5 In Motherhood

The Big Girl Bed

If you’ve been following along, then you know we officially have a big girl on our hands. A big girl who’s sleeping in her very own big girl bed! To say she loves it is an understatement, and we couldn’t be more proud of her! I wanted to share how the transition went, and how we made it so smooth.

So in short, the transition to a big girl bed went AMAZINGLY. I feel almost braggadocios saying that, but it honestly went really well. I think we are both still shocked at how well it went, and is still going! I pictured it going one of two ways: 1) she’d rock it 2) we’d have a screaming toddler at the top of the stairs every night for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, it hasn’t been the latter.

How’d we prepare for the transition?

We started “prepping” Adeline weeks ago, maybe even a month or two ago, by casually talking about her new super awesome special big girl bed, and how cool it would be for her to have her very own big girl bed to sleep in when baby brother gets here. We tried to make it sound exciting, and fun, and like something only she got to do. We didn’t want it to sound scary and we didn’t even really put an emphasis on her crib disappearing. We knew we just wanted her to really understand that this was HER big girl bed and it was a GOOD thing. Once she started talking about, we knew she was excited. And then a few weeks ago, we let her help pick out her pink bedding (that she’d been asking for!) and she sat with me when I ordered her bed online. Then on the night we made the move, we took her with us to pick out her new mattress, and special sheets.

Why did we go with a twin bed instead of converting her crib or using a toddler bed?

I briefly mentioned this before when I wrote about her big girl room inspiration, but we knew pretty quickly that going straight to a twin bed would be our best bet. Adeline is 2.5, and baby brother will be here in August. She’s never tried to climb out of her crib, and would probably be fine in her crib until she outgrew it. But, we felt it was pointless to waste time converting her crib, and then using a toddler bed, when we knew she could handle a twin bed perfectly fine. I also just didn’t see the point in buying a toddler bed, when we could just buy her a bed instead that will last longer. Plus, we didn’t want to buy a second crib. It would be silly to buy a second crib, then transition Adeline out of it in just a few short months. We also didn’t want to thrust ALL THE CHANGES on her at once. We’ve been doing the potty training thing all spring, and now that we’re at a good place with that, it felt like the perfect time to move onto the next thing before we suddenly bring home a new baby!

How did we make the big change?

It’s kind of crazy to me how smoothly everything went because we really didn’t have a strategy. We just kind of…went with it! And I think that’s why it went so well! We ripped the band aid off, and didn’t mess around.

So like I mentioned, the night we made the big switch-er-roo we went out for a fun family date to pick out her new twin mattress, and then to Target to pick out her new sheets and a Frozen blanket she’d requested previously. We picked up pizza (her favorite) on the way home, and as soon as we got home Daddy got to work getting her crib out of her room and building her new bed. Adeline and I ate pizza and talked and talked about how she was going to get to sleep in her new bed, with her new pink bedding and special sheets, on her new mattress, and how it was just going to be the greatest thing ever. Again, annoyingly positive and happy to keep her encouraged! Adam got her new bed all made and ready for her and then we took her up for the big reveal! As soon as she saw her new bed she FREAKED OUT! Like, you know how dogs get the “zoomies?” That was Adeline. She was SO EXCITED and couldn’t stop smiling and giggling!

To make things easiest on night 1, we put her new bed in the exact same spot that her crib was. We didn’t move the glider, or move anything around on the walls. Everything in her room was the exact same except for her actual bed. (We’ve since moved the glider and pulled the bed down, but other than that nothing else has changed.)

How did night 1 go?

Once she had calmed down a little from the excitement of seeing her new setup, we did our usual bedtime routine, while still making it a BIG deal that she was about to sleep in her super cool new big girl bed. I rocked her, read to her, sang our songs, and before I knew it she straight up asked me to get in bed! So, that’s what I did – I tucked her in, made sure her favorite stuffed animals were right where she wanted them, said goodnight, and walked out and closed the door and gates. And that was that.

