From Crib to Bed (Our Ups&Downs)


This story starts long before the beginning of this week, but I’ll mostly talk about our ups & downs from Sunday on. As we showed you in the video a few weeks back, Rowan knows how to climb out of her crib. We knew we’d have to get her a bed, but she was so good at climbing out of it we held off for a while. Her sleep changed dramatically after she knew she could get out. Naps become 45mins tops and we got into a bad habit of letting her crawl into bed with us every morning at 4:45am when she would come into our room. By the end of last week naps had become impossible. Anytime she woke up she would climbed out of her crib instead of falling back asleep like she use to. Then Sunday afternoon happened…

Sunday we teamed up and worked hard at getting her asleep. When we finally did, we left her room to go eat some lunch. About 30 mins later we heard the worst thump followed by screaming crying. We ran into her room to find her laying on the floor with her foot stuck in the railing of the bed. Shame, shame, on us for thinking this wouldn’t happen. I completely freaked and burst into tears because I thought her leg was broken. She was fine. Startled but fine. We instantly were in a No More Crib mode. After that I was never putting her back in there.

Sunday night she slept on her crib mattress on the floor. It did not go well. Well, I mean we all made it through the night, but Kev and I both ended up sleeping on the hard wood floor next to her from about 4:30am on. She likes the idea of it. We talk it up all day long, “Yay! Rowan it’s your big girl bed!!”. When it comes to sleeping though, she doesn’t want to be there alone. As of now, we have to lay there with her to fall asleep and if (I mean when) she wakes up in the middle of the night, we have to do it all over again (usually multiple times).

I am hoping that each day that passes will become easier and easier and she will slowly learn to fall back asleep on her own. We ended up getting her a full bed instead of a toddler bed or a twin. Toddler beds seem silly to me because it’s one more stepping stone to buy. I don’t want to have to buy yet another bed a year later. We figure in the course of her kid life, I am sure there will be plenty of nights where she is sick, scared, etc… that we will have to be in bed with her. At least there is space for us now with a full. Plus, I kind of fell head over heels in love with this vintage bed frame from the Habitat Restore. I can’t wait to decorate her new big girl room in the new house soon. You can see pictures of her room when we just had the crib in there here.

I am really hoping we can see the light at the end of this sleepless tunnel soon (we are all very tired)…

p.s. It is pretty dang cute getting to sleep with her at night though.

  1. Our daughter is attempting her first nap in her big girl bed. The front comes off her Ikea crib. She’s only 1 1/2 and hasn’t figured out how to climb out of her crib but we are preparing for a big trip to Europe and the sleeping situation is unknown. We figured it would be better to ditch the bars before we were trying to handle it with a jet-legged family situation. Good luck to both of us! xo


  2. Catherine •

    I’m pretty sure I could have written this post. My daughter (turned 2 in April) is also in a full-sized bed, insists on one of us (generally mommy) laying with her until she falls asleep, and cries out when she wakes up in the middle of the night instead of going back to sleep. I am due with our 2nd in a month, and am convinced that I will never sleep through the night again. If you have any luck with this, please post a follow-up! I see no end in sight…

  3. My mom transitioned me from crib to full size bed and I can’t thank her enough for it. I had that bed for years and it was so wonderful and comfortable, especially when I was sick. Good choice for sure!

  4. Nicholle •

    We always found that our two slept better in a darker room. Rowan’s room is beautiful and bright but this may make things tough for her at naptime. Adding dark curtains helped Kendall sleep later in the morning (past sunrise) too. Things get better as they get older.

  5. Kids are almost shatter proof. WOW! Just the other night I was taking my son up on the elevator & his hand got pulled into the door pocket with the door when it opened. I was mortified & cried more than he did. Accidents happen & he was all better physically long before I was mentally. The Dr. thinks I’m a worry wort, but just in case…

    Her bed is so cute! What a great idea. I agree With Nicholle about the dark curtains, they certainly do help Levi sleep longer/settle down faster & he’s been in a toddler bed since he was 18 months.

