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misc.kids FAQ on Crib to Bed Transition


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Misc.kids Frequently Asked Questions
Crib to Bed Transition

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Collection maintained by: Diane Lin, dlin@weber.ucsd.edu
Last updated: 6/25/93
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Copyright 1995, Diane Lin.  Use and copying of this information are
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The following is an excerpt from the "call for input"
article.  If you are particularly interested in an answer to
a specific question, you may simply search for occurences of
the number, e.g. (2).
------------------------------------------------------------------
Please feel free to structure your response in any fashion you wish.
However, the following questions might help you in formulating your
comments:

(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?
(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?
(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
     bed at that time?  (Aside from the obvious sign of child 
     climbing out of his/her crib, what factors conspired to make
     you decide to transition your child when you did?)
(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
     and did you find that the preparation paid off?
(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
     so, how did you solve the problem?
(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
     changes to his/her sleep routine?  (Specifically, my husband
     would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son
     to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.)
(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?
(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
     you feel the timing was right for your child?
    ============================================================== 
From: lauraf@spanky.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Laura Floom)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Just after his second birthday.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

nope.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

I decided solely on the fact that he tried to throw himself out head first.
The next morning I told him when he got home that evening he would have
a 'big boy' bed. I knew the time for a bed was coming, but I wanted to put 
it off as long as possible. I would have rather waited until about 2.5.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

almost none. I showed him a picture in caclogue of the bed I was planning
on buying (and was luckily able to find it). I cut it out for him, and we
took it to grandmas, so he could show her. He was also getting the same
bed at grandmas. she talked about it all day, but he seemed disinterested.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

surprisingly not. The first night he got our 3 times, and each time I just
put him back. That was it for about 3 months, and then suddenly it started
again. I just remained firm, and the deal was if he got out of bed, then I 
turned out the light - normally I let him keep it on to read/play. 

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  (Specifically, my husband
>     would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son
>     to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.)

nope! sorry.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

We used a toddler bed. If Jeffrey had stayed in his crib longer, I may have
considered a full size bed. It cost $70, and now I see them at many stores
for more in the $30-40 range. A real good deal, and I didnt have to buy
railing. I wqas planning on keeping him in until about 4ish, but now we
are expecting another baby about his 3rd birthday, we need the matress. I
could just buy another matress, but I think he will handle a bigger bed just 
fine. 

I saw this great bed at Easman West. It is a loft bed, with a tent underneath
and a slide. It looks like so much fun, and it has a good railing on 3 sides.
We are considering it strongly, but will probabky bolt it to the wall.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

it worked out much better then I was expecting.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: rick@dodge.Solbourne.COM (Rick Gillespie)

We put our (now 25 months) daughter in a toddler bed just before she
turned 2 (as part of her birthday present). We decided to move her to a
new room, and bed, with enough time for her to adapt before our 2nd child
arrives (due in a month and a half).  We decorated the new room in "101
Dalmations" style, and let her help us with the placement of furniture
and decorations. I think that helped her realize it was *her* room.
The first couple of nights we let her decide if she wanted to sleep in
the bed, or her crib. The first night she chose the crib, and since then
it has been the bed. We now keep the door to her old room closed, so she
doesn't even notice it, and the crib, anymore.
When she goes to bed at night, we read some books and then she is free to
play of sleep as she wants. She *insists* on closing the door when we
leave; when we check on her later we leave it ajar so the pets (and her)
can come and go. The only real change to her sleep routine is that in the
morning she doesn't have to cry for us to come get her; she just wanders
out carrying her "blanky" and saying "I wake up!". It makes the mornings
less traumatic all around; she's in a good mood, and so are we.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Steve Bellovin <smb@ulysses.att.com>

> (1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

My daughter was 2.5; my son was 3.

> (2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

Yes and no, respectively.  We moved my daughter out a while before
we told her about the upcoming event; we didn't want her to think
that the new baby -- a potential source of jealousy -- was ``taking''
*her* crib.

> (3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>      bed at that time?  

It was time -- he was easily old enough.

> (4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>      and did you find that the preparation paid off?

For my daughter, we built it up for a few weeks, that she was going to
have a ``big girl bed'', and we let her pick out sheets.  For my son,
apart from the ``big boy bed'' line, he had the incentive that Daddy
was going to make the bed, and he *loves* Daddy's tools...

> (5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>      his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>      so, how did you solve the problem?

No, and no.

> (6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>      changes to his/her sleep routine?  (Specifically, my husband
>      would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son
>      to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.)

Sorry, no change.  Curiously enough, it took my daughter a couple of
weeks to realize that she could get out of bed by herself in the
morning.  Daniel had been wandering out of his crib anyway, at least
on the days when we didn't have to drag him out...

> (7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>      a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>      with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

For my daughter, we got a twin bed.  There was no reason to do anything
else, and there was a much better selection of child-oriented
sheets.  For my son, I built a youth bed.  I wanted -- and want -- to
build him a twin bed, so that he can use the sheets he helped pick
out, but other house-hacking projects intervened, and I had no time over
the summer to build the fairly-elaborate platform bed plus bookcase that
I've designed.  The youth bed was a one-weekend project.  (Hmm, I'm
straying into rec.woodworking territory...)  Here's a kid-oriented
reason:  there's much less volume of sheets, blanket, etc., to wash
when he forgets to wake up when he has to urinate.

> (8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>      transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>      you feel the timing was right for your child?

We wanted to move Daniel earlier, but the bed construction contractor
slipped his schedule...  Other than that, things were very easy
with both of them, and that's more or less the definition of ``right''.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Anne Paulson <anne@dolores.Stanford.EDU>

We just transitioned Will (31 months) into a regular sized bed.  We
got a railing so he wouldn't fall out.  Here's how it happened:

He has been able to climb out of his crib since he turned two (which
is quite late).  We just always left the railing down, and he would
happily climb in and out.  He often slept on his bed (which has been
in his room for ages) or in our bed for his nap.  He had slept at
night in beds several times, and had fallen out several times (without
waking up!)  One night he saw the cat sleeping on his bed, and asked
to sleep there.  I let him, but put a futon on the floor next to the
bed in case he fell out.  He did.  The next morning I told him we'd
get him a railing so he didn't fall out.  A few days later, we all
went and bought one with some fanfare.  Since then he's been happily
sleeping in bed.  The crib is still up, but he doesn't want to sleep
in it anymore, though he sometimes climbs in to play.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: dehring@erim.org (Marilyn G. Dehring)

We moved our son, Drew, to a "big-boys bed" when we were expecting our second
child.  Drew was about 17 months old.  We began by getting my husbands old
twin-size bed from his parents.  We set up the bed by putting a piece of
1/2 or 3/4" particle board on the frame, then putting just the mattress 
directly on top of that, not using the box springs.  The reason we did this
was so the bed wasn't so high up.....Drew could climb in and out with little
or no difficulty.....and if he fell out, he wouldn't fall as far.  We also
put a papason cushion right next to the bed, on the floor, so if he DID fall
out, he would land on something soft (we left that there for 4-5 weeks until
he got used to being in the bed).  Next, we bought dalamations and sesame
street sheets and put one of them on the bed.  We also got those "Priss Print"
stick-ups in sesame street design to put up on the walls....we let Drew help
decide where to put some of them.  We made a big deal about this being "his"
room now.  We let the room sit there, all decorated, for about 2 weeks.  Then
one day, I asked Drew if he wanted to try sleeping in the big-boys bed for
his nap.....he agreed.  We made a big deal about how great it was that he
could sleep in a big-boys bed, and how exciting it was, etc.  Then, we put
him in for nap and I put a childs-gate up at the door so he couldn't come
out of his room.  He cried for about 20 minutes, and came to the door, so we 
ended up just closing his door and he cried for about 10 more minutes and 
went to sleep.  I was going to keep putting him in his crib at night until he
got used to the bed, but my daycare provider said that that may confuse Drew
if I switched him back and forth between a bed and a crib, so we just let him
sleep in the bed from then on.  The first couple of nights, he cried about
20 minutes or so, but then fell asleep.  He had a lot more difficulty taking
naps, and for about 4 weeks, he would fall asleep right behind the door, on 
the floor, but after this rough period, he did well in the bed.  He only fell
out once, but he just got up and climbed right back in and went back to sleep.
We never used a bed-rail, just the papson cushion to help cushion his fall....
I offered to put the bed rail in for him and he told me he didn't want it, so
we let him decide on that issue.  Drew tends to stay in bed in the morning
(although he doesn't "sleep in" per se, he just lays there and calls out for
Mom or Dad).  What is nice is that, if he is tired during the day, he will
sometimes go in and lay on his bed with his minnie (blanket) and just rest.
After about 4 months of putting the childs-gate up at night, we stopped doing
that and Drew has only once gotten up on his own, and walked around looking
for us (we were still in bed) and then he ended up going into his brothers
room and talking to him until we got out of bed.  As far as the timing of
putting Drew into a big-boys bed, ours was a forced decision due to the 
new baby coming along.  I felt a little guilty "making" Drew go into a big-boys
bed to begin with, but I think he actually enjoys it more.  Plus, Drew was 
always a big kid so the big bed gives him a lot more room without him running
into the crib ends and sides.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Amy Uhrbach" <AMY.UHRBACH@OFFICE.WANG.COM>

We moved my son Alex to a bed when he was 2 1/2, because he outgrew the crib.
Climbing out was never a problem.  He never wanted to, and I know he could
because he DID climb in!  But he was cramped at night, and it was sometimes
waking him up.  The switch went very smoothly, and he doesn't even need rails
so long as he is tucked in.  Here's what we did:

We have a house in Vermont that we share with 3 other families (BIG).  There
are 4 bigger boys out of that crew, so there is one big "boys room"  We showed
Alex how these big boys, his idols, sleep in big boy beds, would he like to
next time we went?  He was all excited, loved it from the beginning.  Only
problem was keeping him on the BOTTOM bunk!

