The Big Girl Bed

| September 24, 2014 | 16 Comments
It doesn't seem that long ago...

It doesn’t seem that long ago…

Last week, we transitioned my youngest, who recently turned two, into her Big Girl Bed.

It’s funny how quickly the moment snuck up on us.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that my eldest was, well, that very little person in the photo to the left.

I remember back in 2009, posting that photo to Facebook (along with 300 others of her that I KNEW everyone was dying to see).

I titled it: Baby: In the Land of Giants.

Because she was so small.

And that crib and all her animals were so big.

Of course, she outgrew it.

But, quite thoughtfully, at a pace that aligned well with my second pregnancy.

As we got ready to welcome Baby #2 we worried about the transition.

She was only two-and-a-half. Was it too early?

Would she feel kicked out of her digs in favour of the new baby?

Because she was certainly still completely at home in the crib and showing no desire to leave.

So we had a whole transition plan to move her from crib to bed a few months prior to my due date so she could get use to her new bed and forget that the crib had really, once upon a time, been her domain.

She came shopping with us to choose her bed and bedding.

We had a railing secured so she wouldn’t fall out.

We kept it up for months after the move – which went fine, by the way.

Skipping forward two years, we figured we were experts at this and there was no rush.

Then about three months ago our youngest, at a couple of months shy of two, started WAILING inconsolably all night; most nights; and as soon as we put her down in her crib.

We rocked; we lost sleep; we became accidental co-sleepers; she snuggled while watching a lot of late night television which likely wasn’t TOTALLY appropriate for children.

She was sick for a bit and we thought maybe it was that.

Then in continued.

We went on holidays where we shared a bed with her and we thought maybe it was that.

Then it continued.

My husband finally put on his “bad cop” voice for bedtime to get her to go to sleep in the crib. It was the only thing that worked and I didn’t have it in me.

So the evenings that I put her down?

Yeah. Co-sleeping and/or Netflix nights. Which, in retrospect, two not-awesome ways to basically reward behaviour opposing our aims.

Looking suddenly not so little...

Last night in the crib looking a) not so small and b) irritatingly happy and jovial about being there. No sleep issues THAT night.

I asked friends; I posted to searching for advice.

And the same bit kept coming back: maybe it’s time to trade in the crib.

I spent a few, largely sleepless, weeks in denial.

She wasn’t even two!

We have another year!

We just bought a car, we can’t afford a new bedroom set!


I debated sitting my two-year-old down and explaining the family budget.

It could work, right? Right?!

But no. In the end, in the same way we have discovered that our kids are different, so was the way we went about acquiring bed set #2.

After a particularly trying week on the “Go the F*#$ to Sleep” front, a sales flyer showed up in the mail from the store where we’d purchased our eldest’s bedroom set two years prior (after much reflection and shopping about where even my husband finally left to hit a pub while I toured another few stores to ensure we’d seen all options).

This time? One evening out with my mother along to watch my kids, after a quick price compare online and a check with my husband via photo of the set I’d selected, and it was all ordered and done.

It arrived and was set up last week.  The rail we’d used for my eldest? Wouldn’t fit with the frame. So my youngest went Big Girl Bed all the way from night #1 in the new bed.


And sleep? Hers? Mine? All of ours?

Yup. That was the issue. She’s sleeping happily and without complaint.

And hasn’t fallen out yet.

So save figuring out what to do now with our crib set? Problem solved!

What about you? How and when did you know it was time to transition your kids from the crib?


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Category: Family, Home and Garden, Living

About the Author ()

Louise lives in Alta Vista with her husband and their two daughters: ages four and two. She works full-time for the Federal Government. She's a former competitive swimmer, enjoys running for fitness, is trying to enjoy cooking and is actively involved in the Carleton University Alumni Association. She likes to write, so: blog hobby. You can visit her blog at

Comments (16)

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  1. BobbiJo Pentney says:

    It is so hard letting our kids grow up.

    • Louise says:

      Agreed. That said, at this stage of life it is also hard finding time to go shopping for a bed – which was also part of the anxiety!

  2. kathy downey says:

    Love the bed,sometimes they find it hard to say goodbye to the crib

    • Louise says:

      I think that was my eldest. Sometimes my eldest still asked to sleep in the crib until recently. That said, I don’t think my youngest has looked back once since the change.

      Thanks for the kind comments on the bed – I think it worked out well.

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    It’s wonderful that she ended up taking to it happily! It looks great!

  4. AlwaysARedhead says:

    I remember the transition to the big bed for our first daughter, she loved it. We had no choice to put her in a big bed, since she had decided the crib was no longer for her and literally started jumping out of it. We had to put the crib mattress on the floor for safety reasons until we were able to buy a bed. Transition is always so much fun!

    • Louise says:

      We didn’t have any jumping out with our youngest – thank goodness. By the time we had transitioned our eldest she had certainly figured that out though. It’s a bit unnerving.

      This transition – once we accepted we were doing it – went really well. And I’ll miss the crib days, but I’m glad this is done!

  5. Maria Medeiros says:

    Transitioning to a big girl bed was exciting for us. My daughters love their beds. I was wondering if you have potty training posts. I need lots of tips on potty training. With my first it was easy. But with my second one I’m afraid to even start. Lol i hope you have a post! 🙂

    • Louise says:

      Ah potty training! Nope – haven’t done a post on that – but maybe I will. We will have to start soon with our second as well. We tried over the summer and with sickness and other stuff the time wasn’t right. I’m not really looking forward to starting either. Lol!

  6. Lian says:

    Hey Louiseldeste! I remember moving our girls into their Big Girl beds. Both of them took very well to their new beds, even though our younger one still like “visiting” once in a while. With our little guy, we got a convertible crib so it can move from a crib to a junior bed. he kind of digs it, but we think he is beginning to see how great his sisters’ beds are and we think it will be time for a change soon for him, too. I also understand your frustrations with trying to get them to bed. We were there, too! I’m glad your youngest digs her new bed!

    • Louise says:

      Thanks for the comment Lian! By “visiting” do you mean your middle child visited the youngest in the crib. My eldest did that for a while wanting to be the “baby” – but not until over a year after the transition which I found odd.

      Good luck finding something for your youngest when you make the change!

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I don’t remember having any trouble getting mine into bigger beds and there wasn’t a set time/age for it. I do know about sleepless nights – one of my daughters hasn’t slept through the night since her 1st was born and he’s just turned 2. Unfortunately, they live in an apartment and there’s already been a complaint about the noise! (obviously someone who’s childless) but he screams when he wakes up and that is 4 – 6 times a night. She’s been to sleep clinics with him but to no avail. She still opted for number 2 but now her daughter gets woken up with the noise too.

    • Louise says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s struggles with sleep with her child. I sincerely hope they get some reprieve soon from that and figure out how to help him make it through the night.

  8. kathy downey says:

    I hope that everything settled

  9. Debbie White Beattie says:

    This is a great post and I love how these little creatures can take over and even though we’re supposed to be the “boss” it’s like “yeah right ” lol

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