One of the most vital necessities we needed to get ready before the arrival of Baby #2 was the crib. From the beginning, the plan was to upgrade Lillian to a bigger bed and use her old crib as a hand-me-down for the baby, since it didn’t make sense to get a second crib for little sister when big sister was sure to outgrow hers soon anyway.
According to the blog archives, we originally bought and assembled Lillian’s crib with about eight weeks to spare before her due date (we were a lot more on top of things during that first pregnancy!) and she’d been sleeping in it ever since the first night she came home from the hospital. And even now that she’s approaching her third birthday, so far she hadn’t outgrown it or even really started climbing out of it, even though she’s tall enough and will readily climb in and out of a pack’n play with ease.
Like everything else with our preparations for Baby #2, we procrastinated on this one a bit, and only last weekend did Lilly finally start sleeping in her new “big girl bed.” Here is a view of the room now, with the crib moved out and a toddler bed moved in:
When it comes to transitioning out of a crib, there’s always the question of whether to go to a toddler bed, or go straight to a twin sized bed. There seem to be pros and cons to both, as evidenced by much online discussion of the subject — the following seems to be a pretty good summary of the arguments for both (in bullet form!):
- Better long term investment (won’t need to replace again)
- Room for parent to lay/snuggle with kid
- No need to make a second transition eventually
- Takes up less space in room
- Smaller / lower to the ground / less worry about falls
- Cheaper initially (even if they won’t last as long)
Ultimately we decided to transition to a toddler bed rather than going straight to a twin sized one. In addition to the standard pros and cons, we were a little hesitant about making the decision based on ideas about the long haul, since we’re not entirely sure what that will involve — Will we manage to get that attic remodel finished, so as to have separate kids’ rooms, or will our daughters end up sharing Lillian’s current room with most likely some sort of bunk bed setup? With the long-term plan still up in the air, it seemed preferable to just go with what seemed like it would work best for right now.
So we ended up ordering the DaVinci Sleigh Toddler Bed from Amazon.com, since it seemed to be one of the best rated ones in terms of quality based on the reviews. It arrived in a big box, and sat propped up against the wall in the dining room for a week or so. During this time, Lillian would ask, “What’s that?” just about every time we walked past it, and we would explain that that’s her new “big girl bed,” which I think built up a lot of anticipation and excitement for when the time finally came to get it put together.
Assembling it turned out to be relatively easy for us — and by “us” I mainly mean Joe, since I spent most of the time sitting all pregnantly in a chair, supervising. Lillian got in on the supervising action too, as evidenced by this slightly blurry photo where she was helpfully pointing out the middle slat that daddy hadn’t gotten around to installing yet:
Meanwhile, the old crib had gotten taken apart and moved into the dining room (since the nursery wasn’t quite in a state to accommodate it yet), where it sat in pieces for the next week or so. This may have been a good thing — instead of “we’re taking your old crib and giving it straight to the baby,” it was more of a “you don’t need this boring old crib anymore since you have the amazing new big girl bed” thing. Though I’m not sure how much that really matters one way or another.
For now, the toddler bed seems like just the perfect size for this two-going-on-three year old. It has the railings on the upper portion to provide a little bit of a guard against rolling out, and she can sit comfortably on the edge of it the same way an adult could sit on the edge of their bed. And by all accounts she loves it. We’ll be in the living room and she’ll say, “I’m gonna go look at my big girl bed!” Or she’ll randomly announce “I’m gonna rest in my big girl bed,” and then do this for about fifteen seconds before getting back up to go do something else:
And most importantly, nighttime sleep has been going really well, at least for the last seven nights since we made the switch. I was actually pretty worried about this — she’s always been such a great sleeper in the crib that I wondered if switching might throw a wrench in that — but so far the only thing that’s changed about our bedtime routine is that she climbs into bed herself. (Knock on wood that this remains to be the case, rather than the novelty of the “big girl bed” wearing off and then she realizes there’s nothing stopping her from getting up and running through the house at all hours of the night!)