Week 1 in the big boy bed

Leo has always been really good at going to bed. He has not always been good at going to sleep, but ever since he was about 12months he has been happy enough to go in his cot at bed time and not make too much of a fuss. In the last few weeks, bedtime has started to become quite hard work. Leo has been demanding more stories to be read and asking for all his toys to come in his cot. He seemed to be doing everything possible to keep me in the room with him so he didn’t have to settle down and go to sleep.

After a few particularly stressful nights in a row, last week I decided maybe he would be happier if we changed his cot into a cot bed. So, one evening last week Oli got to work and took the side off Leo’s cot (this was more difficult than it sounds!) and Leo was introduced to his big boy bed. It has not all been plain sailing but the first week in the big boy has gone much better than I was expecting, Leo seems to be happy to be out of his cot – I on the other hand am I bit sad, how is my baby in a bed already?!

Over the past week I have jotted down how everything is going, so if you are thinking about transitioning your toddler from the cot to a bed, here is some idea of what to expect…

Leo was very excited about his new bed. He enjoyed jumping in and out of it and repeatedly declaring ‘my bed, my bed!’. He had his bedtime story like normal and settled down perfectly. I was feeling super smug at this point and had convinced myself all our bedtime troubles were over. How foolish of me..

The second night in his bed was similar to the first. There was a tiny bit of moaning for another story but nothing too bad. We could hear Leo playing with his toys for about half an hour after we had put him to bed. I was happy to leave him play for a bit as it was all new and exciting and a room full of toys with no cot side stopping you, well that’s just a bit too tempting isn’t it? Leo did fall out once but I managed to get him back into bed and he settled down happily after that.

Again Leo went to bed Ok. He played for a bit again and managed to pull his mattress half off the bed when I went to check on him but apart from that he was great and in the morning I was woken up by the sound of him running to our bedroom, so cute,

Well, this is where it all started to go a bit downhill. As Leo had now figured out how to open his door, he thought it would be fun to keep coming into the living room after we put him to bed. He came in saying ‘mummy wants to read’ and then ‘Daddy wants to read’. Oli and I took it in turns to take him back to bed and when we refused more stories he screamed the house down. Eventually he got bored of shouting ‘READ!’ and we could hear him playing with his toys until nearly 10pm. Absolute nightmare, by this point my smugness from the start of the week had completely vanished.

By day 5 I was officially regretting my decision and contemplating putting the side of the cot back on. Thankfully, Leo went to bed fine and didn’t come sneaking into the living room once. He played with his toys for a little while and started crying. Oli went to see him and Leo was just sat in the middle of the room sleepy crying – I think he forgot he could get into bed by himself now.

Things were starting to get better again by day 6. We had the usual moaning for more stories and lies of being hungry to get me to stay in his room but I managed to settle Leo down quite easily. We heard him playing with his toys again (how do we stop this?) but when we went to check on him he got himself back into bed, all cuddled up under his blankets.

DAY 7.
So, last night things went downhill again – ahh! Leo settled down OK but then proceeded to come in to the living room about 20 times. At first it was funny because he was acting like a little ninja, sneaking in and then grinning at us from the door. This routine got old really fast though and I had to delve deep in to my brain and retrieve all those little tips I had learnt from watching countless episodes of Super Nanny when I was younger. I remember her saying no talking or eye contact are key in showing your child that you mean business and you are not playing games. Have you ever tried ignoring your toddler when they are trying to talk to you? It is so hard, I felt so mean. Anyway, it seemed to work as I managed to get him to stay in bed after over an hour. As usual we went to check on him and we found him asleep in the middle of the floor with a book on his face! It was hard getting him back to bed without waking him but, between Oli and I, we just about managed it.

This week has been a bit of a learning curve and a struggle at times but I am glad we have stuck with it and not gone back to using the cot. Just like it took time for Leo to adjust from being in the moses basket to the cot, I know this transition is going to take a while for us all to get used to. Although I am not loving the struggle in the evenings, I am quite enjoying staying in bed until 9, as Leo just gets himself up and starts playing with his toys in the morning. Now all I need is for him to learn how to change his own nappy and get himself breakfast and I won’t have to get up for hours!

