Big Girl Beds


Andrew and I had been talking about moving Reese out of the nursery and into one of our spare bedrooms for awhile. We thought it would be best to transition her from a crib to a bed before baby # 2 came, but I was procrastinating because I wasn’t sure she was ready.

Just before New Year’s, in a momentary episode of panic that occurred when I realized that the baby would be here in less than 2 months, we set up a twin mattress on the floor of Reese’s new bedroom.

We didn’t put anything else in there aside from the mattress. Too risky.

On multiple occasions in the nursery, I had witnessed Reese take down her humidifier, stand up and surf on her glider, try to swing from her curtains, and attempt to pick up and move her diaper pail. God knows what she would do when left to her own devices all night.

I had serious angst about this. Visions of her busting out of the room and wreaking havoc on our upstairs, or worse, trying (and succeeding) in opening the baby gate and falling down the stairs haunted me.

Before bedtime that first night, we realized that we would have to have her monitor and her CD player (she refuses to go to bed without her music playing) on the floor of her room. I told Reese that after stories Mom and Dad would leave the room and Reese should stay in her bed and sleep.

Yea right. I felt ridiculous even saying this to her. I know she was laughing at me on the inside.

This is how the first night went.

7:15 – Andrew comes downstairs after reading Reese stories.

7:18 PM – We hear a clicking noise and the monitor goes off. Andrew goes up to turn it back on. He opens the door to find a small individual, clad in a snowman onesie, hunched over the monitor. Upon seeing him in the doorway she quickly darts back to her bed. Andrew turns the monitor back on.

7:20 PM – He goes back downstairs and the monitor is promptly turned off again. He goes upstairs and takes it out of her room.

7:25 PM – After refusing to go the night without a monitor, I go back upstairs and set it up outside of her door, hoping we will at least hear her if she gets out of the room. While I am setting it up, I hear a loud fumbling with the doorknob and a small, pathetic little voice saying,  “I need some help with the door.”
I go into the room and lay with Reese until 7: 50 PM. She babbles for thirty minutes next to me in the bed. Some snippets from this convo with herself include “I eat ALL the chocolate chips”, “We allllllllll sleeping in the bed”, and “Where’s the Mama monkey?” When I tell her I am going to leave she wraps her arms around my neck and pleads for me to sleep in the bed with her. My heart is ripped from my chest.

7:58 PM – I leave the room after succumbing to requests for more books and following instructions on which stuffed animals should be put in the bed with her. She also throws her pillow at me and says “no pillow!” There are a few moans, a little crying, and then when I get back downstairs we hear silence through the monitor. Silence is the scariest thing to hear. I don’t know if there is silence because she’s actually being quiet and settling down, or if we just can’t hear her through the door. We hear various other bumps and thumps over the next hour or so, but no crying, so we are good.

10 PM – I peek into the room to find Reese asleep in the bed, on top of all the covers, using her Elmo as a pillow. Victory.

I feel that we got off pretty easy that first night. The second night was similar to the first, except with the monitor being taken from the room, she focused her attention on her CD player. She kept turning up the volume and blasting her nursery rhymes until they echoed through our house.

Now, the novelty of the room seems to have worn off and she usually just goes right to sleep after stories. She does wake up in the night sometimes, which she never did before, and scares the crap out of me when she shows up next to my bed, two inches from my face; but it doesn’t happen too often. When it does, she refuses my offers to come into our bed and insists that I lay with her in the “big girl bed.”  And so I roll myself out of bed, flop onto the mattress on the floor and snuggle up with Reese, all three Elmos, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Nahla, Froggy and the Octopus until she is able to drift off to sleep again.


2 thoughts on “Big Girl Beds

  1. Ah, yes yes yes! Sooo making my partner read this tonight. Our twins turned two a few months ago and she’s pushing me to “rip off the bandaid” and transition to toddler beds. I’m not ready. I still haven’t recovered fully from the first 6 months of sleepless nights. I’m not ready to revisit that. I know we’ll have to do it eventually, but…just another year, please?

  2. I hear you! Reese had just started sleeping really late in her crib (like 9 AM!) and it killed me to mess with that! She usually only wakes up once in the night, which I guess isn’t bad compared to when she was a baby, but its still killing me!

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