The Toddler Bed Upgrade
Bye-bye crib days!
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Why We Switched
Backtracking to Mason's check-up with his Pediatrician in Let's Catch Up, she also recommended we transition him over to a toddler bed. Her concern was that Mason would figure out how to climb out of his crib sooner than later, and having him in a toddler bed would lessen the risk of serious injury. Luckily, Mason's crib converts to a toddler bed, and we already had the rail piece. After B removed the crib rail and installed the toddler rail, we introduced Mason to his new toddler bed.
He was both smiley and skeptical. He realized this new freedom as soon as he climbed in and out of bed. We explained to Mason that we understood this was a significant change and that we were already so proud of him for checking out his new bed. He was distraught on the first night, clearly intimidated and scared of this recent change. I was able to calm him down and finally get him to sleep about an hour later. The following day we gave a lot of positive reinforcements for sleeping in his bed for the night. Throughout the day, I continued to calmly remind him that his bed is a cozy place to rest after a long day of play.
We already have an established bedtime routine; the only difference now was the bed. I pretended to sleep next to him in the bed for a few nights, and each time, he eventually got into bed on his own without crying. On the fifth night, instead of me going into the bed, I laid on the floor next to his bed and said, "Mama is right here. I know you can do this, and I am so proud of you." He looked a little confused and hesitant to get into bed without me, but he wasn't upset and to my surprise, it was a success. Since then, Mason will walk by me a few times and sometimes he'll stop to give me a hug before climbing into bed. So far, so good!
We kept the same mattress, so we can still use the same crib sheets for now. Up until this point, Mason has not been sleeping with any stuffed animals, blankets, or pillows. He is still indifferent to stuffed animals. He has a bunch, but he has zero interest in their presence whenever we try to incorporate any into playtime. As for blankets, Mason likes them but doesn't care as much either. Pillows are just fun for him, so I guess that's something.
We wanted to make his new toddler bed feel comfier, and to his liking, so we went to the store for Mason to pick out something for himself. As we walked into the store, I told him, "Ok, Maze. You can have ANYTHING you want. Anything you reach for that's related to your new bed, a toy, a blanket, a fun shaped pillow, a stuffed animal, you can have." We walked up and down each kid-related aisle. I'd ask him if he found anything interesting for his new bed: Toys? None. Stuffed animals? Nope. Fun circle-shaped pillow? No. Ultra-plush blanket? No thanks, mom. After going through the aisles, some of them even twice, Mason reached for only one item: a comforter with lions. Of course. He was smiling and giggling with excitement as I asked him a few times if this comforter was what he wanted. Mason's answer was clear, and the lion comforter came home with us.
It's important to note that this comforter is not toddler-size. It's a twin size, and it comes with one pillow sham. I even checked online afterward, and the twin size is the smallest one offered. When we got home, I put it through the washer and dryer (hooray for machine washable kid stuff!). The colors held up from the wash cycle and are still so vibrant. There also wasn't any uneven texture or bunching afterward. I have to say that Mason has good taste! He was super excited when I took it out of the dryer to set up on his bed. One of the two animals that Mason can identify in a picture is a lion. The other one is an owl, sometimes. Lions are his absolute favorite animal. And whether if we're at home, a restaurant, a store, or playing outside, Mason will roar.