After that success, we asked would he like one at home?  Again, he was all
excited, could hardly wait the 2 weeks until it arrived.  He's so proud of it!

No problems still with him getting out.  He never does at night, or if it's
too early in the morning.  We usually hear him playing and singing for at
least 20 minutes, then he either comes out to get us or calls us in.  This is
much easier for us (and our backs), since we can sit on the edge, don't have
to lift him out, etc.  We DO still have a multi-song bedtime snuggle in the
rocking chair, because I'd miss ending that at least as much as he would.

Because Alex's height was an issue, we got him a full twin bed.  That also
played a part in his motivation.  Paid $220 or so for an ash frame, really
handsome, from Boston Interiors (Metro-Boston area).  They had the exact same
items for much cheaper than the other stores, and I checked quite a few.
Unless you're very short on room space and rich, I see no need for the toddler
beds - you'll just have to buy a bigger one in a year or two anyway.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Ephraim Vishniac <ephraim@Think.COM>

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Slightly over one year.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

After he dumped himself out of the crib twice, we were worried he'd
injure himself.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

No real preparation, we just took apart the crib and brought in his
new mattress. 

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

Baby gate in the doorway.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

No change that I can recall. He still acted as though he were in the
crib. He'd sit on the bed in the morning and call us to come get him. 

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

We went from the crib to a regular-sized mattress on the floor, then
later to a regular bed. David didn't have any complaints.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

I think we'll do it the same way again -- watch for a sign that the
crib is outdated.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Diane S.  ("B" = abbreviation for child's name)

Here's how we switched our 20 month old son to a bed.

Background:  I was expecting our second child, who was due when
B was 22 months old.  We didn't really want to buy or borrow
a second crib.  Nor did we think putting the new baby in a bassinet
for a few months, then switching B to a bed and IMMEDIATELY giving
the crib to the new baby was a good idea.  That seemed like a setup
for jealousy and problems.  So I really wanted to get B into a bed
several months before the baby was born.  We also switched B to a
new room at the same time.  His old room is decorated for a baby, and
I didn't want to redo that one for a little boy and then decorate a
new one for the baby.

First we went and picked out the bed.  We let B help pick it out, 
though at his then age of 18 months, he really wasn't all that interested.  
We got a standard twin bed, not a toddler bed.  Those use the crib mattress, 
which would totally defeat my purpose! He did enjoy picking out new 
sheets for his big bed (Sesame Street). It was about a month before 
the bed was delivered.  The day it came, my husband tried to put him 
in the new bed for a nap.  He would have nothing to do with it.  By 
this time he was about 19 months or so. At the time, we were doing a 
lot of interior painting, and were using his new room for temporary 
furniture storage every weekend, so we really didn't push the issue.  
We referred to the room as his new room.  We moved his bookcase with 
all his stories in there, as well as his toy box. He liked to get up 
on the bed and play, or read stories.  But every night when we asked 
if he wanted to sleep there, he said no.

In the middle of the month, B got chicken pox and I had to go out
of town for about four days.  We decided that was DEFINITELY not the
time to push the issue, but continued to read stories on the bed fairly
regularly.  Once he got over the chicken pox, I continued asking him
where he wanted to sleep.  Once he indicated he wanted to sleep on the
bed, so I put him there at bedtime, but he got up crying within ten
minutes so I put him in his crib right away, and he settled down.

About a month after the bed was delivered, we were out late and B
had fallen thoroughly asleep in the car. He stayed asleep as we carried 
him in, so we just put him in the new bed.  He definitely was NOT thrilled 
to wake up there the next morning!  The next two nights when I asked 
him where he wanted to sleep, he ran crying to his crib.  So I was almost 
resigned to looking for a second crib.  The next night, we read bedtime 
stories in the crib room.  He got down, went into the other room, picked 
out more stories, and climbed up on the bed.  So I read him more stories 
on the bed, then kissed him goodnight and left, closing the door behind 
me.  (We have always kept his door closed).  He fussed for about 5 minutes, 
just his usual I don't want to go to bed yet fussing, but didn't get 
up.  Since then, he has slept in the bed every night! We moved all of 
his clothes in there about two days later, and now he rarely goes in 
his old room anymore.  It was at least two months before he figured 
out he could get out of bed by himself.  Up until then, he stayed in 
his bed once I put him in it, until I came and got him out.  Of course, 
to enforce this, I had to get up and come right away when he called 
to get out!

I really think the key was starting early enough to allow B to set
the pace himself.  He had to wait until he was comfortable enough with
the room, and healthy, so he could give up the security of his crib.
The only time he has really gotten upset was one time when he mistakenly
went into his old room to get a sweater out of his old dresser, and
the drawer was empty.  I told him that this wasn't his room anymore,
that it was going to be the new baby's room.  He started to cry until
I took him in his new room and showed him again where all his clothes
were.

Hope this helps someone else!
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: ann@alumni.cco.caltech.edu (Ann Terese Heil)

My son transitioned from his crib to a bed sometime after his second
birthday.  The move was done entirely on his request.  We have a
futon on the floor in his room, and he just started requesting to
sleep on the futon.  Once he was on the futon instead of the crib, he
could of course get out of his bedroom at night, but we didn't really
find this to be a problem - instead of him crying if he needed something
in the middle of the night, he simply came into our room and asked us 
for it ("more apple juice please").  We did not find that he slept any
later on the weekends after the transition.

Interestingly enough, he is now almost three and is sleeping on the 
couch out in the living room.  I have no idea why he wants to sleep
there, but he started asking to be put to bed on the couch so we
let him (and sometimes we'd put him to bed in his room and he'd
migrate out to the couch later).  Kids sure are strange sometimes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: gbk@ihlpm.att.com (Gail B Karlovsky)

 > (1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

We tried to move Adrienne to a bed at about age two.  At first she was on a
mattress on the floor (for a couple of weeks) and did fine.  When we received
the frame, and she moved off the floor, she woke up numerous times a nite,
eventually asking to go back in her crib.  She moved back to her crib until
we took a trip to New York where she slept on a bed.  When we went back home,
she wanted to sleep in the bed again, so we bought a guard rail.  This was
pretty much permanent at age 2 1/2 (only 1 month ago).  She no longer wakes 
up and she no longer talks about monsters (I guess the guard rail, just like 
the crib rail, keeps them out).

 > (2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

Definitely not, it was very important for us to make sure the two wouldn't
coincide...  she is still an only child, although we are hoping to start on
number two soon... that has to wait til the doctor gives me the go ahead.

 > (3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
 >      bed at that time?  

Our concerns were exactly those...  she was trying to climb out and getting
stuck, AND she was jumping alot and we were concerned the crib was going to
break.

 > (4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
 >      and did you find that the preparation paid off?

The transition to the mattress meerly included her shopping with us.  We had
asked her first if she wanted to sleep in a real bed, and she did.
Additionally, she already sleeps on a cot at daycare (low to the ground).

With the bedframe, she "helped" us put it together.

I think including her in everything helped ALOT.  She doesn't give up things
easily.

 > (5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
 >      his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
 >      so, how did you solve the problem?

I described this above....  Mostly, whenever she gets out of bed, she always
comes to get us and wakes us up.  Our concerns were never for safety, since
she never did anything but come stright to us.  Our concern was for our sleep
and once we found the cause of waking up (whether it be falling out of bed or
monsters) we were able to solve it with the guard rails.

 > (6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
 >      changes to his/her sleep routine?  (Specifically, my husband
 >      would like to know if sleeping in a bed will encourage our son
 >      to stay in bed longer in the morning :-0.)

No...  did not change a thing, except shortly after she moved into her bed,
we told her we would not be allowing her to have a middle of the night
bottle.  We are not trying to wean her from the bottle, simply we are trying
to get her to the point where when she does wake up in the middle of the
night, it is to come get a hug and go right back to bed.  This way, we all
lose less sleep.

 > (7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
 >      a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
 >      with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

Adrienne is in a toddler bed, though I think she will outgrow it sooner than
we want to.  She could have just as easily gone to a twin size bed, but the
smaller bed allows more stuff in her room, and we wanted that.

 > (8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
 >      transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
 >      you feel the timing was right for your child?

I think the only thing we would have done differently, is we would have gotten 
the guard rail for the bed the first time she transitioned.

I also wanted to point out that when she went to the bed, the crib stayed.
It was a much more major transition to take the crib out, and that was
initiated by Adrienne.  We had bought one of those chains that you hang
stuffed animals on, but when Adrienne wanted us to put it up, we explained it
had to wait til the crib came out because there was no room for it (this was
not done to encourage her to want the crib out, it was coincidental).  Before
we got to initiate removing the crib, she asked me to take it out of her
room.  When the crib came out, the whole room got rearranged.  She was with
us the whole time, "helping" us decide where to put her furniture.  Now she
has a really neat toddler's room instead of an outgrown baby's room.

