Let Him Be Little: Why We're Not Rushing Out of the Crib

When we got pregnant the second time around and found out that our children would be about 20 months apart, all sorts of questions swirled through my head. Mostly about sleep: Do we move Eli to a big boy bed? Do I transition him to a toddler bed first? Do I just use the guest bed with a noodle or something in it? Or should I just keep the crib? Do we have them share a room so we can keep the guest room? Or maybe just shove a crib in the guest room and let one of them sleep in there?

See, a lot of questions.

Let's just get to the nitty gritty, I'm terrified to get rid of the crib. I really, really love having Eli sleep in a crib - I mean, here are the pros: He's contained, doesn't try to climb out of it (yet), will give me about a 1/2 hour of crib time in the morning in it, still fits in it comfortably even though he's pretty tall for his age, and the biggest and most important reason? He sleeps like a rock star in it (most nights) and still gives me 2-3 hour naps in the afternoon in it.

The cons? Saving money by not having to purchase a second crib, and potentially getting to keep the guest room if he can learn to sleep in a queen bed.
Ultimately, the pros of the crib won. I had heard enough horror stories about transitioning children to "big kid beds" that I just didn't want to mess with it. We ended up going with the cheapo Ikea crib and I'm already just as happy with it as I am with our more expensive Babyletto Hudson crib (the one pictured above). We also went with a cheaper mattress and mattress protector than we had before (second kid problems), but again, so far, we've been really happy with everything. In the end for us, spending about $160 bucks is totally worth our sleep.

As far as separating them into two rooms, for all of the pros I listed above, both Mike and I felt strongly that they were separated. We hope to have Colette sleeping in her nursery around five weeks like we did with Eli, and again, we value our own sleep so much that we'll do anything to try to give them both the best "sleep oasis" possible to encourage lots of it.  

Originally I was planning on just adding the new crib to the guest room and having Eli sleep in there - he doesn't need a changing table or glider or anything any more, so we thought that'd be easiest - but as it turned out, it was physically impossible to fit both a crib and a queen bed in the guest room. Well, you could do it, but you wouldn't be able to open the closet door, or, in another arrangement, you'd have to vault the crib to get into bed every night ... not ideal. Or really physically possible. So the guest bed went on-loan to a family member, and the entire room went to full-on toddler.

While I was so, so sad to see Eli's nursery go since I worked so hard on it, it's been super fun to work on two new kiddo rooms! Over the next few posts I'll be sharing both their rooms. I was on a massive budget while decorating them, and really the mantra was "reuse, reuse, reuse - or make for free," so while there are lots of things I would have liked to do, I had to reign my dreams in, which was actually a really good decorating challenge for me. I'm excited to show you all how both rooms turned out!

I'm curious to hear what those of you who have two plus kiddos did when another arrived. When will you/did you transition your child from crib to bed? How did it turn out? What impacted your decision?

12 comments:

  1. We just transitioned Lewis to his "big boy bed" this week, and it's gone 1000% better than I expected! At night he has stayed there without any problem. We've only had to go in once when he rolled out onto the protective pillows below. Something that seemed to help was not making a big deal out of it, and not planting a bunch of ideas in his head of things he shouldn't do, like "don't leave your bed!" The hardest thing has been naps :-(. He was already getting sketchy, and now it's nearly impossible to get him to lay down during rest time instead of playing in his room. I am all for leaving children in cribs as long as you need / want to! The only reason we switched was because it was getting to be too much to have 3 pack n plays for sleeping at someone else's house. We are going on vacation in February, and we want him to just sleep in a bed instead of needing a special crib. Can't wait to see the official reveal!!'

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  2. Rachel Rebecca RohdeJanuary 22, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Our first two boys are 17 months and we did the 2 crib thing as well. And loved it! Our oldest seamlessly transitioned to toddler bed (crib with the side off) at 2 years old and then a regular twin mattress on a very low floor frame at about 28 months. Boy #2 and #3 will be about 20 months apart and both in cribs. I agree with all your pros related to going the 2 crib route, and I think because we waited till Judah was ready to transition it went so much smoother. Our boys started sharing a room when Gideon turned one. It was rocky for a few weeks at first and we even went back to separate rooms for a couple weeks till Gideon got the whole sleeping through the night thing figured out. Now they both sleep like champs and will sleep through pretty much anything.

