Jun 3, 2011

"Is Cara in a big girl bed yet?"

People ask me this all the time, and I am usually slightly embarrassed to give my answer, but here it is:  Cara still sleeps in her crib.  When I say this, people generally react with admonishment.  "It's dangerous if she climbs out and falls!"  To this, I say that she has not even tried to climb out yet, and then I typically hear, "But you don't know when she'll try to do it in the middle of the night!"


Is it bad that I want to keep her in her crib for as long as possible?  I have toyed with the idea of moving her to a toddler bed, but then I try to imagine how that scene would play out.  Would she stay in her bed?   I'm sure she would...sometimes.  Would she get up in the middle of the night and roam around the house?  Probably.  I'm guessing she would jump at the chance to steal my make up and jewelry (she's all girl, this one.  I catch her trying to do this in broad daylight all the time).  And of course, I have safety concerns.  My pediatrician has warned us several times about finding toddlers on the front porch at all hours of the night, and my friend Laura has found her son (who is a few months younger than Cara) taking the dog for a walk right out the front door. 

How do you prevent this?  Just close the bedroom door?  Is that mean?  Will it create irrational fears of being locked in with monsters in the dark? 

I think my primary reason for keeping Cara in her crib is a selfish one.  I like my nighttime sleep.  Cara doesn't fuss about getting in her crib to go to bed, and if she wakes up in the middle of the night, there's nothing for her to do except go back to sleep.  I don't really want to wake up in the middle of the night to those little toddler eyes staring at me as she says "Mommmmeeeee, come on!" 

Is it time to bite the bullet?  How exactly do we do this anyway?


  1. If she's still sleeping good in a crib (safely), I don't see any rush to move her out, if you don't want to. Jude on the other hand, started climbing out when he was a little over a year old. We had to transition. He did start roaming, but usually just to our bed. We finally got a door knob cover to put on his room at night to keep him safely in there. It was $3 well spent and he is now sleeping very well in a big-boy bed:)

  2. Oh, by the way...Jude actually fell out a few times before we got the chance to do the toddler bed thing and he was fine. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Everything is dangerous for a toddler!

  3. I wouldn't be in a hurry. If everyone is happy, why mess? Things happen in their own time.

    Once you do decide to switch, it's really not as crazy as it seems. If it's dark, she's not gonna be able to rummage through anything, right? But yes, the doors do get shut to prevent easy escape...I mean...danger. Yes, shut to prevent danger :)

    But until you're both ready, don't rush it!

  4. Don't sweat it, hun. Take your time, but realize that most of the fears that you just relayed are both common and not ever going to happen. Does Cara try to put her head in the oven while it is on? OK, so there are some things that she perfectly understands she is not to do. As long as you make it clear to her that she is to stay in her bed at night, she will. She has no history of ever doing anything at night besides sleeping in one place and calling for you if she needs something. That will be more than likely the pattern she continues to follow. You guys are great parents and of course, you should worry about screwing your kids up..but this won't be how you do it. And we all do it.

    Love you guys, see you in a couple of weeks!

  5. Mine didn't go into a toddler bed until she was almost three because she wasn't climbing out either. Turned out she generally doesnt get out of bed and the fact that she never tried to climb out means she is probably not too worried about it.

    One word of advice. Skip the toddler bed and get her a twin or double right away. Lila fell out of the toddler bed most nights.

  6. We left Little Miss in a crib until she started climbing out of it. And tons of children climb out of cribs all of the time without getting hurt. We bolt our doors to go outside at night, but we don't close the door to her room. She wouldn't be ok with that - it's probably one of those individual child decision things!

  7. You will probably face the same fears no matter when you switch her to a big bed. That said, do it when you are ready. We put up a baby gate in our hallway at the top of the stairs and door locks on all doors but his and ours. That way all he can do is come to our room. Can't fall down the stairs, get into trouble in the bathroom, or wander aimlessly around the house. It would depend on how your house is set up but this works very well for us.

    Good luck!

  8. I'm definitely no expert, but if she's happy in there and not trying to do anything dangerous, I'd say keep doing what works.

    If and when she tries to climb and falls out, then you'll know it's time for a change. (and most likely, she'll be totally fine from such a little fall.)

    But yes, sleep is a treasured thing :)

  9. it is SUCH a personal choice * * I have 3 little girls; they have all ramped up in big girl rooms at their own pace ... * u'll know when it's time, mama * my secret weapon is a gate snug in the doorway of the bedroom so there is no roaming thru the nite in the early stages ;)

  10. Don't rush it! You're not ready and that's so normal! We switched Jackson to his big boy bed last night and it's been a little bit of a headache. He got up twice last night and then got up and woke Emmy at 6:15 when she usually sleeps until 7:15 or so. Tonight we threatened to put the gate on his door and he said, Yes! So there's a gate on there, he went to sleep on his own and we haven't heard a peep. Maybe he just misses being confined?

    Anyway, it's a headache. Don't rush it!

  11. Hey! Giada is over 2 years old and we have yet to move her. She is perfectly content being in her crib and I too enjoy my night sleep routine! :) We plan to move her when we view it as a concern or when she learns to be an acrobat and get out of the crib. PS- Cara is so cute!


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