Hope this helps...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: stanzi@vision.wellesley.edu (Constance Royden)

I worried about this transition too.  For us it turned out to be
easy.  After a trip to visit grandparents, during which Caitlin
slept on the floor, she refused to sleep in the crib any more. 
So, after picking out a bed (twin size) that I liked, we took
her shopping to show her the bed and get her approval.  Then we
took her shopping for bedding and let her pick out her own blankets
and sheets.  We left the crib up for about a week, after the bed
arrived, but it got no use.  We then let Caitie "help" take the
crib apart and put it in the attic.  She's never asked about it 
since!  This all occured when she was 2years 3 months old.

So from our experience I would say this:
1) Wait until the child seems ready--talk to her about it if you're 
not sure.
2) Involve the child in the process--shopping for blankets and sheets,
putting the crib away.

I admit we had an especially easy time of it :-).
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From: ICKAD@ASUACAD.BitNet (Karen Davis)

I hope it's not too late to add our experience to the new FAQ file.  I feel
that our situation might be unique because, although we *did* have a crib set
up for Jamie and used it occasionally, we actually had a family-bed up until
June of this year, when he was almost 2-1/2.  The reason why I *particularly*
wanted Jamie in his own bed/room was that Jamie is an "active" sleeper, which
caused me to lose sleep--as I would often find myself being kicked or pushed
to the rail of the waterbed.  Also, although I originally favored the family
bed to facilitate nursing, Jamie continued to request nursing through the
night, throwing middle-of-the-night tantrums if I was just too exhausted (or
sick) to comply.  So, the motivating factor was the necessity for *all* of us
to get a good night's sleep on a regular basis.

I spent a long time pondering how best to make the transition.  I decided to
re-do his room . . . to truly make it *his* room, and not what we thought it
should be.  Since he was fanatic about "101 Dalmatians" this summer, we bought
him a "101 Dalmatians" comforter for the waterbed (already set up in the room
from when it used to be a guest room).  Since we had to take the crib down,
we had to do something with the tons of stuffed animals, so I decided to buy
some colorful (and decorative) hammocks (sold at Toys 'R Us), which we hung up
on decorative plant hooks in the corner of his room.  The hammocks now hold
all the stuffed animals; it's decorative and functional.  We kept the changing
table, but since we were working on potty training, I moved out the diapers
put the diaperaps into the pedestal drawers underneath his waterbed, and filled
the bottom shelf of the changing table with all his books.  The toys that he
used to keep in what we call the "library" (den), we moved into his room,
giving us our own space back.  We still have some work to do on his closet, so
he will be able to access his own clothes and encourage him to dress himself.
All this we did while Jamie was taking a long nap one Sunday afternoon.  When
he woke up, he looked amazed--and especially latched onto his new comforter.
He asked a lot of excited questions, like: "This . . . MINE?"   And I told him
that now he has his own room, his own bed, and his own toys and books . . . all
in one place.

And, to encourage sleep habits, I enhanced the bedtime routine I first started
when we had the family bed.  Depending on the time (*he usually starts pre-
paring for bed anywhere from 8:30 to 9:00), I let him pick two to three books.
I have his water ready is a "sippy cup" (to prevent spills when he reaches for
it in the middle of the night) and sometimes a little snack (like crackers).
Then I read him his stories--or, sometimes, he likes to hear about what it was
like when he was born (almost 3 yrs. ago).  Then, I tell him it's time to go
to sleep.  I turn out the lights (*we keep a light-sensitive nightlight on;
it's the kind that doesn't work during the daytime), and ask him if he'd like
me to sing to him.  He usually does, and makes a request  (usually "'Bye-Lo
Baby", although I turned the tables on him one time and proposed "'Bye-Lo
Mommy--so I had to make up a song like that, which he usually requests these
days).  I sing two rounds of the song while rubbing his back.  When I finish,
I kiss him goodnight and say a few 'goodnights' to some of his "friends"--
Woof, the Dog; Blue Bear,Bunny, and Blue Bunny (a family unit), Joey (a little
pig in diapers which I gave him for Valentine's Day), and his little
Dalmatian puppy he got at Disneyland.  Then I close the door.  He may call to
me now and then to re-cover him up or kiss him goodnight (if he refused when
I offered the first time), but basically he never comes out unless he asks
first on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and he generally sleeps through the
night, unless awakened by a bad dream.

Without a doubt, I believe that his age (2-1/2 at the time) was the "right"
time, and I am not sorry that we had a family bed.  I have *many* good
memories of that, and for the first week or so I missed having him with me.
But sometimes, after he asks if he can come out of his room, I will say--yes,
and he can come in our room--and I will briefly nurse him in my bed again if
he asks.  Basically, I "went with the flow" of things--his personality, our
relationship, and . . . above all, what I felt in my own heart.  This
experience has been a valuable lesson to me, because so many  older/experienced
parents  (like Matt's father and stepmother)  would frown when they learned
that we had a family bed, saying, "He'll never learn to sleep on his own or in
his own bed,"  and I'm overjoyed to prove them WRONG!!!!   If and when we have
another child, I'll feel a *whole* lot better about ignoring outsiders and
trusting myself!
--------------------------------------------------------------------
From: xtkmg@blaze.trentu.ca (Kate Gregory)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Beth went from her crib to a mattress on the floor at 18 months,
and at 3.5 has *just* (two days ago) switched to a real bed.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

She didn't climb out of her crib but she wouldn't go into it
without a fuss, had a fit if she woke up to find herself in it,
etc. After three nights of sleeping on just the floor we dragged
a mattress from the spare room. After a while we took the crib down
and ordered a mattress for her. A cheap foam one. 

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

No preparation at all. But it was definitely her decision so perhaps
she should have prepared us :-). For the switch to real bed we have
been telling her for a month or so that her bed is coming, and
when it arrived she insisted we assemble it immediately and she
wanted to sleep in it right away.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

In the night she used to lie still and cry for us. In the morning
she would come to our bed. That was nice. Now sometimes she comes
to our bed in the middle of the night. We deal with it fairly ad-hoc:
sometimes we take her back, other times she crawls in with us.
If one of us feels crowded out, we go sleep in her bed. It's no
big deal.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

The mythical child who gets up and quietly plays with toys
while the parents slumber on sure doesn't live at our house :-).
But instead of frantic shrieking to be got from the crib,
we're woken by someone climbing on us or kissing us. Much better.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

It was a twin mattress. Now it's a twin bed. Room for someone else
to lie down with her.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

Yes, I like the way we did it. The room does look neater with a
bed rather than a mattress, so I don't regret switching now. We
never had to worry about her falling out. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: watrous@cs.rutgers.edu (Don Watrous)

We did this just seven weeks ago, so I'll give my comments.

In misc.kids you write:

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

2 years, exactly.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

She never climbed out of it, but seemed interested in a "grown-up"
bed (like her 5-year-old brother's).

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

Asked her if she wanted one.  Then gave it to her on her birthday.  It
was a big hit and she wanted to go to bed right away.  (It was given
around bedtime.)

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

No, she will lie in bed and call us - well trained by the crib!  (We
do have a gate across the (full flight down) stairs just outside her
door, but that's been there for a long time.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

No difference I've noticed.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

Crib to toddler with guard rails ("My Little Bed" from The Newborne
Company).  On sale, it was about $40, the same as two add-on rails her
brother still uses (he's a violent sleeper).  The rails cover about
1/2 the length of the bed.  She's only fallen out once - and it's
lower.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

I liked the timing, though my wife was apprehensive, since Shaina
hadn't really expressed any unhappiness with the crib, and she was
afraid she'd wander.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
From: sgauch@damon.ccs.northeastern.edu (Susan Gauch)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

      Age 2.6.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

      Yes.  Baby due in 6 months.  Wanted Laura adjusted to the new
      bed (and new room) well before baby's birth.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

      We fixed up the new room, showed her the new furniture.  It was set
      up several days before the move.  She brought her own "special
      things (bear, blanket, toys) to the new room herself.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

      Laura sometimes comes and visits me at night, sometimes calls me
      to her.  We average 1 visit every 2-3 days.  Not a real big problem
      and I just carry her back to bed, rub her back, kiss her and leave.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

      Yes.  Laura woke during the night, had troubles falling asleep,
      woke earlier in the morning.  I don't know how much was losing
      the crib, how much the switch in rooms, but we lost about 2 hours
      (one at night, one in the morning).  Eventually (8 months later) she
      got so that she goes to bed at the old time, but that required 
      eliminating the afternoon nap.  She never sleeps as late.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

      Regular size bed.  I wouldn't buy an extra toddler bed that would
      need to be replaced again - too expensive.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

      I'd have kept her in her crib until she was ready for college if I
      had to do it again.  We lost so much sleep over so many months and had
      never had sleep troubles before.  Whether it was the room or the
      crib, the change was traumatic for Laura and she simply would not 
      stay in bed/her room.  Even spankings (the first and almost only
      thing I've ever spanked for) didn't keep her there.  Hour long
      bedtime rituals didn't keep her there.  All that worked for us
      was to promise to check on her and return in 5 minutes (gradually
      increasing to 10 or 15 as the evening dragged on).  Also, the
      tape recorder helped.  Penelope Leach recommends buying a second
      crib for the new baby, and boy I wish we did.  A year later, and
      the adjustment is made, but at what cost?  The "5 minute check"
      routine was also a Penelpe Leach suggestion - great book! 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Pat Hoyt <pahoyt@neumann.uwaterloo.ca>

I chose just to answer your questions. I have two boys, neither of
whom experienced transition problems. Indeed, it never occurred
to me that there might be until I read the thread on the net.

 |(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Both were about 2 1/2 years old.

 |(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

 |(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
 |     bed at that time?  
 
