With baby number two‘s arrival right around the corner, we are ready to transition our toddler to a big boy bed.
Our main motivation for the move is so that we can night-time potty train him before the new baby comes. I thought I would share our experience with moving our toddler out of the crib with 5 essential tips for transitioning your toddler to a big boy bed. You can skip ahead to the end for a quick bulleted list, scroll down to the end of the post! 🙂
Our first step was to get him used to the idea of the bedtime period. We typically put him to bed around 7 pm and then he will wake up at 7 am. We wanted something visual to represent bedtime and wake time. We found the Sleep Hero doll and thought it would work perfectly (especially considering Aiden’s obsession with superheroes). We introduced it about a month before we were ready to make the transition. He loves the story that goes along with the book (I personally think it’s a bit odd, but he likes it and it seems to get the point across, so I’m not going to be too critical).
The only drawback with the Sleep Hero is that it goes on at 7 pm and only stays on for 15-minutes, so if there is a bedtime delay you have to turn it back on. For a few nights, Aiden would notice that it went off and would yell for us to come to get him because the light went off so he thought it was time to get up (even though it wasn’t green). This only lasted a day or two though — I just explained it has to be green for wake-up time.
Around the time I learned about Sleep Hero I found the Hatch Baby Rest Night Light. We were in the market for a night light for Aiden because he is on an “I need light” kick and I didn’t want to leave the door open. Aiden got one for Christmas and this thing is amazing. Not only is it a night light but it has programmable settings for bedtime and nap time so we set the night light for the same 7 am-7 pm period. It has a sound machine option and Aiden loves the wind setting. When the Hatch wind and night light turn on with the Sleeper Hero at 7 pm he knows it is time for bed. At 7 am the Hatch turns green just like the Sleeper Hero so Aiden calls for us to come to get him.
Side note: It’s actually super cute — he yells for me to come to get him because the Sleeper Hero is green and when he comes downstairs he usually wants to show Dan how it is green too.
Anyway, our next step was to baby proof everything. We secured the furniture to the wall and put anything electrical up where he can’t reach it. We don’t have many toys in his room, but the few that were in there found a new home in his closet. Really the only thing he has access to are books on his bookshelf. We added a baby gate to the top of our stairs too just to be safe. We like this one because we can easily keep it open during the day in case he needs to go to the bathroom. We also added a video monitor so we can keep an eye on him if he does get out of bed. We like the Summer Infant one because we can get additional cameras and them once baby arrives and if we ever move to a house with a playroom.
The final step was to create an easy path from the bedroom to the bathroom in case he needs to get out of his room and use the potty. We got small night lights that aren’t super bright so that it would create a pathway straight to the bathroom, this way he wasn’t tempted to roam around somewhere else. We also found this light for the potty. It is motion activated, so if he enters the bathroom the toilet lights up and he can easily find it.
When the big day finally came and we removed the crib side Aiden was so excited. He loves his big boy bed! The first week he actually followed the same routine where he wouldn’t get out of bed without calling for us (even if he dropped something 😆 ). After the first week he started asking if he could sleep in the teepee that is in his room so we pulled the Dock A Tot and blankets into the teepee and he does fine in there too. He will alternate between the bed and teepee but whichever he chooses he stays in for the night which is awesome!
5 Essential Tips for Transitioning to a Big Boy Bed
1. Start talking about the transition before you actually do it.
3. Baby-proof everything. Make sure electronics are not within reach, outlets have covers, stairs have gates, and furniture is secured to a wall.
4. Remove as many distractions as possible. If there are tons of toys around your toddler may be more tempted to play with them. Most of the toys in our house are not in his room, but the few that are we store in the closet.
Did you use any of these tips to transition your little one or do you have other great tips? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
If you liked these tips on transitioning to a big boy bed, check out 4 Top Tips for Train Travel with a Toddler and Stress Free Tips to Taking a Toddler to Visit the Washington Nationals Baseball Team.
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