    Praying for rest for you all…

  6. I am just waiting for the day when Johannes climbs out of his crib, i have a feeling its imminent. And especially once he goes to Montessori in a week, there he will be napping in a cot…with no bars…I’m not sure he will want to sleep in his crib much after that 🙁

  7. Not sure if you have anything against this, or if you’ve tried it or something, but have you thought about gating her in her room? I’m sure week one you’re just trying to get her used to the idea, but setting some boundaries might encourage her to just go back to sleep. I am 100% not an expert since we haven’t attempted the big girl bed just yet (my daughter turned 2 in March, but has only tried to climb out once). But I do remember reading about it in Ferber’s book, and have seen a few people do it.

    Love her room, so pretty.

  8. I need to send my friend this link, she’s going through exactly the same phase as you and I think she’d be comforted to know others are going through it too.Rx

  9. That is a gorgeous bed frame! It reminds me of the one I grew up in, sans toddler bed or anything between a crib and a double. Good luck with the sleep training, I know that can be really difficult.

  10. Patty •

    We used the Sleep Easy Solution method to help Jakob with sleeping on his own. Worked super well, and it’s a very balanced approach. Also, the Good Nite Light was perfect when Jake was 2 to help him know when it was okay to get out of bed. Blue means stay in bed and when it turns yellow, it’s time to get up. We still use it now and he’s 5.

  11. Aw she has such a cute room!
    Hope she starts falling back asleep on her own soon (for your sake lol).

    xo Jennifer

  12. katie •

    We took our daugher from a crib to twin bed. We arranged her room so that one side of the bed was against the wall and even now, at 3 years old, she still has a bed rail on the other side. Her bed sits up VERY high, so it’s mainly for safety. Maybe putting some safe rails on both sides will make her feel more secure, like she is still in her crib? We make sure we keep the room dark at night time, and we stick to that bedtime routine like glue.. if we deter off at all, everything goes downhill. Good luck!

  13. Our daughter was done with her crib at 8 months, after only starting to sleep in it at 4 months. Having a queen sized bed in her room has been the ultimate life saver, since she is such a crap sleeper, and since neither of us have the heart to make her cry it out, or the patience to rock her back to sleep. Just lay down in bed with her, and bam, everyone is sleeping.

  14. aww that bed looks huge compared to her!! Bet she feels like a big girl now 🙂


  15. Oh, my – I am terrified of the transition to big girl bed! This may not be helpful at all, since Vivi is still in a crib, but we are in a phase where she is waking up a little early, and she has trouble winding down at night sometime. My sister got her a glowworm for her first birthday, and she kind of thought it was ok, and it’s been at the bottom of the toy basket for months until she pulled it out two weeks ago. Now she insists on sleeping with it, but the great part is she will play the music till she falls asleep at night if she can’t go right to sleep, and if she wakes up early in the mornings, she will talk to glowworm and play the music till we get her. It has really helped. I’m not sure if it would keep Vivi in the bed if she had the option – but it does seem to give her some “company” and keep her soothed until it’s time to get up!

  16. It’s just going to take her a while to get used to her new big girl bed! But, you’ll get there. I could’ve written this word for word a couple years ago when our boys were transitioning into big beds. One of us sat outside the door to put them back in bed when they would get out. And they still, occasionally, get out now (they are now 5 and 4). It’s just what they do!

    Also, when each of our boys were about Rowan’s age, they would get up at an ungodly hours. It was horrible! They grew out of it, though.

  17. Jessie •

    My 2 1/2 year old is still in her crib. I think if she were climbing out I’d feel the same way. She climbed out once last year…busted her lip in the process and hasn’t tried again. Which really surprises me because pain doesn’t always register to her as a reason not to repeat the process.

    I also have 2 other children… 5 1/2 yr old girl and a 6 month boy. I’m trying to hold out until we are past the baby stage with my baby and then it’ll be time for a big girl bed.

    Being a Mom is tough and scary. I try not panic when they get hurt but it freaks me out sometimes. Hang in there. I think it’s good you are doing the big girl bed before the baby comes. Maybe by then she will be adjusted to it.