It was time. Hard to explain but we just felt that they were ready to have
their own bed. Of course, from what I've read on the net, they were
older than the average.

 |(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
 |     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

We did the same for both boys. Talked about buying a "real" bed for
them, they went with us when we looked at some second hand beds, and
they were around (and "helped") for the dismantling of the crib and
the set up of the new bed. The older especially, was so pleased to
be in a big bed. His first night he called us in -- he was so proud
and there was a grin on his face from ear to ear.

 |(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
 |     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
 |     so, how did you solve the problem?

Not at first. The older boy, especially, didn't realize that he COULD
get out of bed if he wanted to. We did have a spell with him in which
it became a big game for him. Our solution was to "visit" frequently --
at first every 10 to 30 seconds. If he was in bed, he got a big hug
and praise. If he was out of bed or came out of his room, he got
helped back matter of factly. I can't recall how long it took (not
a real long time), but soon every 5 and 10 minutes became the norm, and
then we'd only do 1 or 2 per night and now a year later, we just visit
if he calls us. We never had this problem with the younger, probably
because we knew enough to nip it before it became a problem. I've 
read, and it is true for us, that if you expect them to stay in bed
you have to do a certain amount of "waiting" on them -- i.e. get
them a glass of water, blow their nose, etc. 
Another aspect to this problem, was that our son was just toilet trained 
at the getting out of bed stage. So, trips to the bathroom were never 
commented on as we had no desire to interfere with his toileting achievements. 
In some cases, it was obvious that it was a stalling tactic but there
were a couple of occasions that I assumed that it was and  I was
proven wrong. I was glad then we had decided not to interfere with any
trips to the bathroom. We never had any problems in the middle of the 
night or early morning. I don't know why, but even now when it is
definately time to get up, my younger will lie in bed and call for me
unless his older brother has gotten him up and going. (They share a
room.)

 |(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
 |     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

Ha! No way! :-) Our second was a early morning waker. What fun!!!!
But no, we didn't notice any change in sleeping patterns.

 |(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
 |     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
 |     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

Made the transition to a regular sized bed -- twin size. We were
and still are happy with that decision. One reason for doing it that
way, is that we couldn't see spending money on a toddler bed and
then more money when they outgrew it. (Our financial state is less
than healthy)

 |(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
 |     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
 |     you feel the timing was right for your child?

We'd do it the same way. I think our younger son could have transfered
a few months earlier but it took us awhile to find a bed.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Ginger Goral" <GSA@osnnov1.adp.wisc.edu>

  Our 4-yr. old transitioned to a regular bed at about 18 months.  We
were planning a long vacation/business trip overseas when she was
going to be 20 months and we wanted her accustomed to a regular bed.
I'll answer your questions:

1) 18 months
2) No, taking a trip.  We do plan to transition our 14 month old
soon, however, due to the arrival of his sibling in May.
3) See above.
4) We just got her excited about a big girl's bed, and she was very
game to try it.
5) Only problem was she fell out of bed ALOT for the first 3 days and
then never did again.  It was as if her body and mind had to figure
out that there were no borders on the bed.  In her crib she had
changed position constantly, but she seemed to stay much more in the
same position once we transitioned her to a bed (after the 2-3 days).
We did it cold turkey - no borders or chairs on the side of the bed,
figuring she would learn faster instinctively to stay on the bed and
this worked for us.  Of course we cushioned the ground so when she
fell out she wouldn't hit the floor.
6) No changes to her sleep routine.  In fact, she still called to us
rather than climb out of bed which she could easily do.  You might
try leaving a favorite toy on the bed - this seems to work for our
son.
7) Crib to twin bed.
8) The time was right for our daughter.  She was already waking up
dry at night, although we did have a waterproof sheet on the
mattress.  She transitioned very smoothly and was very proud of her
big girl bed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From: biddleco@bmf.usc.edu (Susan Biddlecomb)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Up to 9 months old she spent about half the nights in a crib and half in our
bed. Since that time (she's 3 now), we've all slept in a 'family bed'.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No (no siblings)

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

She started trying to catapult herself over the crib rail at 7-8 months!
She seemed very trapped and very unhappy in the crib. And, her dad started 
using the crib as a 'time-out' place when she was crying so it had some
negative connations to it.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

We didn't really prepare her, it was very gradual. When she was 14 months old
we moved to a new place and didn't set the crib up there.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

Nope. Of course since we are all in the same bed we know if she wakes up 
before she has a chance to get up.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

Not really.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

To our bed (King-sized for two adults and a child)

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

If we had the space I would like to have put her in a toddler bed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From: jane@apollo.hp.com (Jane Marcus)

Both of my kids transitioned to a bed before 2 years old.  Each of
them was inclined to climb out of the crib, especially during a
tantrum, and we transitioned them to beds as quickly as we could to
avoid injuries.

Preparation for sleeping in the bed included setting up the bed with
a pretty blanket, pretty sheets, etc. so that the bed would be
appealing.  Then we would encourage playing on the bed during the
day.  Sometimes we would lie together on the bed for a few minutes
in the dark.  I would guess that this preparation was helpful, but
I can't say for sure.

Our older daughter transitioned quite easily.  She was in her bed a
full 6 months before her sister was born and didn't have any attachment
to the crib leftover, so that was easy for us.  The problems she
had (and continues to have) are that she rolls all over the place
and doesn't seem to be able to stay under covers.  So she's almost
5 now and she still wears blanket sleepers to bed and we keep a
full length bedbar on her bed.  At first we also had to put pillows
at the foot of the bed because she sometimes would roll off the
end of the bed, but she seems to have outgrown that.

Our younger daughter had a worse time transitioning.  We had her
crib in a small nursery room which was too small to put a bed.  So
the transition was from crib to bed and also into a new room.  She
seemed to want to sleep in the new bed (and would play on it during
the day) and liked the idea of sharing a room with her sister (her
older sister was really great about it too).  Given a choice of sleeping
in crib vs. bed, she'd always choose the bed.  But once in bed, she
would ask for her crib again and this would be disrupting the bedtime
routine for both kids.  So, finally I questioned the net for
advice and I got some good ideas.  I wondered if I should backoff from
the transition because she was still quite young, but most people thought
she was old enough, especially since she seemed to want to sleep in the
bed.  A lot of people advised me just to get rid of the crib (which I
decided not to do).  Some people gave me tips on how to make the crib
safer so that the transition wouldn't be as necessary.  Examples: 
--leaving the side down and putting a stool there for climbing in and out 
--removing the crib legs and leaving the side down so that the crib
  "nest" was still intact for the security but the crib was now down
  on the floor (for me, this would have ruined the crib though).  Then
  leave the side down for easy climbing in and out
--using just the crib mattress on the floor
I decided not to use any modified crib ideas, and wanted to make the
bed work (note that we were using a full length bed bar, which several
people told me was essential).  Instead we followed the advice of others 
to move the crib into the new room.  It was really, really crowded in 
there, but we were pretty desperate to get on track following a few 
mishaps with climbing out of the crib.  With the crib in the new room, 
I didn't ask her where she wanted to sleep, but would just put her in the 
crib.  She eventually got used to the new room and after about 2 weeks, 
started asking to sleep in the bed.  At this point, we started giving her
the choice again about where to sleep.  We left the crib in the room for
about another week, and then took it down at the point that she didn't
ask to sleep in the crib for several days in a row.  I feel sure that
her problem with the transition had little to do with giving up the
crib and more was the problem of sleeping in a different room.  In
any case, she enjoyed extending the bedtime routine to include having
mom/dad lie with her briefly in bed with the lights out, which was 
something that was not possible with the crib.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Stephanie Winner <winner@apple.com>

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

1 year

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No, although it was convenient since her sister was born 4 monthes
later.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

We had to move her to a bed since she had climbed out of her crib.
We had been considering moving her out soon anyway.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

Since it wasn't planned, there was not preparation.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

We had purchased a swing door gate and used that on her doorway
from the first night she was out of the crib.  That kept her from
coming into our room or falling down the stairs.  The swing door
is nice since she will be able to open it herself when she is older
(we plan to use it for a while since she shares a room with her 
younger sister) and we don't have to climb over a gate.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

It didn't change anything, probably because she was so young.  The
first two nights we spent some extra time tucking her in.  If she
wakes up too early now (before 6AM) we tell her that it is not
morning yet and to go back to bed.  If necessary, we put her back
in bed.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

Since we didn't plan to move her out of the crib so soon we just
used a full sized mattress and boxspring that we had.  We just
put it on the floor and it worked great.  She did fall off it a
few times early on, but since the floor is carpeted she didn't
hurt herself.  When she was about 18mo I got a comforter and
sheet set (very bright colors) with fish on it which she liked
a lot.  I also got some of the post-it type room border in a fish
theme which she is wild about.  She like to peel the fish off it
and move them around.  It is right next to the bed.  She also has a
fish tank which she can see from her bed (she couldn't touch or
see them well from the crib).

