Georgia at a birthday party

What not to do when you move to a big girl bed

This week we decided to take a leap of faith.

We decided it was time to take the side off of Georgia’s cot and turn it into a toddler bed.

From a selfish point of view I was starting to find it difficult to put her in bed easily or kiss her goodnight without nearly toppling in.

You see, she made me feel like she was ready. She lulled me into a false sense of security after behaving beautifully for a few days. She’s listening to instructions more and even sits in the time out corner and can say sorry for bad behaviour.

So she could handle having a big girl bed right?

Some toddlers don’t even realise that they can get in and out of the bed so surely this would be a doddle. It would be a dream in fact.

Boy were we stupid.

Our first night was awful.

Georgia at a birthday party

Not a foolproof method

You see, I’m a bit of an idiot. I decided that it was also a good time to ditch the bottle and change her bedtime routine at the same time. I can see your eyebrows raised at me asking “Why do I do these stupid things to myself?” as well as “well, you bought this on yourself”. Yes. Yes I did.

It was that false sense of security that made me feel like she could do anything! It’s amazing what stupid decisions you make after you’ve had your first full night’s sleep in a while.

But, my lesson has been learnt the hard way. Never make snap decisions based on a couple of good days/nights. Sleep on it for at least 2 weeks. Judge the good with the bad and the ugly. Think about the consequences. Definitely do not start it on a Sunday.

When we first tried to put her to bed, it was all just a bit too exciting. Getting into the bed, getting out of the bed. Throwing bunny on the floor, moaning that bunny was on the floor.

She then refused to even dignify me with an attempt to put her head down. It got to the point where I wasn’t even bothered by her head not being on the pillow. I just wanted her to stay in the flippin’ bed.

Supernanny – I am not

After watching countless hours of Supernanny before having Georgia, I always chortled at the bedtime routine parts. “That’s so simple, I could do that”.

Pre-child me was a buffoon. She knew nothing of parenting. Nothing. Non-parents seldom do and I was blissfully unaware and cherishing a full night’s sleep every night. I often think it’s like someone saying they can walk on a tightrope wire because you’ve seen someone else do it on TV. Just walking in a straight line right?

I tried Supernanny’s technique of sitting in the middle of the room, replacing her whenever she got up without talking to her, but she didn’t even give me time to sit down.

She was unrelenting in her pursuit to get up. That girl is fierce and stubborn. She also doesn’t really want me touching her as she’s going to sleep so the whole ‘pat her on the back till she drifts off to sleep’ thing doesn’t really float her boat. It just annoys her – or she tries to tap you back which is cute but defeats the purpose.

After thinking that it had worked, I left the room and went downstairs… except it didn’t take her long to run to her door and open it having discovered a new and fun game. Luckily a stair gate is on her door.

My very short fuse was then lit as I tried the “voice of God” aka the 2 way monitor to get her to lie down. That worked for a short time and I chuckled at how easy that part was, watching her waddle back to bed as fast as she could.

She then slowly edged her way out again and I felt more like Big Brother as I commanded her to get back in bed again. She started to ignore me.

So, I tried a bit of anger. She found that hilarious and giggled away. There’s nothing worse when you’re feeling frustrated than someone laughing in your face. Especially if they’re small, adorable and the cause of your frustration.

In the end, after MANY bottles of milk, she fell asleep. Or more accurately, passed out in her bed at 8:30pm.

That’s not too bad really considering she went to bed at 6pm and it could have been a LOT worse.

I won’t be winning any parenting awards anytime soon, but we all just do what we can to get by.

Bump in the night

The second night was much improved but came with its own problems. After she boasted to nursery staff about her ‘big girl bed’, she went to bed with little trouble as she was incredibly tired…

It may also have to do with the fact that her big girl bed was the only difference to her usual routine. I’d learnt my lesson from day 1.

She then woke at about 8.30pm having fallen out of bed with an almighty thud and a cry that left her shuddering from shock for ages. Yet more cuddles and milk was guzzled and back to the land of nod she went.

With a few bumps along the way, I’m hoping that we’ve made the transition albeit foolishly.

If I were to do it again, I’d change a few things:

  • Keep routine the same
  • Make sure she’s really tired so puts up little fight (pah!)
  • Do NOT start this on a Sunday night
  • Come up with a plan on what I’d do to put her back to bed and stick to it
  • Just keep her in her cot till she’s 18… it’s totally not worth it.

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