One day after my two-year-old daughter Collyns was “napping,” I found her in her hamper next to her crib. I realized it was time to transition her crib into a toddler bed. This transition was easy for my son. He has no problem sleeping in his toddler bed. So, on a Sunday night, I decided it was time. I took the side railing off her crib and attached the guard rail, thinking that this move wouldn’t be a big deal. Boy was I wrong!
Collyns was never good at falling asleep in her crib at night. She would always need to fall asleep on the couch, and then I would move her to her crib. I don’t know why I thought this transition would be easy.
The first couple of nights, we would follow a routine: bath, brush teeth, book, then bed. I would reassure her that she was a big girl and that she needed to sleep in her big girl bed like her brother.
Every night, she would cry, get out of her bed and bang on the door. This went on for several hours. Every ten minutes, I would go into her room, lay her back down, and try to calm her down. Once it hit 1 a.m., I gave up! I let her sleep in mommy’s bed next to daddy, and I went downstairs to the guest room.
This lasted for a good three to four days.
Next, I tried letting her fall asleep on the couch and moving her into her bed later that evening. Every time, she woke up screaming the moment her head hit the pillow. So back into my bed and downstairs I went.
I even tried leaving her on the couch with a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor…just in case she would roll off. But around 3 a.m., I found her back in my room.
I tried the “crying it out” method, but boy is she strong-willed. She outlasted me night after night. Maybe I should have continued letting her cry, but I was tired and had work in the morning, and I needed sleep.
We’ve tried getting her a night light, leaving the door open, and having her sleep on my bedroom floor so I could sleep in my own bed—I was at my breaking point! She took naps fine by herself in her bed, but when it came to sleeping at night alone in her bed, she wasn’t interested.
Finally, I thought we overcame the bedtime struggle! It was bedtime, and I told Collyns that she needed to go to bed. After arguing with a 2-year-old, she finally came in and said, “Okay, Mommy…me tired.”
So down the hall she went, and she didn’t want my help. Then 30 minutes later, I hear…SILENCE! I thought to myself “Oh my goodness! She finally went to bed by herself.” Well, that was wishful thinking. I was ready to go to sleep, and what do I see in my bed? Collyns asleep on the pillow.
Yes, she went to bed by herself without kicking and screaming, but she picked the wrong bed to sleep in. I didn’t try moving her. I slept next to her while my husband slept downstairs.
I’m glad she realized that she was tired and put herself to bed, so I consider that a success! But transitioning to her big girl bed is still an ongoing process. #mommysfailing #ineedsleep
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!