Chasing Davies: Transitioning Liam to his big boy room & bed

November 21, 2013

Transitioning Liam to his big boy room & bed

Transition toddler from nursery to new room and bed

Last month we transitioned Liam not only to a big boy bed, but a whole new room! With baby #2 coming any day, we decided to keep the current nursery a nursery with some girly updates and upgrade Liam to a big boy room instead of creating a whole separate nursery (and having to buy another crib).  We talked it over with Liam's pediatrician, as we do with every little thing (he's been a goldmine of tips, information and suggestions that have all really worked well with our son) and decided this was the best course of action for our family. 

While maybe most less-than-two year olds aren't hopping from their crib to a queen-size bed, Liam showed signs of being ready and excited about this other room and bigger bed that used to be our guest bedroom and mostly closed off to him.  The few times he got his little self in there (prior to it being transitioned to his room), it was like a whole new world!  He loves discovering new things and being in new places, so it was no different in this room.  He even loved getting on the bed and rolling around with all the room he had, doing the same when in our bed.  I think because the room was so off-limits, it was extra special to eventually have it become his.

I took a day off work to transition the room in one fell swoop, so that we could introduce it to him at the beginning of a weekend and cold-turkey transition him.  He was so excited when we showed him the room, recognizing some of his favorite things from his old room or other parts of the home and his favorite stuffed animals and blanket in his new bed welcoming him.  Check back in a couple of weeks for more photos and info on the look, feel and decor of his new room!

Night-night in his new room:
The first night was a piece of cake!  Greg and I both stayed in his room for the nighttime routine to read him books after his teeth were brushed and PJs on.  It was nice being able to actually get in the bed to read with him.  After reading several books, we turned out the lights and with his music on (just like from his old room), he went to sleep really easily!  We were stunned.  He slept well all night and in the morning, woke up around the same time as always, making little noises and rolling around, but not getting out of bed until we came in to get him.  

Since then, most nights have been pretty similar.  Some nights he's not ready for the book reading to be over, or for us to leave his room and will cry/whine/holler out for a few minutes in his bed until giving up and singing himself to sleep. At night, he stays in his bed, even when he's not happy about going to bed.  I think because the room is so dark and he has his favorite stuffed animals with him, he feels comfortable staying put.

Napping in his new room and bed:
Naps have been a different story, a bit harder of a transition, but getting better and not terrible... The first few days were hard to get him to stay in his bed.  With the room being lit up by day, I guess he felt more confident about leaving his bed.  The first nap in his big boy room, we watched him through the video monitor climb out of his bed and walk around his room until he eventually fell asleep on a blanket on the floor.  We waited until he was sound asleep and then moved him to his bed, where he took a decent nap.  Since that first nap in his new room, he's learned to climb up to his bed to go to sleep once he's fiddled around his room a bit and the last week or so, he hasn't gotten out of his bed - so it's getting better, and thankfully still napping, ultimately.

Forgetting about his old room:
We closed off his old room, only going in there to start updating the nursery after he was asleep or not around, so he could forget about it as his.  The next time he'll go in there, it will be baby sister's room!  He hasn't seemed to miss it once, not even wondering what is behind that now-closed door, something I was worried about.  I think it's helped not letting him go back and forth between the two rooms and just having that nursery closed off.

Keeping his new room safe:
Of course, now that that he can get out of his bed, we added a few safety precautions to the room. We wanted to make sure that he couldn't get into much trouble if he got out and started poking around in the middle of the night when we were sleeping.  Here are a few things we did to make sure the room and Liam were as safe as possible:

1. Obviously, the bed itself was one major and new piece we had to toddler-fy.  Because we decided to keep our existing bed in the room for Liam - a queen size - he does have a lot of extra room to roll around (which he loves) without falling off, but mesh bed-rails keep him from rolling off the sides should he get too close to the edge, and also slightly resemble the feel of a crib.  We fold up his comforter and sheet at the bottom of the bed (along with some rolled up towels under the fitted sheet) to add some height there and pile his pillows, including a bolster, at the top of the bed, against the wall - so he is kind of boxed in overall.  He uses a blanket, one he slept with from his crib, for warmth and has several animals to cuddle that usually just end up lined against the mesh rails.
2. We have closet sliding bi-fold door locks to keep him out of the closet.  Not that there is anything too unsafe in there, but nothing he needs to get into or risk pinching a finger in the doors.  This just keeps the doors shut, but easy for us to get into when we need too!
3. We added a door knob lock on the inside of his bedroom door so he can't get out of his room (that may sound weird, but in the middle of the night if he were to wake up while we are sleeping, we don't want him wandering the rest of the house).  We also have our baby gate still in place at the top of the stairs, which we make sure to shut and lock when we go to bed.  So, in a very off-chance he were to figure out the door knob lock and open the door, we can't get downstairs.
4. My husband replaced every outlet with a tamper-proof GFCI receptacle and is also covered with an outlet plug, just like the rest of our house!
5. As already mentioned, we have a video monitor in his new room, which we moved from his nursery, so we're able to watch him.  If he does get out, we can follow him around the room with the camera to see what he's up to! (Once the new baby is in her own room, we'll just add another camera into the nursery and get to watch and listen to both of them on our same monitor.)
6. We kept his room decor simple and toddler-friendly, so there really isn't much in there, especially in his reach that could hurt him.

All of these safety additions help us feel good about Liam being more on his own!  In a couple weeks, I'll share the finishing touches that also helped transform this guest bedroom into his first big boy room.  In the meantime, I want to hear about any safety additions you included in your toddler's room or any advice you have about transferring your toddler to their own room!

Follow along here: BlogLovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook