4 Tips to Transition Toddler to Big Boy Bed!

With baby #2 coming before we know it, we have two big goals for Aidan. I would love for him to transition out of his current room, which will be the baby’s nursery, into his big boy bed. Second, I want to get him potty trained. Last weekend, we successfully transitioned Aidan out of his crib into his new room and I wanted to share some of the tips that has made this a fairly seamless process. Plus, add the 1 downfall we’re still trying to overcome (if any of you have suggestions!!).

Go Cold Turkey

Originally we thought we’d just try the big boy bed during naps. The biggest problem is that we still only have one mattress, so it was a pain to move the mattress back & forth between the rooms. I also thought it was confusing to Aidan. We decided to just make the decision that he was going to sleep in his big boy bed and call it a day.

Keep the Room Toddler Proof – Including the Bed You Choose

We have moved Aidan completely to a new room. We decided to keep it pretty empty for now as he gets used to the freedom of being able to roam around his room at all hours of the night (luckily he hasn’t done that yet). We opted to not put in a dresser or bookcase YET and just stick to some basics. He has his teepee, a shelf at his height for books, a chest of drawers (that is mounted to the mall), and his bed. We originally planned to use our extra Queen size bed for him to not only save on cost, but keep it as an optional second guest bedroom when we host the full family over holidays. I read and received feedback that kids react better to a smaller space than going from a crib to a huge bed. I think there’s definitely a wide range of acceptable kid beds, but in the spirit of saving money we opted for a smaller toddler bed. It is pretty similar in size to the cots they use at daycare, so that was a big bonus. I think it’s been super helpful to have a pretty empty room (with enough toys & books to entertain him if he wakes up super early) with a small transitional bed.

The biggest thing we are still figuring out is all the electronic devices we’ve seemed to accumulate. I’m contemplating adding another shelf that just has all the electronics (think monitor, humidifier, sound machine, night light…). Aidan thinks it’s fun to pick up the monitor and unplug it and carry it around the room. Not helpful for us at all…What do you guys do with your electronics?

Don’t Be Afraid to Lock the Door

Before I get a ton of hate comments on this one, hear me out. I’m honestly not quite sure why the whole “locking the door” has such a bad rap. We have a key on the top of every door that is intended to unlock the door should someone lock themselves in the room. We’ve taken the reverse approach and lock Aidan in at night. Once we go to bed, we unlock the door so in the morning he can get out and come to our room. It stops Kyle & I from having to spend our evening sitting outside his room walking him back to his bed over and over and over. Personally, I don’t see any difference between him not being able to get out of his crib and basically “locked” in his nursery and us actually locking him in the toddler room. Kyle & I can EASILY get to him, so it’s not a safety issue. If there was a fire, he would be stuck in his crib just like he’s stuck in this room. Either way, we’d have to get him out. The beauty of the lock (and we typically just do it for a couple hours), is the peace of mind it gives you that you don’t have to sit there and wait for him to come out. We have locked him in overnight just because he has started getting up and out of bed earlier and earlier, but it honestly doesn’t do too much to help come the morning time.

Transition to Big Boy Bed First, and THEN Potty Train

This tip came from our doctor. We honestly thought about keeping Aidan in his crib until the absolute last minute. He just sleeps so well in there. I mean, we get a full 11 hours solid every night when he’s in the crib. He started climbing out though over Thanksgiving, so we knew when the New Year came we really needed to get him transitioned. His doctor also recommended you start with the big boy bed, and then you potty train. The thought is that a lot of kids who get potty trained tend to regress in other areas. Whether or not you plan to have your child potty trained at night (or if you plan to stick to diapers or pull ups at night), there is likely a regression in the potty training when you throw a brand new process at him. Our goal is to let him be in his big boy bed for 4 weeks or so, and then start potty training. Baby Brother should come mid-late April, so we have some time! So if you’re on the fence like we were of what to do first, I’ve found the big boy bed to be pretty easy and honestly pain free (minus the earlier wake up so far).

Where We Need Help

As I mentioned, the transition actually went pretty seamless. Our biggest hurdle is that he now wakes up SO early. Luckily, it’s not middle of the night early, but he used to sleep until at least 7:00-7:15. He’s now up at like 5:30! Kyle & I do not function at 5:30. We’ve tried keeping him locked in his room to play, but that only lasts so long. Any advice? I know we are also approaching the stage where we need to potentially consider shortening his naps (he can sleep up to 3 hours still!!). I’d almost rather have a 5:30AM wake up and the break for nap…

Also – what do you do with your electronics in your toddler room? Is it hidden from a bookshelf or dresser? Does your little unplug things? Is this just a phase? I’m really hoping it’s just a phase!

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