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  3. My daughter is 18 months old. We don't have a second child yet but are planning on starting to try very soon. Our house has 3 bedrooms. Mine and my husband's bedroom, my daughter's bedroom, and the guest bedroom which is down in the finished basement. When we do have a second kid I would love for each kid to have their own room, so that everyone sleeps. But obviously I can't have my toddler down in the basement alone. So they will have to share a room. I am agonizing over it already and there is no second kid! We plan on having second kid in our room with us in the Rock 'N Play for a while. Then move the Rock 'N Play into our daughter's bedroom, and keep first kid in her crib. Once she's able to crawl out of said crib, then we'll transition her to a toddler bed and transition second kid to the crib. But really, who the hell knows. This plan could blow up in my face. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO SLEEP ALL NIGHT. :)

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  4. Believe me- sleep is one of THE most important things to me, I totally get where you are coming from! But Eli is a great sleeper. It may take him a little time (read: training), but he will be a great sleeper in a "big boy" bed too! If you are not ready don't do it, but it *might* not be as bad as you think...
    Oh, and "room time" is a great replacement for "crib time". C even suggests that he needs his "room time" if I forget or was not planning on doing it that day.

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  5. Glad to hear about your experience! I'm glad to hear it was a good one since you waited, I'm so hoping that makes our transition easier as well. If/when we have a third, I definitely plan on having one of them share. I'm so happy it's all turned out well for you - I'm always amazed by how much kids can really sleep through when we give them the chance! ;)

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  6. Oh good! I didn't realized you'd transitioned him! Good tip about not making a big deal of it - I can see that being important with any transition with a child. And yes, three pack n'plays is a lot! I was even thinking it'd be nice to "semi-train" Eli - so when we travel, he could sleep on the floor/bed with no problem and not need a pack!

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  7. I totally agonized over it before Colette too! I'm so with you - EVERYONE SLEEP ALL THE TIME! :) I've heard that most kids share rooms better than their parent's ever expected, so hopefully it goes will with you. I think you have a good plan in place! Already, I speak from experience that Eli sleeps AMAZINGLY well through Colette crying. Granted, there's a sound machine and a door - but she can be right outside it, crying away and Eli doesn't even move. I think most kids are tougher with sounds than we give them credit for. :)

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  8. Thanks for the encouragement! I think he could likely do it too, but I think I'm just being lazy. :) I love hearing that C suggests room time! That's adorable, I wish Eli requested it! Maybe we'll get there ... !

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  9. Mine are 20 months apart and we left my son in his crib and I'm not ashamed to say that at almost 3 he is still in it :) It has made having 2 littles so easy on us knowing that they will both sleep like little rocks in their beds. My son is fully potty trained and if he has to go at night he will just holler for us so it didn't slow that process at all! He doesn't mind and I too am not willing to mess with sleep. We are switching him soon and I feel like he can comprehend and follow instructions so well now that it won't be too bad! We did ditch the pack n play on trips and he has always stayed put and done great.

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  10. My babes will be 15 months apart once our second arrives in April and like you I debated over transitioning my daughter into a toddler bed before the littlest arrives, but decided cribs keep them contained longer, she sleeps amazingly in it, and mama needs her sanity! We live in a 2 bedroom condo so they will share a room once we transition the littlest from the bassinet into a crib, and I am crossing my fingers they sleep beautifully in the same room. Everybody sleep, all the time please! :) My biggest dilemma has been to double stroller or not!

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  11. Good for you Ali! Sounds like it's worked really well for your family to keep them both in cribs. Sleep is the best!

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  12. I hear kiddos usually do really well sharing a room - better than we give them credit for. I'm always amazed at how well Eli sleeps through Colette's crying right now. On the stroller note, I have to say, we love our double! We have the baby jogger city select double, and it was worth every penny. Works as a double or a single, so it's super flexible no matter the stage/age!

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