Transition Rewind: Toddler Beds and Room Sharing

We’ve been making changes in our house the past couple of months to prepare for baby #3. Of course, my husband would say it’s just my nesting instincts kicking in, which is true. In one afternoon I hung six pictures, cleaned out my son’s closet, and shopped for an outdoor rug. I then moved onto bigger projects including buying my preschooler a twin bed to free up a crib for the baby. Well, after a month of patiently waiting for it to arrive while my son asked to see a picture of it every day, it finally got here! Naturally, we had to set it up ASAP.

Now, my intention was to let my older son get used to the transition from toddler bed to twin bed BEFORE we moved my two boys into the same room. However, my easy going husband said, “Let’s just put them both in here tonight.” My mama heart cried a bit because I hadn’t prepared myself for that change (plus I’m pregnant so obviously I had to shed a few tears). Also, they already share so much, and I kind of wanted to give them a couple more months of individuality. Alas, I was outvoted though, and in one fell swoop my preschooler went to a twin bed, my toddler went from crib to toddler bed, and they started sharing a room for the first time ever. (If you don’t include their experience during our pandemic vacation.) Sounds like a greeeeat idea, right? Here’s how it went:

The first night, we put them down at 7:30 PM. My very obedient preschooler stayed in his bed, and my rebel toddler got up at least 3-4 times with his older brother happily tattling on him every time. At about 9:00 they were finally both in bed but still chatting until 9:30 when they gave into their tiredness. 

The first nap together the next day was a nightmare. The toddler would not stay in his bed, the preschooler was encouraging him to bring him books, and the chorus of “but I’m not tired” was neverending. Nobody slept. Everyone had meltdowns the rest of the day. It was great. 

The second night was better. Only one toddler exit from the bed, and they fell asleep about 8:30. At this point, I was naively optimistic. 

The second nap was a complete nightmare again. The third nap was a complete nightmare. See how this is trending? 

I finally made the executive decision to let my toddler keep his “new” bed (aka my preschooler’s old toddler bed), BUT we were going to put the crib side back up. My husband let my toddler help him do this which actually got him excited about a “new” bed again. And, hallelujah, that night they were both asleep within 10 minutes. 

The nap the fourth day was VERY short, but at least my toddler fell asleep. As I’m writing this, they are both in their room for naptime discussing banana phones and baby beluga, so we’ll see if they sleep. If they don’t, please send coffee and chocolate….and Friday. 

Why am I even telling you this? I really wanted to share another real life motherhood instance where things don’t go exactly like you envisioned. It’s okay to backtrack and change your mind. It’s okay if your kid doesn’t handle something well – that probably just means it was too much change at once or they weren’t ready for it. Heck, after a year in a pandemic something as small as walking into a store can feel like the biggest change in the world. And PSA – I’m not perfect so why should I expect that from anyone else, let alone my kids.

For now, I’m embracing the fact that they are having quality bonding time knowing it’s still three months until the new baby gets here, and if we have a few cranky afternoons there’s a new show on PBS Kids called ‘Donkey Hodie’ to binge watch. 

All kidding aside, I’ve never been one to dive into literature telling parents the “right” time for transitions for kids. If that gives you direction and peace of mind, great! It actually gives me more worry. If I’ve learned anything during my almost 4 years as a mom, it’s that no two kids are the same – even brothers who are 20 months apart, and most of the time you’ll have an instinct when your kid is ready for the next step. For us, we weren’t ready for a toddler bed, and that’s okay. I don’t know of any teenagers who sleep in cribs, so we’ll get there eventually. You live and you learn. 

Hugs, good vibes, and lots of caffeine to all of you parents tackling a change especially during this crazy time we’re living in. It’s not easy, but find peace knowing whatever decision you are making is the right one for your family – don’t doubt that! 💕

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