My husband Ken and I have often shared parenting stories back and forth with our friends, because what parent honestly has it all figured out? What parent can’t take some comfort in hearing another parent’s horror story and even better—championing a parenting success! Our girls are 7 and 9-years-old now, but we still refer to their potty training as “the dark months”. And their crib-to-bed transition is still our favorite success to date!
When my husband and I decided we wanted baby #2, one of our first thoughts was how it would affect our then 14 month old. One of the items on the VERY long list, was transitioning her from her crib to a bed. For whatever reason, my husband and I had our minds set on not having two children in cribs—it could have been because we didn’t have and didn’t want to purchase another crib! But how do you get a child that small to sleep in a bed? Even more so, how do you keep them safe? With 9 months to decide, we put the issue on the back burner. Fast forward 8 months….
I was heavily pregnant with a very active toddler. The idea of getting her potty trained before the baby was thrown out the window (anyone else with me on the horrors of potty training?!?!) but we still needed a solution to changing the sleeping arrangements. For those of you who have been pregnant, you know that those last few weeks can be highly emotional. For me, I was constantly worrying about how baby #2 would affect our sweet little Lily. I was petrified she would feel pushed aside, second best, etc. My fear was taking her from her crib—the only place she had ever slept— would make her feel even more displaced. At this point I should mention that our Lily slept through the night at 5 weeks. I’m talking 8 pm to 7 am. We knew how lucky we were and knew that it would probably not happen again. With a newborn coming shortly sleepless nights were imminent, especially if we were fighting with a toddler to stay in her bed. To make matters more difficult, our daughter decided she wanted a purple race car bed. Nothing else would do. We had to get a purple race car bed for Miss Lily.
My husband Ken is a handy guy. He knows how to fix anything, and if he doesn’t know, he will teach himself. He is a CADD designer by trade so he sat down and drafted plans for a purple race car bed for our Lily. He made the bed low to the ground, with high sides for safety. It was gorgeous; our daughter loved it. She loved it so much that going to bed was a treat because she could drive off to dreamland. She never attempted to get out; she never fought us about going to bed. Even better? She didn’t want anything to do with her baby sibling’s crib because she was a big girl! With a few weeks left in my pregnancy we had not only accomplished getting Lily into her big girl bed and sleeping through the night, but the transition process made her feel special. She didn’t feel displaced by baby and she kept right on sleeping through the night. Double win for us!
As I said, our girls are now 7 and 9. We still don’t have it all figured out and we still have epic parenting fails. I hope our race car bed story can help other parents with their little one’s crib-to-bed transition. More importantly, I hope this inspires other parents to shout out their successes for others to hear!
Lily with her brand new race car bed at 23 months old!
Little sister Shelby with the same bed 2 years later!
*For more on this topic, check out the full Sleep collection*
Featured Contributor: Nicole Kilgore
Nicole is a dental hygienist with over 17 years in the field. She is passionate about children’s dental health, and educating the public as to how it is linked to overall health. And it just so happens that her husband, Ken Kilgore, also shares an interest on keeping kids healthy and safe — he makes customized children’s beds to help a child transition from crib to big kids bed in a fun way.