Honestly, until about a week ago, we weren't exactly sure when the transition would occur, but a couple of things helped us decide quickly and move forward:
1. She seems ready
She listens to our direction really well (even aside from her 22 month hurdles). She loves her bed, loves her sleep, and it seems like she'll be able to handle the transition smoothly. One of the key things that we noticed was her ability to read a book before her nap or bed, and then decide to set the book down, and go to sleep. This is a new privilege that we've given her, and she's done amazing with it. It is a very big girl thing to be able to handle making that decision and actually going to sleep. She's also really excited about doing big girl things right now, so we knew she'd be on board!
2. A bed became available
We had just been talking about how it seems as though things go smoothly when you make the transition before 2 or after 3 (based on reading many stories from many mamas). We don't think she's going to make it until after 3. We are ready and she's ready. So, since she's nearing 2, we had decided to go for it. I started looking for beds that would work. I found a used bed from a mama that I know near by. It was a great deal, and she needs the space asap. So, that means we are picking it up this weekend and just moving forward with this transition now! We don't have room for a bed and a crib, so the crib is getting taken down and stored. Big girl bed here we come! We are choosing to use a twin bed instead of a toddler bed. More to come on WHY we chose that!
Our Plan:- Letting her pick out bedding
We want Caroline super excited about this transition! Getting her excited about it, gets her to have ownership of the process. We did the same thing with potty training and got her excited to wear big girl underwear! So, we took her to the store and let her help pick out her bedding. We are also just talking it up every day. She asks for her bed every day now! She's really really excited and it can't come soon enough!
- Taking her to try out the bed ahead of time
Since we are getting a used bed, she didn't get to pick one out. The exact bed, however, is at Ashley Furniture! So, off we went to try out the bed. She got right on, laid down and closed her eyes! So adorable! Just more efforts to get her excited, excited, excited!
- Reading books about moving to a big girl bed
I have two books on order that will be arriving Friday (we make the transition Sunday). I am so excited about these books. They have amazing reviews, and one of them is an Elmo book (Caroline loves Elmo)! We'll be reading these to help her understand the transition and keep her excited.
- Ok to wake clock
This is something we put into place awhile ago in preparation for this transition. We bought the my tot clock from Amazon, and just LOVE it. It turns blue for bed time and naps. She knows that blue means bed. When it's ok to get up it turns yellow. We will be reinforcing this concept with the big girl bed, as we are not allowing her to get out of bed without calling for us first, and her clock being yellow. She has a nice visual sign that it's ok to get out of bed. This has been one of our best investments, and I know it's going to pay off even more with this transition.
- Sticker Rewards
Again, this is something we put into place awhile ago. We focused on going to bed like a big girl: closing her eyes, staying quiet, etc. She gets a sticker in the morning if she does those things. Now we are also incorporating a second sticker. If she stays in bed and waits patiently for her clock to turn yellow and for Mama to come in the room before getting out of bed, she'll get another sticker. We had to find the right stickers to get this to stay motivating for her. Daniel Tiger stickers did the trick!
- Stay in bed until we come to get you
This is going to be the big "RULE". She is not allowed to get out of bed until we come to get her. If she gets out of bed, during the a nap, at night or at bedtime, we'll be going in, putting her back in bed and explaining the rule.
I'll keep you posted on our progress throughout the week! We are looking forward to this transition!