My Secret on How I Got My Daughter to Sleep in Her Toddler Bed
The Back Story
I guess I’ll start by saying that my almost 3 year old daughter never really slept in the bed with my husband and I until she was a little over a year old. I know, probably makes no sense, but I’ve always been adamant about having Celine sleep in her own crib since before she was born. Ever since Celine was born, I made sure to always put her to sleep in her crib even while I was breastfeeding. I think a big part of it was the fear of hurting her, if we allowed her to sleep between us in the bed through the night. Also because I knew there would come a time where she would get too big, so I wanted to avoid her getting used to the idea of sleeping with mommy and daddy. My husband on the other hand, would always be so willing to keep her in the bed with us. His idea has always been that we have to enjoy these moments with our daughter now because we will never get to have them again. His excuse was always, “one day she will grow up and she won’t want to cuddle in bed with us anymore”.
I recall during the nights breastfeeding, no matter how many times I would have to get up in the middle of the night to pick up Celine from her crib, I never once allowed her to sleep in our bed. Yet, here I am sharing how I got her to sleep in her own toddler bed!
I think it all started when we moved to a new apartment. There was a couple of months, a gap period, where we were still trying to settle in. We wanted to transition her from her crib to a toddler bed. During the time that we were in search of her new bed, we decided not to even set up her crib because we would’ve had to eventually get rid of it anyway. Hence, where the habit initiated.
Once her new toddler bed came in, I always tried to put her to sleep there however, she would always end up in our bed by the morning. I remember trying every method! I would allow her to fall asleep on our bed. Then once she was asleep, I would move her to her toddler bed. All for her to wake up in the middle of the night, walk over to me, and climb into our bed again. My husband of course, would not be bothered by this at all. It wasn’t until recently, when we started to become uncomfortable. Even my husband mentioned it to me one night that he was not sleeping well with her in our bed. Over the Summer, now nearly three years old, Celine grew so much taller and bigger overall. To be completely honest, it’s not like she’s a pleasant sleeper either. We found that sleeping in our big bed, she constantly would move around all over the place.
There were times I would find her upside down with her feet by one of our heads and her head by our feet. Sometimes, she would be horizontally with her head on one of our stomachs and her feet on the other one’s stomach or neck.
I decided, enough is enough! The Summer was about to be over, she would be starting school in a couple of days and I would be starting work again. I thought it was the perfect time to start working on this transition and get her sleeping in her bed once and for all. The great thing about the timing is that she had been asking her father and I for a “new room” for about a month now. I thought hey, we can’t actually get her a “new room” because we aren’t moving anywhere right now.
However, I could use this request as an advantage to hopefully get her to want to sleep in her bed.
Celine requested a “new room like Fancy Nancy”. If you know anything about Disney’s Fancy Nancy, she’s all about butterflies, pink, fashion, and most importantly France! I tried to add as many touches of this theme in her little corner without going too overboard. Check out my amazon storefront here for all the decor items I used for this revamp! The bed sheets set, I purchased from target online, here is the link.
I am so happy with the new look and most importantly, Celine has proven to be as well. It has now been nearly a month since she has been willingly and happily sleeping in her own bed. She no longer tries to climb into our bed at all. Whenever she awakes at night to use the potty or for a drink of milk, (this is a whole other situation that needs to be taken care of, but that will be for another blog post.) she goes directly back to her bed without a word. I can tell that she now feels cozy and comfortable sleeping in her bed. At bedtime, she hops into her bed excitedly with no regard to our large king size bed any longer. It’s almost as if the option was completely erased from her brain, and I couldn’t be happier! Another plus to this is that it has established some independence for her in the sense that she now helps with making her bed and also preparing it for bedtime.
Now, I know every child is different and this may not necessarily work for you. However, if you haven’t given this a try yet, I highly recommend it. My experienced tip is to make sure you keep in mind everything your child likes and their personality when decorating their rooms/area. I think a mistake I have seen parents make is that they add decor that appeal to their own personal taste instead of the things that would really be attractive to the child. An integral part of parenthood is coming to grips with sacrifices. I am forever content with sacrificing a small part of the room to give my daughter a happy space so we can ALL get a goodnight’s rest…
...Sew This is Life!
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