My Toddler Sleep Story by Angellica Bell
When I gave birth to my firstborn, I always knew he would grow up into a lovely boy, but didn’t quite envisage how fast it would be. I will never forget the day I brought him home from hospital and realised my life was going to change forever.
My husband Michael and I made a conscious decision to try and stick to a routine in order to get him into a good sleeping pattern. It worked for us and he loves his sleep, but it took time, patience and sacrificing lots of nights out. Don’t get me wrong, we had to be flexible, as life isn’t always plain sailing. However, I’m a firm believer in not always taking baby advice from people, and most of the time I’ve just gone with my gut instinct, whether it be feeding, napping or moving my little one into a toddler bed.
By the time my son was two and a half years old, he was still in his cot.
Michael and I were starting to get worried as he was so tall when he stood up in it, we knew it would be only be a matter of time before he’d realise the ‘great escape’ was possible.
We didn’t have to wait long.
One of us has always been with the children. We have taken it in turns to work; something we chose to do and something which comes with its sacrifices and critics. However, we did take on a job as a couple and needed my mum and sister to help. It was as if our son sensed our anxiety about the situation, as a week before, he started jumping out of his cot. The first time I heard it I thought the house was caving in, the thud was so loud. This only carried on for a few days, but it was a frightening time and had me close to tears.
We had to accept he was growing up and needed more independence and a new bed. We decided on a toddler bed for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s nice to let them think they’re big, but in a small way. They’re low to the ground and he could easily get in on his own and looks cute.
Also, after a visit to our local department store, he literally jumped into a toddler bed on display and pretended to be asleep. What were we worried about?
My son was there when we dismantled his cot and part of the process when we assembled his toddler bed. He loved it. There was no fuss or build up. We just did it and stuck to our routines as normal. He had his nap and went to bed in the usual way. I think he was fine because he felt grown up in his age appropriate bed.
Looking back on the experience, I’d have to admit it was more of a milestone for me; my baby had grown up! But it was wonderful to see his excitement and joy when he knew he had somewhere new to sleep. So it all went well and it won’t be long before I’m going through the process again and next time it may not be such a smooth transition!