Monday, March 14, 2011

What A Difference A Bed Makes

For the past few months bedtime has not been as successful as it used to be. I have tried a lot of different ways to make it go smoothly, mattress on the floor, blanket on the sheepskin rug, door open, door closed, bribery, yelling, but I kept coming up short. I would begin to talk about how naptime was going to go, or how tonight you are going to have to try and enjoy going to sleep. I was over thinking it, and I was over talking about it too.

At two and half, the topic of moving her to a bed has come up between my husband and me. I mentioned the possibility that she might be ready, but he wasn't ready. He feared that if she was having a hard time with the crib, it could get worse with the bed. She could get up and out of the room, or worse come into our room. I agreed that these things could happen but we needed to give her something positive around sleep. After a few weeks, on and off, of sleeping on the rug, she went cold turkey against her crib. It happened last week when my friend asked her if she could put her five month old baby in her crib for a nap. She said yes and that night when asked if she wanted to sleep on the rug or in the crib, she said the crib was for her baby friend.

We went on line to look at twin beds. I enjoyed my newest obsession of trying to find a modern twin that was functional but met our aesthetic requirements as well. It wasn't easy but we came up with a few options. The only problem we faced was our lack of funds at the moment. A twin would have to wait. We didn't buy a bed that converts to a toddler bed but after close examination I saw that there were only four screws that kept the front side of her crib up. My husband took the rail off and Voila: a super cool highly functioning toddler bed.

We decided to leave it unsaid and wait for her to notice. We timed it so it wasn't right before she was supposed to sleep, but instead before we left the house. We brought her into her room and she said "What is this?" We repeated the question back to her and enthusiastically she said " A big bed"! She couldn't contain her joy and hopped right in. She pretended to sleep in it, and she introduced Baa, her stuffed lamb to it right away. We went out that day and when we came home she ran right to her room to get ready for a nap. After I tucked her in, the last thing she said was, "Mommy, I so excited!"

She has gone to sleep so easily the last few days. I am not completely ignorant that this will last forever, but for now this is a complete game change. She loves going to sleep and loves her bed. I always turn back to look at her in her bed right before I leave the room. It's hard to believe how quickly she can shift and be so happy with something as easy as taking of a rail. I know it means so much more to her. It's freedom of choice and the knowledge that we think she is responsible enough to make good decisions now. She is so proud of herself, that most times when I turn back she is giggling, and happy to say goodnight so she can be alone. Big changes happening here and for starters we are all resting easier now.

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