We planned for the switch to happen on a Friday evening. That way, if things went awry for a few nights, we would have the weekend days to recover. We got home early to put things in place and kept the nighttime routine as normal as possible.
And then we turned off the lights ...
Okay, so the experience of moving our twins, who share a room, from their cribs to toddler beds was not quite that dramatic—but I'd like to say that's because we did a fair amount of advance planning. We have learned some lessons and still have a few things to figure out.
The twins always loved their cribs and were never climbers. Our son Drew climbed out of his crib just once in three years, and (as far as we know) our daughter Celeste never even attempted to. Their cribs were their cozy, cuddly, safe spaces. Once the twins were completely potty trained and well past the age of 3, however, we thought it was time to make the transition to big-kid beds.
Here's how we got ready:
- We decided to start on a Friday in case the twins were up all night playing and going from bed to bed. (We had heard horror stories about this.)
- We bought big-kid bedding, including a full crib sheet set with a great top sheet, and new comforters to fit their toddler personalities. We used these for the first time on the big night so that it felt like a special occasion.
- We bought a toddler alarm clock for their room so that they could learn time and understand that they were allowed to get out of bed each morning when the light turned green.
- We placed pillows on the floor next to their beds in case they rolled out in the middle of the night.
When we turned off the lights on that first night, things were surprisingly normal. The twins did not get out of bed (a rule we tried to set from the get-go). They talked and sang as they normally did, and then fell asleep.
We went to bed thinking things were going to be great, that perhaps we were fantastic parents with amazing intuition and that we had timed things perfectly.
And then the next day ...
We are still trying to figure out naps, and it has been nearly eight weeks since we moved the twins to their toddler beds. We are not sure why, but naps have nearly gone out the window. This has been surprising because the twins were both great nappers when they were in cribs. Now, they play, sing, get out of bed, and are defiant during naptime. They don't want to sleep; if they do fall asleep, it is at the very end of their naptime.
We have pushed the twins' naptime back to late afternoon and now call it "quiet time" in hopes that they will fall asleep, but the reality is they usually don't. I am hoping this is just a phase. We are not going to get rid of this time for rest each day because I want to give their growing bodies an opportunity to recharge.
That bit of quiet time is so nice for everyone, parents included, so I welcome any suggestions for holding onto naptime!
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