Transitioning our Toddler to a Big Boy Bed: Part 1

For the past year, life with our little guy been fairly predictable. Yes, we’ve had the occasional 2am wake-up call, the sidewalk face-plant that takes your breath away, the days he wants to consume nothing but cheese sticks and sweet tea, the temper tantrums in Target that cause you to abandon your cart in the pharmacy aisle. But we’ve had a routine, and we’ve mostly stuck to it.

Well, all of this changed just before his second birthday.

I put Sam down for his regular nap time of 1pm, which he rarely resists. Then I went to lay down because I had had a particularly rough night of sleep. Sam tossed and turned for about 15 minutes — typical. But then he proceeded to throw all six stuffed animals out of his crib — not typical. After he emptied his crib, he very, very easily pulled himself over the railing and gracefully slid down to the floor. I watched and recorded the whole event, and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Once his feet hit the floor, he looked around in amazement as if to say, “Wow! I’ve never done that before. Now what?” He pulled out some books and toys and played for about 5 minutes before he realized he could also … open the door. So, of course, he did. Then I heard the pitter-patter of his little bare feet as he made his way over to my bedroom. I have never seen a more proud expression on my toddler’s face as he declared, “All done!”

I tried to contain my giggles as I explained to him that he was not “all done,” and that he had to go back to his room for a “rest.” I’m sure you can guess where this story is headed.

I put him back in his crib, and he promptly climbed out about eight more times. Finally, I grabbed a safety gate from downstairs and put it at his door. He was surprisingly okay with the fact that he couldn’t leave his room and, instead, he pulled every single item out of his dresser. This occupied him for about 20 minutes.


Of course, he did not nap that afternoon. Or the one after.

We had been planning to transition Sam to a big boy bed before baby sister arrives in January, but little mister had his own timeline in mind. Read more about the big move at And check back for details about what’s working for us a month later.

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