Thursday, June 6, 2013

Transitioning to a 'Big Girl' bed

My almost-three-year-old (yikes!) still takes a pacifier when she sleeps. It doesn't bother me until I think about how grown up Leila is in other ways. She uses the adult toilet, speaks in complete sentences, and now naps in her big bed. I keep telling myself, one transition at a time, and I already have a plan (Of course I do.) for how to get rid of them.

The transition into her big bed actually began months ago. Jeff set up this bunk bed before Carson was born. I wanted Leila to have plenty of time to get use to the idea. She has loved playing on the top bunk and we've been reading stories on her bottom bunk before bed time.

I waited until work was ending for me so I could be semi-well rested (I  do have a 12 week old.) before Leila would sleep in her bed at night. The plan to start napping in the big bed first, began Friday at 1:00 pm. Success! Leila stayed in bed and didn't call for me until her Tot Clock turned yellow. Nap #2, the following day, was also a success! She tested me during Nap #3 but still stayed in bed. Nap #4 and #5 were smooth sailing, even with her Poppy putting her down while I worked.  

Each time she stays in bed until the clock turns yellow she gets to add a smiley sticker to her chart. Once she has ten successful naps in her big girl bed then she can sleep there at night. I am planning to introduce another sticker chart to reinforce her good choice of staying in bed all night long too. 

I am worried about the morning before wake up time. Often Leila is up early but falls back asleep or just plays happily in her crib until her Tot Clock turns yellow again. (Seriously, this programmable clock is so perfect for Leila!) Hopefully she will stay in bed, quietly, until 7:30 am. Does that seem like a unrealistic expectation?

Carson will be joining Leila downstairs soon. I don't want either of them waking each other at night or too early in the morning. Another unrealistic expectation?

We'll see...

Any advice for me? My friend Lauren shared some tips for the big transition earlier this week. Check them out here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The 'Big Kid' Bed {Sleep tip of the month}

Lauren is back with a sleep tip...just in time! Leila is napping in her "big girl" bed this week. I will fill you in on how the transition is going later this week.
Jen and I have been talking lately about Leila's upcoming move from the crib to the 'big girl bed' and I thought it was only fitting this month's sleep tip be on the topic of the move to the big bed.

I told Leila to pretend to sleep. Can you see she's smiling behind that pacifier?
Children under the age of 2 1/2, and even up to age 3, may not have the ability to cognitively understand what 'stay in your bed all night' means.  This is why some parents with otherwise great sleepers will see a big regression in sleep if they move their little one into a toddler bed before they are developmentally ready.

As with any major change, it will take your child a few days to adjust to their new bed, and the freedom of no crib rails, but if you move them and after a week they are still struggling to stay in bed, and stay asleep all night you might consider moving them back to the crib and waiting a couple of months to try again.  Unfortunately there's no real 'test' to check your child's readiness except by trial. 

Some parents think moving their child back to the crib is a regression, but in fact, you're simply allowing your child to do what they are developmentally able to do.  

If you are having trouble with a nighttime 'Jack in the Box' and moving back to the crib is not an option, you will likely have to do some sleep coaching to teach your child what's expected of them (staying in bed all night, quietly).  A wake up light can also be helpful if your child understands colors.  These clocks change colors when its nighttime and daytime and you can use this tool to help them understand when they need to stay in bed.

If you'd like more info on the 'big bed' check out this link.


Lauren is a certified sleep coach and DONA trained postpartum doula.  Her passion for helping tired parents began when her own newborn daughter's constant crying and terrible sleep habits finally got the best of her. Visit her blog and Facebook page for more information.

Check out Lauren's other featured posts on Leilaland:

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Great List {6.3.13}

June has officially started in San Diego. Like clockwork, the first few days of the month have been gray. June Gloom, as we call it, lasts the entire month. We usually see the sun at the beach just in time for the 4th of July, but not always. Oh, beach rough. I actually, not-so-secretly, love the temperature at the beach in June. 

See the sun on the sand? This picture was taken on May 31st.
1. When it does get sunny again, I am so excited to have this new tent. Costco rules! See Carson's head on the left side? (Kai was on the other side of Kennday.) Now the babies don't have to be in the car seat/stroller or in the carrier...we have a third option. Until he was ready to sleep, Carson was pretty cool about laying there. Just gotta work on keeping most of the sand out of the tent. Yeah right.

2. We got to see some old friends these past two weekends. So many friends that I started out with in San Diego moved away. Crazy people, huh? It was nice to see their smiling faces, even if it was just for a bit!

3. Carson had his 2 month check-up and shots (a few weeks late). He is 10 lbs 4 oz (10th percentile) and only 22 inches (5th percentile). Still tiny! He did alright with his shots but was a bit fussy even the next day. I bet his little legs hurt. 

This is my last week of work! Enjoy your week!
Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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