By Nicole Fabian-Weber
One kid milestone that is not so fun for a parent is making the crib-to-bed switch. Sure, it's great once your toddler is in the bed, but the actual process of switching can be a struggle (hello, sleepless nights!). Since there's no right way to get your little one into a big kid bed, we asked seven mamas the creative ways they made the crib-to-bed switch. Each technique is very different, but one just might work for you!
I Didn’t Tell My Daughter
"I know it sounds insane, but my daughter started climbing out of her crib at around 20 months. For her safety, we needed to get her out of her crib, but she wanted to hear none of that. Luckily, she was still falling asleep with a bottle, though. One night, after she'd fallen asleep in my arms, I placed her in her toddler bed and she never even knew!" -- Ella M., mom of a 4-year-old girl
I Bribed My Kid
"Cheap, I know, but with my second, I told her she could have a red bike like her sister's if she started sleeping in a big girl bed. It was a rocky few first days, but in the end, totally worked out!" -- Kristen G., mom of 3- and 6-year-old girls
I Did It With Him
"It actually wasn't all that tricky for us. I simply had to lay with my son each night until he fell asleep, and then, I'd sneak out. Of course, he woke up in the middle of the night a few times, but we got him in a bed!" -- Julie R., mom of an 8-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy
I Gave Her Some New "Friends"
"We made it a whole event! I took my daughter to the store and let her pick out whatever bedding she wanted, along with a bunch of stuffed animals -- AKA, 'friends' who would protect her at night. The first week or so was tough, but in the end, it wound up working -- and she still sleeps with those stuffed animals!" -- Alexis L., mom of a 5-year-old girl
I Talked It Up
"With both of my kids, I talked it up a ;really ;long time in advance to get them super excited about it. I made it seem like the greatest thing ever, so they'd want to sleep in a bed. But when they'd ask, I'd say, 'Nope, not yet!' So, by the time the day came around, they were champing at the bit to get in a bed! They thought it was amazing!" -- Alison T., mom of a 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl
I Put Them in a Bed Together
"My oldest daughter was hard to get in a bed, but with my second, I just put her in bed with her older sister when she was ready. They loved having a 'sleepover' every night, and they wake each other up in the middle of the night instead of me!" -- Ilene P., mom of 6- and 3-year-old girls
I Dangled a Carrot
"There was a toy my son wanted for a long time -- and I bought it. The catch? He had to sleep in a big boy bed -- or at least try -- for five days in a row. Talk about motivation!" -- Jess L., mom of a 3-year-old boy
What do you think is the best way to switch your toddler from crib to a big kid bed?
Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a sweet toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.