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Transitioning from Crib to Big Girl Bed: How it went!

Oh my gosh, you guys….Caroline impressed me so so so so sooooo much! All of our preparation paid off big time! See our results below!

– She was so excited for her bed, she was laying in it before we could even get it built!
– She listened to all of our instructions!
– She is falling asleep faster and without any crying (see previous 22nd month hurdles post on what she was doing)

 Check out our plan here!

Night 1
We barely had her room ready when her clocked turned blue for bedtime! We got it done on time, however, and Caroline was really excited to get in bed. We read her story in bed tonight, since we could all fit on the bed! Our instructions to her were the same as they’d been all week “Stay in bed until your clock is yellow and you get a Daniel Tiger sticker in the morning!”. She did SOOOO good with this that she earned stickers every day this last week! We also told her to call us if she needed anything.

I watched and waited. In her crib she’d immediately stand up and call for us for the last month or so (although she’d done much better this last week). I was worried she was just going to get out of bed and go to the door and call for us now. I continued watching and waiting. Nothing. She simply fell asleep. She hardly even rearranged in bed. She was out like a light and never tried to get out of bed!

She woke at 4:45 am. She called for me and stayed in bed. I went in and asked what she needed. She had to go potty. I praised her for waiting to get up until I had arrived, took her potty, and back to bed. She went right back to sleep.

7:00 am she woke up for the morning  (her clock turns yellow at 7:15 am). I watched. She simply waited for me in bed- exactly what I’d asked her to do.

She did it! She listened to everything and handled her big girl bed transition like a champ! I am BEYOND impressed with her right now!

When I came in for the morning, I was so ecstatic. I wanted her to know how proud I was. She got two stickers: 1 for going to sleep like a big girl, and 1 for staying in bed until her clock was yellow. I crawled in bed with her and we read stories and talked. It was the perfect morning. I brought our drinks in, as I always do (coffee for me, milk for her). We got to sit on the bed together and enjoy. What a fabulous start to the day!

Day 2

Nap time

Her clock turned blue at 12:30 pm. I directed her to the new location of her clock once more. She said “blue, bedtime” (she says bedtime for nap and night). She cleaned up her room, and went to get her pull up on. I explained the rules again as I always do “It’s nap time, please stay in bed until your clock is yellow”. I also reminded her to call me if she needed something.

She snuggled right up, and went right to sleep. Usually it takes her awhile to fall asleep and she even reads a book. Not today. She let me tuck her in and she closed her eyes before I could leave the room.

She slept for 2 hrs (a nice good nap for her). When she woke, she was kind of whiny. She was calling for me. Again, she didn’t get out of bed. I waited a few minutes to see what she’d do. After about 5 minutes she was still calling for me, and still on the bed. Her clock doesn’t turn yellow for another hour. I went in and told her she could have quiet time on her bed. I’m placing books on her nightstand within reach, so I directed her attention to those. I then told her I’d be back when her clock was yellow. She nodded and then proceeded to do quiet time so well! She practiced talking, read some books, and stayed in bed!

I’ve decided to only make her stay in bed for a maximum of 30 minutes past when she wakes. I have her clock set for 3 hours, but I can always go in and turn it yellow manually. That way I don’t test her patience too much! LOL

This time I went in after 20 minutes of her being awake. I brought her milk and told her that if she wanted to quietly play, she could get out of bed. She said ok, and got down for a couple of seconds, set her milk down on her nightstand, and returned to bed LOL! She then decided to get down again but just stood there. At that point, we decided to go in and join her since Daddy got to come home from work early!


When Caroline’s clock turns blue she practically runs to jump in bed, now! We have to remind her that we still have to brush her teeth, go potty, etc. She is excited to go to bed and is no longer asking to delay bedtime in anyway. Once she’s in bed, she’s in for the night! I didn’t hear from her until 7 am when she woke up. Her clock turns blue at 7:15 am. She waited patiently until I came in.

She has ROCKED this bed transition! I am amazed and so very impressed. Here’s to hoping this behavior continues. I am so glad we made the switch when we did. Sometimes making a big change can help when you run into issues. This was the exact change we needed to help bedtime go smoothly again.

I also can’t recommend this clock enough. The clock has been Caroline’s visual guide throughout this entire process. I am so glad we started it a couple months early, and I am extremely happy to have it during the transition. It was well worth the money (even though it seemed expensive at the time)! Click on the picture to follow the link to Amazon!

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