She rolled around a little bit getting comfortable, and talked to herself like usual, but then she cozied up against her new pillow and fell asleep and slept all night! She didn’t cry, she didn’t get out of her bed, she didn’t try to open her door, nothing! Mind blown. I was pretty nervous all night just in case she did get out of bed so I don’t think I slept very well, but I can’t believe how well she slept on night 1! It was like she was perfectly content in her new bed, like she was saying, “finally, mom and dad!”

The next few nights went about the same, but with a little more crying at first. Which is totally usual for her, so that hasn’t been surprising at all. However, I will say that bedtime ever since we switched her bed has been better than it has been in MONTHS. She’s cries way less when we leave her room, and she doesn’t fight getting into bed. She’s already got her bed set up to a tee, and like this blanket here, this blanket there, this stuffed animal here, and this stuffed animal there. As long as everything is in place, she’s happy!

What about safety?

What I was most worried about was just her safety in general. When you make the switch to a bed that doesn’t contain them anymore you literally have to baby proof their room again. There were so many things we noticed that could be dangerous for her if she wandered out of bed in the middle of the night! Things like random cords, her bookshelf, baskets with random stuff in them, etc. Her bedroom is also at the top of the stairs so solving the stairwell safety problem was our biggest priority. We decided that the option we felt the most comfortable with was installing a second baby gate right at her door, as well as at the top of the stairs. So, she can still open her door and see into the hallway, but she can’t go past the gate that’s installed basically within her doorframe. We also installed a bed rail on the side of her bed that faced outward so she can’t roll out of bed accidentally.

1 week down, how’s it been?

Today marks 1 week since we made the transition and so far so good. So far she still has not gotten out of her bed at night, she’s still sleeping great, asks to go potty before she goes to bed and when she wakes up (still waking up wet and wearing pull-ups, it will be a while!), and only cries for a few minutes if she cries at all. Most nights when she cries it’s because she wants the other parent to come in and rock her before she lays down, or one of her stuffed animals is out of place, or she has to potty again. I don’t think she’s cried yet at all because she was scared or didn’t want to be in her big girl bed. She still talks about “her pink bedding” and says about the crib (that’s now in the other nursery) “dat’s not my bed, dat’s baby brother’s bed!”

All in all, it’s been a HUGE win for us and a huge surprise win at that. I am very thankful the first week has been positive, and am hoping it stays this way. I think it’s obvious she was just ready for this change, and it’s important to note that toddlers are all ready at different times! We’re so, so proud of our sweet girl for taking all of these changes in stride! She loves her new bed, but not gonna lie, I think I might love it more because I can lay down and cuddle with her when I’m extra tired!

I’m excited to start adding in those big girl room touches eventually, and find that perfect thing to take up the space of the changing table once we move it into baby brother’s room.

How did your toddler do in their big girl bed at first? Did the transition go well? What did you struggle with?



  • Reply
    Jana A
    May 11, 2018 at 7:25 am

    That is AMAZING Sarah! Can you please have Adeline come tell Jack how cool it is to stay in bed? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously though, he does so great through the night, but it’s the initial going to bed that is still a little tough!
    Jana A recently posted…For Him, Not to HimMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 16, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Haha I’ll have her give him a little call ๐Ÿ™‚ She STILL has not gotten out of bed at night! I’m seriously shocked! I thought for sure she’d get up and open her door and scream at the gate, but she hasn’t!

  • Reply
    The Curious Frugal
    May 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    That went amazingly well! We haven’t started yet and probably won’t for a while. We’ve struggled with every sleep stage with this kid (it’s just not her thing) so I don’t have super high hopes for it being easy. I’d love to be surprised though! Lol

    • Reply
      May 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Bless! Some kiddos just have more trouble than others sleeping! It will happen!

  • Reply
    June 6, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    That bed looks exactly like the one my nieces use! I’ve been with them since day 1, and the second youngest always struggled with being alone during bed.

    The transition went well, but the family certainly worked for it. Simply being there every night, and not just “reading bed time stories” helped. They both always had a lot to say.

    Thanks Sarah!
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