L.H. asks from Albuquerque, NM on May 21, 2007
Moving to a Big Boy Bed
Hello everyone! I am due in one week with my second son and very excited! However, I need some advice! My older son is 21 months and we have moved him to a new room so that we can have the nursery for his little brother. I made Cade's new room very fun... It's a play room and I let him play in there for a couple of weeks before trying to entice him to sleep in his new twin bed. I really don't want to invest in a toddler bed if I can help it! My son doesn't like NEW things. He likes things to be predictable and the same all the time. I have partly created this habit with my attention to absolute stability in his routine.
My husband and I laid him in his new bed for naps at first. He would cry and beg to go in his crib. He LOVES sleeping. He really looks forward to naptime and to bedtime so that's never the issue. He doesn't mind going to sleep. He just doesn't want to do it in a new bed. When I laid him in his new bed, he got sooooo scared. He didn't want to stay there and he cried like he was just terrified of this new change. I don't want to force him... Is it possible that he's just not ready for this change? Should I push him and deal with the crying for a week or two until he adjusts? I have borrowed the crib that he sleeps in at my mom's house and we have moved that next to his big boy bed and I give him a choice every nap and every night. "Do you want to sleep in the crib or in your big boy bed?" Every time he looks panicked and frantically points at the crib. Does any one have any suggestions on how to transition him from the crib to the bed? I would really prefer to do it once-- not a toddler bed or sleeping on the floor because he is so resistant to change. I figure moving him once to where I want him indefinately would be the best and easiest thing for his personality. (Of course his new bed has a safety rail) Please help!!!
G.M. answers from Phoenix on May 21, 2007
Have you tried asking your son what he is afraid of with his big boy bed? Does he have any cousins that sleep in a big boy bed, or big girl bed that he might look up to? Has he played a game where someone scares him from underneath a bed and grabs at him? If you force the issue, you might be forcing the fear in him to come out. Remind him that Mommy and Daddy sleep in a big bed, and if he has a Super Hero, like Krypto the Super Dog, or something like that, remind him that they too sleep in their own big boy bed. During the day, play in his room with him, and on the bed. You can play tickle with him and make him laugh, and hopefully that will help him ease into his big boy bed because the laughter will help calm him and help him be more comfortable on his bed. You can try coloring with him on that bed etc. as well. He might have a fear that someone, or something will get him if he's in a bed without the big rails around him. You can try making a homemade canope that drapes down and see if that will work. Bless his heart. It's such a scary world for children sometimes and we feel helpless not knowing how to get them to overcome those fears. I hope I've helped in some way. I wish I knew what to tell you exactly, and have some miracle at hand for you. If you do find something that works, let us know here on mamasource ok? :-) Best wishes,G.
1 mom found this helpful
R.J. answers from Phoenix on May 22, 2007
Hi, L. ~
I can only imagine this must be a tough situation for all three of you. I'm not going to tell you that I know how it is, because my family has always been more of the "fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants" type, and my three kids have always been generally okay with things changing. I consider that a very good thing for them. They'll certainly be more adaptable than I am. (I was raised in a highly predictable environment.) Cade might just need to be introduced to change, little by little. I'd start by switching around a single activity in his day, maybe serve something (fun) that he doesn't expect for lunch. There's a lot to be said for systematic desensitization. It made a very different person out of me. And I think your son is probably young enough that it won't be too traumatic for him if you go slowly enough. Perhaps after a while of not having everything perfectly in its place, he'll be more open to some different sleeping arrangements. :)
Hope this helps a bit, L.. All the best to you and your family, and congratulations on your new addition!
P.G. answers from Tucson on May 22, 2007
Have you tried putting the mattress on the floor? Or having you or your spouse read with him and lie next to him for awhile at night until he falls asleep? This is all that seems to work for our almost three year old son right now unless he falls asleep on his own somewhere else.
We just had a new baby in April as well but our son was sleeping in our bed before that so we had to transition him out of our bed to his big boy bed a month before the baby came...
C.M. answers from Tucson on June 21, 2007
They have these fun like frames for twin beds. Like Thomas the Engine. It goes around the bed, he might think it is like a train.
T.L. answers from Phoenix on June 18, 2007
im sure you have most likely solved this problem by now but if not it always helps to do his room in things he likes... for example, my son loves cars so we got him cars sheets & blankets for his bed. that way its something he can get excited about.