As I mentioned last week, Elliott climbed out of his crib (multiple times) the day before his second birthday, prompting us to go ahead and transition him from the nursery to a "big boy room." We had most of the furniture already, and I had begun buying a few things here and there, so it was just a matter of pulling everything together. Much like his nursery, I didn't want the room to have a theme. I just wanted it to look like a little boy's room, with neutral colors and all of his favorite things. We're really pleased with how it turned out. Elliott is very proud of it, taking any guests straightaway to see his "big boy bed."
|^^^ his bed and rug are from West Elm, rocking moose is from Ikea, and his train table is Melissa and Doug ^^^|
|^^^ the faux deer head is Target, frames are Ikea, and most of the art is by Katie Daisy and can be found on Etsy ^^^|
|^^^ bedding and curtains are from Pottery Barn Kids (navy blue rugby, and Patrick sheets) ^^^|
|^^^ bookcase is Ikea, baskets Target (Threshold), and chair is PotteryBarn Kids ^^^|
|^^^ The lamp is from Target and is filled with vintage blocks I found on ebay, the cute vases were made by my friend Laura, and his "Elliott St." sign was ordered from Etsy ^^^|
Each night, we read him his bedtime story in his bed, turn out the light, and lay with him for a few minutes. Some nights he's so tired that he falls asleep quickly once the light is out, but other nights he wants to talk and play. If we can tell he is going to fight going to sleep, we tell him we are tired and are going to go get in our bed and go to sleep. Then we leave the room and shut the door. The child lock on the handle keeps him from being able to come in and out of his room, causing a "Super Nanny" battle where we must go back and forth with him until one of us gives in or pulls our hair out. Instead, once he realizes the door is locked, he goes and lays back down in his bed. Some nights he cries, but it has never been any longer than 10 minutes before he is sleeping soundly in his bed.
The lock also gives us peace of mind once we go to sleep. I don't think I could rest knowing my 2-year-old could be up wandering the house, getting into who knows what, while I'm out cold. (Some people have asked why we don't just use a baby gate, but I figure if he can climb out of a crib, he can climb over a baby gate…) So far though, once he goes to sleep, he stays asleep until it's time to get up (around 7-7:30).
The video monitor allows us to see and hear when he is out of his bed, and what he is doing. It also allows us to see if he's moved from the bed to the floor, so we don't have to risk waking him up opening the door to look, and he doesn't end up sleeping on the cold ground all night. This particular model came with an additional camera, so we can have one in each child's room when Julianne arrives and check in on them split screen throughout the night.
Nap time can be a little more difficult, but most times if we lay down with him, he will doze off and we can leave. If he's fighting going down though, we do the same thing we do at night, we leave the room and close the door. Sometimes he may play for a minute, but it normally doesn't take long for him to venture over to the bed and lay down to rest once we leave.
If you are thinking about making the transition with your little one, I would just say be consistent. I think putting Elliott down in his crib before he was asleep each night helped the transition tremendously. He already knew that once Mom and Dad leave the room, they aren't coming back until it's time to get up, therefore, he doesn't fight it for long. Sure, it's hard to leave the room when he is calling for you, but if you keep hanging around, he will keep finding excuses to make you stay little longer. Once he realizes you are serious about bedtime, and you're not giving in to his sneaky little manipulation tactics, he will go down with ease.
Every morning (or after a nap) when we hear hime call for us, we quickly go in to greet him. He looks at us proudly and says "I woke up in my big boy bed!" We make sure to tell him how proud we are of him, and we can tell he is proud of himself too.
It's been a big change, but Elliott has handled it like a champ. We're excited to see him become a little more independent, even though it means he's growing up, and we're happy he now has a new space that better suits his "big boy" needs.