Transition to the "Big" Bed?

Updated on September 06, 2008
G.T. asks from Forest Park, IL
7 answers

Hi Everyone, lately,at least one if not two of my triplets will wake up in the middle of the night. They turned two last June so it's not as if they haven't been sleeping through the night. Because they're all in one bedroom (and separating is NOT an option) I can't rely on the standard means of getting them back to sleep, ie. crying it out. If they all wake up it's absolute hell until morning. What has worked for me is letting them sleep in the full size bed that's already in their room. I have invested in crib rails for this bed but I still stay in the room with them mainly because up until now I haven't been completely comfortable with them sleeping in such a big bed by themselves yet. I was hoping that we could keep them in their cribs a little bit longer but that doesn't seem the case. I do not want to buy toddler beds, to me they're a waste of money since their cribs convert to full size beds.

My question is if I do transition them to the "big" bed, what kind of mattress do I buy? Firm? They're used to sleeping with no pillows because we have no in their cribs so I do I get pillows? Again, what kind of firmness?


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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions! I'm not sure yet what we're going to do. Right now, it's just one of my children that winds up in the full size bed so we may just continue to let her sleep there (if she wakes up) until it really becomes an issue for all three children. It's the Musketeer effect - one for all and all for one! Again thanks!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on


I also have two year old triplets that need to share the same room. I plan on having them in their cribs as long as possible. Of course at some point it becomes a question of safety, so we bought crib tents.

They have been a godsend, and I expect it will help keep them in the cribs for probably another year and a half. While others may look funny at keeping a kid in a crib that long, there are some issues that are specific to triplets that can warrant that. One kid jumping on a bed as they learn to transition, is different than one kid jumping on a bed that two others are sleeping in. I got the support and idea behind doing this from a local triplet yahoo group that we joined. I would strongly suggest you consider joining it. They have been a great source of information and support, not to mention triplet resales. This link should get you to the right place to join if you are interested - same to any other mom of triplets or quads in the area.

They are also a good source of information for what you can do in terms of when one wakes and the others sleep, and how you can handle that.

Good Luck,




answers from Chicago on

You will be surprised how well they do once they get in a big bed. I dreaded putting my twins in beds... One of my boys was all over the place in his crib so I was really scared of him falling out. I did not put pillows in their cribs, but as soon as they were in beds, I gave them pillows and they loved them! My mover sleeps on his pillow at the top of the bed with his blankets on with no problem. I have not had anyone fall out of the bed yet. I thought for sure they would be out of their bed playing as soon as I shut the door, but I didn't hear one peep. DO NOT STAY IN THE ROOM WITH THEM!!! I made this mistake with my oldest; he'd not almost 6 and I still need to stay in his room with him until he falls asleep. Good Luck!!!!!



answers from Chicago on

Hi G.,
Wow, I have not had to deal with three but I did for transitioning was put the mattress on the floor and then I transitioned into a big bed about 2 and 1/2 and put up the rails. But friends have done just what you have done. when I got the big bed, I did get a pillow. It is soft, but full. It works well. the mattress I got was based on the one that would uphold jumping and still be comfortable. It is a soft mattress. If you go into the stores, they have separate mattresses for children. My son helped pick his out by lying on it.



answers from Chicago on

I also have 2 girls and a boy who are now 9 yrs. You have reached the fun time. If they are anything like mine, what works for one will not work for the other. I did get toddler beds for them since they were also all in the same room--still are. It is possible that they are waking due to room for stretching in the cribs and that is why it is easier to fall back to sleep on the bigger bed. The mattress should be something you would be comfortable on, not necessarily "firm" though you don't want too soft. My kids didn't have pillows until they were 5 or so. Do the cribs also convert to toddler beds? Maybe you could convert them and they may sleep better since the whole bed would not be blocked by rails. Also, a full size bed seems great but if they are movers when sleeping, one may still get woken up. Maybe you could use the full sized and a toddler. Now mine sleep on a bunk bed with a trundle under the bottom bunk, though yours are still too young for that option.



answers from Chicago on

Hi G.!

I have a friend who has twin boys who are 13 months younger than their older brother. They all share a room and what she's done for beds is pretty much fit as many twin beds in there as she can. They all have their own bed but end up sleeping in a differnt one every night. She thinks that's fine as long as they sleep.

On the weekends we let our son and daughter (6 & 3) sleep in the same room and it's impossible to get them to settle down so I can so empathize with your frustrations and situation.

I would encourage you to put the crib mattresses on the floor to start. My kids for some reason love that, even my 6 year old loves sleeping on it! And then if they also want to be in the full size bed that's cool too. If you have rails you really don't need to be in there. They are old enough and they eventually need to learn I think. When we bought our twin mattress for our son they gave us a "toddler board" instead of a box spring which made the whole ensemble lower to the ground. The same effect could be used by taking away the box spring and putting down plywood in the frame (if you're handy) or just putting the mattress on the floor.

It may be ghetto but it's safer!

I've heard that the whole mattress industry is going with the dense foam type mattresses. Those are much less bouncy so there's no midnight bouncing on the bed parties and they encourage less movement at night which leads to better sleep. I'm going to try them for my kids next mattress.

Good luck and God bless ya!



answers from Chicago on

Hi G.,
At the point where I was concerned about my kids climbing up and out of the crib we moved to having a mattress on the floor (and then later on used box spring and bed rail) with the goal of letting child get into/out of bed without bumping their bed. I live near Verlo mattress factory and they have awesome selection of mattresses and different price ranges because they make them right there. You can lie down and test the mattresses at their store and then pick what feels okay (not too soft...not too hard but somewhere in the middle). We added box spring and bed rail later. Pillow got added later but you can let them help you pick it out too.
We used bed time ritual...bath...story time...simple back rub and lights out...and tried to be consistennt with bed time to create a pattern.
C. L - mom of 3



answers from Chicago on

I would say as firm as the crib was. Then no pillows unless they ask for them. And as far as the big bed goes...I put a rolled up blanket under the sheet beside my daughters and they have never rolled out of the bed. Don't know why it worked, but it did??????????

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