First night in a Big Boy Bed! – 23 months

We did it! We have made the move from cot to bed and so far all has gone pretty smoothly!

We talked about making the transition a few months ago, and felt perhaps that neither Monkey, nor Daddy and I were quite ready for it. Then I fell pregnant and the problems with my pelvis started to flare up. With a new baby going to be needing the cot at some point we wanted to make the transition far enough in advance that Monkey wouldn’t feel pushed out of his cot. But then with my pelvis problems meaning that I shouldn’t lift him very often, if at all, we know we really should make the transition even earlier.

A while ago we bought his bed in the sale and he had really liked it in the shop. Keen to involve him in the process we took him shopping to buy some bedding, even though I had an idea of what to get him. A lot of the soft furnishings in his room are already matching, with a lovely cloud pattern which he adores, so I hoped that buying the same range of bedding would attract him to it.

We weren’t sure whether to ease the transition by having both cot and bed in the room for a while, or to go cold turkey and take the cot out straight away. In the hopes that it would make it easier, we did the former. He liked his bed immediately and cuddled up with his bedsheet – though he hated the duvet and pillow and wanted nothing to do with them! We will worry about those at a later stage I think! Too much all at once.

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But even though he liked his bed and lay down on it, as soon as it was nap or night time, he would get off the bed and try and get in the cot. A week of this and we realised that he would never sleep in his bed while his cot was in the room. Which makes sense really, but we were nervous of his reaction to us taking his cot away so we waited until the Easter weekend, when we had a good stretch of hubby being off work, in case we had a few sleepless nights!

Good Friday was the day. After his nap, hubby dismantled the cot and put it away, moving his bed to the position his cot was in, and hanging the little cot pockets that used to be on his cot, onto the end of his bed. I know this seems to be a weird position, but has always slept with his head by the door, and well, why not if it makes him happy?

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Anyway, we had talked about how best to go about it should things not go smoothly and he not stay in bed. I always liked watching Supernanny on TV and while I don’t agree 100% with everything she says, I do like her common sense approach to things, so we have Jo Frost’s book on Confident Toddler Care and looked to see what her advice was. We ended up using her stay in bed technique.

Basically you follow your normal routine, and put them in bed. When they get out of bed, you say ‘bedtime darling’ and put them back. The next time it is simply a firm ‘bedtime’ as you put them back. After that you put them back in bed with no contact whatsoever. No talking, no eye contact, no form of communication. And so on until they eventually give up.

We felt this was definitely worth a try, so hubby took him for bath and bed as normal. Monkey was really excited about his bed being in the place of his cot as soon as he got upstairs, and didn’t even want his bath! Very unusual but we wanted to use his excitement if we could. Hubby did at all as planned and followed the technique to the letter, and you know what, it worked amazingly!

Monkey got out of bed 5 times, then resigned himself to it and stayed put, and stayed put all night long! He can be seriously stubborn sometimes so this really did surprise us! He even slept in a little late in the morning, bonus! We were concerned nap times may suffer, but nope the next day he went straight down for his nap and slept really well!! Hooray!!! The same happened that night.

In hindsight, we probably “should”/could have done it cold turkey, but in the end this worked so well I think because of the preparation and I think the technique really helped too. Either way all is well that ends well and our little boy is growing up! Bless him!

So, while this was a very special event, it will now be a very ordinary moment, a real sign he is not our little baby any more!


Ethans Escapades

52 thoughts on “First night in a Big Boy Bed! – 23 months

  1. I might need to get that book!!! When we moved to H to his bed it was so bittersweet. I loved looking at him in his grown up bed, but then it felt like I had closed the door on his little days. Glad Monkey has settled well xxx

    • It is quite helpful actually! I know what you mean, it is weird for him not to be in his little cot anymore! xx

  2. What a lovely big boy bedroom and love the Lighting McQueen pillow. Buba has that too. Way to go on the transition. I was so worried when I just recently did Buba’s but I think our kids are better adaptors then the parents at them growing up! lol Happy Easter #ordinarymoments

