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Advice Needed: Transition to Big Boy Bed Before Baby #2?

As you guys know, I’m due with my second baby in August. I'm trying to decide if I should transition Nic, who just turned two, to a "big boy bed" now, or if I should wait after the baby is born. Currently, he's very happy in the crib and he's never tried to climb out, but I have some concerns with waiting until the baby is here to make the switch. Do I move Nic out of his crib now or after the baby is here?

Here are the two scenarios I'm considering (but I could be missing a better option):

Option #1: Keep Nic in his crib until a few months before the new baby will be ready to sleep in their shared bedroom (baby will be in a co-sleeper with us for the first several months).  Then, about a month or two before we’re ready to put the baby in the room with Nic, we’d transition Nic to big bed, and leave crib empty for at least a month. After Nic is adjusted to the new bed and the crib has been empty a while we would move the baby in. This seems like a great plan, except for two things. First, I’m going to have a planned c-section (I promise to write about my VBAC thought process!), and I won’t be able to lift Nic in and out of the crib for several weeks. Second, I really don’t want him to feel like he’s being pushed out of the crib by the baby, or for us to feel a time crunch to move him.

Option #2: Get big bed now and get Nic used to it before baby #2 comes. His preschool teacher even suggested giving him the choice between crib and bed each night since we have about nine months until we really need the crib. My primary concern with this situation is that even if he's well-adjusted to the bed before baby arrives that he'll regress and start getting out of bed at night when baby comes. All we need is two night-waking kids!

I would LOVE to hear what you all did and how it worked out for you. I need your advice! 

Reader Comments (5)

I had the same worries, but decided to go ahead and move MAry Clayton to a big girl bed. She has always been enexcellent sleeper in her crib and never tried to get out. I made a really big deal about talking about a big girl bed and any time we were on a big bed(ours, my parents, or at any friends house) talked about it being a big girl bed and that she would be getting one soon. I almost took the crib down and left it in pieces so she wouldn't see it in the baby's room, but I made it easier on myself and left it up. Before the bed can in we went and I let her help pick out the big girl bedding and she picked out two pillow pets to go on her bed to sleep with. I let her go to preschool and when she came home I had it all made up with some balloons tied to it and her new pillows on it. She was so excited!
We really havent had much difficulty with the switch. I love that we can lie in bed together and read books and that I can lie next to her and say her prayers and sing some songs. I have to do that now...where as I didn't always have to before. She knew that crib meant go to sleep. She does not usually get up after our story, prayes and song, but the times she has I just put her back in bed and remind her of how big she is and that babies do not get to sleep in pretty big girl beds with fluffy pillows...they have to sleep in a hard baby bed.
Another plus that I have enjoyed is in the mornings, she always gets up around 6. She used to yell my name over the monitor until I came and got her out of the crib. Now when I peep in before i get in bed, I leave the door cracked so that she can get out in the morning. She comes and climbs in by bed around 6 or 6:30 and sometimes falls back asleep, I love this time too, beacuse toddlers as you probably already know with Nic are not still long enough to ever get to snuggle with. advice is to go ahead and make the switch. I was sad about my baby not being a baby anymore, but I love her changing into a big girl too!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith West

Nat go ahead and get him his on bed and get him use to it! You will be happy you did in the long run, but I would not let him go between beds, might confuse him when they baby does sleep in the baby bed. They usually love their new bed!
Good luck with whatever you decide.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbnichols

My son was 2yr+1mo. when my daughter was born. We have a spare double bed and we moved little A. to that bed when he was about 20mo. We babyproofed the room and put up some wall stickers. Then we surprised him with his new room. We played in it for a bit in the afternoon, getting him used to the idea and then we put him to bed that night. We never had any problems with the transition. I think little A. liked being able to climb in and out of the bed by himself, we can snuggle under the blankets for storytime, we play hide and seek. It's a lot of fun being in his big boy bed. We decided to make the transition before the baby came because we were concerned that he wouldn't like his new room and his new bed, or that he'd like it so much that he'd spend the night jumping on the bed and not sleeping. But none of that happened. He was quite happy!!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBubblybunny

I have 2 girls....5 and 2. I have 1 boy who is 9 weeks now.

That's a tough one. When I moved my now 5 year old into her new bed she was 2 1/2. Then we moved her upstairs at 3 so she'd be upstairs when we had our 2nd. She had trouble adjusting. Then we had a baby after she turned 3 and it was worse. But a lot of it had to do with me co-sleeping with the baby. I think she regressed and just needed me even more. They had separate rooms though. I'm not sure if this would have been better if we would have done things differently. now I just had my 3rd baby. My 5 year old is still in her twin bed. My 2 year old is in her crib. I just started putting my 9 week old in his bed. He has been co-sleeping with me and my 2 year old doesn't even seem bothered by it at all but I don't make it obvious to her. I am going to keep her in her crib as long as possible until my newest baby gets older. I don't want to have to go through a year of possibly fighting her to stay in her bed all night. I like the fact that I have to get her out or my husband does. She also sleeps so well that I just dont want to rock the boat so to speak.

I also make sure not to mention to her at her bedtime that I'm going to do anything related to the baby. I try and make it her special time without mentioning the baby. So she won't jealous. But honestly for the most part....she loves her brother but is so busy she doesn't pay much attention to him being there. She mostly concerned with her needs which is ok with me for now.

I also had a 3rd one to be exact and I had to deal with not lifting the 2 year old. I just had to get my husband to get her out of the bed or in the bed for a few weeks. After that I would just put a chair beside her crib ...just for that moment...let her stand in it....then I'd lift her over and take the chair away. It's all I could think of to do.

Hope this helps. You just have to go with your gut feeling on this since they are sharing a room it may be a little different.


March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

I do agree with the other Mommies. When I moved my now 5 year old to the Toddler Bed...I loved!!! not having to pick her up and out of the bed. It did take a little adjusting but you don't realize how heavy they are until you don't have to do it anymore. Especially may be nice after having the c-section...just letting your Little One get in bed all by himself. Those were some points I had forgotten. :)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

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