Big Boy Bed, part 2

This post is a continuation of our Big Boy bed Transition story. You can find part 1 here and my friends and readers’ (who are friends I just haven’t met yet) advice on the big transition here and here.

So we up and did it. We put the bed together Saturday morning, and by we I do mean all of us.


Monkey see, monkey do, much?

(Kind of terrifying, actually, that he will repeat exactly what he sees DanO or me model. Hope he turns out ok.)

IMG_5208.jpg IMG_5211.jpg

After all of the ‘last bed in stock’ hubub and feeling a bit rushed/frantic, it turned out to be a really fun family project to put the bed together. DanO directed the efforts, OBaby brought tools and (light weight) parts on demand, and I did a wee bit more bending a lifting than my pregnant back would have liked me to have done.

Once the bed was together, the crib came down. And just that fast, it was big bed or bust. Like whoomp, there it is. (Hello early 90s reference.)

We set up the bed, OBaby helped put the sheets on, we put all of his stuffed animals at the foot of the mattress, (which is something one of YOU, my friends and readers (who are friends I just haven’t met yet) suggested to us. FABULOUS idea.) and we generally made it a really great place to be.


There is an opening in the railing, which is good because then OBaby can safely get up and down on his own without trying to climb over the rails (and you know he would), but we do need to keep a step stool under it because he is still a wee peanut. He kicked the stool out of the way once accidentally when trying to get down, which had me worried that it wouldn’t work, but once it was gone, he slid down on his belly, got down, and put the stool back.

Smart. Kid.

Conveniently, once we had finished all of this work, it was almost naptime. We did most of the naptime routine on the bed instead of on the rocker like we used to. I think this time on his bed with his Daddy (his most favoritest person in the whole entire worlds) was really good for OBaby – very first association with this new space was calm, positive, and unforced.


They did a little cuddling…


…and then OBaby…

…wait for it…

…dramatic pause…

had a completely successful naptime in his big boy bed, zero stuggles or hiccups!

Granted, no one within a mile radius of our house was allowed to breathe, you could have heard a pin drop for the entire duration of the nap, and DanO and I were completely glued to the video monitor, but it was a raging success. All parties were pleased. When OBaby woke up, he did what he had normally done in his crib: he rolled around a little, played with this toes, did some baby yoga (downward dog is his favorite), and then he got out of his bed. Just like that, he was a big boy bed user.

Can I just tell you how much that nap lowered my blood pressure? O My Serotonin levels, that nap was such a relief and gave us such confidence come bedtime. I imagine that relieved state of his parents helped OBaby with the change, too.

We did bedtime routine as usual and before you could say “They grow so fast”, OBaby was fast asleep for the night in his new bed. It was just as seamless as naptime had been!


At least… until 2:30am…

when DanO and I woke to the sound of little feet padding down the hallway and into our room.

“hi…” he whispered, waddling up to DanO’s side of the bed.

I absolutely died and exploded from the cute. HOW COULD YOU NOT?! I will cherish that memory forever – the sweetness of my little toddler wandering into our room in the middle of the night on his first night in his big boy bed. LOVE.

Except, it was still 2:30am, and he did still need to sleep several more hours. DanO brought him into his room and tried to help him calm down (apparently waking up at 2:30am and being able to walk into your parents’ bedroom puts one in a rather playful mood). We worked on that for an hour, rocking, calming, cuddling, but didn’t really take. Finally we told him that it was time to go to sleep, and we closed his bedroom door.

Please hear me out: I am not one to leave my baby to cry, I’m really not. When he was younger, we did a humorously short stint of trying to teach him to “self-soothe” as it’s called, and after an hour my entire digestive system had turned itself inside out. It just does not work for us.


We knew that OBaby understood where to sleep, we knew that his room was a safe place for him to be, and we knew that he was not scared or disturbed by the situation based on the sounds he was making (a mama knows her baby’s cries). So, we let it happen. He whined, he banged, he complained, but he never bawled. And then, after less than 30 minutes of protest… silence.

