Transitioning Out of the Crib: What Comes Next?Emily Malone
I have reached the part of “nesting” where I’m suddenly surrounded by to-do lists, calendars, project concepts, and an ever-increasing awareness that we’ll have a new family member in just a few more weeks (eight, to be specific). I’ve rallied my husband onto my project-tackling team, and we’re slowly but surely checking off the lists of things to get done while we still have the time and energy.
We spent this past weekend painting what will be our second son’s new nursery. We taped, we prepped, we painted, we edged, we high fived. We cleaned up all of the tools and paint cans and moved out the painting tarps, and then I sort of looked around and thought, “what now?” The problem is that all of our future nursery furniture is currently being used by my toddler. And while I have spent endless hours researching, pinning, and obsessing over what to do for his “big boy” room, I’ve ended up more confused and with even less direction than I started.
One thing is for sure—I am not buying a second crib. That means one of two things. 1. Baby #2 will have to make do with sleeping in a Pack N Play for his first several months (which he’d likely do for at least two months anyway), while we buy some extra time for Cullen in the crib. Or 2. We need to figure out a new sleeping solution for big brother sooner than later. As of now, I’m leaning toward the second option, as I think it will be easier to transition him now before a new baby comes and rocks his world with many other transitions and changes.
And so now I’m trying to decide if I want to get a toddler bed, or skip that option completely and move straight to a twin bed. Here are a few thoughts on each:
- Pros: Takes up less space, lower to the ground, might be an easier transition for a two year old
- Cons: Feels very temporary and like an expense that could be skipped, need to buy additional crib bedding and crib mattress
- Pros: Can be used for many years to come, bedding will have a much longer life, more space for parents to snuggle and read books
- Cons: Takes up a lot more floor space, might be a harder transition, might eventually want bunk beds anyway?
Our new home is an absolute dream in every way we’d hoped for, but it’s also over 100 years old, and the bedrooms are not very big. This isn’t something we mind, really, but it does make furniture selection and arrangement a bit more challenging. Another option I’m considering is simply buying a twin mattress and starting with it directly on the floor. This way, Cullen can transition to a less-enclosed sleeping environment without the fear or risk of falling.
The third scenario I’m considering (have I lost you yet?) is getting a toddler bed now for Cullen that can be used for a few years. Then when baby brother is ready to move out of the crib himself, we buy a set of bunk beds for them to share, as they will most likely end up sharing a room in this house anyway. This plan probably makes the most sense, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around a scenario that plays out for multiple years. I’ve been reading all the different opinions and thoughts in this article, and am hoping to come to a resolution that works well for our family sooner than later.
How did you handle transitioning your toddler from a crib to a big boy bed? Did you get a toddler bed, or skip it entirely?