Bedtime Stories

For almost two years putting Jilly to bed at night was dreamy.  We'd go through our routine, tuck her in her crib, say goodnight, and wouldn't hear another peep.  Staying asleep is completely a different story (my two year old still wakes up in the night almost every single night.)  In December she figured out how to get out of her crib and did it a couple times, but then seemed to forget during our vacation.

Suddenly one night about three weeks ago Jilly remembered how to get out of her crib and we said adios to our easy bedtime routine.  As soon as we'd close the door she'd be out of her crib.  For the first few nights I would lay down next to her and rub her back til she fell asleep then move her back to her crib. That got old pretty quick.  My next solution was to set up a little bed on the floor every night when I put her down to sleep.  She would inevitably climb out of her crib, but when she opened the door I would be sitting in the hall and tell her she needed to stay in her room.  She would play for a little bit but eventually lay down on the bed I had made and fall asleep.  She'd also wake up in the middle of the night and climb out of her crib almost every night.

We knew we wanted to get her a real bed, but didn't expect to need it so quick.  We intensified our search and luckily found a cute dresser/bed combo for a steal on craigslist.  We didn't set up the bed in her room til after we painted last weekend.  On Sunday night I had a meeting so Bryan put Jilly to bed.  I was shocked when he told me that she was asleep in her bed.  I had been planning on keeping her in the crib for a few more nights and getting her excited about the bed, but she told him she wanted the bed.  And, she had gone right to sleep without getting up at all.  That first night she slept completely through the night and I was 100% sold on the whole bed thing.

She's been in her bed for about 10 days now.  After that first magical night there were some rough nights. She'd wake up and have a really hard time going back to sleep.  I spent a few nights laying in bed with her to get her back to sleep (one night she head butted me in the middle of the night and I remember it being very painful, but didn't realize how bad it was until I woke up with a blood blister on my lip!)  But, the past few nights have been really good.  If she does wake up, she usually just needs her paci, blankie, baby, or Minnie Mouse (the girl has an extensive list of bedtime needs) then she goes right back to sleep.  And, thanks to daylight savings (never thought I'd say those four words) she has been sleeping all the way until 6:30 or 7:00!

Naptime has been a little bit of a struggle since it's so easy to get out of bed and play with toys.  But if she can't fall asleep in her bed all I have to do is put her in the car and drive for 2 minutes down the road and she's out.  Then I just carry her up to bed.

If there is anything I've learned in the past 2.5 years it's that no child is the same.  But, here are some things that I believe helped us with this transition.

- Just a couple days before we set up Jilly's bed, we played at our friend's house.  Jilly got to see Kylie's new big girl bed and had fun jumping on it.

- Deciding what color to paint Jillian's room was a no-brainer.  Of course her room is pink and every once in a while she'll rub the walls and say, "look, they're pink!"  Her new bedding is also very pink and she's told me many times, "It's my nice bed."

- I thought she would have a hard time losing her crib (we kept it in her room for a few days but it's now in the baby's room.)  But she calls it the "baby's bed" and she loves to put her baby dolls to sleep in there.

- For those first few days while the crib was still there we always gave her the choice of where she wanted to sleep.  She liked getting to make the decision herself (but she never chose the crib.)

- We play on the bed all the time- reading books, having picnics, wrestling with daddy, etc.  All the time she says, "we sit on my bed" and she'll pick a spot for me to sit and pat the spot until I come sit.

Now if only potty training could be this easy...


Janssen said...

We have yet to move Ella to a bed (she hasn't even tried to get out of her crib yet), and I'm dreading it.

Suzie Soda said...

Oh the joys of parenting. Do Dr. Azer's book...it worked like a charm for me with all 5 of my kids. :) xoxo

Lisa Michelle said...

Great post! Ill have to remember all of this stuff when Blake turns 10 and I have to move him out of his crib (if I say it enough, it'll become true, right?!) seriously though, super impressed with your parenting skills of transitioning her.