As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Big Girl Bed Transition

Woo Hoo!  The Big Girl Room is complete ... and looking absolutely owl-dorable!  But I am saving all those details for Wednesday's post - over at MommyBrain ... with lots of photos to share!

I did very minimal research concerning the "big girl bed transition" - hey, being super-fabulous crafty takes time and effort!   

What I remember reading mentioned something about allowing 6 to 8 weeks before the expectant arrival of a second child ... I am sitting pretty at 33 weeks right now ... so fingers crossed, I am going to make this deadline ... after going off my contraction-limiting drugs next week ... yikes!

Anyhoo, we got the "big girl bed" ball rolling last night.  We've been talking about it since Labor Day, and she was beyond excited when we presented her with her new bed and room yesterday afternoon.

As I tucked her in - for the first time in her big girl bed - I can only imagine what it must've been like for her sweet little brain to take in all of that excitement and newness and change.  You know that feeling of lying in a bed that isn't yours?  Staring at a ceiling with different shadows.  Longing for the familiarity of your own surroundings.  That's how I imagined my two year olds first attempt at sleeping in her new big girl room.  My senses were so heightened for her.  It felt like having a newborn sleeping in a bassinet all over again.

Attempt 1: Bedtime 
It took Natalie about an hour to fall asleep.  But she stayed in her bed and managed to put herself to sleep with very minimal intervention.  I was completely torn between feeling tremendous pride for her accomplishment and lots of sadness over how much she has grown up ... in such a short amount of time.  

Through the monitor I could hear her breathing settle into it's rhythmic pattern, and I tiptoed in to see her with my own eyes ... stretched out in her twin-sized bed.  It seemed so strange, and my heart ached a little.  I spent the next 20 minutes across the hall - in what was once NHV's nursery and soon-to-be BGV's room - and rocked and cried and sobbed and let the memories of the past two years wash over me.  Change, especially growing up, is hard on me - always has been - and I knowing that those moments are gone just makes me sad ... almost like homesickness, if that makes any sense.

I splashed the tears from my face and went to bed.  Only to be woken up at 1:00 by a cry for "mommy."  I bolted upright and sprinted into her room ... not wanting her to be afraid in her new surroundings.  Wanting to make sure she knows that I am still right here when she needs me.

The next THREE hours was a series of cuddles in our bed, cuddles in her bed, requests for milk, chats about our day, and many return trips to her big girl bed ... despite our clear instructions that she must stay in her bed until mommy or daddy comes to get her.  We'll come when she calls us, but she needs to stay in bed.  Yeah, right!  I can't tell you how many times I would hear the quiet thud followed by the pitter-patter of her feet.  Throughout the entire three hour (admittedly too long) event, she never cried or seemed visibly upset.  I think she was just overwhelmed and excited and oversimulated.  She just could not put herself back to sleep.  And so at around 4:00, she went back in her crib ... so we could all get some much needed rest.  But even as CPV carried her back to her "old" room, she was asking to sleep in her big girl bed.  Being the awesome daddy that he is, Chad explained that all the excitement was making it hard for her to fall asleep and that she could sleep in her big girl bed again tomorrow. It was just what she needed to hear, and she slept until about 8:30 this morning.

I am curious to see how this transition progresses ... and hopeful that continued patience will win the race!

If you have any tips, advice, insight to offer ... please share :)


kys said...

I don't really have any advice on this one. I bought a new crib when my youngest was born because I didn't want to deal with too much change for my oldest. I hope she is able to rest tonight.

stb said...

I had a similar issue with our daughter going into a big girl bed. For a couple months before my son was born, our daughter ended up in our bed every morning ~4a. I realized that it wouldn't last forever, and that I wanted to enjoy the last time I had with just my sweet girl!

(I was about 16w pregnant when I wrote that post).

mrs.alderman said...

What about promising a treat or an outing if she stays in bed all night?

Have fun on your "vacation" today!! How funny that I caught you running away from home! :)

Kathy said...

what we did with Gwyn was we sat with her until she fell asleep then gradually sat farther and farther away from the bed towards the door. Eventually we were sitting outside the door. We always closed Gwyn's door so us sitting outside the closed door wasn't that big a deal. We'd reassure her that we'd be right outside the door and if she needed up we'd right there. Eventually we'd say our good nights, close the door and I swear she'd pass out before we'd even close the door! Throughout the whole process we didn't talk to her after we read our story and said our good nights. I'd say it took about a month or so. If she got out of her bed in the middle of the night we'd silently walk her back to her bed, tuck her in and walk back out. We also told her that she had to sleep when the sun slept and that she could come out of her room when the sun was awake. :)

good luck! xo

Margaret said...

I hope she settles in and can sleep better tonight in her new big girl bed!

Laura said...

I don't have any advice either, Jase still doesn't know he can get out of his bed which is fine by me. I don't know if this is because he is in his old crib turned toddler bed? Who knows. Hopefully miss Natalie will do better tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

EmmaLouWho said...

Having only one child, I obviously don't have any advice. I just so feel your "homesickness." I am the same way and teared up just reading your post. I hope things get smoother each day. Good luck!