Have I ever mentioned that it was my brilliant decision not to order the toddler bed guard rails when we ordered Mad's crib? I mean, we bought the side rails because it'll eventually convert into a full-size bed, but to pay $60 for a coordinating wood piece instead of $30 for something equally functional seemed ridiculous to me.
I realized two months ago that "functional" guard rails don't work with convertible crib mattresses.
The ones that come with her crib (and are now $70) weren't even able to be special ordered until last week. They arrived today. Tom installed them in a huff this afternoon because I didn't want to wait until tomorrow. I'm not just being cranky and hormonal here... I'm off Monday, so it seems wise that we should give Mad (and ourselves) as much time to adjust to her new sleeping arrangement before going back to work.
It occurred to me that I should do some prep work and figure out how to help a kid make the transition from beloved crib to bed. I started researching online after Tom found everything he needed and was banging away upstairs.
The first five sites I read recommend waiting until age three. Three?!?
Corey was younger than Mad when he made the switch. Of course, he and I shared a room at my mom's house and he was still nursing, so what really ended up happening is that Corey made the transition from his crib to my bed. He spent part of nearly every night there for the next seven years or so.* Yes, I am both embarrassed to admit it and sad for him that I didn't figure out how to do something better. All I can say is that my past mistakes have been strong motivators with Mad.
*No, he did not nurse that long (although I was convinced he might if I didn't put an end to it when he was about two and a half).
So I searched websites until I finally came across one that said the change happens between 18 and 30 months. That's right, I looked for my bias before going deeper. Kind of like a lot of people do with politics and religion.
Once her bed was set up, the whole family went up to check it out. Mad loved it. She loved getting up and down so much that I thought she'd never want to sleep there again. It was about 45 minutes before bedtime, so I physically dragged my shrieking daughter out of there and took her on a walk to get the mail (she recovers quickly, thank goodness). When we returned I had Corey take her on another, slightly longer walk. I wanted to get as much of her energy expended as possible.
Then it was our standard bedtime routine, which for tonight did not include a bath. Daddy stayed home with her today, so she got one this morning instead. Their day of getting the oil changed and picking up guard rails didn't involve dirt, and Mad never bothered putting yogurt in her hair, so we skipped it. It was just a diaper change, jams on, story, goodnight world, turn the mooga (music) on and the light off and close the door. I carried her to the cri... bed and set her down so she could get in herself. She crawled up, selected Leppi the Leopard as her cuddle buddy and flopped over on him. I walked out like I always do, waiting to hear her at the door.
I think if Corey and I had waited until the music stopped an hour after she went down, she would have gone to sleep like normal. Instead, we simultaneously wanted to go up and see how she was sleeping halfway through her CD. I turned on the hall light and slowly opened the door. Before it was open a foot I saw her legs go up in the air like she was trying to sit up from laying flat on her back. I quickly and quietly shut the door and turned off the hall light.
Once the music stopped we heard her over the monitor chatting with her friends and to herself. I went back in about an hour later... a little to check on her and a lot because my keys were left in her room. I can't get into my own bedroom or this room without them (thanks, Corey dude!). Naturally Mad sat up as soon as I opened the door.
We had a whispered conversation about why she was still up. She suggested a diaper change and a bit of rocking. I declined at first, thinking I could be setting up some bad habit, but then agreed, wondering if she just needed some reassurance that she's still my baby girl. When it comes to pre-bed rocking, I usually keep it short, 3-5 minutes. Lately she hasn't wanted to rock more than 10-15 seconds, if at all. Tonight was somewhere around the 2.5 minute mark.
Instead of letting her crawl into bed, I went ahead and laid her down like I've been doing. She rolled right over and got into her toady sleep position. I'm interested to see how the rest of the night will go, but I'm hopeful that we can all avoid pestering her and let her get the sleep she's used to.
I just want to see her sleeping in her new bed. Is that so wrong?