To The Big Boy Bed We Go…

Night 1: The Stun Gun Phenomenon
I’m glad I waited a while  to write about Hooper’s transition out of the crib and into his big boy bed. I say that because no night has been the same. The first night, we did everything as before: we covered the window with a sheet for added darkness, we hooked up his white noise machine (a must if you ask me), had the sound monitor by his bed, gave him his blanket, had Papa sing to him, and then we laid him to rest. We sat anxiously on the sofa waiting to hear something. Instead, we heard nothing. Our impatience took over and about 30 minutes after putting him down, we snuck into his room to take a peek. He was just where we laid him, but as soon as the door opened, he popped up and said “Papa” as if he had been lying there with his eyes wide open for the entire 30 minutes. Probably scared straight. Probably wondering what to do in the sea of darkness. Probably wondering where he was. I call this “The Stun Gun Phenomenon”. Willy sang to him again and put him back down and he slept soundly the whole night through. Willy and I, however, tossed and turn wondering what the heck he was doing in there (why are these transitions always harder for the parents than the child?). After all, the possibilities of what he could get into are endless, right? He woke up at his usual time via a little whine that of course sent me shooting out of bed and into his room immediately. He was sitting ever so cutely right behind his guard rail. I scanned the room. Nothing was out of place. The only unusual thing was a small piece of paper on Hooper’s mouth. In the bed, I found the stick part to a lollipop. It was wet, clearly sucked on. Not sure where it came from or if it even had any candy on it. That was night one.
 Night 2: Hiccups
Oh how we gloated after that first night. We talked all day about how good our big boy is and how lucky we are and how easy the transition was and how we were going to sleep so soundly and then “The Stun Gun Phenomenon” ended. It was so abrupt. Suddenly Hooper realized he had unlimited access to his toys, noise maker, monitor, door and well, when we tried to put him down, we heard him play with his toys, then we heard him turn his noise maker off, then we heard him talking into the monitor like it was a microphone, then we heard him giggle the door handle, and then our seamless little transition started coming apart at the seams. We went in, put him down again. It was quiet for a few minutes. Then came another giggle of the door handle. We went in again, this time the room smelled like shit. A diaper change was in order. Then we put him down again. Third time is a charm, or so they say, because he slept… but only until 6:30, two hours before his normal wake up time. When I came into the room, he was standing by his bed with his blanket holding his monitor like a microphone again. I put him down for a nap later that morning and, again, the third time was the charm.


Night 3&4: Midnight Munches
These nights were nearly identical. Both nights started great. He went down with ease. I heard him the first night around 2:30am whining. It seemed to go on for a half hour or so and then he was quiet. (As a side note, why is it the mother’s ear that’s always so tuned in to that damn monitor? I’ve always been a good sleeper. In college, I remember taking a nap while my roommate vacuumed. But now, as a mom, my ear is to that monitor like little balls of poop stuck to Hooper’s nut sack. Willy, on the other hand, rests soundly and gets rather upset when I wake him to see if he’s hearing what I’m hearing and to help me decipher a plan of action. Oh the perks of being a dad, I suppose.) Anyway, on to the whining that begs the question: Would you like some cheese with that whine? Which in turn leads to the title of these nights being “Midnight Munches”. I know, it’s a bit convoluted, but whatever. So night 3 wasn’t so bad. He whined, he went back to sleep, he woke up at his normal time. Night 4, however, was the worst yet. The whining started and, again, I was the only one awoken and disturbed by it. I woke up Willy who lovingly let me stay in bed while he went in to check on him after the whining wouldn’t stop. He was sitting by his closed door. He sang to him, but him back down and got back in bed. But, alas, the whining returned. This boy must really like cheese. Willy returned, laid in bed and cuddled with him, and again, returned to bed. The whining returned and we finally gave in and put him in his crib. These events took place over an hour and a half or so, so you can’t say we didn’t give it a valiant effort. He slept soundly and that was that. So while we were left asking if he’d like some cheese with his whine, we really just needed our own glass bottle of wine. 


Night 5: The Night Light
After a restless night 4 and some grumpy campers Sunday morning, Willy and I brainstormed on what may be bothering him about his new room. We’ve made the room very dark and began considering that he could be scared of the dark. Our theory is that he had been falling asleep rather fast, but would wake at some point during the middle of the night and would start to get scared by the fact he couldn’t see anything around him. A friend of mine gave him this turtle constellation night light some time ago (thanks Bev!) and we decided to break it out and give it a try. Not gonna lie, I wanted to sleep in that cozy little bed under all those stars. And well, it worked. Or he was so tired from the night prior that he had to catch up on some Z’s. I did here him whine once during the middle of the night, but he was quiet soon their after. 
So all in all, it’s been about a week or so of full transition. The nap schedule was thrown a bit off and for a few days I thought he was phasing out of his two naps per day, but he appears to be back on the same nap routine as before. That’s today, anyway. All in all, I’m glad we did it prior to Van’s arrival. I’m slowly adding toys to his room so long as he can differentiate sleep time and play time. Stay tuned for the new room tour. It’s one of my favorites 🙂
Here’s my question to other parents: Do I go in there and put him back to bed if I hear him playing with his toys or should I just ignore it and trust that he will make his way to bed when he’s ready? His room is baby safe, to the best of my knowledge, so I’m leaning toward the latter method but would love to hear from others who I’m sure have experienced the same thing. And when do kids start sleeping with their head on the pillow and feet pointed toward the end of the bed? I find this boy all over the mattress and he wants nothing to do with his head on a pillow. So funny. Thanks!

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4 Responses

  • I’m kind of glad you have to… I mean, get to… go through these learning experiences before me. If I have one of my own, I’ll know so much via you. He is so cute in his big bed. And I really can’t believe you’re such a light sleeper now! Oh, to be a mom…

  • Oh I hope a lot a people reply with a response because we will be transitioning our girl around December. Thanks for the rundown of your first week, it’s very helpful!

  • No real sage advice….Wolfie is 8 and STILL has ups and downs with his sleep schedule. He transitioned really well to the toddler bed but around age 5 became VERY afraid of the dark. And was constantly sneaking out and trying to come to our bed. We still get a visitor every morning around 5am. And for the record, he STILL sleeps horizontal….diagaonal…..kicking off the covers…..flips around so his head is at the bottom. I swear he never sleeps with head on pillow, feet straight ahead EVER! He’s the ultimate wiggle worm. good luck with your little man! I think you are right about the pitch dark room….the night light seems like a great solution so far!

    • Ha! I love that he still sleeps horizontal, diagonal, etc. What a wonderful world kids live in. Imagine if adults slept like that. I guess some of us do after a “rough” night.


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