    • Thank you, lol I think you’re right, they always take to things so much easier than we think they will! Aww it’s a great pillow isn’t it? Monkey loves driving him all over the walls! xx

  3. Bless him, he sounds like he is doing so so well in his big boy bed. I was so worried about it when we changed Mads over and we did it quite late, she was about two and a half. Bizarrely she has never once tried to get out. She still shouts for us after her nap and in the morning to get her. I have no idea how we managed it but I hope that we can do the same with LL. I bet she will be a monkey though! x

    • He is doing so well! I don’t blame you for waiting, I think we would have too, but they always cope better than we think somehow don’t they? I’m sure LL will surprise you too šŸ™‚ xx

  4. I’m so pleased to have read this: only today we have spoken about putting bear into a big boy bed soon but worry how he will adapt & if he’d even stay put! We’ve got the super nanny book also, & like you i don’t agree 100% with everything, but i do think she speaks a lot of sense! & reading it’s a little like therapy! Xx

    • Aww really? that is good timing then!! It is a bit like therapy isn’t it? When you’re struggling with something and not sure what to do, reading her common sense approach can really calm me down! Best of luck when you do make the move with bear! xx

  5. Wow that’s brilliant. Well done Monkey. He looks very pleased with his new bed doesn’t he? šŸ™‚ z hated pillows for ages but now loves them and is forever stealing pillow space when he gets into bed with us. He still kicks off duvets though!

    • Lol, it’s funny how they have their ways isn’t it? i think Monkey just gets too hot for duvets, he always was a hot baby! xx

  6. Glad to hear the strategy worked out – I wanted to make sure that JJ’s bed was along the same wall as the cot had been and I bought a drop down bed guard and even put the cot bumper (as best I could) around the head of his toddler bed. He was always fine in there. EJ will be a different story as he will just have to fit in (he’s still in with me in a cot!). It is definitely heavy lifting them into a cot when they get big and heavy! Next step for us will be buying bunk beds! X #magicmoments

    • Thank you, it was such a relief and he loves it in there now! Phew! Aww bunk beds, so cute, I love the idea of bunk beds! xx

  7. yay welldone!!… Its such a anxious time moving from a Secure Cot to a wide open Bed, but one which im sure he’ll love. Ive only had Cotbeds for my boys, so when the time came their cot transformed into a bed by removing the sides and replacing the footend for a shorter in height one, so its always been they cot and they use to it šŸ™‚ #MagicMoments

    • Thank you! In hindsight I wish we had got a cotbed, but then we never thought Monkey would be as tall as he was, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Just happy it worked out so well in the end! xx

  8. Thank you for sharing. You must be proud of him. I’m also at the point of deciding whether to put monkey in a big bed. I’ve been too scared of the sleepless nights – and of the fact he’s turning into a big boy now. But having seen that it can be a fairly painless transition, think I might have to bite the bullet! #magicmoments

    • Oh you’re welcome, happy to help in some small way! We have been very pleasantly surprised as we had the same fears as you! They do always manage to cope with these things better than we think though somehow and as long as you prepare for it and make it fun for him, but also prepare for the eventually that he does get out of bed, then you will be fine and it definitely can be fairly painless! xx

    • Thanks Rosie! Ah yeah, I guess that you would, we probably should have anyway, but it’s difficult to know what to do for the best sometimes! xx

    • They really do, need to give them the benefit of the doubt more I think! Oh wow, another big transistion but I’m sure he’ll love it – hope it goes well! xx

    • They really do, aww bless well there’s no rush but hopefully she’ll love it when you do do it šŸ™‚ xx

  9. Wow he really did well with the move. I love supernanny but it doesn’t work well in our house. We still have to co-sleep with Ethan but it’s all part of autism, I would love to know Jo’s advice on that one ;0) Big boy bed really is a big step and a sign of growing up.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    • He did really well, we are so proud of him! Lol, yeah things aren’t so straightforward with autism are they, at least not in the same way. Thanks for hosting as always! xx

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