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

We wanted to make the transistion around 15 mo, so we could use the
crib for her sister.  12mo turned out to be great since she was too
little to get very upset.  She also was too young to try and escape,
so having a gate put up didn't bother her.  She probably doesn't
remember not having a gate up.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From: riggle@adobe.com (Kathleen Riggle)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

28 months old

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

Well, many, many months ago, we caught Rachel with her leg over the
side of the crib.  She's not really a climber, but I started thinking
about "big girl beds."  We mentioned it to her.  I'd talk about it on
and off.  Now, usually, if I mention something to her, I follow
through.  But, the time just wasn't right, she hadn't really climbed
out of her crib, I was unsure if she would like it, etc, etc.  Then,
one day we were reading a book ("Twinkle, Twinkle" from Chinaberry
books; wonderful!) and at the end of the book, Rachel pointed to the
bed and said, "Rachel gets a big girl bed, soon, soon."
  It sounded to me that she wanted to get one, so we did.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

Well, we just talked about it a lot before we actually did it.  I had
scoped out the stores earlier for beds I liked and we took her with us
to pick it out.  Boy, that was a disaster!  She went non-linear in the
store; climbing on beds, wanting to jump on them.  We had to drag her
out of the store screaming.  I went back and got the bed on my own.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

Not really.  In fact, she sometimes still calls for us to get her;
other mornings, she appears in our room with blanket and animal
friends in tow.  

I'm not going to say night time wanderings never happen; sometimes she
comes in because she is cold and we just go tuck her back in.  It's
not a problem.  The other night she came in and ended up sleeping in
our bed.  Dave asked her the next morning what had happened; she had
heard sirens and they scared her.  We probably could have put her back
in bed that time, but I think we were too tired to bother.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

Forget that!  Rachel is waking up earlier!  However, she is also
eating like a horse; she can't eat enough.  I looked at her on
Thanksgiving when she had a dress on and thought how skinny her legs
looked.  We measured her and she's grown an inch and 1/2 since summer!
When she wakes up early, she usually asks for breakfast.  We are
trying to feed her a little more in the evening.

But, other than waking hungry, we really haven't noticed any sleep
changes.

However, putting her down to sleep is a lot harder.  She stalls more;
she wants water, she wants to say goodnight to the cat or mommy or
daddy (whoever is not trying to wrestle her into bed), she wants
another story, etc.  We are trying to make a firm routine to handle
this.  

The first week, she seemed a little scared.  She was happy to have the
bed, but it was a big change.  So, I sat by her bed and we listened to
music in the dark and I would hold her hand.  After about 3 minutes, I
would say I had to go and she was to sleep.  She would protest, but
she never got out of the bed.  As soon as the door closed, her
protests stopped and she went to sleep.

A couple of times at nap time, she has gotten out of her bed and done
something (we've never looked; just heard her.)  After a few minutes,
she would crawl back into bed and sleep.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

Toddler bed.  I'm happy with it and Rachel is too.  It's small enough
that she can climb on it herself and that really gives her a feeling
of accomplishment.  She likes to sit on it and play with her dolls,
tuck them in, etc.  The first night, she fell out twice.  We put
pillows and blankets to cushion the fall and the other side of the bed
is backed up to the wall, so she can't hurt herself when she falls.
This made me feel a lot more comfortable.

Laura Floom pointed out to me that since children are still potty
training durning this time, that since they are using their crib
mattress, they can wet on it and if it's ruined, hopefully by the time
they move to a larger bed, they are night-timed trained.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

I thought the timing was fine.  A couple of other points: Rachel
always had a night-time and nap-time bottle.  I've wanted to phase
these out for awhile, but the timing never was right.  Well, we put
the transistion bed up and that night, she refused the bottle.  It
was as if she knew that she was a "big girl" now and didn't need
bottles anymore.  Boy that was great!  I was afraid that it was going
to be too much of a change for her all at once, but it was her
decision.  Sometimes she will ask for a bottle, but it's a stall
tactic and Dave just tells her that we don't do bottles anymore.
She's okay with that.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From: elliottt@cis9.b10.ingr.com (Terri Elliott)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

      About 18 months.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

      No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

      He had begun to try to climb out of his crib.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?
   
      We talked to him about it a lot and took him with us when we 
      shopped for another bed.  He was there when the bed was delivered
      and watched it being assembled in his room.  We really made a 
      big deal about it being a big boy bed.

      For about two weeks, we let him sleep on the floor beside his new
      bed on his old crib mattress.  We wanted him to get used to sleeping 
      without the sides of the crib.  We moved him to the bed after that
      with no problem.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

      Not for 2-3 months.  At first he didn't understand that he could 
      get out by himself.  Then he started climbing out only when we
      were there.  We used a gate in his doorway until he was about 22 months
      (when he began to try to climb over it).  A couple of months ago, 
      (at about 23 months) he started coming into our room in the middle
      of the night to get in bed with us.  We have had no other nighttime 
      wanderings yet.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

      I don't think so.  If anything, he is sleeping a little longer 
      because he can come in and climb in bed with us in the mornings 
      and sometimes goes back to sleep.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

      We bought him a This End Up twin bed.  This bed is wooden with 
      lift out wooden rails.  It can be made into a bunk bed just
      by getting another of the same bed.  We have been very happy 
      with it.  He can now climb down the rail and side like a ladder.

      (We did initially put blankets and quilts around the rails and 
      ends of the bed to pad it in case he fell down and hit his head
      on the wood, but we took that off at about 23 months with no 
      problems.)

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

      I think it was great for him.  He really took to the new bed
      right away without problems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: cathy@octelb.octel.com (Cathy Kearns)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Just past 2 years old.
>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

At our weekend house she had a twin bed in her room.  She had
more or less decided she liked that bed better.  She also had this
terrible habit (caused, of course, by us parents letting her get
away with it) of refusing to fall asleep in her crib.  We decided
if we got her a big bed, we could lay with her until she fell asleep.
For our weekday home we got a full size futon, which had two advantages
over the twin bed. 1) it was close to the ground, so if she fell out
she only fell 6 inches, 2) it was big enough for a parent to lay down
with her.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

Well, we were letting her help us set the bed up, until she ran off
with all the hardware and wouldn't let us have any bolts, so then
we put her in her crib (the first time we used it for a jail) until
we finished.  At that point she was mad at the crib and wanted it
out of there, so we took it down.  She had no problem adjusting to
the new bed.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

Okay, so she wanders out of her room into our bed quite often.  If
she does it two days in a row, we talk to her about it and she stops.
We did have to make her room "friendly" by removing all the things
she thought looked scarry, but now she falls asleep in her bed alone
after we read her a story and tuck her in.  Just recently, now that
she turned 3, we have heard her in the middle of the night wander
out to the kitchen and get a glass of water, but then she goes
back to bed.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

Actually, in our case, she did sleep longer in the morning.  No clue
why.  But she does come in a wake us up when she gets hungry. (Around
7, or even 8 sometimes on weekends.)  (If she's not up by 7:30 on
weekdays we wake her up.)

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

I highly suggest a full size bed so an adult can lay with the child, 
especially those chilly nights, or scarry nights, or nights when she
is sick.  It's worked great for us. (On the other hand, that twin
bed at the beach house is a pain.)

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

It worked out well for us.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Patrick S. Clark <SLB3Y@CC.USU.EDU>

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

     18 months, maybe 20

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

     In part.  We decided to move him to a bed before the birth, so he
wouldn't associate the two.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

     He fell out one night, despite normal anti-climb precautions.  We
thought a bed would be safer.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

     We put the bed together in his room with him "helping."  We left
it there, and put him in the crib normally.  A few days later, we
started asking him where he'd rather sleep, crib or bed.  He took to
the bed right away using these steps.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

     He still does.  If he's still sleepy, he climbs into bed with us. 
Some nights he remembers his pillow, others he asks us to get it for
him.  We don't really think it's a problem, as long as he goes to
sleep in his own bed.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

     He had trouble falling asleep on his own for a few months.  We
got him back to the routine with a little patience and a lot of
repressed irritation.  And no, he doesn't sleep longer.  He gets up a
little earlier now.  We think that's partly because he's getting
older, and so needs less sleep.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

     Toddler bed.  Yes, we're happy with it.  When we need to move
Sarah to that bed, Michael will be ready for a "regular-size bed."  We
don't know exactly what size that will be, though.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

     Worked just fine for him.  Each child is different, of course, so
we don't know how Sarah will handle the transition.  But that's a year
or two off, anyway.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: jeana@sco.COM (Jean Antisdel)


I used a technique described in a magazine article written
by Ferber on how to move a toddler from your "family" bed to their 
own bed.  (If I can find the article I'll post it).

We used this technique with our son when he was approx 2 1/2 years old.
He had been sleeping in our bed since he was 1.   (note that this was
over a year ago so this is only what I can recall :-} ).

One thing that Ferber stressed in the article is that you can't expect
the change to occur overnight.  It will take some time.  It took
us about 3 weeks to transition our son.

This is what we did

1st week
(a) Reduced cuddling in our bed.  My son had gotten to the point where he
wouldn't fall asleep unless he was tucked next to me with my arms wrapped
around him.  So I spent a couple of days weaning him from requiring that.

(b) Bought a new bed, etc.  He helped to pick out the sheets/comforter/etc.
We let him spend a couple of days adjusting to the new bed's existance.
Everytime I read him a book, I would take him to the new bed and lay on it
and read.  My son loves to read so he thought this was great.
We bought a trundle bed with the extra bed underneath (by the
way - i think these are great... when we put James to bed at night
we pull out the trundle.  The few times he has fallen out of bed ... he
has fallen right onto the other bed and kept sleeping :-} ).

2nd week
(c) I put him to bed in his new bed and slept in the trundle bed.  Ferber
indicated that it was important to provide your presence in the room but not to
be IN the same bed with them.  You could do the same with another mattress or
sleeping bag on the floor.  Don't let them come down and sleep with you.
I slept in his room for approx 1 week.  This does NOT mean staying there
until they fall asleep and then sneaking out.  By this time he was ok 
sleeping by himself in his bed with my presence.  He was no longer
waking in the middle of the night to reassure himself that I was there.