  18. Krystal •

    I agree that it is good that you can transition her now and not closer to baby’s arrival!:) it will be easier for you all when baby comes:)
    I don’t have an answer to help her sleep better alone:( Maybe a night light?
    But I do fully agree with going to her and making her feel safe when she cries or calls for you!!! My boys have full beds as well… And we have always had to lay by tem to help them fall asleep and we still go in early in the am or in the middle of the night if needed. We love laying by them and sleeping with them sometimes too:):) you are loving, caring parents and I know you will find what works best for you!!! And yes she will get used to that bed and learn to love it!! Maybe she is scared of falling out because of falling out of the crib?? I think guard rails might make her feel more secure… and you can get nice wood ones or white ones that you can fold down:)… Maybe that might help:)
    But for now LOVE these cuddles and times helping her grow into a big girl!!! Try not to get negative about it and be as gentle and loving as you always are!!! Remember, this too shall pass!!!
    Oh !!! One good piece of advice! As baby’s arrival gets closer have Daddy go to Rowan more and more at night so she is solely used to him!!!! You will likely be nursing the baby when Rowan wakes up and needs someone!! The more she is used to Daddy now, the more it will help after baby comes!!
    Hope you get more sleep soon!!! And Jen! NAP when Rowan does!!! You need it!!!:):)

  19. Jenny •

    Geez, set some boundaries. Rowan is training YOU!

  20. Her big girl bed (and bedroom) is gorgeous! Props to you and Kev for the patience while she is going through this transition. I don’t mind co-sleeping when it happens. It’s what I grew up with in my family.

  21. She is STRONG! My daughter turned two in June and she is not even close to climbing out yet! My daughter loved your baby. 2 announcement. We watched it 5 times 🙂 Congrats

  22. Our kiddos (21 months and 2 months) sleep with us, and we’re planning to set them off on a big kid bed together when the littlest is 18 months. So, not for a while. But it’s nice to gauge how well this bed transition thing goes for others. Our oldest only recently started sleeping through the night, so….let’s just say I’m not looking forward to it.

    Good thing they are really fun to cuddle.

  23. Wendy •

    My son is a maniac in his bed, he rolls ALL over the place. Because of this we did the toddler bed for him. Yes he has rolled right out of it a number of times, thankfully with the toddler bed he is close to the floor so he doesn’t get hurt at all. Someone above mentioned gating the room, we kinda did this when we moved him to the toddler bed. The gate is leaning on a laundry basket out side the room but looks from his side like it is in the door, we also tied a bell on it so it would wake us up if he touched the gate. Honestly in the almost year he has been in his bed we have never had him leave his room, instead he will call for us from the gate and will go back to bed when we tell him. Just something to think about, best of luck!

  24. we are going through sleeplessness because ours refuses the crib, and we are considering the full instead of a twin! I want sleep.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    I am having a fabulous giveaway right here.

  25. Ilyse •

    Don’t worry about sleeping with her momma! Especially after a scare like that and the new transition, she likely just needs the extra security that only Mom and Dad can provide. We have a four-year-old and are expecting #2 in October and the bigger the belly gets, the more my son needs a bit more love at the end of the night. What we do is stick to a bedtime routine so he knows what’s coming. We started out laying with him until he fell asleep, moved to laying with him for a certain amount of time and letting him fall asleep on his own and now most nights he doesn’t needs anyone to lay with him (not saying you won’t get her to sleep alone until she’s four. We had a traumatic year last year and it set him back a bit. It’ll likely take less time for you). He has an open invitation to our room should he wake up and the deal with that is he can sleep with us as long as he lets me sleep but if he’s keeping me up he goes back to his room.

    The key is to do it gently and consciously. She’s still a baby. You can’t spoil them by giving them what they need. <3 Keep doing what you're doing and sleep will come back. You're amazing! (and that bed is gorgeous)

  26. Have you ever heard of the “Time to Wake” alarm clock? (just type that into Amazon) We don’t have kids and haven’t ever used one but your little dilemma just made me think of stumbling across it a few months back. I’m sure it’s not that easy but it might be worth a shot right?

    PS – I love her new bed! So perfect.

