Losing the Crib: My Toddler Went Thump in the Night

bedVivi turns three years old on May 4th. She has learned how to do a 360 spin off the couch onto a Lovesac. She knows how to scroll between apps on Casey’s Ipad. She knows where the ice cream shops are located in our hometown. She doesn’t know, however, how to sleep in a bed that isn’t surrounded by a cage. That kid is completely content sleeping in her crib and has shown no desire to move onto bigger and more comfortable arrangements.

Addie figured out how to climb out of her crib well before she turned three years old. Vivi? The kid will sit in her crib and pretend to put her bunny and other stuffed animals to bed until someone decides to come in and get her. In fact, there are times when I’ll go in to get her, and she’ll tell me to go away. And when she does want to get out, oh, she’ll let you know about it right away. No climbing necessary. The kid has a set of lungs on her.

The idea of losing the crib and moving into a toddler bed hasn’t been at the forefront of our minds.

Last week, Vivi got a taste of what it was like to sleep in a normal bed. Our hotel had a bunk bed for the kids, and Addie slept on the top bunk and Vivi slept on the bottom bunk. Casey and I shared a queen sized bed which was just a few feet away, parallel to the bunk bed.

Unlike other hotels that we have stayed at in the past, this bunk bed wasn’t set up against a wall. Both sides of the bunk bed were open, which meant that Vivi could climb into the bed from both sides and fall out of the bed from both sides.

About an hour into the first night, Vivi was in the bunk bed when I heard a big thud and then an immediate scream. She’d fallen out of bed for the first time. I rushed over to the bed to snatch her up and calm her down, but she was nowhere to be found. The kid rolled under the bed all the way to the middle of the bed. I had to get down on my stomach and fish a screaming Vivi out from under the bed. How does that happen?

I grabbed a few towels from the bathroom and rolled them up into long tubes and placed a towel under the sheets on each side of the bed hoping they would act as a railing or some kind of warning signal that would let Vivi’s unconscious mind know she was getting close to the danger zone.

Those guards worked the rest of the first night and the second night but were complete failures the third, fourth, and fifth nights. That kid fell off the bed at least 8 times on our trip, and she wasn’t prejudiced to either side. She fell off each side equally.

When Addie moved into a toddler bed, she rolled off the bed the first night about an hour into the night, and then she never fell off the bed again. (Well, I take that back, she did surprisingly fall off the bed a few months ago and wow does it make a loud noise when an 8 year old falls out of bed.) What that means is we’re completely clueless when it comes to teaching a kid how to sleep outside of a crib. We got lucky with Addie and Vivi’s going to end up with a few bruises until we can figure out how to help her, because it’s obvious she’s going to need more help than Addie.

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