Transitioning a 22-month old from Crib to Twin Bed

We decided to take the plunge and transition Noelle from her crib to a twin-sized bed the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We figured if we run into hiccups, at least Thanksgiving week is a short, holiday week… making any difficulties more bearable for all of us.

Her baby brother is coming in 3-months, so I was hoping we could pass her crib on to him instead of buying a whole new one.  We also wanted to make sure any transitions we implemented didn’t fall too close to baby brother’s arrival, so she doesn’t associate his birth with all these changes.

We spent a few weeks debating whether we wanted to transition her to a toddler bed, a floor mattress, or an actual twin bed.  These were our pros/cons for each:

We ended up going with a twin bed – I really liked the idea of being able to snuggle beside her in her bigger, adult-sized bed.  That, and the fact that this is the most long-term solution.  Even though this seemed like the riskiest option, we took her cautious temperament into account and it made the decision easier for us.  We honestly didn’t think she’d do anything too wild in her new bed.  If she did, we already mentally prepped ourselves for a week or two of suffering in hopes of long-term, lasting gain.  What surprised us most was that this whole transition went without a hitch (knock on wood)!

We didn’t do too much to prep her for her new bed except read from an Elmo book titled Big Enough for a Bed (she’s a huge Elmo fan).  I got this book two weeks before the transition and only read from it a handful of times, so I’m not even sure I needed it.

On the big day, S spent 4 hours building her crib.  Every time she peeked in at what he was doing, I would make a big fuss and say, “Daddy’s building you a brand new bed!  Are you excited?  You’re getting a new big girl bed today!!”.  I could tell she knew something BIG was happening that day.

We took all potential safety hazards out of her room.  That meant her dresser, humidifier, and floor lamp were all safely tucked away.  By the time we finished building the bed, it was well past her bedtime.  We put a bed rail in place, then lifted her onto her new bed – she immediately embraced it!  She even did a face plant at one point and exclaimed, “my new big bed!”.  Before I knew it, she was climbing down one side and up the other.  Our worries about her not being able to get back up on her own were unfounded.

Top: already awake, just sitting in the corner waiting for us to come get her; Bottom: ready to climb into bed all on her own using her little footstool.

When she was in her crib, she often woke before us and would play until we went to get her.  One concern of mine was now that she had the freedom to get on/off as she pleased, we would find her roaming around in her bedroom causing all sorts of chaos.  I even had a “library corner” set up in case she needed some entertainment before we came for her.

We setup the room in a way that would minimize her chances of hurting herself:

We surrounded her bed with pillows, and her old crib mattress in case she ever decided to make a dive down.  We also added a step stool to help her get on/off.  We chose a daybed because it’s so multi-functional – it has 3 sides, and we added a guardrail to prevent falls.  The bottom of the bed pulls out so the bed becomes a double bed (perfect for future sleepovers); and below the pullout bed is a large storage space.  In lieu of her dresser, we purchased hanging organizers from IKEA for her shirts, bottoms, socks, and accessories.  We hang all her dresses and coats.  This was a great space saver too now that her twin bed is taking so much space in her room!

My worries about her roaming her room aimlessly never came to life, and there hasn’t been a need for all those pillows flanking her crib.  She is well into day 4 of her big girl bed transition, and hasn’t once attempted to get off when we’re not around.  She just plays with her loveys or goes back to sleep until we come for her.  I wonder how things would’ve ended up had we chosen one of our other two options.

Sleeping peacefully in her new big bed!

Overall, our crib to twin bed transition went smoother than I possibly could’ve hoped.

How did your crib to bed transition go?  What made you choose toddler bed over twin, or vice versa?  Did you have the same fears/worries I did?


8 thoughts on “Transitioning a 22-month old from Crib to Twin Bed

  1. I was wondering where you got the bed? It’s great! We’re going to transition our 23 month old in the hopes of eventually transferring our 3 month old into his old crib.

  2. We started preparing for the big transition when we set up her antique rod iron twin bed that my mom salvaged and refinished for her late last summer. But she kept right on with staying in the crib. Not so much sleeping in it, though. More like cat napping and whining and throwing her paci from it.

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