Toddlers, Sleep and Big Boy Beds

When Odin was a baby,  he stayed in our room in a bassinet for awhile, and then in a crib in his own room which is next to ours. He was definitely not one of those babies that had a sleep schedule or times each day where I could count on him to nap. I was ok with this. I believed that if he wanted to sleep, he would sleep. Most of his naps occurred in the jogging stroller, which I was also ok with, as it meant I could run and he would sleep – win win combination!

Odin would fall asleep most nights between 8:30-10:30pm, which is much later than most of the other babies we knew. Like most people with a baby/toddler, we rode the roller coaster of changing sleep patterns, periods of more predictable, consistent stretches of sleep, and then weeks on end of wondering why my child feels that sleep isn’t necessary (and when I also discovered that coffee should be available in IV drips – or Starbucks should deliver 😉 )

Now, Odin is just shy of being 21 months old. We had a couple of months where he was falling asleep at a reasonable time and napping regularly – heaven! Then all of a sudden he had a two-three week period where he would stay up until 11:30pm or so, no matter what we tried (crying it out isn’t something we were comfortable with – we would let him cry for a few minutes, but after that, we would move on to a different method, as he clearly wasn’t self-soothing). When Odin was a baby, I never really thought that we would co-sleep, but it was periods of time like this where co-sleeping was the only way for anyone to get any sleep. So we went with it.

Recently, to get him to fall asleep at an earlier time, we started getting ready for bed together and I would lay with him in our bed until he fell asleep, then move him into his crib. Most of the time, he would fall asleep in 15 minutes or less. More often than not, he would wake up immediately after I’d move him into the crib, regardless of how long I let him sleep in our bed for. Some nights I’d fall asleep and he would end up staying in our bed the entire night. However, for the most part, he was sleeping through the entire night. He was well rested and we were all getting a solid nights sleep.

Odin has been fascinated with our bed and the bed in the spare room in the basement. He has even been playing with his toys downstairs, and climbed into the bed in the spare room and fallen asleep. These signs – and the fact that he has never really liked his crib and sleeps better in a bed – make me wonder if it’s Odin’s way of letting us know he’s ready for a big boy bed. Part of me thinks a toddler bed with rails might be the solution.  This way I can put him in his room, in his bed, and help him fall asleep there.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this does the trick, as Odin went straight from boob to sippy cup and skipped bottles. Perhaps bassinet to bed may be his transition, spending minimal time in a crib.

When did you move your toddler into a bed? Were there any sleep tactics that worked best for you?


3 thoughts on “Toddlers, Sleep and Big Boy Beds

  1. When mine were younger—we have 5 between 13 and 3—we asked the doctor: he said it doesn’t really matter what you do, you just have to be prepared to do it until they’re 7 years old. That’s about when they sleep in their own bed on their own and don’t come into our room.

    IMHO, the main thing is not to let people drive you crazy. I bet you’ve already seen some of that: “OMG, you let him fall asleep in your bed?! That’s the worst thing you can do!” Then you’ll have someone else tell you exactly the opposite.

    I just smile, say thank you, and no, I didn’t know that, and then go back to what works for us.

    I’m just sayin’.

    • I have to agree – doing what’s right for a child is going to be different for everyone. I’ve mastered the smile and thank you. It was tough at first, but sticking to our own choices have made everyone much happier, and well adjusted.

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Pingback: Transition to Toddler Bed - Choose My Room

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