Except we couldn’t see him on the video monitor, which meant he was not on his bed.

I’m pretty sure he slept on the rug by his door from 4am to 9am, and yes I feel kind of badly about that. However, he has not done it since. Our entire road since that 4am struggle has been an absolute cake walk. Next day’s nap was a breeze. The next night’s bedtime it only took going back in there once to reinforce that the bed is the place to sleep, and he got it (actually, when he dropped his binky, he climbed down, grabbed it, and climbed back in bed). Since then? Entirely uneventful.

My son sleeps in a big boy bed.


46 Responses to “Big Boy Bed, part 2”

  1. LCW

    Amen and I’m so glad you went for it. I’ll take a pat on the back because I know I said to just do it and he’d be ok! And he is, you are and the world still spins.

    • AllisonO

      So true! It definitely could have been a bumpier road, and I think we were a bit lucky in that, but it was still something we just needed to up and go for. Parenting: it’s not for the faint of heart.

  2. Lauren N

    YAY! Good job, Mama!!!! That’s some solid good parenting right there. And good job O Baby for being such a good big boy…. think what a big helper he’ll be for little brother! :)

  3. Lindsay N.

    AMEN!! I wonder if any crib-to-toddler bed transition has gone so smoothly? Ever. Well done!

  4. Sarah-Anne

    Amen, mama Allison!
    P.S. That picture of DanO and OBaby makes me swoon, then want to get married and have a dozen babies just so I can take a picture like that. O my ovaries, in your words! :)

  5. Joanna

    Oh my gosh I laughed SO hard when you got to the point of him running into your room saying “hi” because I can so see Madison doing that.

    Great Story!

    • AllisonO

      ‘Hi’ is our very favorite word around here. That and “Uh-O!” Is there anything sweeter than toddler words?!

  6. Sarah

    good for the little dude and songood for you guys!!
    I found Lucy at the top of the stairs at 1:30 this morning. she turned the wrong way coming to our room when she didn’t feel well and decided to just go back to sleep instead of turn around. Kids, man!

  7. Nicole

    That “Hi” had me laughing. I can picture it! During the night when our 4 1/2 month old fusses, we go in and try to quickly put in her pacifier and leave before she even knows we were in there. Sometimes it works and other times she gives us the cutest smile. Isn’t it time to play at 3:30 am? Gets me everytime!

  8. Laurel

    Love the transition. My heart melt when Obaby came into your room. Way too cute! I can only hope that when we move onto the toddler part of the bed, it will be as smooth as your transition.

  9. Karey

    I love the “hi” – too cute! Our son is three and he occasionally (as in a couple of times a week) comes in our room to check things out in the middle of the night and we *still* smile when we hear his little feet patting down the hallway.

    That’s awesome the transition was so smooth! We’ve had three transition from cribs and it’s gone fairly smoothly each time. I’ll bet the railings (that look similar to a crib) help? Anyway, great job, mama!

  10. Cambria

    We had to just shut the door with this transition too and let her sleep where she wished. Now, at 2 1/2, she puts herself in bed when shes ready.

    She can, however, work a door knob, so we have the baby proof knob thing inside her room to keep her in there. She’ll figure that out soon, I’m sure.

    Congratulations on a successful transition!

  11. Steph

    AMEN!! We’re not to that stage yet but I can imagine you are SO relieved. Speaking of sleep, how did you get him to sleep in his crib when he was younger? My son is 8 months and he still has not slept in his crib longer than a couple hours. And even that takes me a good couple of hours at night to get him in there asleep. I understand you didn’t do the CIO method, but what did you do? Any advice???

  12. Carly

    Amen! I bow down to your skills. I am trying to tackle potty training right now and then our next adventure is transitioning to a big boy bed and room. I know that’s alot! Oh and I stand corrected on the bed maybe being kinda girly, it’s a super cute bed and looks great. Congrats on the good find, I dread trying to find a good deal on the bed almost as much as I do the transition.

