Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Toddler Bed or No Toddler Bed?

Bree is at that age, where I am unsure of what to do with her. As I had mentioned a month or so ago, Bree had discovered how to climb out of her crib. This was not going over well with me, because she was waking up at the butt crack of dawn, not completing her naps, and not going to bed. We took the piece that holds her mattress up out of the crib, and dropped the mattress down to the floor. She slept like that for almost a month, and this past Saturday we just put the bars back in and made her crib normal again. Bree hasn't tried to get out or anything, and I'm not sure if that's because she has forgotten that she can or she's already over that and doesn't care anymore. Either way, we switched the door knobs on the doors (bathroom & bedroom) so that we can lock her in her room, and she can't get out & get hurt.

I just saw last night where a "friend" of mine had just switched her baby to a toddler bed, and her baby is a few months younger than Bree. She's not even two yet. I know that you can't make your kids do something based on what someone else's kid is doing, but it makes me wonder if Bree is ready for a toddler bed. I know why I haven't switched her to a toddler bed yet...I'm not ready. Perhaps I feel that she's not ready yet either. I honestly don't think that she would ever go to bed. When I was a baby, I went straight from a crib to a full size bed. Neither one of my brothers had a toddler bed, and so I wonder if a toddler bed is even necessary? It sucks that I am having this realization now, as we have a crib that transfers into a toddler bed, and then into a twin sized bed. But you don't know these things when you are crib shopping for your first baby. You're not sure how these things are going to work out.

So, I guess what I am asking is, toddler bed or no toddler bed? If you chose a toddler bed, how old was your child and what kind of discipline did you have to enforce to keep your child in the bed?


Chell said...

The first time my daughter tried to climb out of the crib(around 16 months), I took it down and replaced it with a toddler bed. I didn't want her falling and getting hurt. I treated the toddler bed just like the crib and would put her in it at night and take her out of it when she would wake up. It took her about 2 months for her to realize she could get in and out on her own. But we never really had any problems getting her to stay in it.

MrsM said...

Our general rule is that if a kid can launch themselves out of a crib (or if they stand up and their head is above the bars) that they're done with it. In our minds, it's better for them to fall off a toddler bed that is 8 inches off the ground than to launch themselves over the top of a crib and fall from four feet up.

Plus, in our opinion, kids need toddler beds so that they can enjoy their own independence and autonomy, and learn to be responsible with it. Our 18 month old has a toddler bed-we just put the baby gate up in her doorway and that's held her just fine. As far as discipline, we really don't. It's our opinion that you can't MAKE a child go to sleep-I mean, what are you going to do staple their eyes shut? Our rule is that they must be in their room and they must be quiet. We have a bedtime routine, so that they know "hey, this is the part where I'm going to bed" and it kind of eases them into the idea. Then we just put them in bed and leave. They're free to do as they wish so long as they remain quiet and in their rooms.

It works well for us-the kids NEVER fight us about going to bed, and they're always asleep within a half hour of when they go down. Still, every kid and every parent is different-that's just what works for us!