So. We made the switch to toddler beds.
I should say that we are working on making the switch to toddler beds.
What I really should say is that we were forced into making the switch to toddler beds.
Believe me, I was in absolutely no hurry to get them out of their cribs. They liked them, they stayed contained, baby #3 is getting their own brand-new crib anyway...there was absolutely no rush.
Until one morning in the middle of December, when I walked into their bedroom, to find:
Hey, how'd I get over here anyway?
And then, that night, LOOOOOOOOOONNNNGGGG past their little bedtime, it was all:
But with more giggling.
Caden went from never making any attempt whatsoever to get out of his crib, to the next day figuring out how to get into Brooklyn's crib, to figuring out how to get out of his crib completely the very next day.
We put it off a little bit, because there was enough chaos with the holidays and we needed to more fully toddler-proof their bedroom if they were going to be running loose with no adult supervision. Also Caden enjoyed being Houdini for 5 or 6 days or so, but then completely gave up crib climbing of any sort for the next three weeks or so. However last week he started up again. That coupled with the fact that in a mere five (5!!!) weeks we will be welcoming another baby and it will be hella easier on me post-C-section if they can just get in and out of their beds themselves.
This all led us to one night last week, where you could find us doing:
(Same cribs, just swapped out one side for the toddler rail attachment which they came with.)
You could literally see the lightbulb moment on Caden's face once Tyson finished with his bed. He immediately got a huge grin and climbed up into his bed by himself. And then back out. And then back in. And ran/jumped around on it a bit. Like, Gee, mom and dad, why didn't we do this SOONER?!?!?
This is certainly not a post with tips about how to transition to toddler beds. Every kid and every experience that I have read about seems to be so different that I think you just kind of have to wing it. All I can say is try to keep the evenings as free as possible, be firm with bedtime boundaries, make sure the room is toddler-proofed beforehand, and if you're lucky enough to not be pregnant while all this is going on, treat yourself to a glass of wine afterwards.
It's been going...okay. Probably better than expected. Nap time has actually been easier than bedtime. (For which, hallelujah! More and more people have been telling me how their kids gave up their nap for good once their beds were switched over. Caden and Brooklyn, and, more importantly, ME, are just NOT ready for that. They and I still need their nap in order to function for the rest of the day.) Most days they go down just fine for their nap and don't even try to get out of bed.
Bedtime is another story. Part of it is that Caden doesn't like the door shut, but cracked open with the hall light on. Not so much because of he's afraid of the dark, but he's an absolute stickler for rules and routines, and since we've moved bedtime has ALWAYS left them with the door cracked open and the hall light on He is NOT having it if I close the door. And actually, I think he would stay in bed even with the door cracked open, if not influenced by his sister. Brooklyn runs from her bed to peek around the door, where I sit on the floor outside their room, and waves at me until I tell her to "Get back in bed" (this starts out gently but gets sterner and sterner...) and then runs to sit on her bed for approximately 2.3 seconds before running to the door to wave at me again, until I tell her to "Get BACK in BED", and this REPEATS IN AN ENDLESS LOOP. Often Caden joins in the fun, though with somewhat less enthusiasm. This usually ends up with me sitting IN their room in front of the door, and that's the trick that keeps them in their beds and so they eventually fall asleep. Brooklyn would certainly stay in their room and almost as certainly fall asleep eventually if the door were to stay shut and she could no longer escape very far, but Caden absolutely wails every time she or I shut the door. Just one of those instances where having twins - each with their own distinct personality - is certainly more difficult than having one child.
(Brooklyn sits in the chair and reads to Caden before bed. She holds up the book to him, turns each page, and every time says, "BOOK!". Caden points at the pictures and listens patiently. You're right in thinking it's adorable.)
Last night was our best night yet, I think I only had to tell them to get back into bed once and they stayed there...so here's hoping. Five weeks til baby comes...they can't keep up their nighttime shenanigans THAT long...right?