  27. You’re so adorable, I love the way you write. I think laying down with kids to sleep is just the best. My 2 year old daughter and I have to share a room (so obviously we share my bed) and laying down with her while she drifts into sleep is something I cherish every night. I know one day she will grow up and not want me to cuddle her to sleep, so for now I cling to these special moments. Good luck with the transition. Every sleepless night is one step closer

  28. the space looks amazing and so peaceful. the frames & branches look perfect together. love it!

  29. Tarsha •

    Don’t fret too much. It’ll all work out in the end regardless (though I’m sure you’re hoping for sooner than later). Like Christine above, we we still co-sleep with our kids (20 months and 4 months) and plan to transition around the same time she mentioned. Everyone needs to do what works for them and sometimes it just takes some experimentation. I like reading (mostly..ahem..Jenny) what everyone has to suggest. We need less judgement in parenting-especially since how we do things here in the US is only a tiny part of the equation when considering ways in rearing happy and healthy children. Parenting is hard enough and there is no “one size fits all” so I wish you the best of luck and, as I said, it’ll all work out in the end. Her room is darling, btw 🙂

  30. beautiful bed!!! We just switched to a toddler bed (for space reasons – our apartment is not huge, so a full size just seemed way to big for the time being…) – and sleeping through the nights and naps has been easy sometimes and difficult others. Soren LOVES his new bed though and when he is sleepy, will go lay down in it. When he starts to tantrum or get frustrated, it’s also been a great place for him to go chill out and come back to play (a very neutral ground). He also crawled out of his crib, but bed training at about 20 months is tricky! Have fun with it! I agree, getting to snuggle with the wee one or even seeing his happy face running to our bedroom in the mornings is quite the treat!


  31. I third the “lighted clock.” We have a stoplight alarm clock, and while not the most attractive, it has worked wonders. When red, stay in bed. When green, you are free to call for us. We used it when transitioning our son to his bed and it really works. He understands the colors and makes sure we set it each night. We leave the audio feature off, so if he is still asleep when the light turns green, then it doesn’t wake him up. It took about 3 days training to get him to stay in his room until the appropriate wake up time (this after he started waking up in the middle of the night and attempting to climb into our bed).

  32. light at the end of a very long tunnel…I really feel for you right now. Some kids transition no problem, but we did not have that luck. My son turned 2 last september and we transitioned him in December in preparation for baby # 2 in may…Thank goodness we did it that far in advance, because it took until at least march/april before my once amazing sleeper/napper was finally some what back to normal. i used to lay with him until he fell asleep and then he would wake often through the night and then finally wake sooo early wanting to go downstairs and be done with sleeping. eventually the putting him to bed got easier and i’d only sit “5 min” (which i still do, and it’s usually more time, but i love that time), and he’d sleep through the night, but still woke so early like anywhere between 3-5 am. That lasted for months. my husband does not wake happily, so i got to do this every day. The last few weeks before my daughter came in may were the fist times since december that i was getting to sleep until 7-8! and that felt like a dream. One mistake i’d say we made was allowing him to turn on his lamp and start sleeping with the door open, two things he never did before and had no problem not doing. I was terrified once my baby came he’d be awake all night as he’s right across from her room and his doors always open. He sleeps through me going up there very well and it has not been a problem like i thought but we have to be very quiet with his door open. We put a baby gate up though so at the beginning we didn’t have to take him back up to his room a million times. it kind of works like a crib in that if we leave him for a bit some times he falls back to sleep (night and nap). Also i get to sleep in peace knowing my boy’s not wandering the house able to get to sinks and the front door while i’m sleeping. Hopefully your girl transitions faster, but hopefully this can be help that she will be back to normal at some point!

  33. I love that other moms are going through sleeping issues as well. I mean, I don’t love that you are having sleeping issues, but I love knowing its not just going on in my house. My husband is constantly telling me that we are not the only ones going through these kinds of things, even though I put that pressure/blame on myself. We have the crib that becomes a toddler bed, and when the time comes for a big boy bed, we are going full bed as well. A) For all the same reasons you listed, and b) because that’s the kind of bed we have in store! Thanks for always sharing your stories.

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