and not listen to "the experts"... but old habits are hard to change!

When Hazel turned 2, I made her a TODDLER BED.  Complete with new bedding, a homemade mosquito net-like tent, a book nook, etc.  THE RESEARCH stressed the importance of not making your toddler feel like the baby is pushing them out of the crib.  So, I absolutely positively did not attempt to introduce this new bed until at least 3 months after baby's arrival.  We read in her new bed, cuddled in her new bed, played in her new bed, but when the last book was read, Hazel would SPRING out of the bed and stand next to her crib.  If she was really really tired, she would vehemently point and say "cib" until I carried her over.  She LOVES her crib!

Earlier this week, I was carrying Heidi when Hazel awoke from her nap.  So, in order to lift Hazel out of the crib, I laid Heidi down.  Lo and behold, Hazel found this FASCINATING!  I decided to go with it.  I talked about how Heidi will sleep here once Hazel sleeps in the toddler bed.  Hazel immediately ran to her bed and said "mama.  Hadel sleep!".  We role played sleeping!  Hazel thought it was SO COOL to have Heidi in the same room.

That night she slept in her toddler bed, after checking over and over again that "baby... crib?".  She was perfectly happy to sleep in her new bed as long as Heidi would sleep in the crib.  WOW!

She still loves her crib and asked to nap there yesterday, but for 4 nights now, she has slept contently in her toddler bed!  Last night we left her door open and instead of being awoken with crying/ calls for MAMA/ or even knocking on her own door, we were awoken with a giggly bedhead bouncing into our room and running around the bed saying "HI!".

Now, if only she would learn to stay parallel to the bed instead of sleeping like a jumping bean :)  As for Heidi, she's about 50/50 with sleeping in the crib and sleeping with mama or in the bassinet.  This mama LOVES her sweet cuddles and is way too lazy to return Heidi to a different room after her 3am feeding.  I'm hoping that being in a different room will help Heidi to eliminate her middle of the night feeding... I'll better rested, but a little sad when that milestone is reached :)

EXPERTS, please keep your yappers shut.  I do much better listening to myself!


  1. I love this story, Julie!!! Thanks for sharing. I just might enjoy these as much as Hazel when she is older!

  2. Thank you for sharing Julie! My husband and I have been thinking of putting our boys (3 1/2 and 2) in the same room and investing in bunk beds or another twin bed. The boys currently sleep on our bedroom floor on top of a blanket pallet(even though they both have their own rooms and beds!). They have been doing this for over a month and though I am so happy they are no longer trying to sleep in MY bed - it must end! :)

  3. I would love to see a picture of the special spot you created for Hazel. Sounds great!

    Thanks for sharing. You're right. The experts don't often have a clue about what makes sense for real people.


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