3rd week
(d) Put him to bed and indicate you have to do a few things first.
I saved my laundry folding for this time.  I would fold the laundry in
his room and sing him songs.  You start building up the amount of
time you are gone.  Leave for 5 minutes (oops got to pull some clothes
out of the dryer be right back), next time 10 minutes, next time 15 minutes,
etc.   The concept here is that you reassure them that you will be back
and they are ok for a short while without you.  By the time we got to
the 15 minutes he was usually asleep.  

This was enough for us to transition him to his own bed.  The few times
he tried to get up out of bed, I would indicate that if he stayed
in bed then I would leave the door open.  If he got out of bed and
left his room then the door would close.   He didn't threaten this to many
times.

He is still welcome in our bed.  He often wakes up early in the morning
5-6 am and wakes up and comes and snuggles with us.  So we still get
our morning smiles and cuddles :-}.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: mhn@cs.brown.edu (Marian H. Nodine)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

Tim -- 2 1/2

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

Yes

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

We are soon planning to move Anna into a bed because she *really* wants one.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

We took Tim out shopping and let him pick out some sheets.  We got a
bed rail.  Yes, it did pay off (he loved his sheets!)

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

No.  We had about two months before he figured out that he could get
out himself.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

No changes in the sleep routine.  But once Tim learned he could get out,
he wanted to come to us instead of playing quietly in his bed after he
woke up.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

We went from crib to twin-size bed.  In retrospect, I think the new
bed was a bit tall, but Tim got used to it.  I like the idea of a
trundle ged -- it would have been useful, I think.

With Anna we are planning to go to a toddler bed (no room for a big
one yet).

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

We thought it was just fine.  Tim had about five months in his bed
before Anna came, and was more than happy to give her his crib.  I
think if the switch had been quicker, he would not have wanted her
in his old crib.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From:  jbv@IMD.Sterling.COM (James B. Vacanti)

Our son Christopher was 20 months old when we started the crib to bed
transition. We were expecting our 2nd child 4-5 mos later and wanted
plenty of time for Chris to get used to his new bed, and not feel that
he was being displaced by the baby. He had not yet climbed out of his
crib but we wanted to make the whole transition a positive situation
and not a reaction to something. We started by taking him shopping to
several places to look at beds and kept explaining to him that we were
looking for his very own "big boy bed". We decided that a toddler bed was
a waste of time and money, and bought a twin size standard frame, mattress,
(but no boxspring), a chest and dresser. We put a piece of 3/4" plywood
under the mattress to keep the bed low (planning on him falling out),
and got a safety rail also. We can get the box spring in 1-2-3 yrs, whenever
it seems like a good idea. So far we are very happy with this decision.  

Most of our preparation for the transition was in telling Chris that he
was getting to be a "big boy" and was ready for a big bed of his own. We 
kept all of our comments positive and encouraging ('you'll like your new 
bed, lots of room to roll around, a big pillow of your own' etc.).
We got him Mickey Mouse sheets and pillow case, but no comforter (he was
still small enough that his favorite blankie was plenty, plus he can't help
but stay warm in his footed blanket sleepers). We just got him a comforter
at age 29 mos, but so far he refuses to get under it (except to play and 
hide). This preparation seemed to work pretty well. Even when we did have 
problems he never wanted to go back to his crib (mainly he just didn't
want to be in bed - he wanted to be with us).
   
We had seen a TV special (20/20 I think) about how to handle bedtime 
with small children, and had applied it with greast success while still
in the crib. This definately helps the crib to bed transition.
   
   1. Have a ritual.
      Ours is (optional bath), getting pajamas on, fixing a snack (Chris 
      has to get the apple out of the fridge, watch you cut it up, carry it
      out on a dish), pick out a book, sit in a designated spot (ours is 
      a recliner chair - which also happens to be his "time-out" chair),
      eat snack while being read to (max of 2 books). Don't be surprised
      it s/he picks the same book night after night after night ....
      After snack/book we brush our teeth (he does not me). We started
      this at about 2yrs with just a toothbrush and water. Added bubble-
      gum flavored toothpaste at 28-30 mos. After brushing it's 
      "Time for kisses time", and Chris goes around and gives everyone
      a nite-nite kiss. Then off to bed. 
   
   2. FOLLOW THE RITUAL !   Make sure baby sitters, grandparents, etc.
      know what the ritual is and that they follow it. Kids at this age
      THRIVE on consistency! If you do things in the wrong order you will
      hear about it.

   3. Settle into bed (for a 2YO this is a relative term). Make sure we
      have our blankie, favorite stuffed animal, favorite car (don't
      laugh - whatever works), most recently received toy (you just
      can't stop grandparents), but keep it to 1-5 minutes. Usually
      the "parent of the night" (whoever is doing the ritual) gets
      his/her nite-nite kiss in bed, talks about what fun they had that
      day (special outings etc), what may be going on tomorrow, and 
      says goodnight. 
     
   4. The whole ritual is done in a matter-of-fact manner. You expect
      it to be done and you "create the expectation in the child" that
      it will be done. There is no pleading or asking (I'm talking about
      the parents here!). You are TELLING your child that s/he will be
      following this ritual DO NOT ASK, SAY PLEASE, BEG, BRIBE, etc.
      You are the adult, s/he is the child. S/he does what you say
      "BECAUSE I SAID SO"  (yes, I have read a lot of John Rosemond).
  
   5. Our rule is "You must stay in your room". Note that is is not
      "you must stay in bed". "If you don't stay in your room then we
      will close the door". Yes s/he will scream his/her head off if 
      you actually do this, but you will only have to do it once or twice.
      We have had to resort to sitting in his doorway, reading the 
      newspaper and IGNORING him. S/he will fall asleep on the floor
      numerous times but will eventually stay in bed. I knew one parent
      whose son slept in the closet after she closed his door. 
      If you have to close the door wait 1-2 minutes then go in and 
      calmly, patiently explain the rule again, ask for understanding,
      (give comfort of course, hug, but don't let it turn into too much
      clinging - I've heard of parents who cannot get their kids to sleep
      unless they are rocked with specific music playing until they fall
      asleep).
  
   6. The child must learn to "put him/her self to sleep". If you lay
      with him/her or rock or whatever, you may get him/her to sleep
      but s/he has not learned how to do it themselves. It really won't
      hurt them to cry while you sit in the doorway. But you must IGNORE
      them or they will learn that they can control you by crying.


By adding the teeth brushing to the ritual you kind of have a built in
"drink of water" that they sometimes ask for right after going to bed.

Things went pretty well for a few weeks then all of a sudden Chris did
not want to stay in bed. It was a real struggle and we had to sit in his
doorway every nite until he fell asleep. I think the solution was to 
buy a cheap table lamp that we put on his dresser (right next to the head
of his bed. Then we added "turning on the light" to the bedtime ritual. We
have no rule against staying awake (just staying in his room). Some days
if Chris has a good nap he will stay awake until 11pm, "reading" books,
and playing with toys/animals.
  
And NO! he does not sleep in any later since being in the bed.

We feel very comfortable with the single bed decision, and the timing 
(Chris wasn't too old that he was too entenched in his perceived 
bed or bedtime ritual that the switch was not a big struggle).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: laedlein@jpmorgan.com (Mark Laedlein (X6-4468))

My wife & I have a 2 year 11 month year-old boy and a six-month old girl.
They share a room.

(1) We transitioned our son to a "crib-sized" bed at about 2 year 3 month
   then to a regular sized bed at 2 year 10 months.
	The Right Start Catalog has a great "crib-sized" bed. $80.

(2) The first transition was motivated by the new arrival. The second was
   because he was getting to big for the small bed.

(3) The second transition was motivated by his sleeping movements as well,
   	he tended to "rotate" while sleeping and soon he would be off the 
	bed.

(4) We talked to him about it a lot. We found a book "Davin's new Bed" 
	which described a boy in the same position and how he felt
	about it. This was very useful.

(5) He is at a stage where night fears are very powerful and he has
	been wandering into our room at all hours. We try to get him
	settled back in his bed. The bed he has is a trundle bed
	(or is the one underneath it called the trundle?) anyway
	one of use sleeps on the trundle bed. 
   By the way, having a trundle bed is a great way of preventing 
	harm from falling out of a big bed. We just pull the bottom
	bed out a bit and we know that he'll fall onto that instead
	of the floor. As it happens, he hasn't fallen on either, but
	it relieved our anxiety about it.

(6) No change in sleep routine. Sorry, but he'll get up at the same 
	time as always.

(7) see above.

(8) just right, actually.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Julia Rodriguez <juliar@hpclbis.cup.hp.com>

(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

     2 years 3 months

(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

     NO

(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
     bed at that time?  
     
     The 1989 earthquake.  After the quake my daughter was very upset.
     We continued to have many aftershocks.  She refused to sleep in
     her own bed, although she had always done so before the quake.  I
     figured that the crib felt very shaky during the quake.  My
     husband and I sleep on a futon close to the ground.

(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

     Yes, preparation paid off.  We took her to the store to pick out
     the bed.  She helped put it together.  It was a cotton futon on a
     low platform like ours.  There was just enough room for her to
     get under the platform in a quake.  

(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
     so, how did you solve the problem?

     Never.  It just didn't occur to her to get out of bed without
     calling us.  She calls us if she wants a drink or to go to the
     potty.  She called us in the morning when she woke up until she
     was about 4 years old.

