Not sure why, but I thought last week was a good time to move Leah, who is almost 2, from her crib to a toddler bed, alright more like keeping her in her bed but removing one side of it. I guess I figured since my youngest enjoyed hanging out on her big sister's bed and pretending to nap that she was ready for the next step - being able to get in and our of her own bed.
We waited until Saturday to remove the side and tried to make a big deal about it too but Leah didn't seem as excited as her sister was. She was happy to be able to get into and out of her bed but that was pretty much it. - 'whoopee, I can get in and out of bed - big deal mommy'.
Then came nap time. Well what was suppose to be nap time. Did the usual thing, had lunch, cleaned up Leah and then told her "time for your nap in your big girl bed". I think Leah might had forgotten what had happened in her room because she was totally cool until we got to her room. I put her down in her bed, turned on her music and said 'I will see you after nap'. I closed her door and started to walk down the hall and then it started - Leah opened her door again and then closed it. Then opened it again. Then closed it. This little game continued for a few minutes until I guess my youngest realized she didn't have to be in bed really. After a half and hour and the door game was long over and all was quiet, I went to check on her. I opened the door expecting to see her sleeping somewhere in her room - hopefully in her bed - but instead found her sitting in her chair reading. Ok, not a problem just as long as there is some sort of quiet time in our house.
I was feeling hopeful, this might actually happen and be easy.
Then bedtime came.
Bedtime, or what is also known as my favourite time of the day. My girls are snuggled in their beds, all is quiet, a time to reflect on the day. Then I had the brilliant idea to eliminate one side of Leah's bed, allowing her to leave her room when she is upset instead of just staying in her bed. And that's exactly what happened. Since she didn't have her nap, she was very tired and couldn't fall asleep right away. So, she came out of her room. Over and over and again. For about 30 minutes or so, I pretty much just stood in front of her door and kept saying, 'back to bed please'. I was very happy about it as most parents who are tired can be.
Then she fell asleep and I really was happy about it. Then Leah fell out of bed or almost fell out of bed and was scared and got upset again. So I put her extra large stuffed dog and elephant and pillows on the floor beside the bed. Then Leah fell asleep again (yippee!). Then she started coughing - a lot. I'll sum up my whole Saturday night/Sunday morning - not much sleep for either of us. Grace on the other hand had a wonderful sleep and was full of energy the next day.
As the week went on, I wondered if I would be spending the first half an hour of naptime and bedtime sitting outside Leah's door. I was pretty close to picking up some cushions or a chair so that I would be at least some what comfty while sitting on the floor continually telling my daughter - 'sorry, can't come out.' I was also thinking why I wanted to rush this step and how screwed up would it be if we put the side of the crib back on.
But then something happened. Something special and magical. I can't really explain it but either Leah got bored with her door opening game or actually understood this is how it's going to be and started staying in her bed. She's not falling asleep right away which I don't really care about, but she's staying in her bed. In her room. Sure she's bringing all her toys to bed with her, or playing with her alphabet keyboard but, and I'll say it again - SHE'S STAYING IN HER ROOM!!!
I think she is enjoying this next phase, feeling like a big girl like her sister.
Next step - the dreaded potty training.....