    • AllisonO

      No bowing allowed, mama. You’re tackling potty training? I cower in fear of potty training. You, friend, are brave.

  13. Karie

    Isn’t this whole “my kids are growing up” thing amazing?! Well done on the switch, good (read tough) parenting day in and day out ends up helping so much on these big moments. As far as potty training goes… when it’s time it will be fine. :-) How’s that for great advice, I did it while pregnant and thought it would never happen, but it did and then I rented a steam cleaner and cleaned the carpets so the evidence is long gone.

  14. Erin

    I read a lot and don’t post often… but I have to tell you this story…
    My little one was about the same age when we switched over… one night he was up there banging and protesting- I’m sure what you heard too- my hubby said- want me to check on him? and I of course said- nah he’s fine- he’ll put himself back to bed- when I checked on him at 10 when we went to bed, I opened the door and WHAM smacked him right on the head! oops- he was fine and I picked him up and plunked him in his bed- and then went and laughed until I cried.

    • AllisonO

      Hahaha! O good I’m not the only one whose kiddo has slept on the floor! The second night when we “went back in there once”, DanO tried to open the door and felt resistance… turned out to be OBaby, asleep with his legs against the door (but he had never even protested!). We moved him to the bed and he hasn’t slept anywhere since.

  15. Erin

    Yeah, he moves all around when he sleeps- funny I just blogged about our sleep habits today too! Must be the trend :)

  16. Britt @ The MamaZine

    This post has inspired us! Just shared it with hubs and we’re thinking maybe we should give it a try. Our girl will probably not handle it nearly as well as OBaby and it will end up a disaster, but our fingers are crossed! Love that he got down to get his binky and got back in bed. Melt me!

    • AllisonO

      Yes! That! Darn those pregnancy/birth/teething/potty training/big boy bed/terrible twos horror stories.

  17. Sarah

    I read often, but have never posted before. I just had to tell you how extremely jealous I am. My son is just days in age difference of OBaby & we are struggling big time with the bed transition. He goes to bed great at night, but absolutely will not stay for nap. I have to go in & lay him back down close to 50 times before he stays, if then. I can’t wait to feel the relief I imagine you’re feeling right about now!

  18. Kaycee

    AMEN!!!! That’s rockstar fabulous! I am so happy for you!

    My darling daughter can open doors and is already only 50/50 on the afternoon napping. I am totally screwed. :)

  19. Tessa

    Yay!! We have been talking about getting our daughter into a big-girl bed since she was 18 months (she turned 2 the beginning of December…we don’t procrastinate AT ALL). I am so glad you posted the ideas and experiences. We decided to wait until after New Year’s to get her into the bed then potty training. Once again we started putting it off. Thanks for motivating me to just do it!

  20. D

    That is so great how smooth the transition was! AMEN :) This lets me know there is hope. I still think it’s a little early to transition DD, but I am thinking about doing it before LO#2 arrives… so there is hope!! I am so happy for you all!

  21. Amanda

    Amen!! I’m so glad things have gone well for you! It gives me a bit of hope that we can manage the big-boy bed switch, too. (My son is almost 2 1/2!) The pictures are so precious – I love little boys with tools! :)

  22. Mama Fisch

    I am going to save this and hope this how it goes for us… you are a lucky girl! And the “Hi” is about as cute as it gets! Congrats! We are headed to Costco to scope out these beds!

  23. Brittany

    Yay! I’m glad it went so smoothly! We just had to turn Caden’s door knob around because he kept opening the door and we lock it from the outside. Sounds mean but it works well for us, in the morning he knocks on the door and says “knock, knock” “mommy, daddy” :) He has only fallen asleep on the floor a couple of times…oh yeah and in his hamper once but it’s all good. Oh and I love the white bed!

  24. Sarah

    Yeah! You give me confidence. I am not ready and my girl is 20 months. I think I will hold off on it as long as I can. I am amazed it went so well. I totally stress out about these things for MONTHS! Between breaking the paci, going to a big bed, and potty training I will be needing a drink bad! Thanks for sharing!


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