(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
     changes to his/her sleep routine?  
     
     None.  Although now if she has a nightmare or is sick, we can lay
     beside her in her own bed if we want to.  This has the advantage
     of disturbing only one parent.

(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

     Regular size futon on a low platform.  She has only fallen out of
     bed once or twice in 3 years.

(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
     you feel the timing was right for your child?

     Without the earthquake we would have waited longer.  But there
     was no problem doing it when we did.  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: CLARK_B@CHO000.dnet.ge.com

(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

2.5 years

(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No

(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
     bed at that time?

Child didn't seem like a baby anymore, just seemed like he was ready
to sleep in a "real" bed, we were ready to trust him with the freedom
a bed would give him

(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

Asked him if he wanted to well before getting serious about it,  let him
go along while we shopped for furniture, talked about it
Yes, I think it helped

(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
     so, how did you solve the problem?

No, even 1.5 yr later he still is good about this
(At first he didn't realize he could just get out of bed when he
wanted to - in the morning he would wake up and call for us!)
He has fallen out of bed twice.

(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
     changes to his/her sleep routine?  
     
No, nothing noticable.  He cried 5-15 minutes the first week of nights
because of the excitement and also because we did not allow the pacifier
to make the switch from the crib to the bed.

To your question - your child will have the opportunity to amuse himself
in ways not available to a child in a crib when he wakes.  Having toys,
books, etc (a TV?) in the room (maybe even special toys that you get out after
he's asleep just for morning wakeup play) might buy you some time.
On the other hand, childproofing must be revisited at this stage, too.
Some net.parents talk about using their baby gates or a screen door to
keep their child from wandering too far.

(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

To twin size bed - we were hoping to need the crib mattress 1-2 years
later and there didn't seem to be much benefit to having to do two
transitions.  We put the mattress on the floor next to the bed frame for the
first 3-4 nights (got this idea from the net) which worked well in terms
of everyone getting confidence about the situation.
It worked fine.

(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
     you feel the timing was right for your child?

Time was fine.

We were moving him to a different room entirely, so we had the opportunity
to leave the crib up in the nursery, and offered him the choice to go
back to it when he cried or wanted the pacifier.  Apparently the
internal desire to "be a big boy" took precedence over his apprehension
because he never went back to the crib.  (Now the nursery is in use
again for little brother, and the older one loves to climb in and out
of the crib, pretending to be a baby and playing with the younger.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: betsy@auroch.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Betsy Mandrus)

> (1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?
20 months

> (2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?
No.

> (3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>      bed at that time?  
Climbing out plus baby was coming at 26 months. These seem to be the only
good reasons to do it besides the child's size.

> (4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>      and did you find that the preparation paid off?
No preparation.

> (5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>      his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>      so, how did you solve the problem?
No, but we had problems getting him to sleep in it the first 2 nights. We
stayed in the room with him and kept bringing him back to the bed until
he stayed in the bed himself.

> (6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>      changes to his/her sleep routine?  
No. Always was a good sleeper before. Was a good sleeper after. The one
difference was that he would get out of bed and come get me. Oh wait. We used
to keep the door shut tight and at the time he couldn't open doors, so he
would bang on the door when awake (I think that was mostly after naps).

> (7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>      a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>      with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?
We used a youth bed which uses a crib mattress and only cost $60. Where Michael
was sort of on the young side for the transition, we thought this was better
because he got to use same, familiar sheets and blankets. He also couldn't
get hurt falling out (my husband's crazy concern; he never fell out) because
it was lower to the ground.

> (8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>      transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>      you feel the timing was right for your child?
For my child it worked out very well. We would not have done it so early
if it weren't for the climbing out being so apparently dangerous. But I
don't think it caused any problem in the long run.
> 
Also, we got advice to take the crib out of the room so that he wouldn't be
upset and confused by it. I think this is very important.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: reid@metis.tti.com (Reid Kneeland)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

We've never owned a crib.  Sarah slept with us until she was two, at
which point she moved to a real bed of her own (a full-sized
futon/platform bed that was somewhat lower to the ground than average
American bed).

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

I asked Sarah if she wanted to sleep in her own bed, and she said yes.
YMMV, to say the least.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

She'd been taking her naps in her own bed for several months.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

No "problem", but...

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

Sarah still wanted to nurse during the night, though Ellen soon
phased that out after Sarah made the switch.  The new rule was no
nursing between bedtime and sunrise.  Sarah would often come join
us after dawn for a nurse and a bit more sleep.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

See above.  It worked great.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

It was right with the child, except for the part about wanting to sleep
down the hall AND have mom come nurse on demand.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: GeraldR@sunfish.ratsys.com (Gerald Ruderman)

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?
Two years, 5 months, 13 days.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?
No.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  
We moved and we decided that was a good time.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?
We spoke about it quite a lot.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?
No.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  
No.

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?
Regular size double bed at first, then to a regular twin bed about 6 weeks 
later.

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?
It was a good time to do it.

She started falling out of the bed a few months later. This happened a few 
times per month. She never hurt herself. Once she tried to climb back in bed 
herself, but fell asleep as she was standing up! We got a bed guard which 
solved this problem. This stopped being needed in less than a year.

Part of the transition included changing the routine. We started singing 
more songs to her and then reading to her and then telling her stories.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: mani@crl.dec.com (Mani)

Our elder daughter always slept with us as a child, we
never got her a crib at all.

When she was three, we had another baby and had quite
a time with both the kids in bed.  This was the time we were
moving into another house and we sort of got the elder one
excited about having her own bed and that she was now grown
up enough to sleep in her own room (being with us is only
for babies.like your sister).  This did the trick and we
had no other problems.

With the second one, we used to put her in the crib after
she had fallen asleep in our bed.  She used to wake up in
the night and we would pull her back again.  We generally
kept this up till she was familiar wiht the crib and could
fall asleep in it.

The elder one still wakes up early in teh morning and comes
into bed with us, we like this and see no reason to have
this stop, it gives us a chance to cuddle with the kids and
play with them before we get going wiht the day. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Randall Morey         <RMOREY@utrc.utc.com>

>(1)  What age was your child when you transitioned him/her to a bed?

We have 3 kids in beds and 1 still in a crib. Each was between 2-3 years for
the transition.

>(2)  Was the transition motivated by the arrival of a new sibling?

No twice, yes once. We were able to borrow a second crib for the first two,
but not the third.

>(3)  If the answer to (2) was no, why did you decide to move to a
>     bed at that time?  

To put it bluntly, the bed was a bribe for potty training. Normally we don't
bribe, but we thought it was a good incentive, and they were going to get a bed
anyway. It was just a matter of when. We didn't mind the child being in a crib
longer. In fact, we taught the escape artists how to get in and out safely
without help. We told them that they could have a big bed if they could stay
dry through the night. This worked great for the older two girls, but not my
son (#3). He was harder to bribe, and train. He didn't want to give up his bed
to his new little sister. Eventually, he liked the idea, and _finally_ (whew!)
trained himself. His room was too small for a crib and a twin bed, so we got
him a youth bed that uses a crib mattress. He's almost 4 and still likes it,
and still fits in it. We will be moving into a bigger house shortly, and he'll
have his own room that can fit a twin bed. He can decide when he wants a bigger
bed.

>(4)  How did you go about preparing your child for the transition,
>     and did you find that the preparation paid off?

We just showed the child the new bed in the next bedroom and told him/her 
that they could sleep in it when they could go potty by themselves and stay
dry through the night. My son still has accidents, so we limit his drinks at
supper and get him up around 10:30-11:00 pm to take him potty. He also wears
terry-lined plastic pants over his big-boy pants. I think the bed really helped
potty training sooner. We frequently mentioned how nice a big bed is, and
how big the child was getting.

>(5)  Did you encounter any problems with your child wandering out of
>     his/her room in the middle of the night or early morning?  If
>     so, how did you solve the problem?

Other than the lack of sleep (!), we didn't mind them coming in to tell us they
had to go potty in the night, or if they were scared of a noise. But we made
it very clear that they may _not_ get out of bed until I finished my shower
(around 6:30 or 7:00). The penalty was sitting on a chair, like for any other
offense. We were firm, and very positive and complimenting every time they
stayed in bed. My son still yells, "Can I get up now?". Being a sound sleeper,
he's always the last one up anyway. We gave the older ones a clock and told 
them they had to stay in bed until the 1st number was a 7.

>(6)  Did moving your child from a crib to a bed result in any
>     changes to his/her sleep routine?  

The only thing that makes them stay in bed longer is HAVING to get up early
for school. Then they want to stay in bed longer. They could stay up all night,
and still wake up at 6:00 during the summer. For my 3YO, skipping the after-
noon nap makes him tired at night, so he will stay asleep longer. The girls
are 7 and 5 and have learned how to read, so they keep a book ("Sweet Valley
Kids" series) on their nightstands so they can read until 7am on the weekends.
That's our only hope for staying in bed late, if you call 7am late. We've
given up on ever staying in bed later than that. (Sorry!)

>(7)  Did you make the transition from a crib to a toddler bed or to
>     a regular sized bed (please specify what size)?  Were you happy
>     with the decision (i.e. crib to toddler bed)?

The 1st one got my old twin bed after our second one was born. After a while,
we decided to get a set of twin beds that can be bunked. They loved that. It
has rails for the top bunk. My son got a toddler bed and accepted it, but he's
pretty easy going. He liked the idea of his own little bed. He never felt any
rivalry. Had he been in a larger room or his own room, we would have saved the
expense of a toddler bed and just gotten him a regular bed that he would always
have. 

