First, some cute pictures:
Feel happier now? I know I do.
I guess it was about 10 days ago when we decided that we'd convert Mira's crib into a toddler bed. Basically, all you do is take one side off the crib and, TA DA, toddler bed.
I had been delaying this transition because Mira was sleeping SO well in her crib and she hadn't shown any signs of trying to climb out. My attitude was: why mess with a good thing? What ultimately changed my mind was that we are starting to think seriously about potty training and I wanted Mira to have the ability to get herself to the potty if she woke up and needed to go. So I thought we should make the transition to the big girl bed before we go serious on the potty training.
So we did it on a Saturday morning so that Brian would be home with me to help if things got hairy. I suspected that maybe things would go smoothly, but mentally I was preparing myself for the worst. Most of Mira's friends have already moved to toddler beds and in some cases it was pretty rough: kids crying at the door, refusing to take naps altogether, up hours past bed time, finally falling asleep on the floor, etc. But I had hopes that Mira's transition would be easier for several reasons: 1) We weren't changing much: her routine was all still the same, her bedding was all still there, the only difference was that one side of her crib was gone and instead we had a gate at her bedroom door. 2) We had talked to Mira about it for a few days before doing the transition and we told her that big girls stayed in bed all night all by themselves, talking up the whole experience until she was really excited about it. I also explained the gate at her door, telling her it was there to keep her safe. And 3) Mira's personality is not typically one to push the boundaries much; she'll usually go along easily even in new situations.
On that Saturday morning, Brian took the side off Mira's crib, and Mira "helped". She wanted to sleep in it right away, but it wasn't nap time yet. So we enjoyed our morning and then at nap time, she was very excited to get in her bed, saying "Do it SELF!" Her nap was shorter than normal (one and a half hours instead of two), but otherwise went smoothly. She didn't get out of bed until we came to get her up. Even after she woke up, she didn't get out of bed until we came into her room and told her it was ok to get out of bed now.
And that's the way it's been ever since. It's been 10 days and her naps are a little shorter still, but her overnight sleep is about the same. She always stays in her bed, even if she's having a hard time falling asleep. She hasn't even fallen out of bed in her sleep, which I was a little worried about. And she often reminds us to put the gate up at her door as we're leaving her room ("Gate up please!"), so obviously she's comfortable with that. When I go to get her up in the morning, I often tell her how proud I am that she slept in her big girl bed all night. The most trouble she's given us is that now sometimes her baby doll falls out of the bed and if that happens, she whines really loudly until someone comes in to put her baby back in her bed (she won't get out of bed to get it herself and honestly I'm not too inclined to encourage her to do it herself because I'm afraid that could open a can of worms). But we've gotten around that by tucking the baby in under the covers and then tucking the covers into the side of the mattress to hold baby in.
I've heard that sometimes it takes a couple weeks for them to figure out that they can get out of bed when they're not supposed to and so you'll hit a hiccup at some point where you'll have to give them some direction for when they're up during the night. So I'm waiting for that shoe to drop, but so far it hasn't. If/when it does, I think I'll try something like what one of my mommy friends has done and tell her that it's ok to get a couple books off of her bookshelf and take those to her bed to read while she falls asleep.
But anyway, for now, it's going great and I'm so proud of her. Here's a picture of her first nap in her big girl bed.