Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Nighty Night: Putting Three Toddlers into Beds

The day of reckoning was upon us. After going back and forth for months as to when we should transition our three boys into beds we recently took the plunge. I would like to say it was a well thought out plan where I researched the best tactics and implemented a strategy that would work best for us. Ultimately the decision was made on a whim after receiving notification in the mail that Toys R' Us was having a trade-in event and I could get 25% off of a toddler bed for trading in one of our old car seats. 

All three of our cribs are convertible to a toddler bed but only Jake’s required the purchase of additional pieces.  It was actually cheaper for us to take advantage of the trade in event and buy an entirely new bed than it was to buy the additional piece from the manufacturer. 

Sunday morning came and we told the boys we were going to the mall and we were going to buy a big boy bed.  They had no idea what was in store for them, they were just excited to go to the mall.  My husband and I had already made the decision not to nap the boys that day in the hopes that they would be so tired they would fall asleep and stay in bed. 

We got home to start the task of converting a baby room into a big boys room.  Of course, once Jake, Caleb and Liam saw the tools they insisted on helping Daddy “fix” all the beds.  I felt like it took 3 hours to do a 1 hour job. 

Everything was worth it when the boys walked into their “big boy” room and saw they were able to climb in and out of their beds.  Jake exclaimed “oh! I love my big boy bed!”  The BIG test was about to come.  Would the boys stay in their beds?  Would they keep each other up all night?  Would we walk in at 11pm and find all of them in one bed together? 

Marc and I brought them into their room promptly at 7pm.  They were so excited to climb into bed (although admittedly it took a few minutes for everyone to be tucked in and stay tucked in).  We did our regular bed time routine…we tucked each boy in tight, we read a story and did a bed time prayer.  Finally, we explained that they had to stay in their big boy beds until the owl turned green. 
A few months back I had purchased a plush owl that either turns orange or green when you squeeze it.  It has a clock that you can set for the time you would like your child to wake up.  If the child squeezes it before the time set to wake up it turns orange, plays music and quietly informs your child that it is not yet time to wake up.  At wake up time the owl turns green and says it is okay to wake up now.  I had originally used the owl to help my son Liam understand when it was time to get ready for preschool.  He has sensory modulation issues and visual cues often help him to understand and process what is going on around him.  Now I use the owl for its intended purpose and it has definitely lent a helping hand.

That night the boys went straight to sleep.  We checked on them later that night and found everyone in their own beds.  The next day came and my husband and I woke up without any children in our bed.  We couldn’t believe it!  We managed to transition the boys into beds without incident.  It has been three weeks now and they are doing great.  The only thing I am sad about is that they will not take a nap anymore now that they have the ability to get in and out of bed.  Truth be told they were already giving up the nap, it was really more Mommy who did not want to give that up!