Updated: Oct 23
Wee woman greeted me in her bed bag in the middle of her room, three times..... nothing unusual about that you say except she was supposed to be in her cot. I left her with its sides up and it has quite a drop when you don't have use of your feet and or legs. She had figured out how to launch herself over the side and land on her day bed then double twist half pike to the floor. We gave her a 9.8. And her own big girl bed immediately.
Luckily I was ready for this eventuality and it was already in the room as I mentioned. I had a day bed that I would sleep in or comfort her on 'those ' nights which I removed the piled up mattresses and it’s all hers. She was ecstatic. She had recently potty trained and now the big kid bed, just need to remove the binky/ dummy and her transition to little girl is complete. It is so wonderful to see her excited to go to bed, read stories sitting in bed with her and to lie in the dark singing songs and talking about her day. I know the novelty might ... who am I kidding will wear off but for now its heart warming and sad as she is no longer a baby nor a toddler but a big little girl.
When she greeted me in the bed bag that nap time, ( that goodness not middle of the night ) my mind went in to nanny mode. Ive moved lots of wee ones from cot to wee bed or to normal sized single bed in my career and I immediately knew I had a to do list. Firstly make the room secure, she is mobile and will roam her room checking it out at all hours. So any cord or cable had to be made safe. Either wound up and hidden in her room or I had some safety cord rods that you slide on so the cable isn't sitting loose. I had to put a few choice items up a little higher in the room out of reach ie the creams and calpol so she could not self medicate or moisturise with sudacream... we've all seem the you tube clip that stuff doesn't come out of hair easy ! I had to secure the drawers and book shelf as inquiring hands and minds want to see whats on top and I don't want it to tip over. Also I had already fixed the blind and curtain cords to the wall with the prescribe clip and fastened a window lock so it can be only opened an inch. She's on the 2nd floor and loves looking out the window in to her back yard and at night searching for stars and the moon. I have had to put a baby gate on her door to container her which will come off when she gets out of pull ups at night and needs to use the bathroom at all hours. I have a child clip that I had on my kitchen cupboards to keep her from rummaging the pots and pans and have that on her door. She likes to open the door and , the way our house is , she can see and hear all the nightly goings on of the tv and her brothers , etc. This allows her to open it only a wee bit and I pop it off once she's asleep. Just narrows outer stimulation at bed time.
I had to make safe. The day bed has three sides on it already so I know she's not going to roll out of those. Plus it is very low to the ground so I decided not to put a bed rail on the fourth side so she could get in and out. I put one of the mattress under the bed so it pokes out a wee bit giving her a soft landing if she ever over extended in her sleep. I have the monitor underneath the bed out of her reach so as above the cords are hidden but I can still hear her. Very helpful as she is quite energetic up there at times. One way she is energetic is in her sleep. The eternal nocturnal battle of the bedding. I tuck her in three to four times a night, she wriggles around so much the duvet is half way down the bed every time! But I have a solution. I have invested in some elastic and velcro and sewn bands onto her duvet so it sits snug on the bed and she cant kick it off. There are some great companies that make wonderful bed bags where the sheet, pillow case, duvet all fix to one another in a washable system with poppers or hooks or zips. They cater to starter beds and full size. They cant be kicked off. I just went the cheap skate, needs must, home sewing kit way. Another tip I picked up for the full size beds which makes them feel secure and saves on laundry is what I call 'apple pie bed' because it looks like an apple turnover. We used to do it to each other as kids for a practical joke. It is where you use one flat sheet that is both top and bottom. For wee ones it can make them feel warmer and tucked in. A roomier bed, than what they were used in to with the confinements of a cot can be a bit daunting at first. This way they feel the sheet at their feet. Plus harder to kick off! Also with the winter months I put bed socks on her and a thicker pj set. She's still in pull ups so the ones with feet and all in one are great as I know that if she does break free she is atleast covered somewhat.
And lastly I had to make it hers, I filled the space with bedroom toys that previously were in her playroom. Soft toys galore on and in the bed, all the favourites in pride of place. Books for her to read, a selection of toys to build stories with and get lost in her imagination. Now her room is hers, not Mummy's baby nursery, I have noticed she likes to go up there and hang out. It's a wonderful experience to choose a bed with them, making them part of the process if you can. Be a beginner half sized bed that they eventually grown out of literally... feet poking out the end. Or a forever bed as in standard single or one with a trundler underneath. Or a bunk bed with another under or over it or a desk space or reading space for later on in years. So as Mummy had already chosen the bed, she got to choose the duvet set, have as many mismatched cushions and throws, baby blankets and bits and pieces from around the house. Her own pillow... this was a big deal ! There is a chair in her corner for herself or myself to sit in, a toy box and her pride and joy stars and moon night light that covers the ceiling in the night sky in any combination of colours you want. One day when she is older I will pop one more mattress on top so she is higher up and take down the freezes that on the walls and let her decorate with her own style. But for now she loves that it's her room with her things.
Moving from cot to bed can be a wonderful rite of passage in both parent and child's life, like when they went in to their own room to begin with. There is no set time really for it to happen but you will know when the time is right. When done safely , happily and mutually the transition can be seamless and joyful. My heart bursts every night after I have located her in the bedding and righted her to a comfy position to see how big and small she is all at the same time. They grow up too fast !