How old was your little one when they moved into a bed? How did you all find the transition? Please let me know any tips you have on encouraging your toddler to stay in bed at night time, I would love some advice. thumbnailsize

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows


  1. December 5, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    I remember switching my toddler into a big girl bed from the crib – it was terrible! She had freedom to get out of her room and there was no stopping her. I should have put her back in the crib but I resisted and instead went through weeks of what you're going through now. Good luck to you and may it end for you soon #justanotherlinky

  2. December 5, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    The transition went very smoothly, but a year later she still comes and gets me as soon as she's up. Hopes for being able to sleep longer never really came through

  3. December 6, 2015 / 1:11 am

    sounds like a lot of ups and downs with the move but stick with it, he will be fine. Most of mine moved at 18 moths, but I left the triplets till over 2 as I had no where to put them till then! #KCACOLS

  4. December 6, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    You'll get there. It's all a learning curve. You're doing an amazing job πŸ™‚ #KCACOLS

  5. December 6, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Oh bless him it does sound like he needs some time to adjust. I remember getting Ella's side of her cot removed when she started potty training at 18 months. It is such a big change for them. I think it's just gonna take time and patience. Good luck!xx #KCACOLS

  6. December 6, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I remember this with my daughter, she kept getting up and standing at the stair gates and we had to keep putting her back into bed. Hope it gets better soon! #KCACOLS

  7. December 6, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    We have not long switched Mia to her own bed and like your little one, she was amazing the first 2 nights and then she realised she could get up and walk around her room whenever she wanted! It took about 2 weeks for Mia to settle properly which seemed so long as we have never had a problem with Mias sleep! She is better a month on and loves being able to get up and play with some of her toys before we get up. We have a stair gate on her door so she cant get very far!!
    Persevere and be consistent, it will come πŸ™‚


  8. December 8, 2015 / 3:41 am

    We're not there yet but I plan to also go with Supernanny's three steps: 'Bedtime darling,' 'It's bedtime' then silently taking him back to bed. Not really looking forward to it though. Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter.

  9. December 8, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Oh no! It is so hard isn't it? The last few days have been better. He has been having shorter naps and I have been trying to do lots of things in the afternoon so, come bedtime, he is too tired to get out of bed.xx

  10. December 8, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    Glad it went well for you. Shame about not getting any extra sleep though! I quite like my mini lie ins in the mornings πŸ™‚ xx

  11. December 8, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    Yes, bedtime is a bit all over the place at the minute but we're getting there. Wow triplets, I don't blame you keeping them in the cot longer. If they behaved anything like Leo does then I am picturing absolute chaos.xx

  12. December 8, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Aww thank you :). It is a big change for all of us but this week things are better xx

  13. December 8, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    Thank you for the good luck. I couldn't imagine letting Leo loose out of the cot at 18months, he probably would have stayed up all night playing with his toys! It is a big change, I think Leo sees it as a good change though xx

  14. December 8, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    I am considering a stair gate, at least I don't have to worry about him escaping from his room in the middle of the night then. Thank you, I hope it gets better too xx

  15. December 8, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    Thank you for the advice :). I know, the first couple nights were amazing and then he found the door! Glad it didn't take too long for your little girl to get used to it all xx

  16. December 8, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Thank you for hosting. Yes it is not very fun, Super Nanny makes it look so easy xx

  17. December 10, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Finley went into a bed at 18 months as Noah was coming along and we had a few bad weeks. We're not yet there with Noah and he is 2 1/2 but sleeps so well in his cot I don't want to mess it up. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  18. December 11, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    Oh no I feel bad for you because this phase is really tiring! With Bella I tried to extend this as long as I could as I knew from friends that they get out of their beds 10,000 times! grr When we thought she was ready we tried and of course it happened to us too. Since the moment they realise that they have the freedom to get out of their bed they just want to do it all the time. Actually she still comes to our bedroom all the time!! I don't remember when was the last time she stayed all night in her room. And now I have to do this all over again with Sienna!!! "sighs" Thanks so far for sharing this at #KCACOL. I'm happy to have to have you again this week! πŸ™‚ xx

  19. nickykentisbeer
    December 14, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    I remember making the change – albeit nearly 10 years ago so I may not be best placed to provide an answer. We did the whole exciting big girl bed thing complete with bed guard which was more trouble than it was worth! I think I painted fairies on the wall (stencils) and made it as lovely as I could. Fortunately, we had a sleeper (a pest in other ways I guess) but I always followed the rule of perseverance and that it takes 3 times of doing something before it works. I think every time something new is introduced it is hard. From cot to bed to different bedtime and so on. Good luck and I hope you get lovely peaceful evenings. Nicky x #twinklytuesday http://www.notjustthe3ofus.com

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