>(8)  If you had it to do over again, would you have made the
>     transition earlier, later or at the same time?  That is, did
>     you feel the timing was right for your child?

The timing in our case was determined by their timing of potty training. Their
ages at that time were 28, 26, and 40 months. While my son was training, the
baby slept in a Graco portacrib. We think it was a good reward and incentive
for 2 out of 3. I think that anytime between 2-3 years is fine. Our biggest
fear was having them wandering around playing when they should be in bed. A
child should be old enough to understand these kind of rules to follow them.
Our rule was having them sit on a chair or stool in the hall if they got up
after bedtime, but praise and reward (pshchological more than material) always
works much better than punishment, no matter what the desired behaviour is. 

A consistent bedtime routine is a must. Exactly the same routine, every night.
We do potty, baths, teeth, hair, a story, 2 prayers, and 2 lullabies. My son
likes to say goodnight to all the Bambi characters on the wall. For the kids
who can read, we have a morning list and a nighttime list. That way we don't
forget anything, and they can do everything without parents constantly 
hounding them. They were involved in making the list, and were very receptive
to it. Excellent idea. Preschoolers can have a list of pictures. We need all
the help we can get railroading 4 kids to school and to bed! 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:  dlin@weber.ucsd.edu (Diane Lin)

Shortly before his second birthday, our son climbed out of his crib,
thus necessitating a frenzied search for a new bed.  While we waited
for the bed to be shipped and delivered, he slept in our bed.  We
knew fully well that this would add a new wrinkle to the transition,
since most kids are loathe to leave their parents' bed once they've
gotten a taste for it.  (I should preface this by saying that prior
to climbing out of his crib, our son was a great sleeper.  We used
the Ferber method when he was about 9 months old and he's never had
a problem readjusting to sleeping in his own bed after we come back
from trips.  During trips, we use the family bed approach towards
sleeping.)  

We re-read the section in Ferber's book about sleep associations,
and we psyched ourselves up for some hellish nights.  After we set
up the bed, I took my son shopping for sheets, and let him pick out
his own sheets and comforter (Dalmatians).  He was very excited
about the prospects of having a big boy bed, and we talked about it
a lot.  

We decided that it would probably be easier on Dylan if we did a
gradual transition from our bed to his new bed.  (His new bed has
storage drawers underneath, so it's pretty high--much higher than
our platform bed!)  We would put him to bed but if he called out for
us in the middle of the night, I would go in and sleep on the floor
next to his bed in a sleeping bag placed atop a comforter.  For
about a week, I would routinely go in to sleep on his floor when he
called out in the middle of the night, and that would be fine with
him.  He could handle the fact that I wasn't sleeping in his bed; in
his room was enough.  Finally, I woke up one morning and my back was
stiff, and I realized that sleeping on his floor wasn't the greatest
thing for me.  So, I explained to him that sleeping on the floor
hurt me and that I would no longer sleep on his floor.  He readily
accepted that, and we put away the sleeping bag and comforter.

For about a month after that (we had a set-back at the holidays,
visiting for several days with his grandparents), he would call out
at least twice in the middle of the night, and I would go in and
reassure him that everything was OK.  It finally got to the point
where it was clear that he wasn't scared or anxious about his new
bed, but that he wanted to see me at 3 in the morning!  (He would
actually *toss* a toy out of bed in order to get me to retrieve it.)
We took the following steps:  no more toys or books would be allowed
in his bed aside from his two comforters and his Cookie Monster,
which had all resided in his crib.  Also, any calls to us when it
was dark out would not be responded to quickly.  If he was
persistent (and there was no emergency), we would close the door to
his room.  He really hates having the door closed, so this 
became a great incentive for him.

Finally, we talked to him during the day when he was in a good,
receptive mood about how we were so tired because we weren't getting
enough sleep.  I explained how cranky I was getting during the day
(I'm an at-home mother) and how much better I would feel if I could
get uninterrupted sleep.  Dylan was very receptive to that, and
promised to try his best.

After two weeks of re-Ferberizing him, he no longer called out
in the middle of the night.  However, he generally woke up between
5 and 6 in the morning (usually closer to 5) and called or cried out
for us.  Since he used to sleep until 6:30 or 7 in his crib, we
wanted him to return to that more civilized pattern in his new bed.
We tried reminding him that it was dark out, but it didn't seem to
matter.  Finally, I thought of a plan that has worked out really
well for us.  Dylan helped me pick out a radio alarm clock for his
room.  Then, we set it for 6:35, and put it on the music setting, so
classical music would play at 6:35 instead of a buzzer.  We then
told him that when he heard the music, that would be the sign that
he could come out of his room.  If he came out of his room before
he heard the music, we would bring him back to his room and shut the
door.  We also let him know that he had two choices when he heard
the music:  if he was still sleepy, he could come into our bed and
sleep with us, or, if he was awake and ready to start the day, he
could call for Daddy and they would start their day together.  (My
husband always wakes up early and is the "morning parent.")  So far,
it has worked wonderfully well.  A couple of mornings, Dylan has
actually been heard to be stirring in his bed talking to himself, or 
leafing through some books quietly until he hears the music! 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Subject: Successful Crib-to-Bed Transition

Thanks for the FAQ on crib-to-bed transitions.  We read through everybody's
story, and took ideas from quite a few.  You can add our story to the FAQ if
you wish:

Erik was 26 months old when we started the transition and it took about a
week.  We transitioned because a friend wanted to purchase our crib and it
seemed like a good idea although he had not shown any signs of crawling out,
etc.

We made a big deal of purchasing the bed with him, buying some colorful
jungle animals sheets, drapes, and bedspread (beautiful--Cannon "Save Our
Earth" series) and talked alot about Erik's "big boy bed".  We then
set up the bed and left it in the room for 5 days with the crib still
set up.  We asked at bedtime where he wanted to sleep, and he always chose
the crib.  So, we took the crib down with him present.  That night, as we
put him to bed, he saw the bed and said "No!" but then realized he didn't
have a choice anymore.  Erik never really put up a fight or tried to get
out of bed and leave the room (except now in the mornings he cheerfully
and noisily barges into our bedroom to wake up his lazy parents ;-} )
My husband was especially surprised it was so easy.   

As for furniture, we chose a twin bunk bed set, and we use the railing
from the top bunk on the bed to prevent rolling out and store the other 
bed for now.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: lorinda@HQ.Ileaf.COM (Lorinda Brandon)

We are expecting our second in October and both my husbadn
and I did not want Ben, our first, to feel in any way ousted
by the new arrival.  So we transitioned him to a bed a little
early.  It worked out great though, because he had not
gotten old enough to develop any attachment to the crib.

He was about 15-16 months when we bought him a twin sized mattress
for the floor. And of course some Sesame Street sheets.  He
was perfectly delighted and we have never had any problems. For
his second birthday, we will probably get him the rest of the bed
and by then he will be so used to the size and shape of it that he
won't fall out (too often, anyway).  He already doesn't crawl off
of it at night anymore.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: salvaggi@alnitak.Kodak.COM (Nanette Salvaggio)

We moved Philip to a twin bed from his crib this last weekend.  He
loves the bed.  He does not want to get out of it.  Any time we 
go upstairs for anything he wants put in bed.  He is not a climber
so has not gotten out once and has to be lifted into it.  I thought
the first few nights would be rough, but I layed him down, covered him
up and did not hear from him till morning.  For the past month or
so he has been waking in the night at least once and has needed help
getting back to sleep.  He was never like this before. He has not
woken up during the night all week.  Why didn't I do this sooner.

Philip is almost 19 months old.  To add some more info he has two bed rails,
one on each side.  We had to attach them together because when he rolled on
to them they would start to slide out and he could fall through.  We
also got him Mickey Mouse sheets.  Mickey is his favorite.  He has
Mickey pj's and a Mickey stuffed animal he sleeps with.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
[sorry--attribution for the below was inadvertently stripped]

We decided to move our daughter into a toddler bed when she was just over
two years old.  Up until that time, she was perfectly happy with the
crib, and she seemed quite secure in it.  However, one night, she put
up a particularly bad fuss at bedtime (which was unusual for her, since
she normally LOVES bedtime).  I put her in the crib and left her to
cry it out a little, thinking that she just wanted to stay awake a
little longer.  She was still screaming ten minutes later, so I went
in to check on her.  As I walked through her bedroom door, I saw her
take a head-first dive over the edge of her crib.  I managed to catch
her before she hit the floor, but I realized then that she had decided
she was tired of being caged up at night.

Since we didn't have a bed for her yet (although we had been talking 
about getting one), and I didn't want to put her back in the crib,
we just put her crib mattress on the floor.  She slept there until
the next weekend, when we went shopping for a 'big girl' bed.
Bedtime became even easier than it had been before, since she was
so happy about not having to sleep in the crib anymore.

We took the crib out of her room a couple of weeks later, right 
after I found out I was pregnant for the second time.  We just put
the crib back into her room a few weeks ago, in preparation for
the coming baby, and she claims that she doesn't remember ever
sleeping in it herself.  I presume that's a good thing, since
she's not at all likely to feel like the baby is taking her old
bed away from her.
-------------------------------------------------------------------



-- 
Diane C. Lin			"For these are all our children...
dlin@weber.ucsd.edu		 We will all profit by, or pay for
(Dylan's mom, 6 years)	  	 whatever they become."  James Baldwin

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